HC Deb 28 February 1935 vol 298 cc1388-450

7.27 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 7, line 36, to leave out "and ecclesiastical affairs."

Whatever defence there may be for granting these enormous powers to the Governor-General in certain directions, we are of the opinion that it cannot be justified as regards ecclesiastical affairs. The Clause makes this one of the reserved subjects. It gives to the Governor-General the power to call for the money necessary to carry on religious activities throughout the whole of India. We have no objection to the religious administration in the army, it may be necessary, and perhaps more necessary there than anywhere else, but we feel that it is unfair to call upon the masses of the people of India to be financially responsible for the teaching of a religion which they do not accept, indeed, which they disbelieve and deny. That is what this Clause means. It will compel millions of Mohammedans and Indians, who do not accept the Christian religions, to be financially responsible for the teaching of that religion in India. We fail to see how this can be justified. People should pay for their religion if they desire it, but it is wrong to ask anyone else to pay for their religion. It is a costly item. I hope the Secretary of State will let us know how much is really involved. We are uncertain. Some people say that it is limited to the religious teaching in the Army, and others that it includes all religious teaching in India of a Christian character. In December last, when an hon. Member asked how many religious teachers were on pension, he was told that the number was two, and that the amount of pension they received was about £1,000 for the two. Our only point in raising this matter is that we have no objection to ecclesiastical affairs being a matter for consideration, but we take objection to Indians, who do not accept the Christian religions, being made financially responsible for the teaching of religions which they do not accept.

7.29 p.m.


I hope that I shall be able to satisfy the hon. Member. Ever since the East Indian Company first went to India there has always been a provision for the chaplains of any British Army in India and any British services in India. It has always been recognised by every succeeding Government that it was an obligation upon us not only to provide the proper material conditions for the Army and the services in India, but also to provide them with adequate spiritual ministrations. Speaking generally, the position to-day is that the expenditure of the ecclesiastical department covers, first, the chaplains for the Army, and, secondly, the chaplains for the services where the services need spiritual ministration. There was the question whether, that being so, it was necessary to have a separate reservation of the ecclesiastical department, whether it could not be regarded as one of the branches either of the reserved defence department, or as part of the Army and the money voted for the service. On the whole we thought it was better to deal with the ecclesiastical department as it is dealt with in the Bill. We have always made it clear that we did not contemplate the ecclesiastical department going over a wider field than we have described, namely, speaking generally, ministration for the services and for the Army, and in order to show that that is our view in Clause 33, Sub-section (3, e), we give the limit of money that can be expended in the Department. We say that it shall not exceed 42 lakhs of rupees. As far as we can judge the expenditure is likely to fall rather than rise, and in any case it will not exceed that amount. I hope that that statement has satisfied the hon. and gallant Member.


Does that expenditure include Christian cemeteries and burial grounds?


I think it does, but I will let my hon. Friends have an answer later.


Would the Secretary of State give us the amount in English money?


Roughly it is something over £200,000 a year.


Is that exclusive of pension charges?

7.33 p.m.


I am afraid that I cannot accept the right hon. Gentleman's answer as adequate. I for one, in common with my colleagues on the Joint Select Committee, took strong exception to this particular provision whereby the ecclesiastical department should become a reserved department. There are many grounds upon which I and my friends took objection to it. I will recall some of the terms in which we drafted a report upon this matter. In Volume 1, Part II, page 275, we say: While we are prepared to accept the proposition that so long as we have an Army in India their spiritual needs should be provided for, we cannot see why this can only or best be achieved by the proposal of the White Paper to retain the ecclesiastical department permanently as a special reserved department of the Government of India. We think it would be very much better to abolish this department and include religions ministrations as an integral part of the Army administration. We would go further and propose that as long as we have an Army and services in India whose spiritual needs are entirely different from those of the peoples amongst whom they serve, it would be a gracious act on our part if the necessary expenses were placed on British instead of on Indian revenues. We are in any event entirely opposed to this being included as a reserved department of the Government of India. I wonder whether the right hon. Gentleman realises how very important a proposition is involved in the Amendment. He said that there were two people who were drawing pensions, two bishops. That is true. But let the Committee listen to these facts. In this country at this moment there are drawing annual pensions from Indian revenues, eight chaplains receiving from £240 to £300 a year, 44 chaplains receiving from £300 to £400 a year, 103 chaplains receiving from £400 to £480 a year, and two receiving from £800 a year. Those two probably are the bishops. Let the Committee understand that we take no objection to the provision of religious ministration and comfort for our troops in India so long as they are there. That is an agreed proposition on all sides. But we do think that it is an impossible proposition to defend, that the Indian people who do not entertain our religious philosophy at all, whose religious concepts are entirely opposed to ours, should be asked to bear this burden. I think it is a monstrous proposition, and in saying that I am probably understating the feelings that are entertained on the matter.

By all means send as many chaplains to India as you want, but why should Indians who entertain the Hindu faith or the Moslem faith and who are perhaps hopelessly hostile to the whole concept of the Christian religion—why should they have to pay for it? Is there any principle that any one can summon to his assistance in this matter other than this—that Army administration, the cost of the Army service has fallen upon Indians, that this is associated with Army service and that therefore its cost should fall on India too? Really we ought to be able to arrive at some sort of decision agreeable to both sides in this matter. The right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State thinks that this arrangement is agreeable, but I very much doubt it. I know that he will probably be able to say to me, and I do not controvert him, that I cannot quote any Hindu opinion or Moslem opinion that has been recorded against the provision of this spiritual comfort for our troops and the placing of the financial burden on the backs of the Indian people. That is probably true. [Laughter] What is there to laugh at? Where is the joke?

Viscount WOLMER

I apologise. I was referring to another matter altogether


Then I also apologise to the Noble Lord, and honour is served on both sides. After all, it may be that a sense of delicacy prevents the Indian people from calling attention to this subject They do riot like pointedly to call attention to this burden that is imposed upon them on account of religious considerations. They may feel some hesitation about it lest they may be presumed to urge that the soldiers in India should not have access to that spiritual comfort to which they are entitled. Therefore, I can quite understand their having a sense of delicacy in raising the matter at all. But we here ought to entertain no such qualms at all, and I suggest that it would be a gracious act for us to say, "Well, there are some considerations that de- limit this from the general question of defence, and whatever our subsequent decision may be concerning the appropriateness of imposing the burden of defence on the Indian people, let us at least say that this particular burden should be our own burden."

I want to ask another question. The Secretary of State said that we had regarded this as our duty from the days of the old East India Company. On page 290 of the Bill, in the Federal list, there is a reference to "Ecclesiastical affairs, including European cemeteries." I wonder whether that indicates that ecclesiastical affairs are confined simply to the provision of spiritual comfort for the British troops? Is there some sort of collateral provision for the Hindu section or the Moslem section of the Indian Army? If there is no such provision clearly my case is all the stronger, because surely it cannot be right that we should land upon India the burden in respect of teaching the Christian faith to our troops and not provide a similar service for those indigenous members of the Army who want to enjoy a similar privilege. I ask the Secretary of State to believe that we do feel very strongly about this matter and attach great importance to it. We do not want to be fobbed off with an inadequate reply. The matter goes down to the very roots of the faith which some of us entertain ourselves, and we are not going to have it treated lightly, though I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman believes that we are very serious in our intentions in raising this matter.

7.43 p.m.


The hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. M. Jones) seems to be under many misapprehensions. I think I am right in saying that the Indian army is afforded every facility for getting that species of worship which the individual members desire. I think I am right in saying that at the Military Academy at Debra Dun the Indian Government pays the Hindu priests and the Moslem mufti. The situation is very different for the Indian troops who are in their own country. They can, so to speak, go to the parish church and find their particular religious refreshment in the locality. If you once admit that British troops are necessary in India, surely spiritual consolation and nourish- ment are as necessary for them as European food and medical attendance. There are other arguments on which I do not lay much stress, such as that the Christian community in India provides a very large proportion of the Indian revenue, a proportion quite inconsistent with its numerical strength, and if the hon. Member takes the trouble to inquire he will find that the Indian Government make certain that Indian troops have the spiritual ministrations of which they are in need and in many cases the Government pays the priests of the various religions.

7.45 p.m.


I am rather surprised at the somewhat narrow and parochial outlook of the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones). If he were to take that point of view when speaking to his constituents in their chapel on Sunday afternoon, where I understand they believe in the universal brotherhood of man, they would be somewhat surprised. Has he forgotten when the Indian troops were fighting for us in France and Palestine, when they were in the charge of the British taxpayer and every facility was afforded them to conduct their religious devotions at considerable expense and at very great difficulty? In different regiments squadrons of Mohammedan and Hindus had to be fed in different ways.


Who paid?


The British taxpayer, and we were glad to pay, because the Indian troops were helping us to fight a common foe. The British troops are in India to protect that country. The Indians would be the first to agree that, if the British troops were withdrawn, the Indian Army would disintegrate rapidly, the Pathans would come in from the North backed by the Afghans and other nomadic tribes following them, and in a short time the whole of the North West would succumb to the foreign invader. It is the presence of British troops that gives them the security under which they Can develop their own individuality. The Indians themselves would be amazed at the suggestion, particularly from a Member who represents the nation who have done perhaps more than any other race in spreading good fellowship and Christian knowledge throughout the world.

7.48 p.m.

Captain FULLER

I very much regret that the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) has raised the question of religion in India. Various communities in Indian regiments are provided with religious teachers, and they usually combine spiritual ministrations with education. If it be wrong to ask the people of India to subscribe to the religious administration of British troops, it must be equally wrong to ask the Moslems to subscribe to the Hindu pundits. I should be sorry if the hon. Gentleman pressed the Amendment to a division.

7.49 p.m.


I do not think the two hon. Members who have spoken last appreciate the problem. It is a question of sending a large sum of money out of India every year in order to pay pensioned officers of these services. It is quite a different proposition from keeping money in India for paying the teachers. The sum that goes out of India is somewhere about £250,000 a year for the pensions of these ecclesiastical officers. To ask the Indian people to send that sum annually out of the country for the purpose of pensioning people here seems to us to be asking too much altogether.

There is another question I should like to ask the right hon. Gentleman. I am informed that there is no definition in the Bill of "ecclesiastical affairs"; there is no limitation of it to matters that concern the Army at all. Prima facie, if that is so, this reserved power would cover all matters arising out of any Church. I presume that is the basis of the word "ecclesiastical." If that be so, I should like to know how far this reserved power is to extend. We have heard, for instance, that there are two bishops on the retired list who are pensioned. I am not taking any objection to that—they have probably done excellent work—but I am not clear whether they were connected, as it were, with the troops in India or whether they had functions which extended beyond the troops. How far, in other words, did these ecclesiastical affairs extend to the affairs of the Church of India?

Wing-Commander JAMES

I believe it also covers Roman Catholics and Nonconformists?


We have also heard that it covers Hindus and Moslems. If "ecclesiastical affairs" covers the whole range of religion, does it mean that the supervision of the whole range of religion is to be a reserved subject for the Governor-General? The Church of India, of course, deals with other souls besides the souls of the soldier, the airman and the sailor. Does the province of the Governor-General extend to the cure of souls beyond the Army in the Church of India, and, if so, does it also extend to the cure of souls beyond the Army in these various other religious denominations?

7.53 p.m.


I am not surprised that there should be a little misunderstanding on this question. A general election was fought on it in Burma in which one of the parties declared that the object of the reservation of the department of ecclesiastical affairs was to impose Christianity upon the Buddhists. That shows that a question of this kind needs a little explanation. The reservation does not have anything like the extension suggested by the hon. and learned Gentleman. It does not cover Moslem and Hindu spiritual ministrations. They are provided directly out of Army funds. Nor again does it cover the whole range of the Church of India. It covers a clearly defined province—I am not using "province" in the ecclesiastical sense—and a number of very specific appointments almost all of them being chaplaincies either for the Army or for the services. There is a small and diminishing overlap which will come to an end in the comparatively near future. Speaking generally, it is certain definite appointments for the Army and for the Services, carrying with it incidental ex-

penses. Lastly, I suggest that we should not make too much of this. I think it is very significant that no Indian ever criticised it. Even admitting the observations made by the hon. Member for Caerphilly, they all take it for granted that the provision of these funds is an essential part of the provision for the Army and for the Services. There is no question of extending the scope of the Department beyond what I have just described, in actual practice the expenditure is likely to diminish, and certainly in no case can it go beyond the figure in the Clause to which I have drawn attention.

7.59 p.m.


As I was responsible for getting the Indian Church Bill through the House, I should like to say a word in justice to the Church to supplement what my right hon. Friend has said. Take the Church of England, now known as the Indian Church. The greater part of its ministrations, which are carried out not merely for the benefit of soldiers and officers but for Indian Christian members of the Church of England, are carried out under its own constitution under the Act of Parliament which I was responsible for getting through the House and do not cost the taxpayer in India one penny. The same applies to the Roman Catholic community and to the Nonconformist Churches. I think it is desirable to make that clear, because the impression might be created that in some way this proposal was going to place an obligation upon Indian taxpayers in respect of Christian ministrations.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 204 Noes, 37.

