The Business will be as follows:—
First Sitting Day—Committee stage of Supplementary Estimates for the Diplomatic and Consular Services, Old Age Pensions, and Ministry of Town and Country Planning; Report stage of the Supplementary Estimates passed in Committee on 11th February; Committee and remaining stages of the War Damage (Amendment) Bill, and of the Agriculture (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill.
Second Sitting Day—It is proposed to move Mr. Speaker out of the Chair on going into Committee of Supply on the Navy Estimates, 1943, and consider Votes A and I and Navy Supplementary Estimate in Committee.
May I ask the Leader of the House, first, whether he would be prepared to arrange at a fairly early date for a Debate when the general Indian situation might be reviewed, because I feel the House is really ill-informed on the situation? Secondly, whether the Government, after consideration of the Report of the Select Committee on Equal Compensation, will announce their conclusions and give an opportunity for a Debate in the House?
As regards the first question, it is the Government's view that in the present state of affairs in respect of Mr. Gandhi's fast it would serve no useful purpose but rather the reverse, but, of course, we are prepared to review the situation as it develops in the course of next week. As regards the second question which the right hon. Gentleman asks, the Report, I think, was available in the Vote Office yesterday. It is now under consideration by the Government, and I hope to be able to announce during the next series of Sittings what action we propose to take.
I was not suggesting that the Government had had time to consider it, but only reminding the Government that the House would wish for an early opportunity for a Debate, after the Government had had time to consider the matter.
In reference to the statement by the Leader of the House that he would consider giving a day to an Indian Debate as the situation develops, would it not be much more intelligible for this House to debate the situation in India before any tragedy happens rather than after?
I had carefully considered the reply I gave to the House. It is the Government's considered view that there will be no useful purpose served by a Debate at present.
That is the question I have just dealt with. The Government undertook that the proposals would be made available in the course of this Session, and they will be.