BRITISH INFORMATION SERVICES
AN AGENCY OF THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT
OF THE DAY
WINSTON CHURCHILL, Prime Minister, June 12, 1945.
Alleged British Agreement With Petain.
LEOPOLD AMERY, Secretary of State for India and Burma, June 14, 1945.
The New Proposals for India.
LORD CRANBORNE, Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs, June 20, 1945.
SIR EDWARD GRIGG, Resident Minister, Middle East, June 11, 1945.
Press Conference on the. Syrian Disturbances.
THE EARL OF HALIFAX, British Ambassador to the United States,
June 26, 1945.
Final Plenary Session of the United Nations Conferen'
QUESTION TIME IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS. I I 4 ^
Vol. III, No. 7 July 1945
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Owing to the dissolution of Parliament, there
will be no separate issue of British Speeches of the
Day for August. The August and September issues
will be combined.
RT. HON. WINSTON CHURCHILL
House of Commons, June 12, 1945
I run great risks, I am sure, in asking the indulgence of the House to make a
statement, but this statement is on a question which, so far as I know, has nothing
to do with controversial policy. Yet it is important that it should be answered in a
way which will bring it to notice abroad in a manner which is desirable. This
statement is made in answer to Question 49, in the name of my hon. and gallant
Friend the Member for Berwick and Haddington (Captain McEwen.)
"To ask the Prime Minister if he will now make a statement on the negoti-
ations which took place in 1940 between His Majesty's Government and the
I think that it would be useful for me to give the House a brief account of the
facts, in order to correct any misunderstandings which may have been caused by the
very inaccurate reports which have been published on this subject.
After the withdrawal of the French Ambassador from London in 1940, His
Majesty's Government sought to maintain contact with Marshal Petain and his
Ministers through less direct channels, in the hope of encouraging them to keep
up a maximum of passive resistance to the enemy. To this end a series of messages
were exchanged with the Vichy Administration during the autumn of 1940, through
the British and French representatives at a neutral capital.
The object of the exchanges was to obtain assurances from Vichy that they
would not surrender the French Fleet to the Germans, nor allow the Germans to
obtain control of French overseas territory, nor themselves attack the French Colo-
nies which had rallied to General de Gaulle. We explained that, if such assurances
were forthcoming, we should be prepared to negotiate a modus vivendi whereby
limited trade would be permitted through the blockade between Metropolitan
France and the African territories under Vichy control. In the event nothing came
of these proposals. The replies to our approaches were unsatisfactory, and it soon
became clear that Vichy was too much under German duress to be able to give
adequate assurances on the points in question, or to carry them out if given.
In October, 1940, an emissary from Vichy, who represented himself as acting
on the personal instructions of Marshal Petain, got in touch with the British au-
thorities, and was brought to London, where he saw me and the then Foreign
Secretary, Lord Halifax. This emissary did not, however, come with any specific
mission, and the object of his visit seems primarily to have been to gauge the
state of opinion in this country and the prospects of our continued resistance to the
enemy. He brought with him no proposals for an agreement, and no agreement
was in fact ever concluded with the Vichy Administration, either through this
emissary or through any other channel. This reply which I have made has a refer-
ence to proceedings which are taking place in France against certain individuals.
[House of Commons Debates]
British Speeches of the Day
RT. HON. LEOPOLD S. AMERY
Secretary of State for India and Burma
House of Commons, June 14, 1945
May I take the opportunity of reading to the House a statement which I have
been authorized by His Majesty's Government to make on the subject of India,
and which is being published at the same time in India. The statement is in the
form of a White Paper. It says:
"During the recent visit of Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to this country,
His Majesty's Government reviewed with him a number of problems and discussed
particularly the present political situation in India.
"Members will be aware that since the offer by H.M.Government to India in
March, 1942, there has been no further progress towards a solution of the Indian
"As was then stated, the working out of India's new constitutional system is a
task which can only be carried through by the Indian peoples themselves.
