HC Deb 17 March 1947 vol 435 cc9-10
10. Mr. Skinnard

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is in a position to make a statement about the future of the Gurkha Brigade.

Mr. A. Henderson

The employment of Gurkhas in the future Indian Army is now under consideration by the Government of India, and the question whether any Gurkha troops will be available for employment under His Majesty's Government must await discussions between His Majesty's Government and the Governments of India and Nepal. It is hoped that these discussions will take place shortly.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Does not the right hon. and learned Gentleman realise that the Gurkhas will not serve under an Indian Government but will serve under the British Government, and will he give them every opportunity for service elsewhere than in India?

Mr. Henderson

I am not prepared to go beyond the statement that this question is to be the subject of consultations between the three Governments concerned.

Sir Arthur Salter

Would not the Minister give his personal attention to our moral responsibilities in regard to the Gurkhas, having regard to the character of their long association with us and the difficulty of their present situation?

Mr. Henderson

I would certainly like to say that as far as His Majesty's Government can, they will seek to secure fair and just treatment for these gallant soldiers.

Mr. Sydney Silverman

Will my right hon. and learned Friend undertake that the House will not, in any circumstances, be asked to pass in this connection a Gurkha Resettlement Bill?

Mr. Keeling

Are there not many more Gurkha battalions than one brigade?

Mr. Henderson

I would not like to say the exact number of battalions.

Mr. Gammans

Are any negotiations going on between His Majesty's Government and the Government of Nepal with regard to the employment of Gurkhas in the British Army, quite apart from whether or not they may be used in ale Indian Army?

Mr. Henderson

I am not prepared to go beyond the terms of the answer which I have already given.

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