Proceedings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly assembled at 10.00 hours on Thursday, the 25th November, 1971 in the Assembly Chamber, Shillong with the Speaker in the Chair.
DIRECTION BY THE SPEAKER
Mr. Speaker :- The first item in today's list of business is the question. Now, since there are no questions, let me make a statement on a matter relating to on every important question which came up during the last session. On the 29th June, 1971 in the zero hour, when Shri Akramozamman sought clarification from the Minister, Parliamentary of Affairs in absence of the Minister, Education regarding the appointment of Shri A.C. Sarkar as a Lecturer in History in the Tura Government College in reply not an unstarred question No.46, the Minister stated "I was given to understand that the matter is still in the Court of Law". Actually the Court had disposed of the case. As soon as the session was over on that day and prorogued the Minister, Parliamentary Affairs left the Chamber for his office. In office he was subsequently informed that the matter had been disposed of by the Court.
The Minister, however, took the earliest opportunity to inform me about the incorrectness of his statement in the House just a few minutes later. He regretted his mistake and formally apologised to the Member concerned and to the House through me. Now, let me read the Minister letter bearing No.MF (Let)S/70, dated 29th June 1971, addressed to me.
The 29th June, 1971
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly
This morning during the zero hour when Shri Akramozamman sought a clarification regarding the appointment of Shri A.C. Sarkar as a Lecturer of History in the Tura Government College, in reply to unstarred question No.46, I stared "May I have one word in this matter, I was given to understand that the matter is still in the Court of Law".
But when I came to my office in the Secretariat at about 1 p.m. I was informed that the Court has disposed of the case.
Now, therefore, I take this earliest opportunity to inform you about the incorrectness of my understanding at that time, which was given by an officer who obtained the information for me through a telephone call and who misunderstood the message given to him on the phone.
I am sorry for the mistake and I shall formally apologise to the Member concerned and to the House when it meets next. I would request you too convey this apology to Shri Akramozamman.
Sd/- B.B., Lyngdoh".
In such cases and in the absence of any rules of our own we follow the directions by the Speaker, Lok Sabha as other State Legislatures in India are doing. I quote below Direction 16A from the Direction by the Speaker, Lok Sabha (1962 Edition) regarding procedure for correcting answers to unstarred questions.
"16A - When a Minister wishes to correct any inaccuracy in the information which he has given in reply to an unstarred question the following procedures shall be allowed, namely:-
|The Minister shall give to the Secretary notice of his intention to correct the reply given to an unstarred question. That notice shall be accompanied by a copy if the statement propose to be laid down by the Minister.|
|When the House is in Session, the Secretary shall include the items in the list of questions for written answers on the appropriate date in the following manner :-|
|"The Minister of ........to lay a statement correcting the reply given on the ....197...., to unstarred question No....by Shri.....regarding.....".|
|The statement so laid down by the Minister shall be included in the official report of the proceedings of the House for the day at the end of answers to all unstarred questions.|
|When the House is not is session, the procedures laid down in Direction 16(iii) shall reply".|
As the Minister made a statement on 29th June, 1971, that is one of the last of the Budget Session, 1971 and which was a few minutes before proroguing the House there was no time o take action as contemplated in items (i) and (ii) of Direction 16A. So, I have to take recourse to item (iv) of Direction which clearly directs that when the House is not in Session, procedures laid down in Direction 16(iii) shall apply.
I again quote below Direction 16(iii).
"Direction 16......(iii) When the House is not in Session, the Secretary shall consider whether the statement shall be made by the Minister during the next session in which case the orders of the Speaker shall be taken. If the mater cannot wait till the next session, the statement shall be included in the official report of the proceedings of the House and foot - note given in the proceedings in the following manner :-
"The original reply or statement by the Minister reads as follows :-
The reply as printed above was sent by the Minister after wards in substitution of the original reply ".
NOTE :- In case where it is not considered desirable to publish the original answer the revised answer only shall be printed with a suitable foot note".
Here I may say that the Minister immediately after the prorogation of the house on the same day had submitted a notice of his intention to correct the reply stating clearly also under what circumstances he had originally replied. On receipts of the letter I immediately requested Mr. Zaman to see me in my Chamber. Mr. Zaman was shown the later who also appreciated the prompt action of the Minister. Under the circumstances the question of privilege against the Minister misleading the House cannot arise even on future date.
