Then there was a highly lyrical pamphlet issued by the Labour Party, "Fifty Things Labour has Done." Is it not a fact that we saw millions of Indians starve previously, when we were in India? 1839 I was in favour of that because of the general aim and importance of shortening the war, saving the unnecessary shedding of British blood, and bringing the whole of the Burma position forward into line with the American advance in the Pacific. They are trying, in some way or another, by federation, or by some sort of union, to amalgamate these restless peoples with the home country. Members opposite, What is your policy? 1 von 7 . Instead, the whole business has been conducted by the British Government from weakness and not from strength. Because of that, I realise that much of this idea of conquest has been a farce; there has been no reality in it. It is with considerable reluctance and—certainly I hope the Prime Minister will accept this from me—in no party spirit at all that I say I cannot support him. But supposing that were achieved, would Dominion status prevent bloodshed? Gentleman says will be used as was used in the case of India, with the same extensions he put on to that formula when the Indian Mission was sent out, eliminating the—"—[OFFICIAL REPORT, 20th December, 1946; Vol. It thus became a statutory embodiment of the principles of equality and common allegiance to the Crown set out in the Balfour Declaration of 1926. It is very remarkable that the right hon. I want to bring to an end what I wish to say. We heard my hon. It was created by the Indian Independence Act 1947 and was transformed into the Republic of India by the promulgation of the Constitution of India in 1950. I think that Marshal Badoglio's record was a little erratic, because at one time he was prepared to play ball with Hitler. VI, Ch. Secondly, can he tell us whether there is any real racial homogeneity in what we call Burma? I would not say that the Burmese Government have behaved in the wisest possible manner over it. The picture he was giving us, surely, was that of development, which was benefiting the inhabitants as well as the people who went in? Their whole idea seems to be that we have got to hold on to every scrap of earth that we have ever possessed, and in the same position as we have always held it. Is the responsibility for meeting these to be that of His Majesty's Government or the Burmese Government? We all know the original version about the pigs who We only went there because the situation was so terrible that the Burmese had to have recourse to us. At the same time while the right hon. I do not think it is such. Another thing we should have been concerned with was to see that in this transfer of power proper respect was paid to the rights of minorities. To kill the party system is to kill democracy. The Imperial Powers are faced with this problem in the East today; it will be in Africa, the West Indies and everywhere else tomorrow. Therefore I give my support to that policy and, if necessary, I will go into the Lobby to vote for the Second Reading of the Bill which is now before the House. I cannot bring myself to believe that that is the right thing to do. The difference between: the view of my right hon. I am glad that the hon. This is an historic occasion and, as has been said, we are closing one chapter and beginning a new one in being asked to confirm the treaty that has already been made which establishes the independence of Burma. So also did my hon. I hope I say that without any personal offence to him, but obviously he would not dare at this time to slander the American people, or to point out that they began in bygone days by rebellion against this country and, therefore, were technically traitors. The position is that under the war damage insurance policies, the claims in respect of them are in process of being settled at the present moment by the Government of Burma. On this side of the House, we can also welcome the fact that Burma is to be a Socialist state. He said that we had reached the third stage of the Empire; that the loss of our American colonies marked the end of the first Empire; that at the present moment by giving independence to India and Burma we have reached the second Empire, and that the third Empire is something towards which we are working. the Prime Minister. I quite agree with the noble Lord, but it was reported to me by our people out there that there are politicians today in Burma who are not corrupt. The speech of the right hon. On the other hand, I find that any possible alternative will almost certainly lead to evils or disadvantages even greater than those which may accrue from this step. Even so, I have to face the fact that they have wanted their independence, and that the Burmese want theirs now. It is not easy, as all hon. Friends. Now, they are out to make the best of modern industrial methods, while, at the same time, retaining or going back to their own communal system, and I think we shall look with sympathy on the experiments which they make in that direction. I think it was most deplorable that he should do that. With its passage, Westminster relinquished nearly all of its authority to legislate for the Dominions, effectively making them de jure sovereign nations. Gentleman has just said. I should like here to bear testimony to the very great services rendered by Sir Hubert both in administration and in securing the co-operation of the Burmese people. the other day—the Anglo-Burman community, like the Karens, with no safeguards whatever, will face a grave and difficult time. I urge the right hon. After all, those dangers need little emphasis. The answer is, "If you had had a decent driver, you would not have gone into the wall.". Let me now take some figures. 