HC Deb 25 January 1940 vol 356 cc767-8
42. Mr. Edmund Harvey

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether it is proposed to hold any inquiry into the allegations made by Mr. Jinnah, on behalf of the Moslem League, with regard to the treatment of minorities by the Congress Governments which have recently resigned office?

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

I cannot believe that the interests of either party to this dispute, or of the people of India as a whole, would be served by any formal inquiry into this matter. Any such inquiry would necessarily have to proceed on evidence taken all over India and would last many months, in the course of which communal feeling already sufficiently strained would be likely to become greatly embittered.

43. Mr. Harvey

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether, when the Ministries of the Congress Party took office in the Provinces, each Prime Minister invited the Governor to advise him if the Ministry should appear to be disregarding the rights of minorities; and whether such representations were made by any Governor?

Sir H. O'Neill

A leading member of the Congress Working Committee in a statement published on 10th December last said, amongst other things, that at his instance every Congress Premier had invited the Governor unhesitatingly to intervene in matters affecting the rights and interests of the minorities ITN, henever the Governor felt that the action of the Ministry was not correct; he also said that when the Moslem complaints were repeated he had again instructed every Premier to invite the Governor's attention to them as they also affected the Governor. My information is that, according to the Governors' recollections, in the case of one Province only did anything occur between the Governor and the Premier corresponding to these instructions.

Mr. Harvey

Is it contrary to the public interest to say what was the Province?

Sir H. O'Neill

It was Bombay.

Sir A. Knox

Was not the Governor of Bombay the best of the Governors?