Now that the House was prorogued on the 29th June, 1971 that is immediately after the Minister had reply given the reply and there was no session of the Assembly on the next day, there are two alternative left for the correction of the reply which the Minister concerned informed to the Assembly Secretariat at the earliest opportunity. Firstly, when the House is not in session, the Secretary shall consider whether the statement shall be made by the Minister during the next session, in which case the older of the Speaker shall be taken and the second alternative is : If the matter cannot wait till the next session, the statement shall be included in the official report of the proceedings of the House and a foot note given in the proceedings in the following manner :
The original statement by the Minister roads as follows : "May I have one word in this matter ? I was given to understand that the matter is still in the court of law". And this was corrected subsequently by the Minister as follows; "I was informed that the Court has disposed of the case".
The reply to the to the above was sent by the Minister after wards in substitution of the original reply. Here, I suggest that when the Minister had submitted a letter correcting his earlier statement and formally apologized to the Members concerned and to the statement, the Minister's subsequent statement may be included in the official report of the proceedings as suggested above and no statement need be made again by the Minister when the House would meet next. I thank the Minister for his prompt and frank confession. The matter is closed now.
We come now come to Item No. 2 Obituary references. May I request the Chief Minister to speak ?
Shri Williamson A,. Sangma (Chief Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, with you permission , I would like to make a few obituary references.
In the death so Shri Wilson Reade on the 29th September, 1971 at the age of 93, Meghalaya and indeed the whole country has lost one of its eminent educationists. Shri Reade served as a teacher in Mawkhar Christian High School for more than 6 decades from 1907 till 1968. His meritorious services were recognised by the Government of India in 1964.
Shri Reade also took interest in public activities. He was for some time the Chairman and later on the Chief Executive Member of the United Khasi - Jaintia Hills District Council was and was also elected as a member of the Assam Legislative Assembly in 1962. He served as Vice-Chairman of the Shillong Municipal Board from 1931 to 1934.
Shri Satindra Mohan Deb, born in 1900, jointed the freedom movement just at the age of 21 and he was imprisoned several times. He was General Secretary of the Cachar District Congress of nearly 14 years. For many years he was also connected with the Silchar Municipality as member and also as Chairman.
He was member of the State Legislature from 1945 till 1971 and was a Whip of the Congress Party. He become a Minister of the Assam Cabinet in 1967 and was incharge of Health, Relief and Rehabilitation and other Departments. This popular leader passed away on 27th July, 1971.
Shri Singjan Sangma :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, in expressing a deep sense of sorrow at the demise of the two distinguished sons, I would like to speak a few words, As already expressed by the Leader of the House we could understand about the work and activities and the life sketches of the persons who have already expired. It is known to all that we have been losing such important and distinguished persons one after another creating the gaps which would be difficult to fill them up. It is indeed a sad thing that it is the law of nature and none can fight with it.
As we know, Shri S.M. Deb who hailed from Silchar and who was a sitting member of the Assam Legislative Assembly, was a veteran Congress worker who took active part and fought for the freedom of our country under the banner of the Congress : and throughout his life time he had done many things : not only to the people of his own district, but to the people of Assam as a whole. This is the reason by why he is known to be the backbone of Silchar.
Mr. Speaker, Sir, Mr. Wilson Reade one of the distinguished educationists and who was one of the greatest teacher that India had also passed away. Though I had no personal contact with him still I can learn something from others that he was the founder of the Khasi National Durbar and was a Member of the A.P.H.L.C and if I am not mistaken, he took active part in the struggle for the separate hill State. Mr. Speaker, Sir, as he was a distinguished teacher, I would say that he was really an architect of the nation in the true sense of the term. He was the Vice - Chairman of the Shillong Municipality for sometime and also Member of the Assam Legislative Assembly in 1962. It is only because of his good works done to his people that he was loved and respected by all the people, irrespective of caste, creed and language.
Mr. Speaker :- Any other hon. Member ?
