§ 37 Major Wyatt
asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is aware that the free cigarette issue to Indian other ranks in the Indian army has been cancelled; and whether he will take steps to reinstitute this free issue.
§ Mr. A. Henderson
There has been no cancellation of the free cigarette issue to Indian other ranks. My hon. and gallant Friend is presumably referring to the abolition in April last of the semi-concessional areas within the India Command. In 1942 when the Japanese threat was acute, parts of Southern and Eastern India in which troops were concentrated owing to their vulnerability to attack were declared semi-concessional areas. In these areas a free cigarette issue was given to Indian troops. When the Japanese threat to India had been removed, however, it was decided to abolish such areas. This involved the withdrawal of the free cigarette issue and a return to uniform treatment of all Indian troops in India.