War Situation.

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons on 25th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Vernon Bartlett Mr Vernon Bartlett , Bridgwater

It remains a fact that the national effort of India in the war is nothing like as great as it should be. It remains a fact that we have not been able to inspire them with the determination that Japan shall be defeated at all costs, and I hope very much that the Lord Privy Seal will be able to give us some hope about It seems to me that Chiang Kai-shek gave us a new chance. When he expressed regret that India was not playing a greater part, I do not think he was reproaching only the British Government but elements in India as well. It is vitally important that on our side we should seize this last opportunity. I do not see why we should not enlarge the Governor's Executive Council at once by bringing in representatives of the predominating parties. We have to be careful, because the Army is to a great extent a Moslem Army, and we must not do anything to make the Moslems feel that they are getting a raw deal. But unless we really make up our minds that the war will be won by people whom we have not treated as equals in the past, and entirely alter our attitude in the future, I do not think we shall come out of the war victorious.

I believe that this new Government does represent new trends in this country, does understand how throughout the whole of the country the vast mass of people are tired of all the little details of difficulties in India and so on, and are prepared to accept these people as our friends. Unless we do that, we shall lose. Therefore we must not do that.