HC Deb 01 December 1930 vol 245 cc1761-3

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he can make any statement as to the present position in India?


I am circulating a statement giving the Government of India's appreciation of the situation to date.


Will the right hon. Gentleman arrange for the issue of the information obtained in these communiqués during the Recess as well as when the House is sitting?


I think I can promise the Noble Lord that that shall be done.

Following is the statement:

Appreciation of the situation by the Government of India up to 29th November, 1930.

The reports from the Punjab and the Central Provinces relating to the first fortnight of November generally confirm the improvement recorded elsewhere. In the former Province the period was without incident and in many districts there is complete absence of Civil Disobedience activity. The release of prisoners on the expiry of sentences has not had any appreciable effect on the situation. Sikh agitation in regard to the Sisganj Gurdwara continues and at a recent conference of various Sikh organisations a resolution was passed in favour of the boycott of foreign cloth and liquor shops and of picketing. There appears to be considerable difference of opinion as to whether these activities should be linked up with those of the Congress and feeling in the community as a whole has not been roused. On the other hand the Sikhs are generally concerned in regard to their position under the new constitution. The Central Provinces reports further abatement in the Civil Disobedience movement but observes that events connected with the boycott of elections and auction sales of liquor shops show that it is by no means dead. In the Nagpur constituencies of the Legislative Council the Congress succeeded in persuading the great majority of the voters from appearing at the polls. In general the past week has been uneventful and there are no incidents or developments of importance to record. The proceedings of the Round Table Conference have continued to attract great attention in the Indian Press and the feeling that developments so far are hopeful is widely expressed or implied. The presentation of India's aspirations by the Indian Delegates is much appreciated and in many quarters there is recognition of the sympathetic trend of British opinion. In some sections of the Press, the dominant note is still one of scepticism, associated with a tendency to attribute to British Delegates intentions and motives which are not apparent from their speeches. Anxiety is expressed regarding the course of the discussions regarding a communal settlement and critical examination of the federal idea is now developing. The disposition to explore the various avenues of approach to the general problem is more in evidence but there is a natural reluctance to express even qualified approval of any particular scheme until its details are disclosed and the implications can be fully comprehended.