HC Deb 14 March 1938 vol 333 cc1-2
3. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he will make a statement respecting difficulties that have arisen out of the recent presentation of the Budget to the legislative assembly?

Lord Stanley

The legislative assembly rejected all the demands for grants presented in connection with the General Budget, and these have all been "restored" in accordance with the provisions of Section 67A (7) of the 9th Schedule to the Government of India Act, 1935. The assembly, further, rejected the motion for consideration of the Finance Bill whereupon the Governor-General "recommended" the Bill in pursuance of Section 67B (1). The assembly refused leave to introduce the "recommended" Bill, which under the provisions of the same Section is to be laid before the Council of State on 17th March. The action of the assembly is understood to be intended as a protest against a change, consequential on the coming into force of the Act of 1935, by which certain small items of expenditure of the Defence Department previously treated as voteable can no longer be so treated. The Governor-General had already, under the powers vested in him by the Act, given directions which provided the assembly with full opportunity of discussion of Defence expenditure proposals; and, as I explained in reply to a supplementary question by the right hon. Member for Gorton (Mr. Benn) on 7th March, it remained open to members of the assembly to signify criticism of Defence policy by moving a reduction of the vote for allowances of the Governor-General's Executive Council.

Mr. Sorensen

Has the right hon. Gentleman any information regarding the possible modification of the Assembly's attitude?

Lord Stanley

No, Sir.