HT This Day: February 5, 1946 -- Congress party demand for release of personnel
Public galleries were crowded when the Central Assembly took up the Congress Party’s resolution, moved by Pandit Govind Malaviya, urging the Government to drop the trial of LN.A. personnel and to release immediately all I.N.A. officers.
Public galleries were crowded when the Central Assembly took up the Congress Party’s resolution, moved by Pandit Govind Malaviya, urging the Government to drop the trial of LN.A. personnel and to release immediately all I.N.A. officers an men and all political prisoners. The mover agreed to add to the resolution Mr S. S. Sanyal’s amendment urging the British Government to secure the release of LN.A. and other prisoners outside India and to secure their repatriation.
As usual there was a lobby understanding between the Government and the Muslim League, and the Joint War Secretary, Mr Mason, announced his willingness to accept Nawab Siddique A. Khan’s amendment merely demanding release of I.N.A. personnel under detention or trial. Mr Mason, however, made the reservation that those charged with brutality should not be included within the scope of the Muslim League amendment.
Pandit Govind Malaviya spoke Mr about 50 minutes and his eloquence impressed the House. Except that his voice is more voluminous than Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya’s, his debating technique reminds one of his father.
He prefaced his speech with generous compliments to General Auchinleck and to Lord Wavell for having released the three I.N.A. officers who had been condemned by a court martial He referred to his own oath of allegiance to the King Emperor to indicate his desire to help the present Government in coming to right decisions.
Taking his argument to a climax, he declared that every Indian would act as the I.N.A. men did and that if only God had willed otherwise and these men had succeeded in their invasion, every man, woman and child would have stood behind them and under their lead liberated India.
Members of the British Parliamentary Delegation were in full strength in the Viceroy’s Box while Pandit Malaviya held the floor, receiving cheers from the Congress benches for some of the forthright observations.
Nawab Siddique All Khan did well by avoiding the controversial issue between the Congress and the League. The Opposition benches cheered him when he declared: “Hindus and Muslims have resolved to be free. With a united front or without a united front, we shall fight and win the battle of freedom.”
The War Secretary had hardly spoken for three minutes when the clock struck four and the House took up Seth Govind Das’s adjournment motion censuring the Government for its “imbecile attitude” regarding the South African government’s anti-Indian policy.
The mover had studied his case well and was cheered when he demynde41 immediate enforcement of economic sanctions and recall of the Indian High - Commissioner. He charged the Government with having shirked their responsibility in coming to a decision on these two matters even though Dr Khare had promised to take a decision on them.
Sir Hassan Suhrawardy wholeheartedly supported the Congress motion and told Dr Khare to resign if he could not get his way.
Mr R. N. Bannerjee. Secretary, Commonwealth Relations Department, made a good impression by a frank statement of the developments in South Africa which, he said, came to the Government ‘”rather as a surprise.” It was clear from his speech that it is Field-Marshal Smuts’s opportunism that is responsible for recurring trouble in that Dominion. India has, as Dewan Chaman Lal said an interjection, been taken back the pre-Capetown Agreement stage and the Government of India is ag pleading for another round table conference.
Mr Frank Anthony signalized entry into the House by a vigorous speech denunciating the colour war which South Africa had launched. He remarked that F. M. Smuts has lent himself to “cheap political expedients.” He did not want another delegation to go but urged economic war.
Mr Mohammed Nauman in a spirited speech supported the motion Mr K C Neogy charged the Government spokesmen with having evaded the issue raised by the members. He remarked that unless and till the British quit India, India were not likely to get an equal place in the world with other countries.
Dr Khare sympathetically reacted to the Opposition speeches and promised that if he could not get satisfactory results from the present negotiations during the current session “nothing can prevent me from coming over to the other side. It is only a few steps.” He declared that official members would not vote. The censure motion was carried with a division amidst loud cheers.
While the House was debating adjournment motion the Preside Mr Mavalankar, visited the Press Gallery and the public galleries in order to judge the audibility of the speeches being made in House. He also wished to have a look at the Chamber from these galleries. This is the first time that a President has undertaken such a tour with House in session.