1861 That, to my mind, would have meant civil war in Burma. The dangers to which my hon. He does not want to try to make a friendly arrangement with a nation which was wrongly taken over by his own father and to be in association with them, after they have achieved their independence. The word "traitor" is easily thrown about, but a person who may be described by one set of people as a traitor may be regarded by another set of people as a patriot. Members opposite have all been on the basis that every leader of the Burmese is a patriot and an idealist, and that every member of the Constituent Assembly is thinking only of the people he represents. I wonder if he can explain to me how this step is weakening the British Empire when the alternative, as the Leader of the Opposition stated, is the retention of British power in Burma by employing force. 1847 than some of the countries of Europe. Let us put it bluntly; they resent alien and white domination. I expect in Burma murder, battle and sudden death; but I have to face the fact that they want their independence. Gentlemen on the other side are dismissed from office and the Conservative Party takes the reins of power, for, whether they think it is coming soon or late, it is bound to come some time. 1896 Gentleman said that delay was easy. So far as I can gather, this Burma problem is regarded by the Burmese leaders as a purely Burmese problem. Members opposite, and on the Liberal Benches, will join with us. Grouping: Websites/Multiple Documents. I do not suppose I should be called that today. up the steps of Buckingham Palace as the plenipotentiary of the Burmese Government. That is great Empire building. But the intervening stage was to give them the chance of exercising free option. who are just as influential as those who have written to the hon. I have friends in Burma. I recall very well visiting Burma as a member of the Simon Commission in 1929, and we were all struck by the great difference between India and Burma. Member. They were the people who, because they could not find a living over here, went to the great Dominions and, in settling there, developed this great Empire. Members speaking early in the Debate asked why we did not enthuse and cheer when our Leader uttered his grim forebodings? the frontier areas and Shan States were separately administered by their own rulers, the Sawbwas. …The prospects of constitutional advance held out to Burma as part of British India will not be prejudiced by this decision, and the constitutional objective after separation will remain the progressive realisation of responsible Government in Burma as an integral part of the Empire."—[OFFICIAI. Members opposite. Members will look at it, is an undertaking by the Government of Burma that they will be responsible for all the pensions, remuneration, and other conditions of service of the British who are engaged in service in Burma. [2] He explained that the United Kingdom government had a duty to see to it that "minorities for whom we had a special responsibility were given due position under the new Constitution” and reported that he was satisfied that that was the case. It is that, as in the cases of India and Burma, when we know the people are demanding their freedom, we enter into negotiation with them and help them to make their constitution. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition that was what impressed me most—his complete lack of realisation of what the situation in Burma really was and still is. and learned Gentleman who is to reply, and who has been a very good friend of the Indian civil servants, will share my admiration for what the Burmese Civil Service has done. The letter continues: The demand for racial equality and independence grows every year. (b) the territories which, at the date of the passing of this Act, are included in the Province of Sind and the Chief Commissioner's Province of British Baluchistan ; and (c) if, whether before or after the passing of this Act but before the appointed day, the Governor-General declares that the majority of the valid votes cast in the referen- Did we endeavour in every possible way to acquaint the people of Burma with the benefits that would accrue by remaining in the Empire, or did we surrender without a fight? Before we did that, surely we should have considered the possibility of putting some money aside to pay some form of compensation to these civil servants? Eventually, as the House knows, the whole country was annexed in 1886. I assert that the conditions in Burma are such that those requirements do not exist. I now wish to say a little on the Schedule. I am not saying this in any hostility to Burma, but there is no doubt that there is not yet that degree of responsibility which most European countries, and Western European countries in particular, have arrived at after a good many centuries. Do let us learn from the history of the past. Secondly, we should have restored law and order. I have never met people who were personally more charming and attractive to work with than those with whom I sat at the Burma Round-Table Conference. Gentleman made a perfectly proper and friendly interruption, but I am not withdrawing the phrase "political corruption," because all the evidence which reaches me is to the contrary. Does he really think that is the way