§ 12. Major POLE
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he is now in a position to say when the Report of the Simon Commission is likely to be published?
§ 14. Mr. FREEMAN
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he is now in a position to state the date of the publication of the Simon Commission Report; and whether there will be a brief summary issued at the same time?
§ 15. Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
asked the Secretary of State for India whether he can now give the date at which the Indian Statutory Commission's Report will be available for Members of this House?
§ Mr. BENN
I have been in communication with the Chairman of the Statutory Commission, and am glad to be able to announce, with his authority, that great progress has been made since I last answered a question on this subject. The House will appreciate that the date of issue of a Report printed in this country, which has to be published simultaneously in India, depends partly on arrangements which have to be made with that object.
As I informed the House on the 14th April, the Report is to be published in two volumes, with an interval between the publication of the two. The first consists of a general survey of the problem, and the second of the Commission's re- 1423 commendations. It is hoped that the date of publication of the two volumes will be, respectively, 10th June and 24th June. The Chairman assures me that, on the side of the Commission, every effort is being made to adhere to this programme. Indeed, I understand that Volume I is already quite complete and in the printer's hands, and Volume II is very far advanced.
As regards the question of a summary, I am afraid I am at the moment able to say no more than that the matter is under consideration.
In view of the length of time that must necessarily elapse between the submission of the Report and publication in India and this country, the opportunity for anticipations of its contents will be great. I am sure I may be permitted to point out that the publication of such anticipations, even if they prove to be correct, may be very harmful to the public interest.
§ Mr. WARDLAW-MILNE
When the right hon. Gentleman is considering the question of the summary, and the excellent suggestion which is made in the "Times" to-day, will he ensure that it is a summary made by or approved by the Commission?
§ Mr. BENN
Of course, the immense labours of the Commission constitute one of the difficulties in preparing a summary properly.