HC Deb 26 March 1946 vol 421 cc207-8
47. Mr. Charles Williams

asked the Prime Minister if the Governments of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Canada were consulted about the recent Government declaration on India; and whether he will give an assurance that their approval will be sought for any change in the relationship between India and the British Commonwealth of Nations.

The Prime Minister

I informed the Prime Ministers of the Dominions mentioned by the hon. and gallant Member, of the statement which I was proposing to make in the House of Commons on 15th March. As regards the second part of the Question, His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom will undoubtedly keep His Majesty's Governments in the Dominions fully informed with regard to any major constitutional changes in India.

Mr. Williams

Have the Dominions given their assent in any way, or expressed approval?

The Prime Minister

There is no question of giving assent but I have no reason to doubt that they are in general agreement. If the hon. Gentleman likes to put down a specific question I can give him any detailed replies I have had.

Mr. Godfrey Nicholson

Is the right. hon. Gentleman aware that the relations between India and at least one of the Dominions mentioned are not at present of the happiest and it would cause considerable ill feeling in India if the impression was given that the future of India lay in the hands of that particular Dominion?

The Prime Minister

I quite agree. The constitutional position is as my hon. Friend states.

Sir Ronald Ross

Are the Dominions mentioned in the Question the only ones which were consulted?

The Prime Minister

Yes, Sir—four Dominions.