Oral Answers to Questions — India – in the House of Commons on 20th April 1944.
asked the Secretary of State for India whether, in view of the early meeting of the next U.N.R.R.A. conference, His Majesty's Government will permit the economic needs of India to be considered; if he has had consultations with the Dominion and United Nations Governments on this matter; and whether, in any case, the matter is likely to be brought forward from other quarters.
A decision as to what matters shall be discussed at a meeting of the Council of U.N.R.R.A. does not rest with His Majesty's Government. U.N.R.R.A. was set up primarily to deal with territories liberated from the enemy; but I am aware that suggestions have been made in some quarters that its functions should be extended to cover other areas that may be stricken by famine or disease.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that both the American Congress and the Indian Central Assembly have virtually recommended that India should be included? Why has there been any resistance to this?
I think the hon. Member will realise that the problem in India is not one of funds but entirely one of shipping. Such shipping as is available is already employed in sending supplies to India.
The Noble Lady is going to ask me why I do not go to India. May I further ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is not true that both these important bodies have urged that India should be included within the orbit of U.N.R.R.A.?
I thought I had said "Yes" to the second part of the supplementary question. As to the first, I have not the capacity of divination.
Would it not be good for India and good for the hon. Member if we sent him to India?