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Finance Minister) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like, with the leave of the House, to associated myself in expressing our deep sense of loose at the passing away of the two leaders of this region. Of Mr. Wilson Reade in particular - I consider myself very fortunate to have known him for a long time and to be associated with him in several spheres of activities in the service to the public. I had opportunity to work under him in the Mawkhar Christian High School for some years and then I was also fortunate to be associated with him in the Khasi National Dorbar of which he was of the one of the founders, and also in the activities of the A.P.H.L.C. For some time we were together in the Assam Assembly. Mr. Reade is to well - known to require any introduction about his work and activities and I would only express three things that stand out so very strongly and prominently in his life, that is, he was very rare, very uncommon common man. Throughout his life he had been a man of character, man of principle and man of work. As Mr. Singjan Sangma said he was a man respected and loved by all. So although he had passed away at the full ripe age of 93, I still feel a great loss, I feel that his personality would still be a very important guiding influence to all of us in our service to the people of the State With these few words, Sir, I resume my seat.
Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I would like to associate myself in paying tribute to the distinguished persons who have passed away from our midst. Mr. Wilson Read lived a full life, in a life which is almost a century. He missed to become a centurion by few years only. His life was full of zest, energy and activities. In fact, from my visualization of his life I could see that it was packed with various activities ranging from a pioneering journalist when he was editing a Khasi local paper known as "U Lurshai" to a founding father, as the hon. Member, Shri Singjan Sangma, has said ; then again as a civic personality when he become the first Hill man to occupy the Chair of a Vice -Chairman. In those days, the Deputy Commissioner was the Ex - officio Chairman. Then again he showed his mark as a statesman, whether as a fighter to realise the aspiration of the Hill people or as a Member of the Legislature or as a political worker of as a District Council Chief, he had been able to put his stamp of personality on all his work. Then again he was the man of God. He was the Elder of the Church, In that capacity he had been able to render tremendous work as a Church Leader. On top of all that, Mr. Speaker, Sir, his life was capped by being a great Teacher of great example and of a high order. Without going in to ht details of his various activities, I would like only to give my impression from what I gather after various contrast with him. The first impression that I had about Mr. Wilson Reade was that he was a person imbued with a sense of character and integrity and imbued with a cosmopolitan sense which is a very rare quality indeed. It is a fact that he was respected and loved not only by the Khasi and people or the Hill people but a by all sections of people in this part of the Country. He was a personality above all the pettiness. He could get the confidence, and love of the people irrespective of caste, creed or religion. Now, I would like to associate with the other impression that I have about Mr. Wilson Reade i.e his tremendous capacity for hard work. Mr. Wilson Reade was popularly known as 'Babu' the respected teacher. I remember on one occasion I met him on one of the streets of Shillong and I tried to give him a lift in my car but he refused because he intensely believed in physical fitness that a sound mind must reside in a sound body. He was a man of discipline. In fact it was this quality of discipline which impressed me tremendously. I had the occasion to discussion with him certain matters o f civic interest from time to time. Then I find that despite his old age he was very young in mind and spirit and I have also been a quality in him which I had not marked i the previous years,. i.e he was a man of conviction and a man of fearless mind. This morning when I come to know that an obituary reference would be made to our 'Babu' I just remembered the words of another great Teacher. It is not that I would like to compare but somehow the words emanated as they from a Teacher I feel that is exactly what our Babu would have liked. These words I find in the letter written by our late Prime Minister Nehru to Indira when she was young in her birth day. These words, I feel, have a great relation and significance which I would quote now from the 'Glimpses of World's History'. "Be brave and the rest follows".. ... .. .. .. .. ... ..
In paying tribute to our 'Babu I feel these words have got immense significance.
Now I would like to say a few words about another distinguished man, Mr. S.M Deb. I happened to be in close contact with him. He was a freedom fighter. He dedicated himself in the struggle of freedom of the country. He was also tremendously successful as a Civic Chief of the Silchar Municipal Board. Although I had no opportunity to work with him as a Chairman of the Municipality but I know from his associates what good work he had done for the improvement of the Silchar town. but I had close contacts with him as a social workers. He was the Chairman of the State Red Cross of which I am the hon. Secretary. I had a lot of contact with him in this filed. I saw in him a man imbued with a sense of humanity and love for the suffering humanity. I pay my tribute to this distinguished citizen of the State.
