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Clause 2—(Territories Of The New Dominions)

Volume 440: debated on Monday 14 July 1947

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Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Clause stand part of the Bill."

Following upon the procedure adopted on the first Clause, there are several points to raise on this Clause. It deals with the subject of the territories of the new Dominions, but I suggest that we should not go into detail on the division of Bengal and the Punjab, until we come to Clauses 3 and 4, which deal with their division and on which we shall have a good deal to say. I will not go into these points in detail now, although, of course, they are mentioned in Subsection (2, a) of this Clause, but I want to ask some questions about certain places and areas which do not appear specifically to be mentioned and the future position of which appears uncertain.

The general division of India is clear—that is, the territories which are to be under Pakistan, subject to the Boundary Commission's findings, and the territories which are to be in India—but it is not clear what is to be the position of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and what is to be their future. These islands are situated well out in the ocean, and have had a varied history. They assume a certain importance in present circumstances, not least from the angle of defence, and I would like to ask, first, whether the wording in the Clause:
"territories … which, immediately before the appointed day, were included in British India"
—will cover the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. If it does not, what is suggested should be the future disposal of these islands, and is there any question of their coming to the one or the other part of India? What is it proposed to do with them?

I will not go into the question of defence, beyond mentioning that it is obvious that, with the passing of this Bill, nobody will be more interested in the defence of the Indian Ocean than Indians themselves, whether in India or Pakistan, and the question of Imperial defence will assume just as great an importance in future, as it rightly did in the past, not only during the two great wars, but in the preceding period and since. It is an open fact that the future of these islands and other islands, to which my hon. Friends may refer, may be very interesting from the point of view of Imperial defence, and I would like to know whether the Government have any statement to make on that aspect of the matter.

I would also like to ask a constitutional question about the inhabitants of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Are they, in fact, represented in the Constituent Assembly. If they are included in the definition of British India in this Clause, they would be represented in the Constituent Assembly, but, if they are not included in that definition, they would not be included in the Constituent Assembly, and I should like to ask why, if the latter is the case, they have been left out of this Bill. I think there is an answer which the Government has to make here on the subject of whether the inhabitants of these islands are in any way represented in the Constituent Assembly, and, if not, what their future is to be.

There is another very important matter to which I would make reference and that concerns Berar, which is at present administered under the Government of the Central Provinces. The Governor is called the Governor of the Central Provinces and Berar, but Berar is under the sovereignty of the Nizam of Hyderabad. I will not detain the Committee with a long history of Berar, because I do not think it would enlighten anybody present, as they are already familiar with it. This is that rich part of India whose soil is largely the very rich cotton producing soil, and its capital and other towns are no doubt well known to hon. Members. It has always been an important area of India. It has fallen readily, and I think easily, into the administration of the Central Provinces Government, and has brought to the councils of that Government much of the talent of the Provinces. It would appear that Berar is under the sovereighty of the Nizam of Hyderabad, and would not, therefore, fall within the definition included in this Bill, but would, presumably, remain under the Nizam and within the territory of Hyderabad. I do not know whether any conversations have been proceeding on this subject, but, if they have, it would be interesting if the Government would enlighten us on the subject. It would be interesting to know if there is any up-to-date information on these issues, which we hope may be settled satisfactorily, so that this area may have a happy future in India.

The next question I want to ask is about the North-West Frontier Province. I noticed that, in the rush with which we are passing this Bill, the final information on the result of the referendum has not been made available to the Committee, but I should value very much the latest news of the North-West Frontier position, and would like to know whether there is any news of which I am not yet in possession. I should like to make the observation that, in considering areas like the North-West Frontier Province and other areas which form part of the future mosaic of one or other part of divided India, the most absolute care has been taken to consider the wishes of the inhabitants of the areas in question. That would appear to be the case in regard to the North-West Frontier Province, because anyone looking at the map would really form the view that it should be included in the Northern division of India.

The point I want to make is that, it such areas, and other small areas, are to be given the opportunity of what may be described as self-determination, it is particularly important that the Indian States, which are also mentioned in this Clause, should, individually, be given the opportunity of seeking their own salvation in their own way and of finding themselves, ultimately, in the future of India, in the situation which they desire for themselves. There is a strong case put to us from India that several States desire themselves to seek a state of independence in relation to British India, and not to join either one or other of the divided parts of India. I would suggest that we might consider the States in detail on Clause 7, because I think that we could then divide up the subject more satisfactorily than by going into detail now and having to return to the question of the States when we come to Clause 7, I think it deals most aptly with the States, and we may best discuss the question on it both in fairness to them and ourselves. I would mention also that the tribal areas will come within the scope of Clause 7.

