Ministerial Changes.

Part of War Situation. – in the House of Commons on 24th February 1942.

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Photo of Sir Percy Harris Sir Percy Harris , Bethnal Green South West

—was a very interesting and constructive contribution. After all, this is not the first time that the British Commonwealth have had to face race problems. In Canada there were the almost insoluble problems of the French versus the British, and the Catholics versus the Protestants, and there were similar problems in South Africa, not entirely healed up, although I agree that they are not so complex. But, with one unfortunate instance, that of the United States, we have always succeeded somehow or another in solving the difficulties.—[HON. MEMBERS: "What about Ireland?"]—We have succeeded in Ireland, but we have succeeded too late. Do not let it be said that we also succeeded, but succeeded too late in India. I agree that the sands of time are running out. I have every reason to believe that the Prime Minister is not the obstacle. There was the feeling that because of his attitude over the Government of India Act, he was the difficulty standing in the way, but I understand that that is not the case. We solved the problems in Canada by discovering Lord Durham, and I should have thought that we could have found among all the galaxy of men in Parliament another Lord Durham, who could be sent out to India, with full powers, to try by good will, to solve this urgent and vital problem. China is showing that a form of democracy can be adapted to a world with no Parliamentary traditions. Perhaps with the new men and the new ideas these things may come about. I hope my right hon. and learned Friend the Lord Privy Seal will not forget his lurid past. I am not one of those who thought it entirely bad. I saw a lot of good in it, and, at any rate, he showed during the years which have gone before one great quality, that of courage, and he has always expressed sympathy with the peoples of China and of India. Perhaps under his wise counsel and the counsel of the new Cabinet, the Prime Minister may be able to solve these difficult and delicate problems. I conclude by saying that I wish this new Cabinet well. I think that it is of masterly composition, and I only hope that it will be successful in its work.