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Volume 154: debated on Monday 22 May 1922

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Civil Service


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether the Report of the Committee on Recruitment for the Indian Civil Service has now been received; and, if so, will he lay it upon the Table of the House?

My Noble Friend asked a few experts to advise him privately on this matter. He has, in another place, made it clear that their investigations were informal, and of a preliminary character. He does not anticipate that the result of their inquiries will be a Report which could with advantage he presented, at any rate, in the near future.

Bills Of Lading


asked the Under-Secretary of State for India the reason why the India Office refuses to include a negligent navigation clause in bills of lading for shipments of stores on account of the Government of India, when such a clause is accepted by His Majesty's Treasury and the Admiralty, and is in accordance with the general commercial practice of the country?

The negligent navigation clause in bills of lading relieves the shipowner from responsibility for losses to cargo due to the negligence of his servants. The High Commissioner, acting on behalf of the Government of India, has declined to admit the clause in respect of his shipments to India, thereby continuing the previous practice of the Secretary of State in Council.

Is the Noble Lord aware that the Government of India is the only Government which has refused to allow this negligent clause?

Will the Noble Lord, in conjunction with the Board of Trade, consider the introduction of a harbour clause in the bill of lading?

As I have already explained in this matter, like so many matters of the kind, the High Commissioner acts on the instructions of the Government of India. I am prepared to ask my Noble Friend to make representations to the Government of India in this matter, but it seems premature to do so until everyone has adopted this clause.

Hong Kong (Strike)

(by Private Notice) asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the strike at Hong Kong has broken out afresh, under the influence of Bolshevist propaganda, whether trade is much impeded by the recrudescence of this movement, and whether he can give the latest news as to the position?

I have seen a statement in the Press to the effect that all steam and motor-launch men in Hong Kong have struck, owing to a wages dispute, but. I have received no information from the Governor as to any further trouble since the recent settlement of the strike in the Colony. I have, however, asked the Governor for a report by telegram.