Oral Answers to Questions — India – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd March 1945.
asked the Secretary of State for India why certain British officers in the Indian Army are granted free tuition in Urdu while others have to pay and to find their own time for it outside duty hours.
If my hon. Friend will give me details of the cases he has in mind I will cause inquiries to be made from the Government of India.
asked the Secretary of State for India whether an Indian Army Order recently issued, precluding the granting of home leave to British officers in that Army until they have passed an examination in Urdu, will be waived in the case of officers working entirely with English-speaking Indians.
There is provision in the Order in question for exempting from its provisions at the discretion of superior authority officers who are serving in appointment or units in which a knowledge of Urdu is not essential.
Does my right hon. Friend fully realise that there are special circumstances in which quite a number of officers, some of them elderly and some not very young, are not working with Urdu-speaking Indians? Surely, in those cases it is unnecessary to make this condition?
The Order does specifically provide for the exemption of such men from the obligation to learn Urdu.