There are some points on Subsection (3) of this Clause which I will leave for other hon. Members speaking from this side of the Committee, but it is, I think, necessary to get the right approach to this Clause on the question of the territories of the new Dominions. I think it is satisfactory that we have been able to get so easily in the Bill the general definitions, and that is all I will say on the general point, though, when we come to the detailed points of the Provinces, I would like to discuss these questions, together with those of the Punjab and Bengal, and that of the States.

I hope that my right hon. and learned Friend will be able to give some assurance in response to the reference to Berar made by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler), and that he will be able to tell us that this territory is among those territories which will form part of the new Dominion of India. This point was raised in last Thursday's Debate by my hon. Friend the Member for Rusholme (Mr. Hutchinson), but my right hon. and learned Friend who replied to the Debate did not deal with that particular point. It is of some importance. There are, I think, some 4 million people concerned, the overwhelming majority of whom are Hindus, who, for a great many years, have been accustomed to a certain measure of democratic representative government. It would seem undesirable that they should be handed back to the Nizam of Hyderabad, even though he has technically retained an ultimate jurisdiction over them. Therefore, I hope that my right hon. and learned Friend will be able to meet us on that point.

I want to say a word or two about the islands of India which, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A Butler) has said, are not mentioned in this Clause, and some of which are of very great importance. Are we to infer that, as they are not mentioned in the Clause, they are to go to the new Dominion of India? First, I will deal with those on the West coast. In the South, there are the Maldive Islands, which I do not think concern this Bill as they are administered by Ceylon. But the Laccadive Islands to the North are now administered by India, and will have to be administered by either one or both of the two new Dominions. I understand that, at the moment, about half of the Laccadives are administered by British India and half by an Indian State? I feel that these islands must have a certain strategic importance, both from the sea and from the air aspect. I would like to ask the Under-Secretary of State whether he has any information to give us as to their future, and whether he can give us an assurance that our position is being considered with regard to those islands.

I would also like to say a few words about the Andamans and the Nicobars. My right hon. Friend has said that these islands too are not referred to in this Clause. Can the Under-Secretary of State say whether, in fact, they come within the provisions of the Bill at all? Can he also say what is the present constitution of the administration of those islands? I understand that, at present, they are administered by the Governor General through a Chief Commissioner. I should like to know whether, in the past, they have actually formed part of the Indian Empire, and also whether, in fact, it is now legal even to consider their division between the two Dominions? As my right hon. Friend has said, they are a long way from India; I can speak of that from personal experience, having done the distance in a small ship in bad weather. They are, of course, very much nearer to Malaya, and they have a great strategic importance. I hope that the Under-Secretary of State will give us an assurance that the matter is being fully considered, and will also tell us what is the legal position at the moment.

4.15 p.m.

I very much hope that the Under-Secretary of State will be able to give us a satisfactory answer to the question about the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, because a question of some importance arises in regard to them. Like my right hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler), with whom I am in entire agreement, I am not trying to make it harder for the Under-Secretary of State. We want the Bill to go through, but I hope that some hon. Members opposite will support the point I am going to put. So far as I know, speaking from my long recollection, these islands have no elected representative in the that a large proportion of their inhabitants are of very primitive race indeed. As the Committee will be aware, one of these islands has been for many years the place where convicts are sent from India. Some of them have settled in those islands. I think I am right in saying, although I speak with some hesitation, because I am not quite sure, that both islands were added to India by the action of the British Navy. I do not think that, historically, they form part of India.

Even in a Bill of this magnitude—and say this in all sincerity, and with no wish to score a party point—I hope that hon. Members opposite, as well as those on this side of the Committee, will have some regard for the wishes and the welfare of the peoples of those islands. If they are to be added to India, what safeguards have they, from either of the potential Indian Governments, that they will have an eventual chance of being included in the Constituent Assembly? In the course of many years, very little has been done for the welfare of these people, but that in no way absolves us from responsibility for what their future shall be. The other point which my right hon. Friend made—with, if I may say so, great discretion, as we all would wish to do when speaking of defence measures—was with regard to the strategic value of these islands.