Division No. 68.] AYES. [8.0 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Belt. Sir Alfred L. Cadogan, Hon. Edward
Albery, Irving James Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm
Alexander, Sir William Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel Caporn, Arthur Cecil
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.) Blindell, James Cassels, James Dale
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd) Boulton, W. W. Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Bower, Commander Robert Tatton Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J.A. (Birm. W.)
Apsley, Lord Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Chapman, Sir Samuel (Edinburgh, S.)
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Brass, Captain Sir William Clarry, Reginald George
Atholl, Duchess of Briscoe, Capt. Richard George Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D.
Balley, Eric Alfred George Broadbent, Colonel John Colfox, Major William Philip
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Brown, Ernest (Leith) Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Brown, Brig.-Gen. H.C. (Berks., Newb'y) Cook, Thomas A.
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Cooke, Douglas
Balniel, Lord Burnett, John George Courtauld, Major John Sewell
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Butler, Richard Austen Cradoock, Sir Reginald Henry
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell Butt, Sir Alfred Cranborne, Viscount
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Lewis, Oswald Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
Crooke, J. Smedley Liddall, Walter S. Ress Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Lloyd, Geoffrey Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Crossley, A. C. MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)
Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Culverwell, Cyril Tom McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Curry, A. C. McKie, John Hamilton Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Davidson. Rt. Hon. J. C. C. McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Samuel, M. R. A. (W'ds'wth, Putney).
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil) Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Savery, Samuel Servington
Denman, Hon. R. D. Magnay, Thomas Scone, Lord
Dickie, John P. Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Donner, P. W. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R Shaw, Captain William T. (Fortar)
Duckworth, George A. V. Marsden, Commander Arthur Simmonds, Oliver Edwin
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.) Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Dunglass, Lord Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Smithers, Sir Waldron
Eales, John Frederick Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Somervell, Sir Donald
Eden, Rt. Hon. Anthony Mitchell, Harold P. (Br'tf'd & Chisw'k) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Mitchell, Sir W. Lane (Streatham) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Emrys-Evans, P. V. Mitcheson, G. G. Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland)
Essenhigh, Reginald Clare Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Stones, James
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Strauss, Edward A.
Fraser, Captain Sir Ian Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.
Fremantle, Sir Francis Moss, Captain H. J. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Fuller, Captain A. G. Munro, Patrick Summersby, Charles H.
Ganzonl, Sir John Nation, Brigadier-General J, J. H. Tate, Mavis Constance
Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton Nicholson, Godfrey (Morpeth) Taylor, Vice-Admiral E.A.(P'dd'gt'n, S.)
Gower, Sir Robert Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Templeton, William P.
Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.) Nunn, William Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Guy, J. C. Morrison Ormiston, Thomas Thorp, Linton Theodore
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Patrick, Colin M. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd) Pearson, William G. Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Harvey, George (Lambeth, Kenningt'n) Petherick, M. Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Harvey, Major Sir Samuel (Totnes) Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston) Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Potter, John Wallace, Sir John (Dunfermline)
Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Pownall, Sir Assheton Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Pybus, Sir John Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Hornby, Frank Radford, E. A. Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Horobin, Ian M. Raikes, Henry V. A. M. Watt, Major George Steven H.
Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich) Wayland, Sir William A.
Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian) Wells, Sidney Richard
Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) White, Henry Graham
James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Ramsbotham, Herwald Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Jesson, Major Thomas E. Ratcliffe, Arthur Whyte, Jardine Bell
Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Rea, Walter Russell Williams. Herbert G. (Croydon. S.)
Ker, J. Campbell Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Reid, David D. (County Down) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Kerr, Hamilton W. Reid, William Allan (Derby) Worthington, Dr. John V.
Kirkpatrick, William M. Remer, John R.
Latham, Sir Herbert Paul Rickards, George William TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Leech, Dr. J. W. Roberts, Aled (Wrexham) Sir George Penny and Sir Walter
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Edwards, Charles Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Ranfield, John William George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea) Mainwaring, William Henry
Batey, Joseph Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Milner, Major James
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Nathan, Major H. L.
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Griffiths, George A. (Yorks, W. Riding) Parkinson, John Allen
Buchanan, George Griffiths, T. (Monmouth, Pontypooll Rathbone, Eleanor
Cape, Thomas Grundy, Thomas W. Salter, Dr. Alfred
Cleary, J. J. Hail, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Thorne, William James
Cove, William G. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Tinker, John Joseph
Cripps, Sir Stafford Lawson, John James Wilmot, John
Daggar, George Logan, David Gilbert
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Lunn, William TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Mr. John and Mr. Paling.

I propose to call the next Amendment on the Order Paper in the name of the hon. Member for the English Universities (Sir R. Craddock), but I must warn the Committee that this is a very narrow point indeed and that we cannot on this Amendment discuss the question of the control of the police in the Provinces. If the hon. Member wishes to move the Amendment in this form to deal with control of the police of the Federal Government, that will be in order.

8.7 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 7, line 36, after "affairs," to insert: and the control and superintendence of the intelligence department of the police, dealing with revolutionary and anarchist movements. The Amendment deals with what may be called the civil side of the defence of India and does not affect the question of whether law and order in the Provinces is in the hands of a minister or not, but it does affect the control of the Governor-General over the intelligence department, upon which he depends in order to decide whether he is to take action under his special responsibilities or at his discretion. It is obvious that the Governor-General can only fulfil his functions if he has full information from the whole of India which is under his charge and in respect of which his responsibilities extend. Consequently, he must be able to control, collect, and utilise information, and, if necessary, superintend the Governors in matters arising from dangerous, subversive, or revolutionary conspiracies, which are scattered about, not only in the Governors' Provinces, but may have their branches and their effects in the Chief Commissioners' Provinces, in an excluded area, in a federated State, or in a non-federated State. Those activities of the Governor-General for the defence of India must have some organisation at headquarters which shall be under his discretion, in order that he may be cognisant of what is going on and may be able to give, in discharge of that responsibility, special instructions from time to time to the Governors under him and to all other authorities, civil and military, under him.

I hope to secure that by the Amendment without trespassing at all on the question of law and order in the Provinces. Whatever may be the system there, it is certain that all these questions of revolutionary and subversive movements must be under one control eventually in order to secure that co-ordination and co-operation upon which successful operations to defeat such conspiracies must depend. I want to emphasise very strongly what will take place under this new Constitution in respect of that part of the work of the Government of India which is at present performed by the central criminal investigation department and, over it, by the home department. I shall not put forth a lot of imaginary dangers that might arise or difficulties that might be felt, but I will give my own experience of the dangers that arise in an appointment which I held for five and a-quarter years, including over two and a-half years of the War.

We had conspiracies emanating, not all in India itself, but having effects in parts of India—conspiracies organised from outside which began to take effective forms within the country. We had to have information from Vancouver, Hong Kong, Siam and Japan itself, and all this kind of information related to organisations which were not confined to one Province. They may have appeared first in one Province, say Bengal, but they had their manifestations through branches, and even through outbreaks, it might be in the Punjab, at Lahore, or it might be at Delhi, or in the United Provinces, or Bombay, or Madras. We had conspirators who entered right away via Ceylon and so forth, and I can tell the Committee that the work of the home department in that one branch and in that respect was such as to occupy a great deal of time and thought and co-ordinated action, not only between the police who were charged with dealing with anarchy and crimes of that kind, but between the officers in charge of law and order all over India who might have to deal with attempts to seduce the troops from their allegiance, which, I take it, would be covered by the words "conspiracy having a revolutionary tendency."

I will give an illustration of the cooperation which the army requires from the civil side and from officers, whether police, or executive officers, or magistrates, as the case may be. I was visiting Simla in 1907. That was the year which happened to be 50 years from the Mutiny and was, therefore, selected for movements of a seditious and subversive character. These were going on at the time of my visit to Simla, where I went to see Lord Kitchener upon the question of the location of the garrison, but in the course of that somewhat long conversation Lord Kitchener impressed on me the supreme importance of the civil authorities throughout India, wherever they might be, keeping level, and acquainted, with what was going on in matters affecting the army and the allegiance of the troops in the cantonments, infantry and cavalry lines, and so on. He said to me—and I shall never forget it—" I get my information from various sources, from the staff or regimental officers or others who find information of this kind, and I hear of attempts made on the loyalty of troops. I get that information, but that is not enough." He said—and I am sure everyone in the Committee will agree—that it is very desirable that officers of the Indian Army should not act in any way to make the troops under them begin to feel that they are suspected. It was so in the Mutiny of course. There were officers who stood by their men and swore that their men, at all events, were absolutely trustworthy, and who were afterwards surprised by an èmeute among their particular troops.

We have to guard against that. If the officers were always suspecting their men it would destroy the complete harmony and the pleasant relations that always exist between British officers and the sepoys in the Indian Army. It is, therefore, all the more incumbent on the civil authorities to help us with every information that they can discover which we cannot find for ourselves. The opportunities to do that are many. The troops do not only get leave in bazaars, but they travel by train back to their homes on furlough, and these are the opportunities for the insidious and malignant men who pour poison into the ears of the troops in order to induce them to depart from their allegiance. They are occasions when their officers would hear nothing about it and are thus very dangerous. Similarly one of the ways in which troops are influenced in India is by agitators and others who persecute their families while the sepoys themselves are on service. It must be remembered, also, that there are all kinds of acts of murder or sabotage on railways, dacoities and so forth which, although they may seem to be ordinary crimes with the ordinary motives for such crimes, are proved to be part of political conspiracies and are intended to serve political ends.

It is essential that the Governor-General at the top should be acquainted with these crimes as they occur from time to time. If a magistrate or a police officer gets news of attempts at sedition or attempts at tampering with troops, it is his duty to communicate it to the local military officer, namely, the officer commanding the station or a brigade or a division as the case may be. It is all a question of civil help to the defence of India and of protecting the army from insidious attempts to weaken its allegiance and thereby to bring about the fall of the raj. These objectives are not stated in any way in the Bill, and it seems to me much better to put into the Clause the words of the Amendment rather than to leave only some vague reference to defence without any reference to the particular duties which will fall on the Governor-General. It must be remembered that under the new Federal Constitution it is a source of anxiety as to what happens to the Home Department. It now keeps a general superintendence over the whole of the police and gaols in the Provinces, but all that part of its duty will go with provincial autonomy and with law and order transferred to Ministers. There are other duties in connection with the Home Department which will likewise go, and the Department as such will have very little left. It has many special duties, but those connected most prominently with the Home Department, including, besides crime, the Press, the security services, and the Indian Medical service, rest not with the federal ministers but with the Governor-General.

My successor in office who was enamoured of a new constitution such as the one proposed in the Bill, told me he was very anxious about how the Government of India, and especially the Governor-General, would get on without this great Home Department upon which every Governor-General in the past had depended to acquaint him thoroughly with what goes on in every part of India in regard to conspiracies, subversive political moves and all sorts of events which have a grave significance. They must be ascertained and made known; otherwise, the Governor - General, especially now that he is left with only a private secretariat, will be unable to obtain information and take action in respect of these matters because of the vast burdens put upon him of other responsibilities and other branches of administration upon which his sanction or his discretion or his individual judgment will have to be exercised. This Amendment cannot be objectionable under the system which the Government are themselves setting up, and I hope that, as the right hon. Gentleman has accepted two of my Amendments, he will keep up the record and accept this one.

8.25 p.m.

Duchess of ATHOLL

I rise to support this Amendment, which to us is one of great importance, though it is not what we most wish in regard to the question of the police. I do not know whether my right hon. Friend will tell us that this department is to be reserved under the Defence Department, or any other reserved departments of the Governor-General, but as the work of the central intelligence bureau appears in paragraph (1) of the list of federal subjects on which the Federal Legislature can legislate, it does not seem clear that it is reserved to the control of the Governor-General, and if it is not reserved for him he must act on the advice of a minister. It would be in control of a minister, who would have all power and initiative in the matter, unless, of course, the Governor-General becomes aware of a grave menace to the peace and tranquillity of India. If this department is under an Indian federal minister then the value of Clause 58, which requires secrecy in regard to terrorist intelligence, so that no information in regard to terrorist crime is to be revealed to anyone except with the consent of the Governor-General in regard to persons outside the police force, and the inspector-general of police in regard to members of the force, will largely have gone, because we can find nothing in the Bill requiring similar secrecy at the centre. I think that the Joint Select Committee wish the central intelligence bureau reserved, and the European Association were also strongly of the opinion that the whole intelligence branch of the police should be under the control of the Governor-General. They were prepared to hand over the rest of the police force, but not the intelligence branch of the criminal investigation department.

As I have indicated we would prefer to see the whole of the police force reserved in the various Provinces, as well as the central intelligence bureau, because we do not see how an Indian minister of police can really defend the action of the police, acting on intelligence they receive from the Intelligence Department, unless all are together. If we could be assured that the central intelligence bureau was reserved to the Governor-General there would be some hope of securing secrecy, which is so essential. So many witnesses assured the Governor-General that unless secrecy could be assured information in regard to terrorism would dry up, because such information can only come from inside the revolutionary ranks, and no one would be ready to give any more information if he thought that his identity might be disclosed. I do not feel that Clause 58 is going to secure that secrecy, though I cannot enter into that question now; but, as regards the directing head, we do wish to see it placed beyond doubt that that office is in thoroughly trustworthy hands.

I think this is all the more important since we have been able to realise, as the result of the publication of the report of the Joint Select Committee, how much more widely prevalent terrorism is in India than we had believed. When the Secretary of State last spoke in this House of terrorism, about 18 months ago, be spoke of it only in Bengal, but in a very informative Memorandum which he presented to the Joint Select Committee he showed that since 1930 terrorist crime has been taking place in, I think, every other Province in India. He gave a list of all the terrorists outrages. The Joint Select Committee were ready for everything to be reserved in Bengal in the event of terrorism still being bad in that Province when Provincial Autonomy was set up, but we do not feel that is sufficient, because of the serious evidence of its existence in other parts. The Secretary of State, in that same Memorandum, also spoke of the great growth of communism in India, with propaganda by men trained in Soviet institutions and financed, no doubt, by Soviet money. The Memorandum also spoke of efforts being made to combine communism and terrorism with the movement which exists to create mutiny in Sikh regiments. Therefore, the situation in India is a very serious one. Any information in regard to these very dangerous movements must be of a highly confidential kind, and secrecy will be absolutely essential if any further information is to be procured. For that reason we think it is important that the central intelligence branch should be reserved to the Governor-General, and we should like it to control the intelligence branches of the police in the various Provinces.