"While H.M.Government are at all times most anxious to do their utmost ,to
assist the Indians in the working out of a new constitutional settlement, it would
be a contradiction in terms to speak of the imposition by this country of self-
governing institutions upon an unwilling India. Such a thing is not possible, nor
could we accept the responsibility for enforcing such institutions at the very time
when we were, by its purpose, withdrawing from all control of British Indian
"The main constitutional position remains, therefore, as it was. The offer of
March, 1942, stands in its entirety without change or qualification. H.M.Govern-
ment still hope the political leaders in India may be able to come to agreement as
to the procedure whereby India's permanent future form of government can be
"H.M.Government are, however, most anxious to make any contribution that
is practicable to the breaking of the political deadlock in India. While that dead-
lock lasts, not only political but social and economic progress is being hampered.
'The Indian administration, overburdened with the great tasks laid upon it
by the war against Japan and by the planning for the post-war period, is further
strained by the political tension that exists.
"All that is so urgently required to be done for agricultural and industrial
development and for the peasants and workers of India, cannot be carried through
unless the wholehearted co-operation of every community and section of the Indian
people is forthcoming.
"H.M.Government have therefore considered whether there is something which
they could suggest in this interim period, under the existing Constitution, pending
the formulation by Indians of their future constitutional arrangements, which
would enable the main communities and parties to co-operate more closely to-
gether and with the British, to the benefit of India as a whole.
"It is not the intention of H.M.Government to introduce any change contrary
to the wishes of the major Indian communities. But they are willing to make pos-
sible some step forward during the interim period, if the leaders of the principal
Indian parties are prepared to agree to their suggestions and to co-operate in the
successful conclusion of the war against Japan, as well as in the reconstruction in
India which must follow the final victory.
The New Proposals for India
"To this end, they would be prepared to see an important change in the com-
position of the Viceroy's Executive. This is possible without making any change in
the existing statute law, except for one amendment to the Ninth Schedule to the
Act of 1935. That Schedule contains a provision that not less than three members
of the Executive must have had at least ten years' service under the Crown in
India. If the proposals of H.M.Government meet with acceptance in India, that
clause would have to be amended to dispense with that requirement.
"It is proposed that the Executive Council should be reconstituted, and that the
Viceroy should in future make his selection for nomination to the Crown for ap-
pointment to his Executive, from amongst leaders of Indian political life at the
Center and in the Provinces, in proportions which would give a balanced represen-
tation of the main communities, including equal proportions of Moslems and
"In order to pursue this object, the Viceroy will call into conference a number
of leading Indian politicians who are the heads of the most important parties or
who have had recent experience as Prime Ministers of Provinces, together with a
few others of special experience and authority. The Viceroy intends to put before
this conference the proposal that the Executive Council should be reconstituted as
above stated, and to invite from the members of the conference a list of names.
Out of these he would hope to be able to choose the future members whom he
would recommend for appointment by His Majesty to the Viceroy's Council,
although the responsibility for the recommendations must of course continue to
rest with him, and his freedom of choice therefore remains unrestricted.
"The members of his Council who are chosen as a result of this arrangement,
would of course accept the position on the basis that they would wholeheartedly
co-operate in supporting and carrying through the war against Japan to its victorious
The members of the Executive would be Indians, with the exception of the
Viceroy and the Commander-in-Chief, who would retain his position as War
Member. This is essential so long as the defense of India remains a British
"Nothing contained in any of these proposals will affect the relations of the
Crown with the Indian States, through the Viceroy as Crown Representative.
