Congress Leaders (Interviews)

Oral Answers to Questions — India – in the House of Commons on 22nd October 1942.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that the Hindu Mahasabha, having secured unanimity among non-Congress parties, had their request to interview Mr. Gandhi rejected by the Viceroy; whether he has considered the protest made by the Mahasabha; and whether he will take steps to enable non-Congress representatives to meet Congress leaders respecting the proposals of the former?

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

I have not yet heard that the Hindu Mahasabha claim to have secured the support of the Moslem League. I am aware that the Viceroy declined to allow Dr. Mookerjee to see Mr. Gandhi and I am not prepared in present circumstances to ask him to permit interviews with the Congress leaders.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Does that hold good for all time? Does not the right hon. Gentleman appreciate the urgent necessity of allowing facilities for the discussion of this matter?

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Is it not highly desirable, in view of the right hon. Gentleman's own wish to see this problem solved, that the parties shall be able to come into contact with the most important of all parties in India?

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

No, Sir; I have dealt with that matter.