Skip to main content


Volume 154: debated on Monday 15 May 1922

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

Prison Treatment


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India what difference, if any, as regards treatment in gaol is shown to persons convicted in India of treason or sedition, and known as political prisoners, and those convicted of ordinary criminal offences?

I will circulate with the OFFICIAL KEPORT a summary, recently received by cable, of the treatment offered to special class prisoners in the Lahore Jail, which may serve as a specimen of the rules. But there may be differences in the several provinces.

Following is the summary:

Summary of treatment of political prisoners in Jahore Jail, in Punjab. Following rules in force: They provide special class prisoners shall be classified as such by convicting Court, by reason of nature of offence, and antecedents, education, and social position of prisoner. Own clothing; special food on payment, separately cooked; own cups, plates, and bedding ordinarily; and, subject to certain conditions, separate confinement from convicts of other classes; and, in association with other prisoners of same class, daily exercise in open air; and permission to sleep in open in summer; separate latrine accommodation, to ensure privacy. Contingent on good conduct, an interview with friends once a month, and letter written and received once a month: light till 10 p.m.: and books, if there be jail library. If prisoner has been sentenced to rigorous imprisonment, tasks allotted must be suitable to his station in life; similar rules for prisoner sentenced to simple imprisonment who elects to labour. All or any of above concessions liable to forfeiture for misconduct.

Moplah Eebellion (Trials)


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether the trials of rebel leaders in the Moplah rebellion by special judges are still going on; how many weeks, on an average, have these cases taken; and why these cases were not summarily tried and disposed of by the military court as heretofore?

Cases of the kind referred to were still pending at the end of February. But I have no information as to the number still undecided or the average duration of them. The Martial Law ordinance expired on the 25th February, when it had been in force six months, and it became necessary to issue a further ordinance providing for the establishment of courts to finish the pending cases. The courts so established correspond to the courts, other than the military courts, that had been dealing with the charges during the administration of Martial Law. But as Martial Law ceased, it was impossible to continue the military courts.

King's Visit To France And Belgium

(by Private Notice) asked the Lord Privy Seal whether his attention has been drawn to the leading article published on 12th May in the "Chicago Tribune," a most influential paper having a very wide circulation both in the United States and France, suggesting that the recent Royal visit to Belgium was directed towards the political end of counteracting events at Genoa, and detaching Belgium from France; and whether he will make a statement to the House to allay the apprehension aroused both by these statements and by the attacks on His Majesty contained in the article, and to prevent any misunderstanding between this country and America?

In consequence of this question I have looked at the article as telegraphed to the European edition of the paper. I think it was the hon. Member who was good enough to send it to me; I would not have seen it otherwise. I should have supposed that the object of the visit of His Majesty to Belgium and to the graves of the soldiers of the, Empire in Belgium and France was sufficiently well known and its character sufficiently evident to have protected him against allegations of this kind. His Majesty's devotion to peace and his strictly constitutional exercise of his powers are known to everyone.