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Dutch East Indies (Use Of Indian Troops)

Volume 415: debated on Monday 12 November 1945

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asked the Under-Secretary of State for India if he is aware of the public resentment expressed in India against the employment of Indian troops in Indonesia; what action has been taken in respect of the refusal of Indians to load ships bound for Indonesia; whether recognised leaders of Indian political life have been consulted in the matter; and why Mr. Nehru has been refused a pass.

The policy with regard to the employment of British and Indian troops in Indonesia was stated by the Prime Minister in his reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Wallasey on 17th October. In this statement the Prime Minister explained that it was the role of our Forces in this area to disarm the Japanese forces, safeguard Allied exprisoners of war and internees and help to restore normal conditions. The Prime Minister also explained that it was not the desire of His Majesty's Government to be unnecessarily involved in the administration or the political affairs of the country and that it was the Government's policy to withdraw such troops as soon as circumstances permit. I am fully aware of the criticisms that have been made in India on this matter. I have no information as regards the second part of the Question. As regards the third part of the Question, so far as I am aware no consultations have taken place with political leaders in India. The refusal to afford facilities for Mr. Nehru to visit Indonesia was taken with the agreement of the Supreme Allied Commander, in view of the present disturbed conditions in Java which render it undesirable for such a visit to be made.