Shri Johndeng Pohrmen :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I stand to associate myself in expressing condolence t the departed souls, namely, Mr. Wilson Reade and Mr. S.M Deb and in particular, I would like to say a few words with regard to late Wilson Reade whom I had known better than Mr. Deb I fist came to know Mr. Wilson Reade sometimes in 1952 and even by that time he had a been a very old man but I would say in deeds and in words he was then younger than the we were. Even then, I feel unworthy to speak about such a man of great prominence who had a chequered life of a Politician, social workers, administrator and above all a great educationist, he had been so successful in all these fields because he had certain great qualities of head and heart. He was a man of great discipline high personality and also I should say in comradeship with his colleagues whether in the political field or in administration, he had always high sense of discipline. He had been also a man of great integrity, above all corruption and he was a man who spoke very little but did more. As such, he was a great example indeed and it is a great also loss not only to the Khasi people but I should say to the entire country of India.
Mr. Speaker :- I want to associate myself with the sentiments expressed in the House, that with death of these two great leaders, North Eastern India and the whole country has lost two of her noblest sons, and the whole country has become poorer and poorer. It has been my misfortune that I did not have the opportunity of sitting at the feet of Mr. Wilson Reade as a pupil, but I must confess that I am a more fortunate that in spite of the fact that I did not sit at his feet as a pupil or a student, I could have a chance of associating with him from close quarters. I am also unfortunate that though I have learned and known a lot of things about the past activities of late S.M. Deb, yet I did not have an opportunity of coming in to close contact with him. I knew Mr. Deb only from a distance. They were are the leaders whom the whole country and all of us should pay respects and we are here today to pay tributes to them. So far as Mr. S.M. Deb is concerned, I know very little, with the Leader of the House and the other hon. Members have expressed about him are very true. I do not know more than what they have expressed. But in so far as Mr. Wilson Reade is concerned, Mr. Kyndiah said that he was known as "Babu" but to us he is known as respectable "Kongor Will" That respectable word is applicable to all because he was married to a respectable Syiem family and that was applicable to only those persons who married to the Syiem family. From what I have learned about him, From what I have come in contact with him, from what instructions I had received from him or any advice that he might give, I consider that they are treasure. Mr. Wilson Reade, as Mr. Johndeng said, has a cheque career, there are very few people who can combine within themselves the various qualities which each and every body must appreciate as a journalist. He took, over the editorship of "U Lurshai" in 1923 from late Soso Tham who is the greatest poet of the Khasi and he continued to edit that periodical till 1929 when it was handed over to Late Mr. D.N.S Wahlang. I am very fortunate that I am in possess on of the whole collection that paper when Mr. Reade was Editor and when I was studying these articles and editorials written by Mr. Reade I thought myself, "had he got the good and higher education, he would have become a great linguist, he would have become a great literacy citric" But as you know, Mr. Wilson Reade did not have the higher academic qualification but in spite of the fact I think he was more educated man than many of us Mr. Wilson Reade studies in the Lower Primary School at Laban and he used to tell me that in his old age he said "I am what I am today because I listened to the advice given by my teacher in the Primary School" and his teacher was the late Babu L. Jogeshore Singh. After passing his primary School in Class III examination he shifted to Mawkhar where he got his education. He passed Entrance Examination in 1898 and after that he proceeded to Calcutta to study his first year Arts at Free Church Institution but he could not complete his studies there due to the fact that he wanted to become a soldier. He used to narrate stories and he said that "When I turned my eyes to Hoogly river and when I listened to the sound and music played by the Navy Band my hart was full of a spirit of adventure" he returned to Shillong but he could not join the Army or any Armed Forces due to the fact that his parents would not allow and after he left College he entered in the D.P.I Office as L.D Assistant and he remained in that office for five years and left that particular office in the year 1907. In that the same year, he joined as a teacher in the Welsh Mission M.E School, Mawkhar, during which time, he was also a teacher of Primary School at Riatsamthiah, From that time onwards , he devoted his life as a teacher and as a man of letter he become the Headmaster of the School in 1902 which position he occupied till his retirement. As a teacher, I think there are very few persons who could have the longest career as Mr. Reade, At least I have not come across the name of any person who has been in teaching service for more than 60 years. It was under his leadership that the Welsh Mission M.E School was converted in to a High School that the Welsh Mission M.E. School was converted in to a High School that and now it has become a Mawkhar Christian High School and I cannot also forget that the he wanted to concerted that School in to a College. The present Khasi and Jaintia Presbyterian Synod College actually happened to be his work. On many occasions, he invited many of us to help him regarding setting up of