HC Deb 15 May 1941 vol 371 cc1262-3
61. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of Supply what is the nature of the organisation set up in India after the Roger Mission on Supplies and the Far Eastern Conference at Delhi; how many Indians are serving on it; and what is its relation to the Governments of Great Britain, India and the Dominions?

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply (Mr. Harold Mac-millan)

The Eastern Group Conference in November last recommended that an Eastern Group Supply Council should be set up, with representatives of the Governments of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa and India, to co-ordinate the production and supply of munitions and stores to meet the requirements of the Forces in the area East of Suez. This recommendation was accepted by all the Governments concerned, and the Council entered upon its duties on 31st March. The United Kingdom representative is Chairman of the Council, and the Government of India have appointed Mr. M. S. A. Hydari as their representative, and have lent certain officers for service with the secretariat of the Council. As I have indicated, the Council acts as a co-ordinating body on behalf of the participating Governments.

Mr. Sorensen

Am I to understand that only one Indian has been appointed to this body, and further, is this a permanent body?

Mr. Macmillan

The body will be in permanent session during the war period. The actual membership of the Council is as I have stated. No doubt there will be other members of the secretariat, but I would like to have specific notice of the question concerning other Indian members who are serving.