"The Viceroy has been authorized by H.M.Government to place this proposal
before the Indian leaders. H.M.Government trust that the leaders of the Indian
communities will respond. For the success of such a plan must depend upon its
acceptance in India, and the degree to which responsible Indian politicians are
prepared to co-operate with the object of making it a workable interim arrange-
ment. In the absence of such general acceptance, the existing arrangements must
"If such co-operation can be achieved at the Center, it will no doubt be re-
flected in the Provinces, and so enable responsible Governments to be set up once
again in those Provinces where, owing to the withdrawal of the majority party
from participation, it became necessary to put into force the powers of the Gover-
nors under Section 93 of the Act of 1935. It is to be hoped that in all the
Provinces these Governments would be based on the participation of the main
parties, thus smoothing out communal differences and allowing Ministers to
concentrate upon their very heavy administrative tasks.
"There is one further change which, if these proposals are accepted, H.M.Gov-
ernment suggest should follow.
British Speeches of the Day
"That is that External Affairs (other than those tribal and frontier matters
which fall to be dealt with as part of the Defense of India) should be placed in
the charge of an Indian member of the Viceroy's Executive so far as British India
is concerned, and that fully accredited representatives shall be appointed for the
representation of India abroad.
"By their acceptance of and co-operation in this scheme, the Indian leaders will
not only be able to make their immediate contribution to the direction of Indian
affairs, but it is also to be hoped that their experience of co-operation in govern-
ment will expedite agreement between them as to the method of working out the
new constitutional arrangements.
"H.M.Government consider, after the most careful study of the question, that
the plan now suggested gives the utmost progress practicable within the present
Constitution. None of the changes suggested will in any way prejudice or prejudge
the essential form of the future permanent constitution or constitutions for India.
"H.M.Government feel certain that, given goodwill and a genuine desire to
co-operate on all sides, both British and Indian, these proposals can mark a genuine
step forward in the collaboration of the British and Indian peoples towards Indian
self-government and can assert the rightful position, and strengthen the influence,
of India in the Counsels of the nations."
Pledge of Self-Government Remains
As the statement makes dear, the offer of March, 1942, stands in its entirety.
That offer was based on two main principles. The first is that no limit is set to
India's freedom to decide for herself her own destiny, whether as a free member
and partner in the British Commonwealth or even without it. The second is that
this can only be achieved under a constitution or constitutions framed by Indians
to which the main elements in India's national life are consenting parties. These
principles, if I may quote the Prime Minister,
"stand in their full scope and integrity. No one can add anything to them
and no one can take anything away."
That... is an affirmation, not only of our own loyal purpose, but of the inescapable
facts of the Indian situation. We can only transfer our ultimate control over India
to a government or governments capable of exercising it. We cannot hand India
over to anarchy or to civil war. Our responsibility to the people of India themselves
forbids that course, and, indeed, our responsibility to the peace of the world forbids
that. On the other hand, we cannot impose a constitution that will break up the
moment our authority is no longer there to sustain it. The point was forcibly stated
in a recent address by Dr. Ambedkar, the recognized leader of the Scheduled Castes
and the Labour Member in the Viceroy's Executive. Arguing that only an Indian
constitution "framed by Indians for Indians and with the voluntary consent of
Indians" could command the necessary obedience and respect, he went on:
"It is useless for the British to frame a constitution for India, which they will
not remain to enforce .... I, therefore, am firmly of the opinion that if Indians
want Dominion status they cannot escape the responsibility of framing their
Deadlock Must Be Broken
So far, no progress has been made in that direction, and the internal deadlock,
essentially a deadlock as between Hindu India and Moslem India, remains un-
resolved. We should be wrong, I think, to be unduly impatient with Indian political
leaders for their failure to find common ground. The issues at stake are great and
The New Proposals for India
the differences of approach to the problem are rooted in convictions sincerely and
strongly held. I trust, nevertheless, that the right solution will emerge, and certainly
His Majesty's Government will at all times be anxious to give such assistance as
might contribute to its attainment.
