HC Deb 09 July 1919 vol 117 cc1777-8
1. Sir J. D. REES

asked the Secretary of State for India whether his attention has been called to a pamphlet entitled "Coercion and Repression" in India, signed by Messrs. Smillie, Williams, and Lansbury; whether he has any information as to the extent of its distribution and effect; and whether he can make any announcement to refute the allegations contained therein?

The SECRETARY of STATE for INDIA (Mr. Montagu)

Yes, Sir; and I can only describe is as a collection of false statements and deductions. It contains, among other insinuations, a gross slander on the loyalty of India, which has remained unshaken notwithstanding the hostile efforts of a minute fraction of her people. The matters which the pamphlet misrepresents have been dealt with in the Debate on the Indian Budget and by answer to questions. I have nothing to show that its distribution or effect in India have been widespread; but my hon. Friend is as well aware as I of the mischief that can be caused by the circulation of statements of this kind by ill-meaning or misinformed persons.

Colonel BURN

Does the right hon. Gentleman not realise what great damage is done to the British cause in India, seeing that there are names of men who were formerly Members of the House of Commons, and who are actively engaged as leaders of great industries in this country; and does he not realise what effect that has on the people of India? Is not some refutation very necessary?


That is why I welcome so much the appearance of this question on the Paper.

Sir J. D. REES

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether Mr. Smillie and Mr. Williams are the same gentlemen who are concerned in the coal agitation?


Is it not possible to devise some means to close the mouth of anybody who holds different opinions from the members of the Government?


The hon. Member is talking about opinions. It is not a question of opinion, but a question of a misstatement of facts.

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