Oral Answers to Questions — Burma (Self-Government)

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

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Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

asked the Secretary of State for Burma whether His Majesty's Government will give the assurance that complete self-government for Burma will be implemented immediately on the cessation of hostilities; and whether he will enter into negotiations with representative Burmese respecting this?

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

The aim of His Majesty's Government continues to be self-government for Burma as soon as circumstances permit. The hon. Member will recognise the impossibility of discussions with representative Burmese, the great majority of whom have remained in Burma, until the country has been freed from Japanese control and normal conditions have been restored.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Are we to take it, therefore, that the majority of these Burmese Ministers prefer to remain under Japanese occupation rather than come elsewhere under their own control?

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

The great majority are people in Burma who could not help themselves from remaining under Japanese control. Certain Ministers were able to get away with the Governor and are working with him now.

Photo of Mr Reginald Sorensen Mr Reginald Sorensen , Leyton West

Do not these Ministers desire most earnestly some assurance that their country shall be self-governed immediately after the war?

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

They have had that assurance as soon as circumstances permit. Order will have to be restored in the country immediately after the re-occupation.