HC Deb 22 July 1935 vol 304 cc1459-60
4. Brigadier-General CLIFTON BROWN

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether the Sikh-Mohammedan troubles at Lahore are now subsiding; and whether any British troops are still employed or held in readiness to restore law and order there?


I regret to state that fresh trouble broke out at Lahore during the week-end. Large crowds of Muslims assembled with the object of proceeding to the Shahidganj Gurdwara. They assumed from the beginning a violent attitude towards the police and despite charges by the police and mounted police, they refused to disperse except temporarily. Firing became necessary on two occasions on Saturday after all other efforts to disperse the crowds had failed, and after a warning had been issued by magistrates, again on three occasions on Sunday when the crowd had again become violent. In all eight rounds were fired on Saturday and 15 on Sunday. The number of persons killed is reported not to exceed 10. At 9 p.m. it was reported that the situation was under control, and responsible Muslims were doing their best to persuade their co-religionists to desist from defiance of the law. Four companies of British troops have been on duty or in reserve during the week-end and will continue to be employed, together with other military forces which have been despatched to Lahore, until the situation returns to normal.

Brigadier-General BROWN

In view of the necessity of employing British troops in these unfortunate communal troubles such as those at Lahore, will my hon. Friend go slow with the plans for the Indianisation of the Indian Army?

Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE

Are British troops only being employed, or are any native troops being employed?


I think that the answer to the last supplementary question will really answer the first. There are, of course, Indian troops available for dealing with these disorders and they have been standing by, but it just happens that these particular companies have been used in the circumstances I have detailed.