asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been drawn to the public statement of the Dewan of Travancore to the effect that the power of the ruler of an Indian State to grant measures of responsible government is restricted by the necessity of obtaining the explicit consent of the Paramount Power; and what is the policy of His Majesty's Government in this matter?
I have seen a report of the statement. It is not the policy of the Paramount Power in ordinary circumstances to intervene in the internal administration of full-powered States. In particular, I can assure my hon. and gallant Friend that the Paramount Power would certainly not obstruct proposals for constitutional advance initiated by the Ruler. The consent of the Paramount Power has not been required before such advances have been approved by various Princes, nor, so far as I am aware, has it been sought in such matters. The Paramount Power would in ordinary circumstances confine itself to tendering advice when consulted.