I warned the Committee when we started that we could not consider this question as it affected the Provinces.

Duchess of ATHOLL

I am very sorry that I was not in the Committee at the time, but the Provinces are in the words of the Amendment.


I do not wish the Noble Lady to misunderstand me. The Provinces are not mentioned in the Amendment.

Duchess of ATHOLL

No, Sir, but control of the police is. I quite recognise that the Provinces are not mentioned, but as the police are a provincial subject if the intelligence branch is going to control the police it naturally does cover the police in the Provinces—or so I understand the Amendment.


I warned the Committee when I called the Amendment that it dealt with only a very narrow point—control by the Federal Government, and not control in the Provinces. That I rule quite definitely.

Duchess of ATHOLL

I am afraid the claims of hunger prevented me from hearing your Ruling, or I should not have trespassed. Even though the Amendment is within narrow limits, we attach importance to it, and therefore I support it.

8.33 p.m.


I am sure we were all glad to listen to the hon. Member for the English Universities (Sir H. Craddock). He and I served for a long time on the joint Select Committee, and, although I am afraid we did not always agree, I have always listened with the greatest interest, and I am sure with a good deal of profit, to the observations of one who speaks with many years of most distinguished experience behind him. He almost trespassed on my goodness. He said that having accepted two of his Amendments I ought to accept the third. I hope I shall be able to show that it really would not be possible to accept this Amendment. The Amendment would reserve at the centre the control and superintendence of the intelligence department of police dealing with revolutionary and anarchist movements, that is to say, that wide field of activity would be directly under the Governor-General and would be removed from the Provinces. One of the bases of our scheme is provincial autonomy, and, if there is to be provincial autonomy, it is quite essential that law and order should be a provincial subject. I am not now arguing the question whether law and order should be transferred. It seems quite definite that law and order is bound to be a provincial subject, that is to say, the police will remain as they are now, a provincial service; that is to say also that the officials mostly connected with the discovery and the punishment of crime of the character set out in the Amendment will be provincial officials. That being so, I suggest to the Committee that it would be impossible to divorce the provincial administration from an essential branch of the work with which that administration will deal, and that it would be impossible to keep in the hands of the Governor-General at the centre all the intelligence of the police when the executive action connected with the police remained under provincial control.


I did not mean that the Governor-General should interfere with the police who are working under the governors. Certain reports which go up to the governors are then conveyed by the criminal investigation department to the central bureau of that department, and that is to go on irrespective of what the ordinary police may be doing. I did not wish to interfere with the complete transfer of law and order in the Provinces.


I am greatly relieved to hear my hon. Friend's comment on his Amendment. It removes the need for me to develop further the argument upon which I was engaged. I think he will see—I do not want to split hairs about it—that the wording of his Amendment appears to go a good deal further. Let me take his Amendment as he has just described it, namely, that it is to do nothing more than keep under the Governor-General at the centre a bureau to which reports of this kind will come; a bureau by means of which the Governor-General will be kept informed as to subversive movements of this kind in the Provinces; a bureau that will enable him to give such directions to the governors in the Provinces as would prevent a grave menace to the peace and stability of India. If that be the meaning fo his Amendment, and I am very glad to hear that it is, there is no reason for any further addition to the Bill in this connection. Under the provisions of the Bill the central intelligence bureau remains as a reserved section of the Department of Defence. That is the answer to my Noble Friend the Member for Kinross and Western (Duchess of Atholl). It will remain a reserved department directly under the Governor-General and it will perform just the kind of function that my hon. Friend has described, in the intervention which he has just made when I seemed to be going beyond what he intended by his Amendment.

Duchess of ATHOLL

May I ask if my right hon. Friend will remember that in paragraph 97 of the Joint Committee's Report it was recommended that the central intelligence bureau should remain a reserved department as he has just described it. The paragraph goes on to say that it should not involve any change in the relationship which at present exists between the central bureau and the provincial intelligence departments. Should the Governor-General find that the information at his disposal, whether received through the channel of the Governors or from the provincial intelligence departments through the central intelligence bureau, is inadequate, he will, in virtue of recommendations which we make later possess complete authority to secure through the Governor the correction of any deficiencies, and indeed to point out to the Governor, and require him to set right, any shortcomings which he may have noticed in the organisation or activities of the provincial intelligence branch. May I ask my right hon. Friend, will the central intelligence bureau, or the Governor-General, acting through the bureau, be in a position to require those improvements in the provincial intelligence departments?


Yes, Sir, certainly. It is clear that that is so under other provisions of the Bill. Under Clause 125 (4): Without prejudice to his powers under the last preceding Sub-section, the Governor-General, acting in his discretion, may at any time issue orders to the Governor of a Province as to the manner in which the executive authority thereof is to be exercised for the purpose of preventing any grave menace to the peace or tranquillity of India or of any part thereof. That Clause directly meets the point of my Noble Friend. After the interpretation he put upon his Amendment, my hon. Friend the Member for the English Universities will probably see that there is no need for the Amendment, because his point is already covered.


I beg to ask leave to withdraw the Amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

8.42 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 7, line 36, to leave out from "affairs," to "shall," in line 39.

The object of the Amendment is to give to Indian Ministers and people some control over their own foreign relationships and a part in foreign affairs. In some respects India has already reached Dominion status, because she is represented at the League of Nations as other Dominions are. As it is the declared object of the Government to foster in India 'a spirit of nationhood, it is very important that that spirit should be fostered and strengthened and that this particular important function of nationhood, and its relations with other units and other nations, should not be taken away or reserved to the Governor-General. Just as human beings only realise themselves by their contact with other entities, just as, I imagine, the Secretary of State for India has never realised his power before, as a result of his contact with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill), India can only realise her nationhood by knowledge of the issues which arise between India and other countries.

That is so, especially in view of the great events—perhaps grave events—which are shaping themselves in Asia, and in regard to which a grave warning has been issued by General Smuts and others. It is very important that the Indian people should realise their nationhood, and should realise by the actual management of their own foreign affairs what relationships should exist between India and other nations in Asia. If India does, as I hope and trust, realise her nationhood in that way, and understand the forces that are moulding the world, she will become proud of her membership of the British commonwealth of self-governing nations and will refuse to become either the pawn or the prey of some other Oriental imperialism. If our Western skies darken because of events in Europe, it will be a great consolation to us to know that the peoples of India are holding the Eastern wall. If this is to happen, the Department of Foreign Affairs should not be withdrawn from the Ministers and representatives of India. They should not only be able to control that Department, but should be able, in the Assembly and the Council of State, to discuss foreign affairs and ask questions of their Foreign Minister—questions relating to Japan, questions relating to Moslem countries, and various matters of that sort; and thus the pressure of education would go right through Rom Parliament to the politically conscious classes as to what the position of the world is. It may be said that, if India is given control of foreign affairs in that way, she might enter into some treaty with a Foreign Power which would be adverse to British interests. But there are always safeguards against that; there is always a tremendous number of influences bearing on the Government of India; and in the last resort there is the veto of the Governor-General.

I consider that the reasons I have given are very important reasons why India should be given control over the sphere of foreign policy; but there is another sphere of foreign policy, apart from that which deals with the massing and alignment of nations in the political or military sense. It is not so dramatic, but is equally important. I refer to the conclusion of commercial agreements of various kinds. In this country, for example—in fact, the report of the Joint Select Committee alludes to it—commercial agreements are concluded by the Foreign Minister. Of course he takes into consultation, and is helped by, the officials of the Board of Trade, but the actual conclusion of these agreements is done by the Foreign Office, and, as the Joint Select Committee's Report says, that will be the procedure also in India.

Consider this position. You have an Indian Government, with its own fiscal policy and its own ideas of how the trade of India should be directed in the future. If you have a Ministry of that sort, and if you are going to take away from that Ministry the power of concluding commercial treaties and make it one of the reserved subjects, it might happen under this system, at any rate theoretically, although perhaps one could not conceive of its happening in practice, that the Governor-General would be able to conclude a commercial treaty with some other country which would be quite contrary to the policy pursued in other directions by the Ministry.

The only objection, as far as I know, that has ever been put forward to foreign affairs not being a reserved subject, is that the sphere of defence is reserved, and that it is so intimately connected with the sphere of external affairs that, if the one is reserved, the other must be reserved also. I do not, however, see that that follows. It is true that the spheres of defence and external affairs are intimately connected, but so are other departments intimately connected with the sphere of defence—that of finance for example; and, although the sphere of defence is a reserved department, it is not a secret department. The facts are known. The size and numbers of the Army, the striking power of the military forces, are well known to Ministers, and the Minister in charge of foreign affairs would know exactly and precisely how far he can go, and in what direction he must not go. He would know exactly the relations between the defence of India and his own sphere. Moreover, the Commissioner in charge of the reserved department of defence would be closely associated and in touch with the Foreign Minister, as the report says he should be. Although he may not be a member of the Cabinet, he would be in almost day-to-day touch with him. There is no reason, therefore, why foreign affairs should not be controlled by the Assembly and the Council of State, even though the department of defence is reserved.

It is true that the department of foreign affairs would be limited by the facts of the case, as it is in this country. If in this country defence were entirely reserved to the Crown, and taken out of the control of Parliament, there would be no reason why we should not have our beloved Foreign Minister here and be able to ask him questions and control the foreign policy of this country, even if the state of the Army and Navy were not a matter for our concern. Therefore, I do not consider that this is a real objection at all. It is the same kind of objection as I mentioned before on the question of Dominion status; it is simply a point of pedagogic pedantry. In any case, the reasons I have given for proposing that the department of foreign affairs or external relations should be in the hands of Indian Ministers far outweigh an objection of that kind.

8.52 p.m.


I think the Committee will realise the object of the hon. Member for Broxtowe (Mr. Cocks) in submitting his Amendment. I regret to say that this is one of the subjects which the Government regard as fundamental to the whole scheme of the Bill. If the words which the hon. Member proposes should be left out were left out of the Bill, it would mean that the subject of foreign affairs would be excluded from the direct control of the Governor-General, and excluded from being a reserved subject. I had the privilege of being associated with the hon. Member for some considerable period on the Joint Select Committee, and he will recollect that, in paragraph 184 of their report, they draw attention to this problem of external affairs, and to the relationship of external affairs to the question of defence. These subjects are intimately bound up together. For reasons with which I do not think I need trouble the Committee, we have found it imperative to reserve to the Governor-General the portfolio of defence, and for similar reasons, involving great Imperial considerations, we have found it imperative to reserve to the Governor-General the portfolio of external affairs.

Perhaps one of the most important points in the hon. Member's remarks was his reference to commercial treaties, and, in any observations that I make on this point, I propose to assist the Committee, if I may say so, by using the language of the amateur and not that of a legal expert on this particular subject. I would like to assure the Committee that there is no intention of taking out of the realm of those affairs which are controlled by Ministers, and not by counsellors, the negotiation of commercial agreements. I think the matter was put most clearly in the Report of the Joint Select Committee, in the paragraph to which I have previously referred. There they say: In the United Kingdom, however, all agreements with foreign countries are made through the Foreign Office. Any other arrangement would lead to grave inconvenience; but when a trade or commercial agreement is negotiated, the Foreign Office consult and co-operate with the Board of Trade, whose officials necessarily take part in any discussions which precede the agree ment. We assume that similar arrangements will be adopted in India, and that the Department of External Affairs will maintain a close contact with the Department of Trade or Commerce; but we are clear that agreements of any kind with a foreign country must be made by the Governor-General, even if on the merits of a trade or commercial issue he is guided by the advice of the appropriate Minister. I do not think that any words of mine could improve or clarify that statement as to the future without attempting, what I believe no constitutional lawyer would attempt, to define it any more clearly. I would remind the Committee that there is no intention of reserving to the Governor-General the negotiation of commercial agreements. The intention is rather that the sort of arrangement which I have just described in the words of the Joint Select Committee, should prevail in that department. Similar considerations apply to the position of India in certain respects in relation to the League of Nations, a point which was not mentioned by the hon. Member for Broxtowe but one in which I am sure he is interested.

The hon. Member must not think, and I would not like the Committee to think, that in negotiating certain international Conventions, it is our intention to take this question quite away from the Indian Ministers in the Central Government who may be interested in any subject but the general consideration about the procedure going through the Foreign Office and, in this case, through the Governor-General must prevail even though, as the Joint Select Committee says, the Governor-General is guided by the advice of a particular Minister on a particular subject of this sort. For these reasons the Government find it impassible to accept an Amendment which excludes so vitally important a department as that of external affairs. At the same time while giving the Committee this decision, I do not wish them to think that we shall deprive Indian Ministers of privileges which they have had hitherto and privileges which I hope they may enjoy in the future.

8.58 p.m.


I gather that in future India's actions at the League of Nations will be determined by the Governor-General, that is to say the policy will be determined by the Governor-General which in effect means the British Government. I shall be glad to be corrected if I am wrong.


I have attempted to outline a certain category of points in which the Governor-General would acoept the advice, in the constitutional sense, of the Minister of the Department concerned.


