HC Deb 19 March 1942 vol 378 cc1640-1
34. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Secretary of State for Burma what political parties in Burma have been, or are, suspended or suppressed by law; how many political parties are represented in the legislature and their respective strength; and whether the present Coalition Government of Sir Paw Tun differs materially in its political composition from the Government of U Saw?

Mr. Amery

The Thakin Party was proscribed by the Burmese Home Minister last January on account of fifth-column activities. The chief other parties are the Myochit Party, the United Party, the Sin-ye-tha Party and the Nationalist Party, but I cannot give their respective strength in the House of Representatives as the lines of division are very fluid. The present Coalition Ministry is mostly composed of the Ministers who served under U Saw.

Mr. Sorensen

Ought not the right hon. Gentleman to secure information regarding the composition of the various parties in the Burmese Legislature, and does he not think it significant that much the same Ministers who served under U Saw are also serving under the present Premier?

Mr. Amery

No, Sir, there is no reason to attribute the delinquencies of U Saw to his colleagues.

Sir Percy Harris

Are there among the members of these various parties persons who joined our enemies, the Japanese, when they were in Burma, and have any of them fought against us?

Mr. Amery

No, Sir. Except for the Thakin Party to which I have referred, there is no evidence of fifth-column activity.

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