Burma (Political Prisoners and Detainees).

Oral Answers to Questions — Education. – in the House of Commons on 26th February 1942.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Secretary of State for Burma whether he is considering under present circumstances extending an amnesty to any Burmese political prisoners or detainees similar to the amnesty extended to certain Indians; and whether he is aware of the observations of the present Burman Premier respecting political prisoners and detainees?

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

No, Sir. There is no similarity in the circumstances, and in any case the matter is one which, in the present situation, I am prepared to leave to the discretion of the Governor. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the negative.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Are we to take it from that answer that the alleged crimes of these Burmese political prisoners are much greater than those for which the Indians were accused but were later released?

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

The Indians who were released had committed purely technical offences, but in Burma the detentions are for more serious offences.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Can we have a specific description of the alleged crimes of these Burmese prisoners?