With regard to the question of Berar, the situation is not quite as simple as the hon. Member for Maldon (Mr. Driberg) seemed to think, it is not a question of what he or, indeed, this Committee considers to be the best, but a question of a treaty. Under the treaty with the Nizam, Berar was leased in perpetuity to the British. The sovereignty of the Nizam continues to be recognized. When we cease to have responsibility for the Government of India, neither this House nor the Government can calmly say to any State that, though the lease which we had of their territory has now ceased to exist, we propose to hand it over, without permission, to our successors. We could not do that; it would be considered as something slightly dishonest. I very much hope that conversations on the subject have taken place with the Nizam, and that we can have a definite assurance on these points to which, I hope, the whole Committee attach considerable importance.

Like the right hon. Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton), I feel that some consideration must be given to the Andaman Islands. I understand that those islands became a penal settlement when Penang ceased to be a penal settlement. At that time, Penang was under the East India Company, and later became a Crown Colony. What are the views of the inhabitants of the Andaman Islands? I should have thought that, in many ways, they would be best placed under the Malayan or Burma Governments. At all events, I think that the people who should decide this question are the inhabitants of those islands themselves. I have no doubt that the Government have been able to obtain some information on this point. If so, we shall be very glad to hear it.

With regard to the question of Berar, I had the opportunity of discussing this subject in India a month or two ago with one of the chief officers of the Nizam, and I think it has many complications. I believe that it would be best for this Committee to let the matter be decided between the Nizam and the Government of India because, at this stage, I do not think that we can decide a matter which is primarily a legal one. We cannot suddenly hand over areas to either one or the other of the new Dominions. I have no doubt that the Nizam, on the one hand, and the Government of India on the other, are perfectly competent to settle this question for themselves. I see nothing in this Clause which decides the fate of Berar.

May I interrupt my hon. Friend? Would he not agree that, as in the case of the islands, this is a matter on which the wishes of the inhabitants could well be consulted?

There is a slight difference. So far as the islands are concerned, the British Government have full authority and, therefore, we can decide their future. With regard to Berar, that is a matter with which another party is concerned, and that is the original sovereign. We want to ensure the happiness of India and we want the Nizam to be perfectly satisfied that the future of his State shall be assured and that nothing is done to which he can legally object. We are not likely to have that satisfactory state of affairs if, without his consent, we take away from him a part of his dominion.

I agree with some of the things which have been said by the hon. Member for South Croydon (Mr. Rees-Williams), but surely the point concerning Berar is settled by the Bill. The Bill definitely states that

"the territories of India shall he the territories under the sovereignty of His Majesty."
I understand that Berar has never been under the sovereignty of His Majesty. The Nizam has always maintained and retained his sovereignty over Berar; I believe that is expressly provided in the 1935 Act, and certainly, if not there, in the treaty made under the 1935 Act. I agree with some of the sentiments expressed by the hon. Member for South Croydon and others, but surely, so far as this point is concerned, it is already settled in the Bill, unless, of course, His Majesty's Government intend to amend the relevant Clause.

What I said was that this Pill does not interfere with the legal position and, therefore, there is no point in raising the question of Berar on this Clause. The hon. Gentleman appears to agree with me.

One of the hon. Member's hon. Friends was not making that point. I now come to a new point in connection with Subsection (3). Perhaps the Under-Secretary of State would say whether it will be more convenient to him if I leave this point until after he has replied to the main points which have already been made, or whether I should introduce it now. Should I continue?

Subsection (3) seems to me to raise matters of general principle concerning the right of accession to the Commonwealth and the right of secession from the Commonwealth. Both are very important points, and I do not feel that I am worthy to go into them, but I would like to make the following comments: first, in connection with the right of accession. It appears that it is open to areas which are not now in the Commonwealth to come into the Commonwealth solely on the vote of the Dominion whom they are joining. That may be a general principle which the Commonwealth has always adopted Certainly if one looks at other parts of the Commonwealth, one can see the advantage of that principle. All I am asking is whether or not this is established as a precedent of Commonwealth law, or whether it is peculiar to this case. I feel that when pushing through Bills as quickly as this, it is dangerous if we make precedents for the future, but if it is quite clear that it is special to this case I am content, because I realise that from the point of view of the Commonwealth and of India, it is most desirable that there should be as much accession as possible. Before leaving that point, I would like the right hon. Gentleman to confirm that it is open not only to the States but also to tribal areas, if they so wish and if the Dominion so wishes, to accede to the Dominion.

