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India (Constitution)

Volume 360: debated on Thursday 9 May 1940

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11.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India whether he is now able to make a further statement as to the political situation in India?

I regret that I have nothing to add to the answer I gave on Thursday last to a similar Question by the hon. Member for West Leyton (Mr. Sorensen).

May I ask whether an interview has been arranged between the Viceroy and Mr. Gandhi with a view to exploring the possibility of such a settlement as was outlined in the Debate a week or two ago?

I said last week that I was quite sure that the Viceroy would be only too glad to do what he could to bring about such a conference as was suggested, provided it was likely to be acceptable to the different parties in India, and I am sure that the Viceroy will take note of that and act accordingly.

May I ask whether he or the Secretary of State for India is likely to take the initiative in this matter? Does not the right hon. Gentleman realise that everything depends upon initiative?

That is realised, and I think the hon. Member would agree that several times during the last few months the Viceroy has taken the initiative, but nothing has resulted; so far he has had no response.