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India

Volume 237: debated on Monday 24 March 1930

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Railway Official's Memorial

3.

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he has now received the memorial from Mr. C. N. B. Smart, resident engineer in the service of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company; and, if so, what, if any, decision has been come to in regard to the claim of this officer to be admitted to the benefit of the recommendations of the Lee Commission?

This memorial is still with the Government of India. They inform me that the general question of domicile involved in it is proving very difficult to settle. Many officers will be affected by the decision. Both the Government of India and I greatly regret that the disposal of this memorial should have been, in conse- quence, held up for so long, but I have taken steps to secure that no further avoidable delay shall occur.

Will the right hon. Gentleman see whether a mistake is not being made through mixing up this man's case with the case of other entrants? I think that is what is causing the delay. It is a consideration which does not apply in his case. I do not want to press the right hon. Gentleman for an answer, but I would point out that already 18 months have gone by.

If the hon. Member can show me that this is a case that stands by itself, it may be possible to do something, and I would be very happy to hear from him.

Panjab States Subjects' Association (Memorial)

4.

asked the Secretary of State for India whether he has seen the memorial addressed to the Viceroy by the members of the executive Board of the Panjab States Subjects' Association, and reported on by a committee of the States People's Conference, presided over by Mr. Amrital V. Thakkar; if not, will he ask to see this; and, if so, what action does he propose to take?

I have seen a copy of the memorial. As it is addressed to the Viceroy, my understand that the Government of India.

Child Marriage Restraint Act

5.

asked the Secretary of State for India what steps, if any, have been taken by the Government of India to give effect, or to obtain the powers necessary to enable them to give effect, to the following recommendations of the Joshi Age of Consent Committee for the purpose of child Marriage Restraint Act, 1928; that an accurate marriage register be kept through an administrative department of the Government containing certain specified particulars; that there shall be a general Act requiring in districts where not already required compulsory notification of births by the father to a. prescribed local authority; that certificates of marriage and certificates of birth be issued free of cost to the parties concerned; that women police be employed in the investigation of sexual offences and that where these are not available other respectable women be invited to be present; and that women jurors be empanelled in trials for rape, etc.?

Local governments have been consulted on these and other recommendations of the Age of Consent Committee and the Government of India is awaiting their views before arriving at a final decision.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say whether there are any women police in India?

Mr Gandhi (Statements)

6.

asked the Secretary of State for India whether the Government of India has considered the recent statements of Mr. Gandhi in support of the civil disobedience campaign with a view to prosecution for a breach of the law; and, if so, what action it is intended to take?

The policy of the Government of India in these and kindred matters was announced on 25th January by His Excellency the Viceroy, and to this announcement I would draw the attention of the hon. Gentleman.

Medical Degrees

9.

asked the Secretary of State for India if his attention has been drawn to the action of the Indian university authorities which prevents the General Medical Council from being in a position to guarantee the standard of Indian medical degrees and to recognise them for registration on the general medical register; if he is aware that such action will bar future holders of these degrees from the main field of medical practice outside India; and if he will take steps to ensure a reasonable settlement of the question at an early date?

10.

asked the Secretary of State for India what action the Government of India proposes to take following the refusal of the British Medical Council to extend recognition to Indian medical degrees; and whether it is now the intention of the Government of India to introduce into the assembly during the present session legislation embodying proposals for the early establishment of an All-India Medical Council?

I explained the general position in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Brecon (Mr. Freeman) on the 20th March. I am aware that the decision of the General Medical Council will prevent holders of Indian medical degrees gained during the period of non-recognition from practising in this country. The Government of India informed me on the 6th January that they did not expect to be able to introduce legislation for the establishment of a General Medical Council in India during the present session of the Indian Legislative Assembly, and I have not heard from them since on this point.

Is the right hon. Gentleman taking steps to ask the Government of India whether they cannot provisionally agree to make arrangements so that Indian gentlemen who will qualify for practice during the next six months or 12 months may not be finally debarred from practising for the rest of their lives?

These are, naturally, matters on which I am consulting the Indian Government.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the cause of the dispute is the alleged statement that the training of the Indian medical student is not of the standard which the General Medical Council regard as necessary for practitioners in this country?

It would not be suitable in a reply to a supplementary question to deal with the whole question of training.

Air Force Training (Indians)

11.

asked the Secretary of State for India how many of the Indian gentlemen who sat for the military examinations held in India last November qualified for entrance into Cranwell; and what action the Government of India are taking to organise a separate Indian air force?

Elections

12.

asked the Secretary of State for India whether any decision has been arrived at in. regard to the date of the elections to the Legislative Assembly and the Provincial Legislative Councils in India; and, if not, whether he can give any indication as to when he hopes to be in a position to make a statement on this matter?

14.

asked the Secretary of State for India whether any and, if so, how many of the seats in the Central and Provincial Legislatures in India vacated by resignation following upon the decisions of the Lahore Congress are being contested by Congress members?

I am making inquiries and will inform my hon. Friend as soon as I receive the information.