Oral Answers to Questions — Burma (Detainees).

– in the House of Commons on 12th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Secretary of State for Burma why Dr. Ba Maw was imprisoned by the Government of U Saw, now detained by His Majesty's Government, and what charges are outstanding against him, U Ba Pe and the ex-Lord Mayor of Rangoon, U Ba Win; and whether the allegation of contact with Japan applies also to these detainees?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery , Birmingham Sparkbrook

Dr. Ba Maw was prosecuted during the ministry of U Pu for a subversive speech and sentenced to one year's imprisonment in August, 1940. On the termination of his sentence he was detained under the Defence of Burma Rules. U Ba Pe and U Ba Win were also detained under the Defence of Burma Rules in October, 1941, but the latter has recently been released.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Can the right hon. Gentleman reply to the last sentence of my Question; and cannot these other Gentle men whose names he has mentioned at least be tentatively released, if they have not engaged in any subversive activity against the British Government?

Photo of Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery Lieut-Colonel Leo Amery , Birmingham Sparkbrook

I can only say that these persons were interned in the interests of public order and safety.

Photo of Captain John McEwen Captain John McEwen , Berwickshire and Haddingtonshire

Does the hon. Gentleman suggest that nobody should ever be detained in any circumstances whatever?

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman make a precedent in this case, in view of the circumstances?