Government Policy

Part of Orders of the Day — King's Speech – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th October 1947.

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Photo of Mr Clement Attlee Mr Clement Attlee , Stepney Limehouse 12:00 am, 29th October 1947

Well, the right hon. Gentleman rather implied it. Now, I am willing to take my full share of responsibility in this matter, but it must be remembered that the Indian policy of the present Government was preceded by the Morley-Minto Reforms, by the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, by the Act of 1935, and by the long course of change in British rule in India, leading on to what I know the right hon. Gentleman thinks was a disaster. But I do not know anybody who suggests that in the position into which affairs had got in India We could have done anything else but go forward on the lines on which we did go forward. I believe that any other attempt would have led to greater slaughter. We all deplore the slaughter in India; we all deplore those terrible events; but the time had come when Indian affairs had to be managed by Indians, and at that stage it was not possible for British power to re-enter by force and impose a peace on these peoples of warring emotions. I think it is fair that the right hon. Gentleman, when he attacks this Government, should recognise what were the facts of the situation which we had to meet when we came in.