I do not think that meets my point because there is a great range of subjects which could be brought before the League of Nations, and I take it that if an Indian delegate goes to the League to participate in its discussions, he will not be entitled to speak except in so far as he becomes the mouthpiece of the Governor-General and the Governor-General will determine the external policy of India. I wonder what will be the effect of such an arrangement upon the future position of delegations from the British Empire at the League of Nations. When we discuss this matter we naturally associate in our minds the idea of defence with the subject of external policy. To hon. Members on these benches it seems that the measure of your armaments must depend largely upon the nature of your policy. Perhaps the hon. Gentleman opposite would put it in the contrary way—that the measure of your armaments must determine your policy, and of course there is a wide range of possible arguments between those two points of view.

We have been told that the Government accept the idea of 'Dominion status as the ultimate aim in India. In that case is there not strong reason for familiarising the people of India with the control of foreign affairs in preparation for the time when Dominion status will become a reality? Those who were at the Joint Select Committee will remember that one of the most powerful arguments addressed to that Committee during its sittings was that addressed to it by my hon. Friend the Member for Limehouse (Mr. Attlee). He urged that in the new Central Assembly a large number of people representative of all parts of India would be brought together for a certain period every year and that advantage should be taken of that opportunity. As we now see it, this instrument of government will give them a very limited amount of work to do, and my hon. Friend pleaded with the Joint Select Committee—and we embodied this point in our report—that the Centre should not be fashioned too closely upon what was called the Westminster model but that the Central Assembly should be enabled to set up a series of standing committees for the discussion of problems relating to the well-being of India as a whole.

Among those committees we particularly wanted to see one established to deal with external affairs so that the Indian representatives, even though their authority, for the moment, might be carefully circumscribed should be familiarised with the intricacies of foreign policy. If they are to have Dominion status at some future date not yet specified, it is not right or proper that they should be plunged into the difficult and perplexing task of dealing with external policy without some preliminary experience. I think it is desirable in the interests of the future success of Indian self-government, either as it is visualised in this Bill or as the idea may be amplified later, that this extra authority should be handed over to the Indian people. I am sorry that the hon. Gentleman has not been able to give us a more satisfying reply, and I am afraid that we must register our discontent with his reply by going into the Division Lobby.

9.4 p.m.


I wish to congratulate the Minister upon having at least stood firm against this Amendment. It is unusual in these days to be able to congratulate the Government even upon, such a small matter and I do so on this occasion with the greatest pleasure. But there was one statement in the Minister's reply which filled some of us with considerable misgiving. I understood him to say that trade agreements are not to be reserved and will only formally go through the Governor-General. I do not want to trespass outside the obvious intention of the Amendment, but one cannot allow a statement like that, which must strike dismay into the hearts of Lancashire people, to go through without some protest. I urge the Minister strongly, but in the most friendly spirit, to consider whether the attitude indicated by him on this matter cannot be revised between now and the time when this Bill is to become law.

Question put, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Clause."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 179; Noes, 36.

Division No. 69.] AYES. [9.7 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Hamilton, Sir R.W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd) Ramsbotham, Herwald
Albery, Irving James Harvey, Major Sir Samuel (Totnes) Rankin, Robert
Allen, Sir J. Sandeman (Liverp'l, W.) Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Ratcliffe, Arthur
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller Rea, Walter Russell
Anstruther-Gray, W. J. Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Apsley, Lord Hornby, Frank Reid, David D. (County Down)
Atholl, Duchess of Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Remer, John R.
Barclay Harvey, C. M. Jackson, J. C. (Heywood & Radcliffe) Rickards, George William
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H. Roberts, Aled (Wrexham)
Belt, Sir Alfred L. Jesson, Major Thomas E. Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Bennett, Capt. Sir Ernest Nathaniel Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Blindell, James Ker, J. Campbell Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside)
Boulton, W. W. Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Bower, Commander Robert Tatton Kerr, Hamilton W. Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Kirkpatrick, William M. Salmon, Sir Isidore
Boyce, H. Leslie Knox, Sir Alfred Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen)
Brass, Captain Sir William Latham, Sir Herbert Paul Samuel, M. R. A. (W'ds'wth, Putney).
Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C. (Berks., Newb'y) Leckie, J. A. Savery, Samuel Servington
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Leech, Dr. J. W. Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Burnett, John George Levy, Thomas Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
Butler, Richard Austen Lewis, Oswald Simmonds, Oliver Edwin
Butt, Sir Alfred Liddall, Walter S. Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest Smithers, Sir Waldron
Caporn, Arthur Cecil MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G.(Partick) Somervell, Sir Donald
Cassels, James Dale MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor)
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) McCorquodale, M. S. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J. A. (Birm., W) Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Strauss, Edward A.
Collox, Major William Philip McLean, Major Sir Alan Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Cook, Thomas A. McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.
Courtauld, Major John Sewell Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Crooke, J. Smedley Magnay, Thomas Tate, Mavis Constance
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Templeton, William P.
Crossley, A. C. Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Cruddas, Lieut-Colonel Bernard Marsden, Commander Arthur Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Culverwell, Cyril Tom Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.) Thorp, Linton Theodore
Curry, A. C. Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C. Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Davies, Maj.Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Mitcheson, G. G. Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Denman, Hon. R. D. Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Dickie, John p. Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Elmley, Viscount Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Wallace, Sir John (Dunfermline)
Essenhigh. Reginald Clare Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties) Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Munro, Patrick Warrender, Sir, Victor A. G.
Fremantle, Sir Francis Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Watt, Major George Steven H.
Fuller, Captain A. G. Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Wells, Sidney Richard
Ganzonl, Sir John O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh White, Henry Graham
Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton Palmer, Francis Noel Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Gillett, Sir George Masterman Patrick, Colin M. Whyte, Jardine Bell
Gower, Sir Robert Pearson, William G. Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.) Penny, Sir George Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilston) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Greene, William P. C. Pownall, Sir Assheton Worthington, Dr. John V.
Grimston, R. V. Radford, E. A.
Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich) TELLERS FOR THE AYES—
Guy, J. C. Morrison Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M (Midlothian) Sir Walter Womersley and Lieut.-
Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Islet) Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Edwards, Charles Macdonald, Gordon (Ince)
Banfield, John William Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Mainwaring, William Henry
Batey, Joseph Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Milner, Major James
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Griffiths, George A. (Yorks.W.Riding) Parkinson, John Allen
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Groves, Thomas E. Salter, Dr. Alfred
Buchanan, George Grundy, Thomas W. Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cape, Thomas Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, North)
Cleary, J. J. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Thorne, William James
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, William G. Lawson, John James Wedgwood, Rt. Hon. Joslah
Daggar, George Llewellyn-Jones, Frederick
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Logan, David Gilbert TELLERS FOR THE NOES—
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lunn, William Mr. John and Mr. Paling.

9.14 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 7, line 41, at the end, to insert: Provided that it shall be the duty of the Governor-General, in exercising his functions with respect to defence, to make provision for the progressive Indianisation of the defence forces with a view to the completion of this process within a period not exceeding thirty years, and thenceforth the Governor-General's function with respect to defence shall be exercised by him acting with his ministers, and the special responsibility of the Governor-General in the exercise of his functions with respect to the prevention of any grave menace to the peace or tranquility of India, or any part thereof, shall cease and determine. Nearly every hon. Gentleman who has moved an Amendment on this Bill has commenced his speech by declaring that his Amendment is the most important of all on the Paper. However true that may be, I think that I may lay claim that the Amendment I have moved is indeed of first-class importance to this Measure. If hon. Members will be good enough to look at the Amendment, I think that they will agree that it can be put very shortly thus. It is a proposal to Indianise all the defence forces of India within a period of 30 years either from the passing of this Measure or the date upon which its provisions are to be implemented. That does not appear to be a very revolutionary proposal, because 30 years is a long time and many things may happen before then. It is no use claiming that the Indian people are ever to get self-determination, the power to control their own affairs, until they achieve that stage in their history when they are in a position to defend their country and the frontiers around it. Therefore, I regard the proposal in the Amendment as of the essence of the policy which we have propounded on this side of the House ever since this Bill came before Parliament. Carrying the point a stage further, I would say that you cannot have self-government in any country if its defence forces are in foreign hands. We want to be quite plain about that. This proposal is, as stated, part and parcel of our policy, which aims in the end towards Dominion status in India.

This Amendment, of course, cuts across the recommendations of the Joint Select Committee. I have a criticism to make against the Joint Select Committee in this connection, because they turned down any suggestion of a time limit for the Indianisation of the defence forces of that great sub-continent. The White Paper contained a suggestion that what we are now proposing might be capable of achievement within 20 or 25 years. I think I am right in putting it that way. If hon. Members are doubtful on the point I will read the paragraph, but before doing that I will read paragraph 180, in order to show the attitude of mind of the Joint Select Committee on this issue. It is headed "The practical difficulties of the Indianisation of the defence forces of India": It is sometimes said that so long as the officer ranks of the Indian Army are not fully Indianised complete self-determination must be indefinitely deferred. We do not regard that view as self-evident, and indeed the problem of Indianisation does not appear to us to be essentially related to the constitutional issues with which we are concerned. I want to be a little critical of that attitude of mind. Imagine a body of men declaring that you can have self-government in a country and still retain the defence force of that country in the hands of a foreign nation. What would anybody say to-day of governing Canada, or Australia, or South Africa by forces sent from this country?


Who defends them but the British Navy?


The hon. and learned Gentleman and I have had a few difficulties to contend with elsewhere and I am not going to be drawn into an argument with him on this issue. He is always very eloquent against me, especially when we are dealing with drink problems in Committees upstairs. Therefore, I will stick to my last, if he will allow me. Now I come to the point on which I think there was some doubt in the minds of hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite. In paragraph 181 this is what the Joint Select Committee say: We think it right to mention these things because of the suggestion put forward in the British-India Joint Memorandum that there should be a definite programme of Indianisation with reference to a time limit of 20 or 25 years. It will be noted that that suggestion was made in the British-India Joint Memorandum, and not, as I previously stated. The idea has been floating about in this country and in India for a long period, that a day would come in the history of India when she would demand, and in my view, rightly demand, that she should within a period of time be capable of training her own soldiers and teaching the technique of defence to her own officers, and in the end be capable of handling her defence entirely on her own account. I know that that proposal will not commend itself to some hon. Members on the other side of the Committee: I will tell them why they adopt that attitude. It is because of the spirit of imperialism that imbues them and causes them to think that they are of better clay than anybody else, that they have been gifted by nature or by some supreme spirit with superior intelligence and power, and that they therefore should control the destinies of the millions of the people of India. I want to say quite frankly, and I am now speaking on my own behalf, that unless the proposal that we are now making is adopted and the Indian people are given the right to produce their own officers for their own Army, the day will come when they will not ask the British Government for that right, but will take it. That stage has been reached in many countries in the past, and I do not think that the Indians are much different from any other nation in that respect.

I am fortified in the proposal that I am making because the Joint Select Committee suggested that the time would arise in five years from the passing of the Act for inquiring into the possibility of the Indianisation of the police service and the civil service of India. If such a proposal is good enough in respect of the police and the civil service in India, it ought to be good enough in respect of the defence forces of India. As I understand the position it is this, that we have 60,000 soldiers from this country in India, and they are officered exclusively by people from this country. There are over 140,000 men in the Indian Army, which is almost exclusively an Indian Army, and in the main it is officered by people from this country. Let hon. Members see how anomalous the position is. The Indians in their own country are officered by British officers, but no Indian, so far as I know, has ever been allowed to secure a captaincy or even a sergeant-majorship in the British forces in India. [Laughter.] An hon. Member laughs. If he were an Indian I know what he would do. [HON. MEMBERS: "What would you do?"] I represent Westhoughton, and I am pleased to say that the vast majority of Westhoughton people believe in the gospel that I am now preaching. They have chosen me six times because of that.

We are, therefore, moving this Amendment in the hope that the Government will accept it. Indeed, we are not without hope that even the group led by the right hon. Member for Epping (Mr. Churchill) may follow us into the Division Lobby on this occasion. I do not know whether the Noble Lady (Duchess of Atholl) will stand up and support this Amendment. We shall see what will happen very shortly. I am informed that the two qualifications required of Indian officers for the Indian section of the Army are efficiency and experience. I am informed, too, that in 1918 the doors were opened just a little for a commencement of the Indianising of the officer ranks of the Indian Army, and that there has been an increase recently in the number of Indian officers appointed. I know that this policy will take time. I am not an authority on military matters, and I am proud not to be, but I understand that it takes about 20 or 25 years for some of these men to reach the higher grades in the officer class. This process of Indianisation has already commenced, and what we are trying to do by this Amendment is to carry it a stage further. I wish to say finally that I think the principle holds good and that we ought to rely more and more for the defence of India on the people who reside there. We ought to provide all the facilities we can in order that the Indian people, in the end and within the period we lay down, may be capable of looking after the defence of India themselves.

9.28 p.m.


I must assure the hon. Member who has just spoken that we none of us regard ourselves as superior people and "better clay than other people" and that we really do approach this question with a great measure of sympathy for the Indian point of view. Every Member of the Committee must remember these two facts: first, that India provides almost the whole of the money for the British and Indian Army in India; and, secondly, that India has made great sacrifices both of lives and of money in Imperial defence. It is not, therefore, to be wondered at that almost every Indian takes an intense interest in this question. The difficulty is—and I hope to put the difficulty before the House very shortly—to have anything in the nature of a time-table. After all, the only test you can apply to defence is the test of efficiency. It is no good embarking upon a system of defence that is not going to defend your country, and it is quite impossible to state times and seasons as to the attainment of that kind of efficiency. After all, India is in a very vulnerable position. In her own interests India cannot afford to take risks. There are few territories in any part of the world more vulnerable to foreign attack than India if her defence is not efficient. We have to accept that fact, and, in accepting that, we have to hold a, balance between on the one hand encouraging in every legitimate way the Indianisation of the garrison of India, and on the other hand the maintenance of the efficiency of Indian defence.

