HL Deb 22 July 1941 vol 119 cc883-5

My Lords, I beg to ask His Majesty's Government whether they are contemplating any measure to associate India more closely with the conduct of the Indian war effort.


My Lords, I have been asked to reply on behalf of my noble friend the Under-Secretary of State for India, who is unfortunately unable to be present in the House owing to a longstanding engagement in Glasgow. I think that the best answer to the noble Lord's question will be to read the text of an announcement issued by the Governor-General of India, with the approval of His Majesty's Government, to-day. I should add that this announcement is being published as a White Paper, and should be available to your Lordships this afternoon.

The announcement is as follows: As a result of the increased pressure of work in connection with the war it has been decided to enlarge the Executive Council of the Governor-General of India in order to permit the separation of the portfolios of Law and Supply and of Commerce and Labour and the division of the present portfolio of Education, Health and Lands into separate portfolios of Education, Health and Lands and Indians Overseas, and also the creation of portfolios of Information and of Civil Defence. His Majesty the King has approved the following appointments to the five new seats on the Council: Member for Supply: Sir Hormusji Peroshaw Mody, K.B.E., M.L.A. (Central). Member for Information: The Rt. Hon. Sir Akbar Hydari, Privy Councillor. Member for Civil Defence: Mr. E. Raghavendra Rao. Member for Labour: Malik Sir Firoz Khan Noon, K.C.I.E. Member for Indians Overseas: Mr. Madhao Shrihari Aney, M.L.A. (Central). 2. For the vacancies which will occur when Sir Muhammad Zafrullah Khan and Sir Girja Shankar Bajpai take up the posts to which they have recently been appointed His Majesty has approved the following appointments: Law Member: Sir Syed Sultan Ahmed. Member for Education, Health and Lands: Mr. Nalini Ranjan Sarkar, M.L.A. 3. In pursuance of the desire of His Majesty's Government to associate Indian non-official opinion as fully as possible with the prosecution of the war, approval on the recommendation of the Viceroy has also been given to the establishment of a National Defence Council, the first meeting of which will take place next month. The Council, the strength of which will be about thirty members, will include representatives of the Indian States as well as of the Provinces and of other elements in the national life of British India in its relation to the war effort. The following will be members from British India: Ambedkar, Dr. B. R., M.L.A. Assam, Chief Minister of (the Honourable Maulvi Saiyid Sir Muhammad Saadulla, M.L.A.). Bengal, Chief Minister of (the Honourable Mr. A. K. Fazlul Huq, M.L.A.). Chhatari, Sir Muhammad Ahmad Said Khan, Nawab of, K.C.S.I., K.C.I.E., M.B.E. Chettiyar, Kumararajah Sir Mutia, of Chettinad, M.L.A. Darbhanga, the Honourable Maharajad-hiraja of, K.C.I.E. Deshmukh, Mr. Ramrao Madhavrao, M.L.A. Gidney, Lieut.-Colonel Sir Henry, M.L.A. Jehangic, Sir Cowasjee, Bart., K.C.I.E., O.B.E., M.L.A. Khallikote, Raja Bahadur of, M.L.A. Khuda Bakhsh Khan, the Honourable Malik, M.L.A. Mehta, Mr. Jamnadas M., M.L.A. Morton, Mr. G. B., O.B.E. Mukerjee, Mr. Biren. Naunihal Singh Man, Lieut. Sardar, M.B.E., M.L.A. Nawaz, Begum Shah, M.L.A. Punjab, Premier of (the Honourable Khan Bahadur Major Sirdar Sir Sikander Hyat Khan, K.B.E., M.L.A.). Rajah, Rao Bahadur M.C., M.L.A. Shah, Professor E. Ahmad. Sind, Chief Minister of (the Honourable Khan Bahadur Allah Bakhsh Muhammad Umar Soomro, O.B.E., M.L.A.). Srivastava. Sir Jwala Prasad, M.L.A. Usman, Khan Bahadur Sir Muhammad, K.C.I.E. The names of the Indian States members will be announced separately.