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Political Detainees

Volume 395: debated on Thursday 2 December 1943

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58.

asked the Secretary of State for India whether the the food situation in India and measures to be taken respecting this was the sole business of the recent two days' conference between the Governor General and the provincial governors; whether political matters in conjunction with food shortage were also considered; and whether the release of political detainees is being considered?

The conference was held for the purpose of an exchange of views and not to take executive decisions. I understand that the food situation and post-war reconstructtion were the main subjects discussed. The answer to the last part of the Question is in the negative.

In view of recent incidents, would it not be advisable to release political prisoners in India, seeing the excellent example which has been set?

There is this difference. No one can accuse the political detainees in India of ever being sympathetic to Japanese or Fascist aggression.

Is it not essential to give them a little food before stuffing them with politics?