In these matters of defence, let me assure the hon. Member one has to act with a considerable measure of caution. I had the privilege of being for seven years 'at the head of one of the Defence Departments, and I think the lesson that most impressed itself on my mind was the vital part that morale plays in any system of efficient defence. If, unwisely, you take action that endangers the morale of any fighting Service, the efficiency of that Service is apt to collapse with a most alarming rapidity. So with that lesson in mind and also with the continuing necessity to meet the legitimate aspirations of Indians, I say to the Committee that it is impossible to set times and seasons to this process of Indianisation. What we can do is to embark with all sympathy upon the experiment—and since I have been associated with Indian affairs we have greatly extended that experiment. We have started a Sandhurst for the training of these Indian officers, and I am glad to be able to tell the Committee that the young Indians who have entered the Indian Sandhurst are, in the view of the Commander-in-Chief, showing great promise. I think that may be a very fruitful source of development in the future.

We have to give this experiment the fairest and freest possible run. We are now making it over a wide field, extending to all the Arms in India and to sections of the Army that in former years were denied to Indian units and Indian officers. We have embarked on this experiment with great good will, the Commander-in-Chief himself is very sympathetic to it, and we hope it is going to succeed. The more it succeeds the quicker will be the development of Indianisation. But more than that we cannot say. We cannot say that in a period of x years, in 20, 30, or 40 years or whatever it may be, this process is going to succeed or is going to be 'complete. What we can say is that we will give the experiment every reasonable chance of success. We will show it our sympathy, we will give it our help, and we hope that it will succeed. More than that we cannot say, and as we cannot say more than that, I cannot accept the hon. Member's Amendment.

9.35 p.m.


I have listened to the hon. Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) to-day as I have on more than one occasion with a great deal of sympathy, and I cannot forget that the Hammer of Scotland also did his level best to exterminate the Welsh. He said that he was not acquainted with military matters. That was very obvious. No doubt during the War he was profoundly grateful that there were a large number of other people who were prepared to take up a military occupation. I was myself; and I have no doubt that Indians will be only too glad for the great boon we are conferring upon them in sending 60,000 British troops to look after their safety. I see no reason why we should suddenly interfere with the process at present in operation and set up a time limit.

The people who are making the trouble against the British Government are the Bengalese. We do not recruit a single soldier from them. The only people from whom we get soldiers for the Indian Army are the hill tribes, who are somewhat like our Scottish Highlanders. These are the classes who will be recruited, and I question whether the tribes of the plain, who have nothing to do with military matters would welcome their army being in the hands of officers from the hill tribes. The only thing which keeps together the various tribes in India is the fact that the ruling class there is the impartial British officer, and that is why the British Army and the Indian soldier, with British officers, fulfils his part so splendidly. If you are going to take military sections and put them in charge of Indians, you will not get the same results; and no one will resent it more than the Indians themselves. I am told that in regiments having Indian officers the rank and file are not nearly so satisfied as they are in those in which you find British officers and British noncommissioned officers in charge.

9.39 p.m.


In 1922, that is 13 years ago, Lord Rawlinson, the Commander-in-Chief in India, appointed a committee, which was presided over by his chief of staff, to consider this question, and they recommended 42 years as the period during which the force should be Indianised. On further consideration they submitted a shorter period of 30 years, which was unanimously accepted by the Government of India as then constituted, including Lord Rawlinson and the Viceroy, Lord Reading. I am not an expert on military matters, so the hon. and learned Member and I are on an equality as far as that is concerned, but I should have thought that Lord Rawlinson would have been considered a Conservative authority on a matter of this kind. He was backed up by the Viceroy and I suppose by the advisers of the Viceroy of that day, and he saw no difficulty in meeting the difficulties which the Secretary of State has now put forward—namely, that you cannot, for several reasons he gave, fix a period. The committee appointed in 1922, speaking with authority, did put a time limit, which they fixed at 30 years. I happen to know that when that committee was appointed there was great hope that this business would at last take a real turn and that efforts would be made to establish such an organisation in India as would enable Indians to learn the technique of the business of defence, and that by now they would have been well on the way towards securing the training which would allow them to command their own Indian forces.

A rather audible smile went round the Committee just now when my hon. Friend the Member for Westhoughton (Mr. Rhys Davies) called attention to the fact that it was considered altogether wrong that Indian officers should be trained to con- trol British soldiers. I am not aware that any one at this time of day will call in question, certainly not the Secretary of State, the courage, the bravery and the endurance of the ordinary Indian soldier. He has proved his worth as a soldier on many a field in defence of the British Empire, especially in the Great War. I never shall forget those passages in the life of the late Lord Birkenhead in which he recalls his tremendous appreciation of the work done by Indian troops in Europe. If there must be armies in a place like India, I feel that we ought, once and for all, to go back on the old doctrine laid down so long ago that it is a little unsafe to leave Indians in real control of armaments because they learn rather too quickly how to use them. The Committee know my views about this question, but, if we are going to start them on the road to self government, if our aim is ultimately to allow them to run their own country, surely we ought to make up our minds as to the period during which it will be considered necessary that this training should take place.

I do not believe that the ordinary young Indian of the same class as those from whom the officer class of this country is trained, is inferior in intellect to ourselves. They go to Oxford and Cam-and to other universities, and attain distinction just as our own people. I also deny that it is necessary there should be this class distinction in regard to officers. Some of the best officers in the British Army have come from the ranks. That has been proved on many occasions. I say that because of the rather scornful interjection, or rather laughter, which followed a statement of my hon. Friend. An important question is involved here, and that is the question of cost. The cost of British troops is considerably higher than the cost of Indian troops, and this is a vital consideration in a country where the people are as poor as they are in India. During these discussions on several occasions attention has been called to the poverty of the people of India. From these poverty-stricken people the cost of Indian Government will have to come, and this age long cost of British troops must also come. The other day I was challenged on this subject and was told that the expenditure was not out of proportion. Here is the answer to that statement. We have heard a great deal of the Statutory Com- mission. If anyone chooses to look at page 216 of the Commission's report he will see, under the heading, "Expenditure on Defence," this statement in paragraph 248: An outstanding feature of this summary is the high proportion (62½ per cent.) which current expenditure on defence bears to the total expenditure of the Central Government—a higher proportion in fact than in any other country in the world … It is more significant that, even when account is taken of provincial and central expenditure together, the ratio (31½ per cent.) is still a very high one. This ratio is high in part because other kinds of expenditure are low. India has a comparatively small unproductive debt, while many forms of Government service are very little developed. Then the Commission's report says later: Her expenditure on armaments is between two and three times as great as that of the whole of the rest of the Empire outside Great Britain. Again, the total is not only high in itself and as compared with other countries, but it has also greatly increased as compared with the pre-war situation. India, in fact, has not obtained any relief from the greater sense of world security which has succeeded the world War. The Statutory Commission gave figures to show that while armaments expenditure in Great Britain increased by 48.9 per cent. between 1913 and 1928, the increase in India was 100 per cent., and they point out that the total is at present double both absolutely and in relation to the revenues of India, and a dominating factor of the financial situation. It is said that no one in India wants to get rid of the British soldier. That may be true, but the Statutory Commission in their Report point out that this expenditure on defence is, economically speaking, the most burdensome form of expenditure, and this is particularly the case where, as in the case of India, the Army contains a large element drawn from elsewhere. These figures, coupled with the report of Lord Rawlinson's Committee, are the conclusive argument why our Amendment should be adopted. Thirty years is the period mentioned.

Wing-Commander JAMES

Is the right hon. Gentleman not, quite unintentionally, misleading the Committee I The Rawlinson Committee in recommending Indianisation within a specified period referred not to the whole Army but to the Indianisation of certain specified units in a certain time.


I think the hon. and gallant Member will find that the specified units are very considerable. I would not have stood here and said what I did say if the work had been started. But let any one, let the Minister, stand up and tell me how many officers have been trained since that report, and let us know what steps have been taken to bring about an Indianisation of the Army. The right hon. Gentleman throws over an essential portion of the Rawlinson Committee's Report, and that is the recommendation that Indianisation should be 'concluded in thirty years. [HON. MEMBERS: "If possible."] Yes, if possible. The committee first recommended a period of 42 years, but on further consideration submitted a shorter period of 30 years, "which was unanimously accepted by the Government of India as then constituted, including Lord Rawlinson and the Viceroy, Lord Reading." I do not mind any one putting in the words "if possible." That would mean that an effort is to be made to Indianise the Army. If some period other than 30 years would appeal to this Committee we would be quite agreeable to consider it.

We object to leaving the question as it were in the air—"we shall do what we can," and so on. The Indians, as the late Lord Lytton said, are continually having the word of promise broken both in the spirit and in the letter when it comes to carrying out that word. I think the Secretary of State Hill remember that statement of the late Lord Lytton, which appeared in a despatch to the then Secretary for India. Our point is that there is nothing definite in the Government's attitude towards this question. We wanted to fix down, first, that the House of Commons really desires the Indianisation of the Army of defence in India, and hopes that the authorities in India will take the necessary steps for bringing that about. I conclude by saying that I profoundly and entirely disagree with the theory that the great Indian nation is incapable of producing the organising ability necessary for the development of its own forces of defence.

9.54 p.m.


Perhaps I may say a few words on this subject as I spent many years in the Indian Army and know something about it. On one point I agree with the right hon. Gentleman who has just spoken, and that is on the question of saving money. Personally, I think it would be far better to save money by disbanding units instead of Indianising. I do not think you will get any fighting spirit out of the units that you are Indianising now, though I know that in that the Secretary of State will not agree with me. He was a member of a sub-committee of the second Round Table Conference, presided over by the Secretary of State for the Dominions, which recommended that the rate of Indianisation should be increased; secondly, that the British forces in India should be reduced as much as possible; and, thirdly, that every caste, whether martial or not, should be enlisted in India—a proposal which would be absolutely futile. I believe the British officers in the Indian Army are the backbone of the whole concern. If we sacrifice them now we ruin the Indian Army.

Apparently the official Opposition think that we should remain 30 years more in India and then scuttle. Mr. Gandhi says that a few villages on the frontier might be burnt. He does not care about that. He does not live on the frontier. India has never defended itself since the beginning of time. It has been conquered by nation after nation and tribe after tribe till the British went there. We have defended it and built up this wonderful organisation of 159,000 Indian troops who are helping our 60,000 British troops to defend it. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment complained that we were not prepared to put Indian officers over British soldiers. Has he ever seen a British soldier who would submit to that? How is he in touch with the classes that he professes to represent? We are different races, and they would never agree to it. I totally disbelieve the idea that the Indians as a mass want this. The Indian soldiers who fought for us in the Great War and did splendid deeds are not the people who are clamouring for this. It is a different class who did not stir a finger to help us.

9.56 p.m.


If I understood the tenour of the speech of the Secretary of State, his whole objection to the Amendment was based on the fact that it con tained a time-table. Does he object to the other part of the Amendment which lays it down that the Governor-General shall be responsible for the progressive Indianisation of the Army? If the Governor-General could carry this business out in less than 30 years, is he in agreement that it should be done? In order to carry the idea still further he suggested that they were themselves in favour of Indianisation in so far that they had already established a college for the training of officers, and the Commander-in-Chief had said that the young Indians who were being trained there were making very good officers indeed, so much so that it was intended to extend it to all the arms in the Army. Do I understand that, if this success continues, there will be progressive facilities given to these Indian young men to become officers and that they will take the place of British officers who are now there? If they further continue to show success, will they be allowed in the end to displace British officers altogether?

9.59 p.m.


Is the hon. Member aware that at present we recruit twenty battalions of Gurkhas from Nepal, and that, as far as I know, they are not prepared to serve except under British officers?


If the hon. Member asks me that, I do not know. I have heard all these statements made and contradicted, and I cannot believe that, if there are efficient Indian officers, they will not serve under them.

10.0 p.m.


Before coming to the hon. Member's questions, may I say two or three sentences in answer to the Leader of the Opposition? First of all, there have been considerable reductions in military expenditure since the time of the Simon Report. Indeed, I go so far as to say that, while maintaining the efficiency of Indian defence, there have been greater proportionate reductions in military expenditure in the last few years than in any other great country in the world. I think that is immensely to the credit of the present Commander-in-Chief. Secondly, as to the conclusions that he drew from the various inquiries that took place in the years after the War, they were not so simple as he appeared to think. For instance, the later inquiry to which he referred was one rather to see how Indianisation could take place if a definite period were fixed for it. That is a very different kind of inquiry from one into the question whether it was safely possible to make that Indianisation at that period.

Coming to the questions of the hon. Member for Wentworth (Mr. Paling), I can say without any hesitation that the better the experiment goes the quicker will be the Indianisation. I have it definitely in my mind, and so has the Government of India and the Commander-in-Chief, that we shall judge fairly by results and the better the results the more quickly will it come. In the meanwhile the Committee will have observed that we are proposing to put this paragraph into the Instrument of Instruction:

"Seeing that the defence of India must be to an increasing extent the concern of the Indian people, it is our will and intention that our Governor-General should have regard to this Instruction in his administration of the department of defence, notably that he shall bear in mind the desirability of ascertaining the views of his ministers when he has occasion to consider matters relating to the general policy of a appointing Indian officers to our Indian forces or the employment of our Indian forces on service outside India."

That is the outward and visible sign of our good intentions and of the sincerity with which we approach the experiment.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 33; Noes, 221.