So much for accession. I now wish to deal with secession. As I understand it. paragraph (b) of Subsection (3) states the present position as to the right of secession from any part of the British Commonwealth. But it is directly contrary to the provisions of paragraph 15 of the Cabinet Mission's original plan, which allowed for Provinces seceding not by the vote of the whole of the Union but only on the vote of the whole of that Province. As a result of the provisions of paragraph (b), it is going to be very difficult in the future to get the unity of Bengal or of the Punjab. When I say it is going to very difficult, perhaps I should say that it might be made more difficult than it would otherwise be, because there is this limit on the power of any Province in either of the two Dominions to join another Province or another Dominion against the wish of its own Dominion. That seems to me of some importance and, no doubt, it has been taken into account by the right hon. and learned Gentleman who may have a good answer to the point, but I thought it right to mention it.

I would like to refer to the question of Berar. In view of the negotiations at present going on between the representatives of Hyderabad and British India, it seems that, to a large extent, we in this Committee are talking academically about the future of Berar. On the other hand, I think we have definite function in those negotations. Obviously, the leaders of the new India will not support the movement of Berar from the present jurisdiction of British India, to the jurisdiction of Hyderabad, and I think they would be right in that contention. In a dispute of that kind it is our function to urge upon both parties that it is right that it should remain in British India, with which it has had long associations for many years, as was said by the noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton)—

No, the hon. Member should not quote me as having suggested that it should remain in British India. I said it was so determined by a treaty, which is quite a different thing.

I beg the noble Lord's pardon. I mean that he said it had had long associations with British India. If, however, the dispute is found to be too difficult, it should be our duty to recommend to both parties that a referendum should be held there to decide which way the inhabitants want to go. If it is possible to have a referendum in Sylhet and in the North-West Frontier Province, then it is possible to hold one in Berar.

I was interested in what the hon. Member for Aston (Mr. Wyatt) has just said. There is this difficulty in connection with Berar. We are not here to decide what is desirable or what we should recommend, because we are bound by definite treaties. There is another fact. It is all very well to refer to possible negotiations between the Nizam and the Government of India, but do not let us forget that all scales are weighted in favour of the new Dominion of India. If the Government of India put their foot down and say that they will not give up their jurisdiction over Berar, there will be absolutely nothing for the Nizam to do. He cannot enforce his legally just claims by force of arms, because he has a very small army compared with the new Indian Army. There will even be a garrison of Indian Army troops in the middle of his dominions. That should be remembered. It may be highly desirable that we should recommend a referendum, but the scales are definitely weighted in favour of the Government of India, and I ask the Com- mittee to bear that in mind. This is a legal matter, a matter of treaties.

4.30 p.m.

As far as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are concerned, that seems to me to link up with Subsection (3). I cannot very well see how we can encourage referenda in some parts of India and not in other parts. I thought that the original Cabinet Mission plan was that there should be no accession to a new Dominion without the direct assent or request of the various Provinces. If Baluchistan does not wish to join Pakistan, nothing in the world can save it from being forced to join Pakistan if the Bill passes in its present form; and that is a serious matter. I believe that this Clause is one of the most important in the Bill, and I do not think the Committee ought to leave it without very careful consideration of the several very significant points involved.

I do not want to anticipate what the Under-Secretary of State has to say about Berar, except to say that anybody who can reconcile the technicalities with the actualities, is a far greater man than anyone I have come across in my life. I happen to know the inner history of the negotiations that lead to the perpetual lease, and it will not be found in the official records. I want only to add this. I understood my right hon. Friend the Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler) to say that the natural association of the Berars is with the Central Provinces. Would the right hon. and learned Gentleman reconsider that, because all the natural affinities, commercial, social, and cultural are with the Maharashtra, and through the Maharashtra with the Bombay Presidency. I thought a great opportunity was lost when, with the conclusion of the perpetual lease the Berars, ceasing to be a separate administration, were not linked with Bombay. I have never wavered in that decision. Regarding the Andaman and Nicobars, I leave that to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Chelsea (Commander Noble), and would only say that I do not envy the man who is going to go to Nicobars to try to find out what the wishes of the people there are. I doubt whether he will find half a dozen in both islands put together who know where Malaya of Burma are.