Meanwhile, India cannot stand still. Over and above the effort still required
for the war against Japan, there is an immense and urgent task of reconstruction,
of agricultural and industrial development, of health and education, which cannot
wait for the slower processes of political adjustment, but which at the same time
calls for the wholehearted co-operation of every community and section of the
Indian people. This cannot be done without some real advance in the political
field, some closer and more effective association of the organized political forces
in India with the government of their country.
Interim Settlement Now Proposed
At the present juncture that is only possible, for the reasons I have given, on
an interim and provisional basis. It must be without prejudice to the ultimate con-
stitutipnal settlement, whatever its character. The ideal to which we have always
looked forward is that of an All-India Union in which the States would play their
full part. At the same time we have also recognized the possibility that agreement
between Hindus and Moslems on any form of Indian unity may be unattainable.
Any interim advance, therefore, must in no way prejudge the question whether the
ultimate settlement is based on a united or a divided India, or affect the existing
position or future freedom of choice of the States. That means that it must be
within the present constitution, for there is no change in that constitution which
would not be regarded as giving a bias in favor of one or other final solution.
There can be no question, therefore, of making the Executive responsible, in our
Parliamentary sense, to the Legislature. That would at once, in Moslem eyes,
imply the control of a unified India by a Hindu majority. Nor can there be any
question of doing away with the existing power of the Governor-General to over-
rule a majority view of his Council, if in his opinion, I quote the words of the Act:
".. the safety, tranquility, or interests of British India are, or may be,
nor of his consequent responsibility to the Secretary of State and to Parliament
for its exercise. That power, I should explain, is a power in reserve, not an instru-
ment in normal use. So long, however, as there is no Indian constitution under
which controversial issues can be ultimately resolved, by an accepted democratic
procedure, it is a necessary protection for the minorities whether against immediate
injury or against decisions.which might prejudice the constitutional future to their
detriment. It is, in any case, a power, as the terms of the Act clearly state, whose
main purpose is to safeguard Indian interests. That applies no less to the Viceroy's
duty in the existing constitutional position, to secure the fulfillment of our
obligations towards the States.
U.K. High Commissioner to be Appointed
In order to emphasize this aspect of the Viceroy's position, as well as for rea-
sons of practical convenience, His Majesty's Government have, in connection with
these proposals, decided on a step, not referred to in the Statement, but in our
opinion of substantial importance. That is to appoint a United Kingdom High
Commissioner in India to represent the particular interests of the United Kingdom.
Under present conditions there is always the possibility that the Viceroy might on
occasion be placed, in dealing with his Council, in the ambiguous and even em-
barrassing dual position of being both concerned, as head of the Government of
British Speeches of the Day
India, with the defense of Indian interests and, at the same time, of representing
the specific material interests of this country. A United Kingdom High Commis-
sioner, on the other hand, would be free, as in the Dominions, to discuss and
negotiate with the appropriate Departments of the Government of India on a
footing of complete equality, and also of complete frankness ....
Council Now Largely Indian but Not Representative
I have stated the conditions, inherent in the situation, which indicate the only
line on which advance is possible at this moment. I must remind the House of
the advance, the real though not always appreciated advance, that has already taken
place. When I came to the India Office, five years ago, the Governor-General's
Executive Council, by whose majority decisions government is normally carried on,
consisted of four European officials and three non-official Indian members. For
these last three years it has consisted of four European and 11 Indian members.
These Indian members have been drawn from all the main communities and from
all parts of India. They are men who have played an active and distinguished part
in Indian public life. They responded to the Viceroy's invitation to join him as
colleagues not because they are less anxious than any of their fellow countrymen
that India should attain the fullest freedom at the earliest possible moment, but
because, both as patriots and as practical men, they believed that they could serve
India better by assuming responsibility than by abstention. They have served India
well, and the value of their service to India and the constitutional advance it has
represented will some day be more fully recognized ....