Division No. 70.] AYES. [10.5 p.m.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lunn, William
Banfield, John William Edwards, Charles Mainwaring, William Henry
Batey, Joseph Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Milner, Major James
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Parkinson, John Allen
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Griffiths, George A. (Yorks.W. Riding) Salter, Dr. Alfred
Buchanan, George Groves, Thomas E. Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cape, Thomas Grundy, Thomas W. Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, North)
Cleary, J. J. Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Thorne, William James
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, William G. Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George
Daggar, George Lawson, John James TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Logan, David Gilbert Mr. John and Mr. Paling.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Courtauld, Major John Sewell Guest, Capt Rt. Hon. F. E.
Albery, Irving James Courthope, Colonel Sir George L. Guy, J. C. Morrison
Alexander, Sir William Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H.
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd) Cranborne, Viscount Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Harvey, Major Sir Samuel (Totnes)
Apsley, Lord Crooke, J. Smedley Haslam, Henry (Horncastle)
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth)
Atholl, Duchess of Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller
Balley, Eric Alfred George Culverwell, Cyril Tom Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Davidson. Rt. Hon. J. C. C. Hornby, Frank
Balfour, George (Hampstead) Davies, Maj. Geo.F.(Somerset, Yeovil) Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries)
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Denville, Alfred Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Dickie, John P. Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.)
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell Donner, P. W. Jackson, J. C. (Heywood & Radcliffe)
Belt, Sir Alfred L. Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H.
Benn, Sir Arthur Shirley Dunglass, Lord Jesson, Major Thomas E.
Boulton, W. W. Eden, Rt. Hon, Anthony Joel, Dudley J. Barnato
Bower, Commander Robert Tatton Elmley, Viscount Jones, Sir G. W. H. (Stoke New'gton)
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Ker, J. Campbell
Boyce, H. Leslie Emrys-Evans, P. V. Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose)
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Essenhigh, Reginald Clare Kerr, Hamilton W.
Brass, Captain Sir William Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) Kirkpatrick, William M.
Briscoe, Capt. Richard George Fermoy, Lord Knox, Sir Alfred
Brown, Brig.-Gen. H. C.(Berks., N ewb'y) Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Latham, Sir Herbert Paul
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) Leckie, J. A.
Burghley, Lord Fraser, Captain Sir Ian Leech, Dr. J. W.
Burnett, John George Fremantle, Sir Francis Lennox-Boyd, A. T.
Butler, Richard Austen Fuller, Captain A. G. Levy, Thomas
Butt, Sir Alfred Ganzonl, Sir John Lewis, Oswald
Cadogan, Hon. Edward Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton Liddall, Walter S.
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Lindsay, Kenneth (Kilmarnock)
Caporn, Arthur Cecil George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea) Lindsay, Noel Ker
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Gillett, Sir George Masterman Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington. E.) Goff, Sir Park MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick)
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Gower, Sir Robert MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr)
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. Sir J.A. (Birm., W.) Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd. N.) McCorquodale, M. S.
Clarry, Reginald George Grattan-Doyle, Sir Nicholas MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw)
Colfox, Major William Philip Greene, William P. C. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.)
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Grigg, Sir Edward McEwen, Captain J. H. F.
Cook, Thomas A. Grimston, R. V. McKie, John Hamilton
McLean, Major Sir Alan Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland)
McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Ramsbotham, Herwald Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Rankin, Robert Stuart, Lord C. Crichton
Magnay, Thomas Ratcliffe, Arthur Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.
Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Rathbone, Eleanor Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Rea, Walter Russell Tate, Mavis Constance
Marsden, Commander Arthur Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter) Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Mann, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.) Reid, David D. (County Down) Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Reid, James S. C. (Stirling) Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Reid, William Allan (Derby) Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Mitcheson, G. G. Remer, John R. Touche, Gordon Cosmo
Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale Rickards, George William Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Roberts, Aled (Wrexham) Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Rosbotham, Sir Thomas Wallace, Sir John (Dunfermline)
Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties) Roes Taylor, Waiter (Woodbridge) Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Munro, Patrick Rothschild, James A. de Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth) Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Russell, Hamer Field (Sheffield, B'tside) Watt, Major George Steven H.
North, Edward T. Rutherford, John (Edmonton) Wells, Sydney Richard
Nunn, William Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l) White, Henry Graham
O'Connor, Terence James Salmon, Sir Isldore Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Samuel, Rt. Hon. Sir H. (Darwen) Whyte, Jardine Bell
Orr Ewing, I. L. Samuel, M. R. A. (W'ds'wth, Putney). Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Palmer, Francis Noel Savery, Samuel Servington Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Patrick, Colin M. Scone, Lord Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Pearson, William G. Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell) Windsor-Clive, Lieut-Colonel George
Penny, Sir George Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Petherick. M. Simmonds, Oliver Edwin Wolmer, Rt. Hon. Viscount
Peto, Geoffrey K.(w'verh'pt'n, Bilston) Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D. Womersley, Sir Walter
Pownall, Sir Assheton Smithers, Sir Waldron Worthington, Dr. John V.
Radford, E. A. Somervell, Sir Donald
Raikes, Henry V. A. M. Somerville, Annesley A. (Windsor) TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich) Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East) Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. Lambert Ward
Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde) and Mr. Blindell-

10.12 p.m.


I beg to move, in page 7, line 41, at the end, to insert: Provided that the functions of the Governor-General with respect to defence shall not be deemed to include, except upon the approval of his Ministers, the power to order the movement of any part of His Majesty's forces in India outside the boundaries thereof unless he is satisfied that such action is necessary for the internal safety of India. I must apologise for having to inflict myself once more on the Committee, but I can offer the consolation that it will be the last time that I shall do so to-night. The Amendment raises a somewhat different proposition from that which we have just discussed. We have determined in the decision just taken that Indianisation is not to take place except within a given period of time. We know now that the Governor-General is to be in complete control of the army, but there is another issue which we have still to decide, and I venture to tell the Committee that the issue raised in this Amendment is regarded in India with very considerable concern. Indeed, I go further and say that, though we moved in the sense implied by my Amendment on the Joint Select Committee, and it was supported by my colleagues from this side of the House on the Committee, we were also joined in the Division upon the matter by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury and, I am happy to say, one member of the Liberal group on the Committee, so that we had the sanction, not only of the Liberal party, but also to that degree of the Church as well.

What is the point at issue? We assume for the purpose of our argument that the Governor-General will be in complete control of defence so far as India itself is concerned, but then comes the question: supposing an eventuality arise outside the confines of Indian territory, what is to be the extent of the Governor-General's power in that event in relation to the Indian troops which he controls? In our judgment, it is a very big proposition indeed to imply that the Governor-General's power of control over the Indian Army pertains not only to their movements inside Indian territory but also connotes power to move Indian troops outside Indian territory. As things now stand it is possible for the Governor-General to send Indian troops anywhere to any part of the world. It is possible for some eventuality to arise, say, in the Far East, and there is nothing, if this Amendment is not accepted, to prevent the Governor-General from sending a body of Indian troops to take part in any hostilities that may break out. An hon. Friend behind me reminds me that he might even send them to occupy portions of the Rhondda Valley, but that is not an eventuality which is likely to arise.

I understand there is strong objection among Indian people to this enlargement of the powers of the Governor-General in this sense. If hostilities broke out in the Far East, he would, according to our Amendment, have to determine whether such hostilities involved the safety of India or otherwise, and he could not determine to send Indian troops to engage in such hostilities without first consulting his Indian ministers. The importance of the point may be stated in this way. The Committee will recall the fact, which is not denied, that the Indian people have to bear the financial burden involved in the movement of Indian troops within Indian territory. Is it fair, supposing hostilities broke out in the Far East in relation to an Imperial problem, and not a specifically Indian problem, that India should be called upon to shoulder the burden of her share of the cost of the transference of Indian troops without first enabling the Indian ministers to have a voice in the matter? Suppose that 50,000 Indian troops were sent to Hong Kong. As things are now, I understand, the Indian Budget would have to bear the burden. If that be not so, the position is not as grave as I thought it was, but, in any case, we still maintain the proposition that before Indian troops are sent to various parts of the world to engage in Imperial difficulties it is right and proper that Indian ministers should be consulted by the Governor-General.

10.20 p.m.


This is a difficult question, and the hon. Member had every reason to raise it for the consideration of the Committee. The question is as follows: In the event of Indian troops being used outside India, should their use only be upon the advice of the Indian ministers, or should it be at the discretion of the Governor-General and not on the advice of the Indian ministers? Within that question there is another question. Supposing the troops are being used outside India not for the defence of India but for some Imperial purpose, should a distinction be drawn between that issue and the issue in which Indian troops are used outside India for Indian defence? In the case where Indian troops are used for Indian defence outside India I do not think there is likely to be any question arising at all. It must be at the discretion of the Governor-General, who is responsible for the reserved Department of Indian Defence. A more difficult issue arises in the event of Indian troops being used outside India for purposes other than the purposes of Indian defence.


That is the point we raised.


I know, but I had to put the two points, because they are interconnected, as the hon. Member will see. As to the second case, will the Committee first of all remove from their minds the doubt which arose when the hon. Member was speaking about the cost? There is no question about the cost. The cost will not fall upon Indian revenues at all. In a case of that kind the whole cost would fall upon British revenues. If we used Indian units for a purpose of that kind British revenues would find the money. There is, therefore, no question of cost at all. The question the Committee have to consider is: Should this use of Indian troops be made only upon the advice of Indian ministers?


In such a case would British revenues find the pay and the cost of transport?


The full cost. While the units were being used for this purpose their cost would fall upon British revenues. The question I was putting to the Committee was: Should this be upon the advice of the Indian ministers or at the discretion of the Governor-General? The Joint Select Committee considered the issue, and I think many of us were anxious, if we could, to find a distinction between the two contingencies, but we came to the view that it was impossible to draw a statutory distinction between these two contingencies, and for this reason. If it is accepted that Indian troops can only be used outside India for purposes other than the purposes of Indian defence upon the advice only of an Indian ministry, then we should have to define in the Bill what is meant by "the defence of India," and that is almost an impossible proposition. Obviously "the defence of India "means something much more than holding the North-West Frontier. That be- ing so, facing the impossibility of making this statutory definition, the Joint Select Committee came to the view—I think, on the whole, rightly—that the decision must in each case be taken by the Governor-General at his discretion, and after consultation with the Federal ministers. I cannot contemplate any single case in which the Governor-General, using troops outside India for purposes other than the defence of India, could possibly ignore the views of his federal ministry. I hope that I have made a rather complicated position clear, and that I have shown the Committee that it is not possible to draw a distinction between those two contingencies.

10.26 p.m.


The right hon. Gentleman has not met the point under discussion. If India had a right to decide upon her own safety, if she had to decide whether a given course of action would imperil her safety or not, it would be all right. India might take the view that our policy had involved her in peril, and that India's safety would be best served by not allowing her forces to be used for Imperial defence. Take the case of Canada: If we became involved in a war, and if we recruited troops in Canada and if the Canadian Government said: "No, we are not going to be involved, because if we engage in this war we shall be in greater danger than if we stay out of it," Canada would provide no troops. South Africa would be in the same position. I believe that South Africa has said that for South African forces to be regarded as part of the Imperial defence forces might involve more peril than safety to South Africa.

These self-governing Dominions have the right to take their own view of their own safety, but that is being denied to India. It seems as though the Government are saying to India, "We are going to charge the Indian budget with the maintenance of an army necessary not only for order in India but also because it might be part of general Imperial defence." [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] The point which was made by my hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) was replied to by the Secretary of State, who said that if any troops are taken from India the whole cost falls upon the British Treasury and not upon India, but if you keep troops in contemplation of using them outside India, surely the maintenance of those troops falls upon the Indian budget. So that in your estimate of the requirements of the Indian Army you take into account not merely the internal safety of India, but the part that Indian forces may play in general Imperial defence.


That is just what we do not do.


I would like to know what portion of the Indian Army is paid for by the British Treasury as a part of the general conduct of the Imperial forces, and what part falls upon the Indian budget.


That is raising a very wide issue, which is wider than is actually raised by the Amendment. Let me say to the hon. Member in a sentence that we do not keep an army for this kind of contingency in India; we keep an army to provide for the defence and the internal security of India, and we use Indian troops outside India only in the event of the situation in India making that safe. We do not keep extra units there for Imperial purposes.


Although we have the assurance of the right hon. Gentleman, he is unable to point to any statutory distinction between Indian troops maintained for the safety of India and Indian troops that may at any moment be used outside India for Imperial defence purposes. If the Governor-General is given power at the instance of the Imperial Parliament to move troops outside India whenever he is so inclined, that power is taken into account in determining the strength of the Imperial defence forces. The right hon. Gentleman says that it is not, but how are we to know that it is not? All that we know is that they are chargeable to the Indian Budget, and they may be moved outside India. What we want is to say that they shall not be moved outside India without the consent of the Indians themselves. The movement of troops in the way that might be contemplated seems to me to be highly undesirable, because very great difficulties sometimes arise. I think it is true that great feeling arose in the Rhineland because the French used black troops; and very grave feeling has arisen in the Asturias in Spain as a consequence of the use of Moors to quell civil disorder.


The hon. Member is now getting outside the Amendment. The Amendment would not limit the use of Indian troops outside India; it only says that the consent of Indian Ministers shall be required.


I was merely making use of an illustration to show that the use of troops in another country was highly undesirable without some definite safeguard that they would not be so used except in very grave circumstances. It seems to me that in asking for this Amendment we are asking for something that is quite reasonable, and, in refusing it, the right hon. Gentleman gives the impression that the Indians are not only not going to be allowed self-government in India, but may be merely used as pawns in an Imperial game which they themselves have no chance of determining.


I am rather perturbed by the statement of the Secretary of State that, if Indian troops were used outside India, it would be the British taxpayer who would have to bear the burden.


That is the case now.


Now that a constitution is being given to India, it should come to an end—


That question cannot possibly arise on this Amendment. If it arises at all, it arises on Clause 148.

