HC Deb 18 November 1946 vol 430 cc487-8
3. Mr. T. Reid

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if he will give an assurance that the Government of India will not undertake bombing from the air against those areas where communal disorders occur.

Mr. A. Henderson

As Mr. Nehru is reported as having recently reminded the Indian Legislature, "The Government of India may not interfere under the existing consitution with Provincial autonomy." Law and order is a subject entirely within the Provincial field of legislation and administration in India. If a Provincial Government were to ask the Government of India for assistance by bombing, the request could clearly be considered only in the light of the circumstances which obviously would be most exceptional. My noble Friend is not prepared to give the assurance asked for. To do so on a hypothetical basis would unwarrantably call in question the ability of the Indian Government to deal wisely with such a situation.