HC Deb 26 February 1942 vol 378 cc336-7
28. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he has any further statement to make respecting the proposals made by Sir Tej Sapru; whether any recent steps have been taken to ascertain the views of Mr. Nehru on this matter; and what representations respecting Sino-Indian relationships and common aspirations have been received by His Majesty's Government?

The Secretary of State for India (Mr. Amery)

The answer to the first two parts of the Question is in the negative. The recent visit of Generalissimo Chiang Kaishek to India has enabled a full exchange of views to take place between him and the Viceroy. The hon. Member has no doubt seen in the Press the text of the very cordial messages exchanged between the Generalissimo and the Viceroy on the former's departure from India.

Mr. Sorensen

Does the right hon. Gentleman feel it would be of some value to communicate with both Sir Tej Sapru and Mr. Nehru on such matters? When are we likely to debate these and similar matters in the House?

Mr. Amery

All these matters will shortly be debated.

Mr. Sorensen

Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to answer the first part of my supplementary question?

Mr. Amery

Mr. Nehru's views have been very freely made public.

Mr. Gallacher

Would the right hon. Gentleman consider inviting Mr. Nehru to form a Government for the defence of India?

29. Wing-Commander James

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he will give an assurance that in any con- sideration for political adjustment in India, due weight will be given to safeguarding the interests of the primitive tribes, as defined in Order in Council, No. 166, of 1936, made under Chapter V, Clauses 91 and 92 of the Government of India Act of 1935, relating to the excluded and partially excluded areas?

Mr. Amery

I can give my hon. and gallant Friend an assurance that His Majesty's Government will be at pains to secure that the interests of the primitive tribes are not overlooked when the time comes for consideration of any modification in the present constitutional arrangements in India.

Wing-Commander James

Would the right hon. Gentleman always bear in mind that, when the appropriate Clauses and Schedules of the India Bill were under discussion, anxiety was expressed from all parts of the House that the interests of the primitive tribes might be specially safeguarded?

Mr. Amery

Yes, Sir.