10.34 p.m.


I fancy that the Secretary of State was slightly in error just now. He said that the Joint Select Committee found that they could not make a distinction between the case in which troops were sent out of India for purposes of Indian defence in its widest sense, and the case in which they were sent out of India for purposes altogether unconnected with Indian defence, such as a petty war in Shanghai, which would not involve the defence of India even in its very widest sense. The Committee did make a distinction. They said, in the first place, that they did not recommend that the power of the Governor-General should be limited in this matter. In the second case, that of Indian troops being sent across the sea for some purpose unconnected with the defence of India, we should not agree to do that without consultation with the Minister.


I said so.


But of course they did say that the question as to whether the troops were in the one category or the other should be left to the discretion of the Governor-General. We agree with that, because that is what our Amendment states. The Joint Select Committee recommends that in the second case, when it is proposed that Indian troops should be sent out of India for purposes unconnected with the defence of India, the Minister ought to be consulted. Where is that power to be found in the Bill? Does it come within the Instruments of Instructions? I cannot find it in the Bill. I would like the Minister to answer that point. We want to go further. We say that in a case where the defence of India is not involved, not merely should the Minister be consulted but his consent should be given before Indian troops are sent oversea away from the place where they have enlisted and the country which they have enlisted to defend. If they are sent away from India for Imperial purposes not connected, even in the widest sense, with Indian defence it is only reasonable that the consent of Indian Ministers should be granted, and I ask the Goverment to consider that point also.


I shall answer the hon. Gentleman's question at once by referring him to paragraph XVII of the Instruments of Instructions which provides that the Governor-General: shall bear in mind the desirability of ascertaining the views of his Ministers when he shall have occasion to consider matters relating to the general policy of appointing Indian officers to Our Indian Forces or the employment of Our Indian Forces on service outside India.

Question put, "That those words be there inserted."

The Committee divided: Ayes, 33; Noes, 207.

Division No. 71.] AYES. [10.40 p.m.
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Edwards, Charles Maxton, James
Banfield, John William Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Milner, Major James
Batty, Joseph Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale
Bevan, Anourin (Ebbw Vale) Griffiths, George A. (Yorks,W.Riding) Parkinson, John Allan
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Grundy, Thomas W. Rathbone, Eleanor
Cape, Thomas Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvil) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cleary, J. J. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, North)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, William G. Lawson, John James Wilmot, John
Daggar, George Logan, David Gilbert
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Lunn, William TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Mainwaring, William Henry Mr. John and Mr. Paling.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea) O'Connor, Terence James
Albery, Irving James Gillett, Sir George Masterman O'Donovan, Dr. William James
Alexander, Sir William Goff, Sir Park O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh
Allen, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd) Gower, Sir Robert Orr Ewing, I. L.
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.) Palmer, Francis Noel
Apsley, Lord Graves, Marjorie Patrick, Colin M.
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Greene, William P. C. Peake, Osbert
Atholl, Duchess of Grigg, Sir Edward Pearson, William G.
Bailey, Eric Alfred George Grimston, R. V. Petherick, M.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Peto, Geoffrey K.(W'verh'pt'n, Bilston)
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Guy, J. C. Morrison Radford, E. A.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M. Hacking, Rt. Hon. Douglas H. Raikes, Henry V. A. M.
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell Hamilton, Sir R W.(Orkney & Zetl'nd) Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich)
Belt, Sir Alfred L. Harvey, Major Sir Samuel (Totnes) Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian)
Blindell, James Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Boulton, W. W. Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Ramsbotham, Herwald
Bower, Commander Robert Tatton Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Wallar Rankin, Robert
Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. Rea, Walter Russell
Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Hornby, Frank Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Brass, Captain Sir William Howard, Tom Forrest Reid, David D. (County Down)
Briscoe, Capt. Richard George Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Brown, Brig.-Gen.H.C.(Berks., Newb'y) Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Remer, John R.
Burghley, Lord Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Rickards, George William
Burnett, John George Jackson, J. C. (Heywood & Radcliffe) Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
Butler, Richard Austen James, Wing-Com. A. W. H. Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Butt, Sir Alfred Janner, Barnett Rothschild, James A. de
Cadogan, Hon. Edward Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Ker, J. Campbell Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Caporn, Arthur Cecil Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chaster, City) Kerr, Hamilton W. Salmon, Sir Isldore
Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.) Kirkpatrick, William M. Samuel, M. R. A. (W'ds'wth, Putney).
Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham) Knox, Sir Alfred Sandeman, Sir A. N. Stewart
Chamberlain, Rt.Hn.Sir J.A.(Birm., W.) Latham, Sir Herbert Paul Savery, Samuel Servington
Clarry, Reginald George Leckie, J. A. Scone, Lord
Cochrane, Commander Hon. A. D. Leech, Dr. J. W. Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Colfox, Major William Philip Lennox-Boyd, A. T. Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
Colman, N. C. D. Levy, Thomas Simmonds, Oliver Edwin
Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J. Lewis, Oswald Smiles, Lieut.-Col. Sir Walter D.
Cook, Thomas A. Liddall, Walter S. Smithers, Sir Waldron
Courtauld, Major John Sewell Lindsay, Kenneth (Kilmarnock) Somervell, Sir Donald
Courthope, Colonel Sir George L. Lindsay, Noel Ker Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Craddock, Sir Reginald Henry Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe- Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Cranborne, Viscount Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland)
Croft, Brigadier-General Sir H. Lockwood, John C. (Hackney, C.) Steel Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Crooke, J. Smedley MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C.G.(Partick) Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Crookshank, Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro) MacAndrew. Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.
Cruddas, Lieut.-Colonel Bernard McCorquodale, M. S. Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Culverwell, Cyril Tom MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Tate, Mavis Constance
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C. Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Davies, Maj. Geo. F.(Somerset, Yeovil) McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Davison, Sir William Henry McKie, John Hamilton Todd, Lt.-Col. A. J. K. (B'wick-on-T.)
Denville, Alfred McLean, Major Sir Alan Tufnell, Lieut-Commander R. L.
Dickie, John P. McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Dugdale, Captain Thomas Lionel Macquisten, Frederick Alexander Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Dunglass, Lord Magnay, Thomas Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Eden, Rt. Hon. Anthony Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Elmley, Viscount Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Watt, Major George Steven H.
Emmott, Charles E. G. C. Marsden, Commander Arthur Wells, Sydney Richard
Emrys- Evans, P. V. Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.) White, Henry Graham
Essenhigh, Reginald Clare Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Fermoy, Lord Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Williams, Herbert G. (Croydon, S.)
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Fraser, Captain Sir Ian Morrison, G. A. (Scottish Univer'ties) Windsor-Clive, Lieut.-Colonel George
Fremantle, Sir Francis Nall, Sir Joseph Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Fuller, Captain A. G. Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Womersley, Sir Walter
Ganzonl, Sir John Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid
Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton North, Edward T. TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) Nunn, William Sir Frederick Thomson and Lieut-
Colonel Sir A. Lambert-Ward.

Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."


We are not satisfied with the way our Amendments have been dealt with, and we propose to vote against the Clause standing part.



10.46 p.m.


May I appeal to the Committee There has been an agreement made to reach a certain point to-night. May we have the Division now?


Excuse me. I are not objecting to the Division being taken, but I am objecting to any notion that we are to go on debating until Clause anything.


I did not mean to imply that there had been any suggestion to keep the House up late, but I did want to suggest to the Committee that there had been an agreement to reach some point to-night. If we debate every Clause and every Amendment, we are not going to keep any arrangement.


I have heard no protest from the Chair about the prolonged discussion by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen who are Members of the party on the other side of the House. To-night, it happens—we cannot help it—that a number of our Amendments are on the Order Paper, but I do not think anyone can charge us with having prolonged discussions on any one of them. Whatever agreement was made it was an agreement that all of us should have a fair and reasonable chance, and I think that any attempt to keep us late to-night on the Amendments that we have to move would be rather unfair.


I hope the right hon. Gentleman did not think that I was making any reflection upon him or his supporters in regard to this matter. I was only saying that I understood there had been an agreement.




If I am wrong, then I have been misinformed, and I apologise to the Committee. I understood that there had been an agreement, and I was suggesting that we had discussed this Clause—I do not say at any undue length—and that I thought we might come to other important points. If the Committee desires further to discuss it, I am in the hands of the Committee.


With very great respect, I would point out that there have been certain Amendments moved to this Clause, and that as a rule the party whose Amendments have not been accepted make speeches against the Clause standing part. My hon. Friend the Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) made no speech against the question, "That the Clause stand part," but simply said that our Amendments had not been dealt with satisfactorily, and that we proposed to take a Division. Then hon. Members on the other side wanted to speak, and it was against the statement that you made then that I protested.


I understood—I may have been mistaken—that the hon. Member for Caerphilly (Mr. Morgan Jones) who represented the right hon. Gentleman's party was satisfied with the discussion and that he was ready to take a Division on the Question: "That the Clause stand part." I realised that he did not wish to continue the discussion, and I was hoping that other hon. Members would take the same view and not continue the debate.


We must be quite clear about this. There is no agreement—no discussed agreement—with us, although there may have been with other people, and it was that suggestion that I resented very strongly indeed.


I only hope the right hon. Gentleman did not think for one moment that I was suggesting that the party which he leads had not kept an agreement. I was given to understand, perhaps mistakenly, that there was an agreement between all parties in the House that we should progress, at any rate to the end of the next Clause, without sitting unduly long. If I was mistaken, I beg the right hon. Gentleman's pardon. I did not suggest that any member of his party had taken an undue share of the proceedings. I hope he did not think that.


I hope the right hon. Gentleman will not feel any sense of grievance. There was no definite agreement. At the same time, there was a general conversation between the various sections and there was a general wish, shared, I think, by everybody, to get on as far as we can. I do not want to press it further than that, but I hope that we shall get on as far as we can.

10.51 p.m.

Wing-Commander JAMES

The last thing I want to do is to detain the Committee, but I had given notice that I wished to raise a point of substance which, I believe, I cannot raise at a later stage. If I can raise the point later and you, Captain Bourne, will inform me of the fact, I will at once give way. Under this Clause the Governor-General is allowed to appoint three counsellors to assist him in the execution of certain functions. I did not put an Amendment down on the subject, because I knew perfectly well that the Government are open to all reasonable suggestions, and if there is substance in my point, they will at a later stage themselves probably deal with the matter. I do not see how the Governor-General will be able to exercise his special responsibilities in respect of the excluded and partially excluded areas unless there is some central machinery for the purpose. This is not a small problem. The measure of the problem may be judged by the Sixth Schedule to, the Bill which covers a population of something like 13,000,000 people. Further than that, there are at least another 12,000,000 of these primitive tribes who will be the special responsibility of the Governors, and therefore also of the Governor-General, to be dealt with. I very much hope that at a later stage the Government are going to include more of these people in the Sixth Schedule. Whether they are excluded or not does not affect the fact that these people will remain a special responsibility of the Governor-General and I should be grateful if the Secretary of State could indicate what machinery he has in mind whereby-the Governor-General can carry out the responsibilities which I know the Secretary of State wishes him to exercise.

10.53 p.m.

Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN

Unlike hon. Members on the other side who have been trying to whittle down the safeguards regarding defence and the Army, I am concerned far more to ask for some assurance that the safeguard regarding defence is a real safeguard. There is no question that the whole Bill will be useless, and that any reforms in India will be useless unless the Army, and the British Army particularly, is a real safeguard. You may say what you like, but in the East, even if you do not govern by the sword, it is the Army, and the British Army, that is the power behind the throne. The Joint Select Committee evidently realised that fact, because they comment that under the great Mogul Empire personal rule was very effective, and they refer to the awful position of India when that strong Mogul rule was overthrown. I want to get some assurances on this point, for the defence problem is unlike foreign affairs or ecclesiastical affairs, which are dealt with in this Clause. Those affairs can be transacted on paper, in offices, but when you come to the Army or other defence forces that means much dependence on the good will of Indian ministers. If posts, telegraphs, wireless and the police are interfered with it means that the Army is no safeguard. It cannot be moved unless Indian ministers are in touch with the Commander-in-Chief and the Viceroy. I do not think it is realised by the Government, certainly not by hon. Members opposite, what the British Army is in India for. I am going to read what the Commander-in-Chief said on this subject in the Legislature last July, he has probably done more for Indianisation than any Commander-in-Chief. He said, in defending the Budget estimate of last year: His business was to provide security principally of the frontiers. That was an Imperial commitment, but it was far more an Indian one and India was still the most tempting bait in the world for invasion. The large majority of the troops, between 30,000 and 40,000, were not kept for war purposes, they were kept for internal security, for the ports, coasts and lines of communication. No other Commander-in-Chief was in the same position. In France and in Germany and in every other country—


I do not see what this has to do with this Clause?

Brigadier-General BROWN

It is a matter of defence. I am pointing out that if the army loses the power to move you will lose everything, this Bill and everything else. I want to point out the reason why the army is kept for internal defence. The Commander-in-Chief went on to say: He would venture in all earnestness to suggest that if Indian politicians would pay less attention to how much Sikhs, Moslems, Hindus and Untouchables were going to get out of this and out of that and more attention to making India into a nation, it would not only be better for their political future but would almost immediately reduce the cost of defence.


I cannot see the relevancy of the argument to the question of the Clause standing part. The hon. and gallant Member must raise it somewhere else in the Bill; this is hardly the occasion for making a, general speech on the army in India.

Brigadier-General BROWN

I want an assurance that the army will be a real safeguard in the circumstances. Indian ministers may do many things to hamper the army, and I think it is absolutely necessary that the Commander-in-Chief should be one of the three counsellors to be appointed, and that he should be kept in touch with Indian ministers and the Government; otherwise, the army will not be the real safeguard it should be. It is useless to reserve defence unless the Viceroy also controls the means of communication right from the ports.

