HC Deb 09 July 1928 vol 219 cc1825-6

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether an inquiry has been held into the equipment and general preparedness for war of the Army in India; and whether, as a result of that inquiry, any changes are contemplated?


Yes, Sir. The Government of India, in close consultation with His Majesty's Government, are constantly examining the problem of improving the organisation and equipment of the Army in India so far as may be necessary to make good any deficiencies and to give it the benefit of the latest modern developments to bring it into line with the British Army in this country. As regards the second part, I presume my hon. Friend refers to statements that have recently appeared in the "Pioneer" newspaper to the effect that a change in the chief command in India may shortly be expected. There is no foundation whatever for such a statement, and I am glad to take this opportunity of assuring the House that the Commander-in-Chief in India enjoys the full confidence of the Government of India and of His Majesty's Government.


Is it the case that this question was raised in the Indian Legislative Assembly and that the Government of India are in a state of anxiety; and will the Noble Lord take steps to put an end to these mischievous statements in the newspapers?


I regret to say that this is not the first occasion on which the newspaper in question has published wholly inaccurate statements. It seems to share the tendency of the less reputable sections of the Indian Press whose main object is to discredit the Government of India by making misleading and inaccurate statements. My Noble Friend has taken all steps possible to have these constant untruthful rumours disproved.