OCCASIONAL NOTE

Sir Nicholas Beatson-Bell’s closing speech to the Assam Legislative Council is strongly reminiscent of the outspoken and closely reasoned minute in which he submitted his views on the Montagu proposals to the Government of India. Sir Nicholas takes for granted that when the Assam Council next meets the Reform scheme will have been embodied in a Reform Act, but he puts in yet another strong plea for the unitary, as opposed to the compartmental, system of Government. He does not repeat his caustic allusion to the outcome in one particular instance of dualism – the dualism practised between the Roman officials and the Hebrew Sanhedrim – but doubtless that allusion has already had its effect in London. Sir Nicholas made it clear, however, that he still holds that the effort to divest the Indian Minister of his share of the common responsibility for the acts of the whole Executive must prove illusory and that a loyal co-partnership of the two races in Government is alone consistent with the genius of British Cabinet rule. It is also of interest to note that his faith in a large electorate is undimmed and that he is prepared to stake the continued maintenance of English influence in the Councils on natural English qualities of leadership. Unfortunately, from the very nature of their work in this country, the members of the small English commercial community in India have none too much time to spare for the executive and legislative labours into which Sir Nicholas Beatson-Bell would have them throw themselves.

THE LEPER PROBLEM

His Honour Sir Edward Gait arrived at Cuttack this morning, and was met by the Hon. Mr. J.F. Gruning, Commissioner of the Orissa Division, and Mr. T. Luby, District Magistrate. Preceded by the Commissioner and the District Magistrate and escorted by his bodyguard, His Honour drove to the new buildings of the Cuttack Leper Asylum, where, on arrival he inspected the guard of honour furnished by the Military Police. The District Magistrate then introduced the Rev. M. Oldrieve, representative in India of the Mission to Lepers, and the Rev. Mr. Grundy, Superintendent of the new institution. In asking His Honour to declare the building open, the Rev. Mr. Oldrieve gave a brief account of the origin of the Cuttack Leper Asylum and the necessity for its establishment, and acknowledged the great assistance rendered by the local officers in its construction.

THE UNION JACK IN PROCESSIONS

An application was made yesterday at the High Court for the admission of a revision petition against the order passed by the Bellary Sub-Divisional Magistrate, and confirmed by the District Magistrate, prohibiting the carrying of the Union Jack in a procession by the trustees of the God Sri Malleswara. Apparently, there has been a dispute for some years as to whether a white flag or a red flag should be carried and the present trustees sought a compromise to the dispute by carrying a Union Jack. The idol was taken from the temple to the pandal erected in the trustees’ compound with the Union Jack, on the first day of the Dusserah, without any objection. It was contended that the carrying of the Union Jack was a right inherent in every citizen of the British Empire. The petition was admitted.

HUNTER COMMITTEE

LAHORE, NOV 12

What promises to be an interesting development is impending in connection with the work of the Hunter Commission in Lahore. Some non-official leaders, under the auspices of the Congress sub-committee, have been engaged for the past two or three days in considering whether to lead evidence before the commission or to boycott it. The conference is still in progress, but a decision may probably be expected tonight. Up to the time of wiring no definite decision has been arrived at. Pandit Malaviya this morning went to see Mr. Harkisen Lal in jail, but was refused permission. Subsequently he was in communication with the Punjab Government but what transpired is not known.

LAND IN EAST AFRICA

The Governor of East Africa has issued a warning to intending settlers, cautioning them that the price of land at present is high, and that native labour is inadequate, and pointing out that the settlement of those who have recently been allotted land will absorb the resources of the Protectorate for some time. Consequently, farming should not be undertaken without previous local experience under a capital of pound 5,000. Settlers with local experience should have a minimum of pound 1,000, exclusive of the purchase price of land, passage and incidentals, and must also be prepared to rough it.