A number of points have been raised, and it may be for the convenience of the Committee if I deal, first, with the position of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The noble Lord the Member for Horsham (Earl Winterton) referred, in passing to the historical background. I should like to remind the Committee that, whatever may have been the origin of the connection of those islands with India, it is a connection that goes back for a good many years. I think it was in 1872 that the first Chief Commissioner was appointed by the then Government of India. Since that time those islands have been recognised as part of the territories of India, and, as I say, have been administered by a Commissioner.

I do not want to interrupt—I know I have a bad habit of interrupting—nor do I wish to delay the Committee; but the right hon. and learned Gentleman is underlining my point. But for the presence of the—British in India, whatever we may like to say about it, those islands would never have been part of India. It was the British who made them part of India. That was my whole point.

That is true. A good many things would not have happened if the British had not taken power in India. Indeed we should not be engaged, as we are tonight, in dealing with this Bill if we had not gone there. But that is the historical background. The position is that for the last 70 years those islands have been recognised by all Governments as forming part of India

Of British India. The population, it may interest the Committee to know, is composed as follows. The total population of the Andaman Islands is 14,500, of whom about 12,000 are Indians, and about 2,440 Burmans; and the great majority of this section of the population are those who have been sent to penal servitude or their descendants.

In the Andamans, I am afraid, there are no aboriginals. In the Nicobar Islands the position is just the opposite.

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman really saying that there are no Andaman aboriginals? I can assure him he is wrong. They are one of the most interesting anthropological groups in the world. That is a very bad performance on his part.

I can assure the right hon. and learned Gentleman he is making a very great mistake. They are most interesting anthropologically and in many other ways. They may not have been included in the census. I should not like to make a guess about how many there are, but there are many thousands.

Did the right hon. and learned Gentleman not say in answer to me once that there are 65 aboriginals in the Andaman Islands?

Any information I have given to the Committee is information received from the Government of India, and is certainly based on the census—the last census. It may well be that there are a number of aboriginals in the islands, but certainly the Government of India have no knowlege of their numbers. But in the Nicobar Islands it is entirely the other way. Out of a total population of 14,900, over 14,000 are Nicobarees. They are the aboriginal section of the populations. There are just a few Indians and I think, in fact, four Europeans. So that there the ratio is very different from that in the Andamans.

The position of the Government with regard to the disposal of these islands under this Bill is quite clear. Attention has already been drawn to the fact that what are passing to the new India are all those territories which, immediately before the appointed day, with the exception of those that are to be transferred to Pakistan, were under the sovereignty of His Majesty; and they include not only the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but also the Laccadive Islands, to which reference was made by the hon. and gallant Member for Chelsea (Commander Noble). The position with regard to the Laccadive Islands is that they are not under the sovereignty of any State, but form part of the Province of Madras. They also come under this formula, and will remain with the new India.

A question was asked as to the future policy of His Majesty's Government, looking at these islands from the point of view of defence. I should like to say that we are well aware of the strategic importance of these Islands. This is one of the matters which we propose to discuss with the future Government of India, in the general context of the defence matters which will come up for discussion in due course. I was asked whether the inhabitants were represented in the Constituent Assembly. Well, they are not so represented. The right hon. Member for Saffron Walden (Mr. R. A. Butler) asked me if I had any information about the progress of the referendum in the North-West Frontier Province. Voting is already in progress between 6th July and 17th July, and the result is to be known on 20th July.

I should like to make the position of the Government clear with regard to Berar. Section 47 of the Government of India Act, 1935, does, in terms, recognise the sovereignty of the Nizam of Hyderabad, and says:
"Whereas certain territory (in this Act referred to as Berar) is under the sovereignty of His Exalted Highness the Nizam of Hyderabad, but is at the date of the passing of this Act, by virtue of certain agreements subsisting between His Majesty and His Exalted Highness, administered together with the Central Provinces."
Following the passage of the 1935 Act, the necessary agreement was entered into with the Nizam in 1936. The effect of Clause 7 (1, b) of this Bill is to terminate the 1936 Agreement. There can be no doubt that it does remove the legal basis for Berar's administration, as if it were part of British India. In other words, Berar will undoubtedly, de jure, revert to Hyderabad. That is the legal position. But we have to face the realities of the position. This Province of three or four million inhabitants, is administered entirely by officials of the Government of India, and of the Provincial Government of the Central Provinces and Berar, and it would be quite impossible for any change to take place, in a matter of days, involving the taking away of the administrative machine and its replacement by the officials of the Nizam. Therefore, it will obviously be necessary for the Government of India to enter into discussions with the Nizam, either to continue the existing arrangements or to replace the present set-up in the light of the legal position. As I informed the House during Second Reading a conference commenced last Friday between the new States Department of the Government of India en the one hand and the representatives of Hyderabad, Mysore and Travancore on the other, and we can only await the outcom of those discussions.

