HC Deb 08 November 1937 vol 328 cc1375-6
1. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he has received full reports of the circumstances leading to the police opening fire on a students' demonstration in Bangalore on 25th October; whether any of the 60 wounded have since succumbed from their wounds; and what other methods of restraining unarmed crowds of this description, other than firing, were tried?

The Under-Secretary of State for India (Lord Stanley)

The incident, which arose out of the arrest of Mr. Nariman for disobeying an order prohibiting him from speaking, occurred in Mysore State. I understand that eight persons suffering from gunshot wounds, of whom one is reported to have died, and 73 other casualties, of whom about half were policemen, were treated in hospital. It would appear that every attempt was made to persuade the mob to disperse and the police fired only in self-defence in the last resort.

Mr. Gallacher

As these continual shootings may occur time and time again, is it not possible to develop some policy which will ensure regular progress so far as these people are concerned, instead of regular shootings that result in death and mutilation?

Lord Stanley

Shooting is resorted to only in self-defence after every other effort has been tried. If there is any other means of carrying out the purpose without shooting, the police would be only too pleased to use it.

Mr. Gallacher

Is not the right hon. Gentleman aware that the Government that he represents can always find means of coming to an amicable settlement with the aggressive Powers who have guns and tanks? Are we to understand that these people are not entitled to some consideration?

Mr. Kirkwood

What does the right hon. Gentleman mean when he says that every other means had been tried before they started shooting?

Lord Stanley

All other means of peaceful persuasion.

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