HC Deb 08 February 1937 vol 320 cc8-9
12. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that a resolution was adopted at the Fiftieth Session of the Indian National Congress at Faizpur, on 27th arid 28th December, declaring that Indian congressmen cannot participate in any celebrations in India in connection with the Coronation and calling on the Indian nation to abstain from participation in all such functions; and whether he will advise His Majesty to abandon his projected visit to India and the holding in that country of a Coronation Durbar on the ground that this visit would be contrary to the wishes of the Indian people?

Mr. Butler

My Noble Friend has seen the text of this resolution; he is sure, as would be anyone who knows India and who takes account of the remarkable demonstrations of loyalty to the Imperial Crown which have occurred there in the last two years, that His Majesty would receive an enthusiastic welcome from the vast majority of the Indian people. That being so, he is not prepared to tender advice based upon a contrary and unsound supposition.

Mr. Gallacher

Arising out of the question, regardless of whether there would be a welcome or not, is not the Minister aware that the extraordinary expenditure on such an event would be an insult to the terrible poverty that affects the masses of the Indian people?

Commander Locker-Lampson

Is not the inauguration of a king not nearly as expensive as the election of presidents and the crowning of commissars?

Major-General Sir Alfred Knox

Will my hon. Friend state whether there is such a thing as an Indian nation?