HC Deb 16 January 1940 vol 356 cc16-7
27. Mr. Graham White

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is able to make a statement with regard to affairs in India?

The Under-Secretary of State for India (Sir Hugh O'Neill)

There have been no outstanding developments in India since the House adjourned before Christmas. The country as a whole remains quiet. As the hon. Member knows, the Congress ministries in eight provinces have resigned, and the Governors of seven of them are carrying on without the aid of Ministers or Legislatures under the provisions inserted in the Government of India Act to meet such a situation. Responsible government remains in full operation in Bengal, the Punjab, and Sind, and in Assam a successor to the Congress Ministry has been formed, but has not yet met the Provincial Assembly. The Viceroy is in close touch with the situation and, as he stated a few days ago in a speech at Bombay, he is anxious to do anything he can to facilitate agreement among the various parties as a step towards a solution of the present constitutional difficulties.

Mr. White

In view of the fact that all sections in India have a common agreement in regard to opposition to the attack on freedom will the Viceroy and the Government lose no opportunity which presents itself to end the present deadlock?

Sir H. O'Neill

I am sure that will be so.