HC Deb 30 June 1960 vol 625 cc144-5W
65. Mr. Sorensen

asked the Minister of State for Commonwealth Relations whether he has received representations from the Government of India in respect of the presence in this country of Mr. A. Z. Phizo, leader of the Naga National Council of India; what was the agreement reached respecting the Nagas on the attainment of Indian independence in 1947; and whether, preceding that agreement, any proposal was considered for the reservation of Naga-occupied areas as a separate British Colony.

Mr. Alport

Her Majesty's Government have received noformal representations from the Government of India. But we have been in touch with the Indian Government over the matter. The Government of India have expressed their views with regard to the status of Mr. Phizo in relation to the law of India and their concern lest there should be any misunderstanding about this in the United Kingdom.

No special provision was made in respect of the Nagas on the attainment of Indian Independence. The Nagas are only one of several Indian hill peoples inhabiting the North-East frontier region of former British India which became part of the Union of India in 1947.

So far as I am aware there was no proposal for the reservation of the specifically Naga inhabited areas as a separate British Colony. A number of proposals for the future of the North-East frontier region were considered in the years before 1947, but it was decided that it would not be in the interests either of the tribesmen or India that the area should be separated from independent India.