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Burma (Constitution)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 22 April 1943

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22.

asked the Secretary of State for Burma the intention of His Majesty's Government regarding the future Government of Burma; whether an alteration of the constitutional position is under consideration; and whether he will consider the advisability of announcing more precisely to the people of Burma the intention of His Majesty's Government respecting the future of their country?

The aim of His Majesty's Government is to assist Burma to attain complete self-government within the British Commonwealth as soon as circumstances permit. This policy has repeatedly been declared. No more precise announcement is possible in present circumstances, especially as it is impossible to foresee what the conditions will be when the liberation of Burma from the Japanese invader has taken place.

Will not the right hon. Gentleman agree that it is highly desirable to impress on the Burmese people our intentions after the war, and is it not true that consideration of a future Constitution for Burma is taking place at present?

We have made it clear to the Burmese people what our general intentions are. Present circumstances do not allow of any more precise statement.

Is it not true that consideration of the matter is taking place at present?