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Disturbances, Bengal (Use Of British Troops)

Volume 437: debated on Monday 5 May 1947

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12.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for India how many British troops were involved in the recent communal disturbances in Bengal; and what is now the position there.

There has been no occasion to employ British troops in aid of the civil power during the past month, except in Calcutta. The number so employed in Calcutta at the beginning of this month was 750. The present position in Calcutta is that, although sporadic acts of violence are still occurring, the situation has been kept in control, and there has been hardly any rioting. Curfew orders have been freely employed and found effective. In Howrah and Dacca considerable tension continues and some incidents have occurred. Elsewhere in the Province there have been no important communal incidents, though general mistrust and tension between the communities prevails in most parts, despite appeals for unity and peace from the leaders of all parties.

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman realise that the root cause of all this discontent and tension is Communist propaganda, and will he bear that in mind?

I have not that information, but my impression is that they have suffered no casualties.