to bind together the British Commonwealth of Nations? A glance at the terms of the treaty will show that we have been able to secure arrangements for defence between Burma and this country, and arrangements in trade—we hope soon to secure arrangements affecting our commercial interests in Burma—which will indeed be a fair substitute for the arrangement which would logically have been made had Burma remained inside the Commonwealth. They deserve the highest praise for the treaty they have made with Burma and for the arrangements they have made leading up to that treaty. The structure of the new State called the Union of Burma has certain federal features. Gentleman's party. It was evident that U Saw could not continue his journey by the westward route. The no less memorable Administration of the right hon. Member for West Leyton (Mr. Sorensen) cast out a challenge to hon. The best answer to that is that the Prime Minister and most of his colleagues were murdered in cold blood a few weeks ago possibly by one of the men who came over to this country to negotiate the treaty back in the spring. It is interesting to look at the respective parts which they played in the war. The real difference between us is that the minds of the Opposition are fixed almost immovably in the moulds and the patterns of the 19th century. and learned Member for Montgomery (Mr. C. Davies), and I must also add my profound regret that the right hon. Member for Farnham said that he personally does not feel responsible for what I know the right hon. Gentleman really thinks we have been wasting our troops in Palestine, what sort of policy does he propose for Burma? He was known as a revolutionary, nationalist, and as the founder of the Tatmadaw, and is considered as the Father of the Nation of modern-day Myanmar. Friend took the opportunity of lifting the lid a little, and showing something of the real difficulties we have to face. I want to press the case particularly of the non-Secretary of State civil servants. Gentleman. Gentleman was calculated to destroy that possibility. Does he know how Burma is to protect itself? [Laughter.] Share Description. An Act to make provision for the setting up in India of two independent Dominions, to substitute other provisions for certain provisions of the Government of India Act,1935 which apply outside those Dominions, and to provide for other matters consequential on or connected with the setting up of those Dominions. Our Government have made it clear that we were clearing out, but no one in Burma imagines that the position between the Karens and the Burmans will be either happy or pleasant for that very gallant minority. He took the opportunity of stating the real issue. It is the tradition of our race to be independent ourselves and to insist on political liberty, and to give it to others, and if hon. At that time I said that there might be a million or even five million dead. The hon. He has protested against restrictions in this country, but he wants restrictions for all the other countries he can possibly lay his hands on. Friend the Member for Farnham (Mr. Nicholson). In fact, I say with confidence that where such a Government is set up the only effect can be to destroy those seeds of democratic ideas which have been sown in that country during the years when it was in close contact with the West and with this nation. 1933 In considering these claims it is extremely important that we should have at the earliest possible moment some sort of statement from His Majesty's Government as to how they are to be treated. No special arrangement such as that has been made for the Secretary of State's servants in Burma. Member for Aston, or any other hon. Gentleman the Member for Woodford (Mr. Churchill), spoke against the right hon. 18. I only hope that the Burmese people will take it for what it is worth and will realise that he does not represent, I should imagine, even the majority opinion on the benches opposite in this matter. ↑ 27.0 27.1 27.2 Independence, Aung San, and Burma after World War II. Members opposite think that the people of this country will approve of our taking troops from Palestine and sending them into Burma to try to keep down the Burmese and to prevent them from gaining their independence, I think they are sadly mistaken. In the Treaty it says that the Government will invite Parliament to pass legislation to give the Union of Burma independence and that the Treaty will be ratified on the day on which Parliament has agreed to give them independence—by 6th January, 1948. I say to them, and most earnestly, that, if they cannot bring themselves to share the responsibility of the Government in passing this Bill into law, then, I believe, it is their duty and is in the highest interests of this country and of Burma to say to the Government: "The power is yours, the responsibility is yours. We tried to persuade them to adopt the suggestion of the Cripps Mission—a most excellent constitutional suggestion of the Cabinet Mission. I think that the sort of heart searching that usually goes on before the right hon. By the end of the scheme in March 1927, almost £75 million had been guaranteed to a range of industries. murdered, or are being tried for their lives for the mass murder of the Burmese Cabinet in July. Become richer and the representatives elected have met in this House do anything of 1871 that kind in Burma we. One time that we had taken the job in hand and had reconquered the country at the weakening the. 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