a Synod College at Mawkhar in order to solve the problem of the students living in Mawkhar, Jaiaw and Mawlai, and as I said, very few persons have set a nobler record than Mr. Reade, not only as a teacher but as a man who has devoted and dedicated his whole life for the cause of education. He lived as a teacher and died as a great teacher. As a man of discipline , I think there is no other man who could come near him. he would wake up from bed after taking his bed - tea he would rush to his farm about 9 miles where after attending to his duty in his farm at Mawshyieng he would go back to his house and go to school., He would attend to his duty regularly even in his old age. I was surprised when I visited his farm and paddy fields. his paddy fields at Mawlaiteng are the example for all the cultivators. During his time, he was the most up to date cultivators. During the period when we were working to struggle for a separate Hills State in this part of the country, I still remember that I felt ashamed that Mr. Wilson Reade would come and wake me up in the morning. He could retain that habit from childhood to the time of his death. As I said and as everybody, has expressed, as the Vice- Chairman of the Shillong Municipality, he performed his work with great enthusiasm, he was Ward Commissioner from Mawkhar Ward for 15 years, continuously and, of course, later on he refused to get reelected, and above all, Mr. Reade was a God - fearing man. As a leader of the Mawkhar Presbyterian Church, he got respect from all. Very few of us, may be perhaps none of us, is free from any blame or criticism, But so far as Mr. Reade is concerned, even his greatest adversaries, either political or administrative would praise him. I think it is too early to write a history about Mr. Wilson Reade, I can say that history will record about his noble qualities. He was a monuments and example for all educationists, for all administrators, politicians and church leaders to follow, If we are really to build our State, we should try to ennoble the name of Mr. Wilson Reade by following his example, His life was full of examples and as he was Chief Executive Member of the District Council, though for a short time, he was a monument. Perhaps he was the only man who would never seek for a personal ammunition. I remember in every post that he occupied, he occupied that post not because he wanted to have it, but because the people wanted him to have it. If we can really be men of character as Mr. Reade, I think our country will become rich, it will become nobler and the nation will become one of the noblest nations in the world. As a mark of respect to both these noble sons of India who had passed away recently Mr. Wilson Reade, Ex - M.L.A of the Assam Legislative Assembly and a man of varied qualities and Mr. Satindra Mohan Deb, let us observe one minute silence.
(The house stood for one minute in prayerful silence)
Now let us come to item No. 3 of today's list of business.
Announcement of Business Advisory Committee Report.
I called a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee on the 15th November, 1971 to settle the business for the current November Session of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly. A draft Calendar for the meetings of the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly was prepared by my Secretariat and circulated to the hon. Members present in the Committee with a statement of business received from some of the Department of the Government. The Committee had considered the draftsman's of the Government. The Committee had considered the draft Calendar and the Business from the different Department and approved the same with modification. A copy of the approved Calendar has already been circulated to all the hon. Members.
I hope this has the approval of the House.
I will come not to Item No. 4 of today's list of business.
Panel of Chairmen
I appoint the following personnel to the panel of Chairmen under Rule 9 of the Assembly Rules for the current Session of the Assembly :-
|1.||Shri P. Ripple Kyndiah, M.L.A|
|2.||Shri John Deng Pohrmen, M.L.A|
|3.||Shri Akramozamman, M.L.A|
|4.||Shri Samarendra Sangma, M.L.A|
Let us now come to item No. 5 of today's list of business. May I request Mr. B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) to present the Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for 1971-72 ?
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Finance) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg to present the Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for 1971-72.
Mr. Speaker, :- Motion moved ( the motion is put as a question and carried ) .. ... .. .. . .
Mr. Speaker :- Next is item No. 6 will the Minister of Law beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Adaptation and Application of Law Bill, 1971 ?
Shri B.B. Lyngdoh (Minister, Law) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Adaptation and Application of Laws and Bill 1971.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I now put the question. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Adaptation and Application of Laws Bill, 1971, The motion is carried, Leave is granted. The next item is that the Minister, Revenue, to beg, leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Bill, 1971.
Shri S.D.D. Nichols - Roy (Minister, Revenue) :- Mr. Speaker, Sir, I beg leave to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Bill, 1971.
Mr. Speaker :- Motion moved. I put the question. The question is that leave be granted to introduce the Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Bill, 1971.
The Motion is carried. Leave is granted.
Since there is not other Business for today, the House stands adjourned till 9 A.M on 29th January 1971.
|Dated Shillong :||
|The 25th November 1971.||
Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.