Oral Answers to Questions — India (Political Situation).

– in the House of Commons on 19th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Secretary of State for India whether the promised statement of His Majesty's Government is likely to be made in the near future; and whether, in view both of the unfortunate effect of Japanese propaganda in some parts of the Far East and of the beneficial effect of the consistent opposition of Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian Nationalist Movement to Japanese aggression and ambitions, it is intended fully to utilise the latter fact to counteract any effect of Japanese propaganda?

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

I am not in a position to make any fresh statement on the Indian political situation. As regards the latter part of the Question, His Majesty's Government naturally appreciate and will give full publicity to the anti-Japanese sentiments of Indian political leaders, and will welcome their active co-operation in resistance to Japanese or other enemy aggression.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the latter part of his statement will give great satisfaction in certain quarters in India? When are we likely to have the general statement of Government policy which the Prime Minister said would be made in the near future?

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

I cannot give fuller satisfaction at the moment to the hon. Member's thirst for information.

Photo of Major-General Sir Alfred Knox Major-General Sir Alfred Knox , Wycombe

Have any Members of the national movement in India shown any anxiety to fight against the Japanese?

Photo of Mr Samuel Silverman Mr Samuel Silverman , Nelson and Colne

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise the importance, in view of the present trend of military events in the Far East, of enlisting the active support of the masses of the Indian population on our side, and does he realise that that could most effectively be done by giving them a free country to fight for?