11.0 p.m.


Let me deal, in the first place, with the question of the excluded areas raised by the hon. and gallant Member for Wellingborough (Wing-Commander James), who is a great expert on these matters. The main responsibility will rest not with the Federal Government but with the Provinces. As far as the centre is concerned, the Governor-General can have what staff he requires to deal with it. It may be that he will give a portfolio to one or other of his councillors, but in any case he will have what staff is necessary.

As to my hon. and gallant Friend question about the Army, let me reassure him as far as I can. The Army will be a reserved department, directly under the Governor-General with responsibility to this Parliament, and the Governor-General will have the power of intervening in other Department, for instance if the railway department has trenched upon his special responsibility for defence. I think, therefore, that if my hon. and gallant Friend will look into the question with greater detail he will find that the position is as safe as we can make it. It is also worth noting that throughout these discussions and in the preparation of these proposals we have relied very much on the advice of the Commander-in-Chief, to whom my hon. and gallant Friend himself has paid a well-merited tribute.

11.2 p.m.


I was very sorry to hear that you, Mr. Deputy-Chairman, could not call an Amendment in the' name of an hon. Friend, for I am certain that the Government would have accepted it. We wanted to raise the number of councillors from three to six, with the idea of getting one councillor specially appointed to look after the trade interests between this country and India. It is very important that we should have some sort of safeguard. When this Bill goes through, if it ever goes through, we shall be in the position that the fiscal convention will mean as little in the future, or even less, than it has meant in the past, with the people of Lancashire walking in the streets and the people of Ahmenabad drawing dividends. I want to get that put right.

Question put, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill,"

The Committee divided: Ayes, 186; Noes, 35.

Division No. 72.] AYES. [11.4 p.m.
Acland-Troyte, Lieut.-Colonel Bowyer, Capt. Sir George E. W. Cazalet, Thelma (Islington, E.)
Albery, Irving James Boyce, H. Leslie Cazalet, Capt. V. A. (Chippenham)
Alien, Lt.-Col. J. Sandeman (B'k'nh'd) Braithwaite, J. G. (Hillsborough) Chamberlain, Rt. Hn.Sir J.A.(Birm,, W.)
Amery, Rt. Hon. Leopold C. M. S. Brass, Captain Sir William Clarry, Reginald George
Apsley, Lord Briscoe, Capt. Richard George Colfox, Major William Philip
Astor, Viscountess (Plymouth, Sutton) Buchan-Hepburn, P. G. T. Colman, N. C. D.
Baldwin, Rt. Hon. Stanley Burghley, Lord Colville, Lieut.-Colonel J.
Balfour, Capt. Harold (I. of Thanet) Burnett, John George Cook, Thomas A.
Barclay-Harvey, C. M, Butler, Richard Austen Courthope, Colonel Sir George L.
Beauchamp, Sir Brograve Campbell Butt, Sir Alfred Cranborne, Viscount
Belt, Sir Alfred L. Cadogan, Hon. Edward Crooke, J. Smedley
Blindell, James Campbell-Johnston, Malcolm Crookshank. Capt. H. C. (Gainsb'ro)
Boulton, W. W. Caporn, Arthur Cecil Cruddas, Lieut-Colonel Bernard
Bower, Commander Robert Tatton Cayzer, Sir Charles (Chester, City) Culverwell, Cyril Tom
Davidson, Rt. Hon. J. C. C. Latham, Sir Herbert Paul Rathbone, Eleanor
Davies, Maj. Geo. F. (Somerset, Yeovil) Leckie, J. A. Rea, Walter Russell
Denville, Alfred Leech, Dr. J. W. Reed, Arthur C. (Exeter)
Dickie, John P. Liddall, Walter S. Reid, James S. C. (Stirling)
Dugldale, Captain Thomas Lionel Lindsay, Kenneth (Kilmarnock) Reid, William Allan (Derby)
Duncan, James A. L. (Kensington, N.) Lindsay, Noel Ker Rickards, George William
Eastwood, John Francis Lister, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip Cunliffe- Rosbotham, Sir Thomas
Eden, Rt. Hon. Anthony Little, Graham-, Sir Ernest Ross Taylor, Walter (Woodbridge)
Elmley, Viscount Lloyd, Geoffrey Rothschild, James A. de
Emrys- Evans, P. V. Lockwood, John C, (Hackney, C.) Russell, Alexander West (Tynemouth)
Evans, David Owen (Cardigan) MacAndrew, Lieut.-Col. C. G. (Partick) Rutherford, John (Edmonton)
Fermoy, Lord MacAndrew, Capt. J. O. (Ayr) Rutherford, Sir John Hugo (Liverp'l)
Foot, Isaac (Cornwall, Bodmin) McCorquodale, M. S. Salmon, Sir Isidore
Fraser, Captain Sir Ian MacDonald, Malcolm (Bassetlaw) Samuel, M. R. A. (W'ds'wth, Putney).
Fremantle, Sir Francis Macdonald, Capt. P. D. (I. of W.) Sassoon, Rt. Hon. Sir Philip A. G. D.
Fuller, Captain A. G. McEwen, Captain J. H. F. Savery, Samuel Servington
Ganzonl, Sir John McKie, John Hamilton Shaw, Helen B. (Lanark, Bothwell)
Gault, Lieut.-Col. A. Hamilton McLean, Major Sir Alan Shaw, Captain William T. (Forfar)
George, Major G. Lloyd (Pembroke) McLean, Dr. W. H. (Tradeston) Simmonds, Oliver Edwin
George, Megan A. Lloyd (Anglesea) Makins, Brigadier-General Ernest Smithers, Sir Waldron
Gillett, Sir George Masterman Mander, Geoffrey le M. Somervell, Sir Donald
Goff, Sir Park Margesson, Capt. Rt. Hon. H. D. R. Somerville, D. G. (Willesden, East)
Gower, Sir Robert Marsden, Commander Arthur Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Fylde)
Graham, Sir F. Fergus (C'mb'rl'd, N.) Mason, Col. Glyn K. (Croydon, N.) Stanley, Rt. Hon. Oliver (W'morland)
Graves, Marjorie Mayhew, Lieut.-Colonel John Steel-Maitland, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur
Grigg, Sir Edward Mills, Sir Frederick (Leyton, E.) Stuart, Lord C. Crichton-
Grimston, R. V Mills, Major J. D. (New Forest) Sueter, Rear-Admiral Sir Murray F.
Guest, Capt. Rt. Hon. F. E. Molson, A. Hugh Elsdale Sugden, Sir Wilfrid Hart
Guy, J. C. Morrison Monsell, Rt. Hon. Sir B. Eyres Tate, Mavis Constance
Hamilton, Sir R. W.(Orkney & Ztl'nd) Morris-Jones, Dr. J. H. (Denbigh) Thomas, James P. L. (Hereford)
Harvey, Major Sir Samuel (Totnes) Morrison, William Shepherd Thomson, Sir Frederick Charles
Haslam, Henry (Horncastle) Nation, Brigadier-General J. J. H. Titchfield, Major the Marquess of
Herbert, Major J. A. (Monmouth) Normand, Rt. Hon. Wilfrid Tufnell, Lieut.-Commander R. L.
Hills, Major Rt. Hon. John Waller North, Edward T. Wallace, Captain D. E. (Hornsey)
Hoare, Lt.-Col. Rt. Hon. Sir S. J. G. O'Donovan, Dr. William James Ward, Lt.-Col. Sir A. L. (Hull)
Hornby, Frank O'Neill, Rt. Hon. Sir Hugh Ward, Irene Mary Bewick (Wallsend)
Howard, Tom Forrest Orr Ewing, I. L. Ward, Sarah Adelaide (Cannock)
Howitt, Dr. Alfred B. Palmer, Francis Noel Wardlaw-Milne, Sir John S.
Hunter, Dr. Joseph (Dumfries) Patrick, Colin M. Warrender, Sir Victor A. G.
Inskip, Rt. Hon. Sir Thomas W. H. Peake, Osbert Watt, Major George Steven H.
Jackson, Sir Henry (Wandsworth, C.) Pearson, William G. Wells, Sydney Richard
Jackson, J. C. (Heywood & Radcliffe) Petherick. M, White, Henry Graham
James, Wing.-Com. A. W. H. Peto, Geoffrey K. (W'verh'pt'n, Bilst'n) Whiteside, Borras Noel H.
Janner, Barnett Radford, E. A. Williams, Charles (Devon, Torquay)
Joel, Dudley J. Barnato Ramsay, Alexander (W. Bromwich) Wilson, Clyde T. (West Toxteth)
Ker, J. Campbell Ramsay, Capt. A. H. M. (Midlothian) Winterton, Rt. Hon. Earl
Kerr, Lieut.-Col. Charles (Montrose) Ramsay, T. B. W. (Western Isles)
Kerr, Hamilton W. Ramsbotham, Herwald TELLERS FOR THE AYES.—
Kirkpatrick, William M. Rankin, Robert Sir George Penny and Sir Walter
Addison, Rt. Hon. Dr. Christopher Greenwood, Rt. Hon. Arthur Maxton, James
Banfield, John William Grenfell, David Rees (Glamorgan) Milner, Major James
Batey, Joseph Griffiths, George A. (Yorks.W. Riding) Orr Ewing, I. L.
Bevan, Aneurin (Ebbw Vale) Groves, Thomas E. Parkinson, John Allen
Brown, C. W. E. (Notts., Mansfield) Grundy, Thomas W. Raikes, Henry V. A. M.
Cape, Thomas Hall, George H. (Merthyr Tydvll) Smith, Tom (Normanton)
Cleary, J. J. Jones, Morgan (Caerphilly) Strauss, G. R. (Lambeth, North)
Cocks, Frederick Seymour Lansbury, Rt. Hon. George Tinker, John Joseph
Cove, William G. Lawson, John James Wilmot, John
Daggar, George Lennox-Boyd, A. T.
Davies, David L. (Pontypridd) Logan, David Gilbert TELLERS FOR THE NOES.—
Davies, Rhys John (Westhoughton) Lunn, William Mr. John and Mr. Paling.
Edwards, Charles Mainwaring, William Henry

11.10 p.m.


I beg to move, "That the Chairman do report Progress, and ask leave to sit again."

I make this Motion in order to invite the Secretary of State to tell us how far he proposes to go to-night. From our point of view, Clause 12 contains problems which we regard as of the very first importance. Probably to no other part of the Bill do we attach more importance than we do to our Amendments on this Clause. I think the right hon. Gentleman will agree—I am not asking him to give us a bouquet—that in presenting our Amendments to-night we have been as brief as the circumstances would justify and have not unduly consumed the time of the Committee, and we have done our best, so long as we were discharging our duty as an Opposition, to facilitate the transaction of public business. I ask the right hon. Gentleman, therefore, having regard to the fact that we attach the greatest importance to Clause 12, to allow us to take some portion of the Clause, or, rather, to state how far he proposes to go with the Clause before letting us adjourn.

11.12 p.m.


I own that I had hoped we should have got a good deal farther than that. At the same time, there has been no kind of obstruction in any quarter of the Committee, certainly not from the benches opposite. Would it not have been possible to have gone on, say, until a quarter to 12 or 12, and to see how far we could get? I should be very glad if we could. We are already a good deal behind the provisional time-table to which the various sections agreed, and if we could make some further progress to-night, I should be very grateful. At the same time I do not want to press hon. and right hon. Members opposite further than they really can go, nor do I wish to press the Members of any other section of the Committee, but I should be very grateful if we could go on till a quarter to 12.

11.13 p.m.


I should be very glad if it were possible to meet the right hon. Gentleman, but he will, I am sure, appreciate that it is an extremely onerous task that falls on, a few of us in this matter. I have no right to speak for others, but we are exceedingly anxious to have ample opportunities to prepare our case in regard to our Amendments on page 473 of the Order Paper, and might I suggest that we should go to the bottom of page 472 to-night, although that covers the right hon. Gentleman's own proposals rather than ours?

11.14 p.m.


Like the hon. Gentleman opposite, I have felt a certain amount of anxiety about how we are to get through this great mass of business within the time that we have agreed, and allow proportionate discussion of the salient points, but it seems to me that we need not be too much worried if the six-day limit which was provisionally assigned to the first 45 Clauses of the Bill is not achieved, or even if an eight-day limit is net achieved, because the Committee is working its way into this Bill, a great many matters are arising which people can see are the real questions at issue, and, on the other hand, a lot of mere machinery will fall into the background and can be relegated to its proper position.

I had hoped we might have got further to-night, but I think the Government would be well advised on the whole not to be unduly alarmed because the progress has not been according to the original schedule. We might go to-night as far as the hon. Gentleman suggests and take the first Amendment to Clause 12. On the whole, it is an important Clause and touches the Lancashire case, and the whole question of the powers of the Governor-General, whether it be, in fact, responsible government or not, and the reaction of that on the attitude of Indian public opinion. If the Government would be content just to break into Clause 12, I do not think they would be getting into a position where the later stages of the discussions of the Bill would be unduly cramped.

Viscount WOLMER

I think we ought to sit until 12 o'clock, because, if we adjourn at 11 o'clock every night, we shall not get our fair share of the 30 days.

11.16 p.m.


I am anxious, if we can, to proceed by general agreement. I cannot possibly fail to respond to the appeal that has been made. As long as we all accept the general position that we are going to get through within the limit of time, we must work by genera] agreement. That being so, we will take the next Amendment, and, when we reach the Amendments in the names of hon. Gentlemen opposite, we will move to report Progress.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.