The hon. and gallant Member for North Blackpool (Brigadier Low) asked one or two questions with regard to Clause 2 (3). He desired to know why Subsections (3, a) and (3, b) were necessary. I would remind him that Clause 2 (1), as well as Clause 2 (2), uses the words "shall be." It provides:
"Subject to the provisions of Subsections (3) and (4) … the territories … shall be …"
then the territories are specified. The object of inserting Subsection (3) was to put beyond any argument that those boundaries can be altered, but they can be altered only with the agreement of the Government of India, or the Government of Pakistan.

The hon. and gallant Member then said that a new position regarding the possibility of secession from the Commonwealth resulted from this provision, and he wanted to know whether it would be possible for Provinces now forming part of India or of Pakistan to secede if they so desired. There is certainly nothing in the Bill which, in terms, lays it down that it shall be within the power of a Province in the new Dominions to secede. The question how they work out their own salvation in the future, even on a matter like that, will be entirely one for them, and will depend upon the constitutions which their respective Constituent Assemblies draw up.

4.45 p.m.

Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman say, in regard to the defence aspect of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, that it is one of the matters to be discussed by the United Defence Council of India in the immediate future?

It would be a matter to be discussed between the various Governments of the British Commonwealth who are interested in those islands.

We are very much indebted to the Under-Secretary for his explanation. There are one or two points which I should like to try to underline. I agree with him on the last point with which he dealt. The right of secession of Provinces was, after all, based upon a wholly different plan from that on which we are now proceeding. It was based upon the plan of the Cabinet, which contemplated a united India and not a partitioned India; and the right of secession of Provinces, was, as it were, put in as a safeguard which would enable—as it was then hoped—the Cabinet plan to become effective. But since the Cabinet plan has been wholly abandoned and we are now on the basis of the partition of India, we have a very different set of circumstances from that first contemplated for the secession of Provinces. I think that the Government are right not to introduce it again in the partitioning of India.

At I understood the right hon. and learned Gentleman, he said that these islands which we have been discussing, to the extent that they have achieved importance will be subject to direct negotiations between His Majesty's Government in Great Britain and the Government of the Dominions of India in connection with any other defence matters which may come up in the normal way to be discussed between His Majesty's Government in this country and any other Dominion. I hope he will not turn his mind altogether against the possibility of some arrangement which, as I understand it, is to be discussed. Some final decision would necessarily be taken whether these islands would pass wholly under the power of the Dominion of India, or might pass, to some extent, to the Dominion of Pakistan.

I think the Under-Secretary has cleared our minds very much on the question of Berar. I understand he now tells us there is no doubt at all, from a legal point of view, that the lease comes to an end on the appointed day, and therefore the territory in question reverts to the Nizam, and the successor Government has no right of any sort or kind to extend the lease. The final arrangement will have to be made at the conference which is now going on. From the legal point of view, and from the point of view of right, justice and honesty, the Nizam is in the position of being, I trust, a free negotiator of any fresh arrangement which he may choose to make, or which may be made by good will, either for some continuation of this system or for its reverting in due course, and in an orderly manner, to his own territory. This is of some importance, because under the right of paramountcy, which will also lapse under this Bill, we are maintaining large bodies of troops in the territories of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, and there is a certain feeling that it would be proper for these troops, which exist there only under the rights of paramountcy now lapsing, to be removed before the appointed day; otherwise, the discussions may be somewhat prejudiced. I hope that that matter may also be cleared up as soon as possible, as I understand it is causing a certain amount of anxiety.

I rise only to say that I have heard, on authority, that the right hon. and learned Gentleman the Under-Secretary is wrong in saying that there are no aboriginals in the Andaman Islands. The right hon. and learned Gentleman has either been sent a wrong cable, or his Department do not know the situation. There are thousands of these people, and I hope that their future will be considered, and that the right hon. and learned Gentleman will ask for sympathetic treatment towards them.

Question put, and agreed to.

Clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.