Indian Press Acts.

Oral Answers to Questions — Ex-Service Men. – in the House of Commons on 22nd March 1922.

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Photo of Colonel Charles Yate Colonel Charles Yate , Melton

80.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether, before the Bill for the repeal of the Indian Press Acts, the assent to the introduction of which has already been given, is finally sanctioned, he will consider the inadvisability of permitting any weakening of the powers of the Government in this respect?

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

I gather that by "finally sanctioned" my hon. and gallant Friend is referring to the possibility of disallowing the Act, under Section 69 of the Government of India Act, after it is passed. My Noble Friend will, of course, when that time arrives, give full consideration to all the circumstances, and to the terms of the Measure as passed in deciding what course he should adopt.

Photo of Colonel Charles Yate Colonel Charles Yate , Melton

In view of the vilification of the Government of India that, hitherto has been permitted in the Indian Press, will the Noble Lord see that the Government of India and its servants, both British and Indian, have full powers to suppress it?

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

This Bill has not yet passed through its penultimate stage in the Indian Assembly. Obviously it would be improper to make any comment on the action that the Indian Government may take after the Bill has passed.

Sir J. D. REES:

Is the Noble Lord aware that those whose duty it has been to watch the Indian Press think that a retention of these powers is very necessary, and will he make representations to that effect?

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

I will make no representations which—