HC Deb 16 April 1934 vol 288 cc686-7

asked the Secretary of State for India whether the Government of India, following upon the announcement by Mr. Gandhi of the end of the civil disobedience movement, will grant an amnesty to all political prisoners?


My hon. Friend will be aware that local governments have, for the past year, been releasing persons convicted of civil disobedience offences before the expiration of their sentences when satisfied that release was not likely to encourage a revival of the movement. As a result the number of prisoners which at the end of April, 1932, was approximately 32,500 had fallen at the end of last month to about 1,450, of whom over 600 were in Bombay. This policy will be continued and if civil disobedience is called off effectively, I hope that it will be possible to expedite releases. My hon. Friend will understand that this statement refers only to persons imprisoned for offences connected with the civil disobedience movement, and not, for example, to terrorists or persons convicted of sedition.