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Students (Passages To Britain)

Volume 414: debated on Monday 15 October 1945

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asked the Undersecretary of State for India why, in view of the official announcement that one of the causes of the slow rate of Service releases is lack of transport, the Government of India has arranged for a large number of Indian students to be transported to this country by troopship this month.

In order to make space available for the returning troops it has been necessary to make drastic cuts in urgent transport of civilians to and from India. But the training abroad of numbers of Indian students is an essential part of India's plans for the post-war period. Places had been arranged at Universities and Training Institutions in this country for the academic year now beginning, and the whole programme would have been delayed for twelve months if the students could not have been brought to this country. Cancellation or postponement of such passages would have rightly been regarded as serious breach of faith. It is not unusual in war-time for civilians to travel in troopships and this form of accommodation was provided in order to get the students here in time for the academic year.