Unfortunately, it has to be admitted, and the members of the present Council
would be the first to admit it, that their position is weakened by the fact that they
do not enjoy the support of the main organized political parties. Neither in the
Legislature nor in the Press are they sustained as a body by that measure of co-
operative goodwill and understanding which is so desirable for the carrying out
of the great and urgent tasks of reconstruction. Nothing could serve that purpose
better than if the leaders of those main, organized parties, postponing without,
prejudice the constitutional issues which have so far divided them would agree
together in giving their support to the formation of a new Executive selected
from among the leaders of Indian political life both at the Center and in the
New Council Would Represent Indian Parties
If the offer which His Majesty's Government now make is accepted, all the
portfolios, except that of War Member held by the Commander-in-Chief, will be
transferred to Indian hands. The portfolios transferred would include not only
the important Home and Finance Departments, but also that of External Affairs,
hitherto reserved to the Viceroy in person. This would naturally be accompanied by
the appointment of fully accredited representatives abroad and so constitute a
definite enhancement of India's international status. The new Executive would thus
in fact, though not as the outcome of any formal constitutional process, be made
representative of organized Indian political opinion.
In selecting his Council the Viceroy will be concerned to secure a balanced
representation of the main communities, including equal proportions of Moslems
and Caste Hindus. I understand that he also intends to secure representation for
the Scheduled Castes, for the Sikhs and possibly for some other special interests.
But the essential condition is the equality in representation between the two main
communities. That is indispensable to securing agreement. It must always be
remembered that we are dealing, not with an ultimate constitution, but with a
The New Proposals for India
provisional, interim working arrangement, aimed at enlisting the maximum of
immediate support and the maximum of practical advance without prejudice to
the future ....
Whether the principles of arithmetical majority can ever apply in a country
with such profound differences and such strong consciousness of those differences
as exists in India is another question. Even the American constitution has dis-
regarded those principles in the equal senatorial representation given to every
State, great or small. If our proposals for a newly selected Executive at the Center
are accepted we would hope, and indeed it would be a natural corollary, that
Ministerial Government would be resumed in the Provinces now under Section 93.
We wpuld also hope that following the example set at the Center, they would be on
a coalition basis. Such questions as the holding of elections, whether at the Center
or in the Provinces, will no doubt be discussed at the Conference which the Viceroy
has invited to meet him ....
Release of Prisoners
There is a matter which I have not so far mentioned, but which I realize is
very much in the mind of hon. Members, and that is the release of those still
under detention as the result of the 1942 disturbances. I must remind the House
that this matter has been, from first to last, dealt with by the Government of India
and by the Provincial Governments responsible for law and order. The Provincial
Governments have on their own initiative progressively released the vast majority
of detainees, while the Central Government have already released seven out of the
15 members of the Congress Working Committee. The Viceroy's Council have
now recommended the release of the members of the Working Committee still
under detention and this recommendation, which has the full approval of His
Majesty's Government, is being put into effect ....
Indian Co-operation Urged
These then are the proposals which the Viceroy, on behalf of His Majesty's
Government, is laying before India. They owe everything to the initiative of Lord
Wavell, to his deep sympathy with Indian aspiration and to his firm belief in India's
future greatness. Their actual final form was shaped here in consultation between
him and leading members of both of the main parties in the late Coalition. They
thus represent an agreed national offer on the part of this country to, the people
We earnestly hope that our offer will meet with acceptance. It is the utmost
that we ourselves can do pending Indian agreement upon the final constitutional
settlement. We believe and hope, however, that, if accepted, the co-operation of
Indian statesmen in facing the many practical and urgent issues of India's needs,
may help to bring the hour of agreement nearer. The other day Mr. Rajago-
palachari, the late Premier of Madras, urged his fellow countrymen to be open-
minded about any British offer in order
"to use the power and opportunities so obtained to form a habit of common
purpose which will cut across classes, creeds and communities . and help us
to become a strong united people."
Those are the words of true statesmanship; they will find a ready echo in every
quarter in this House.
In any case, the acceptance of our offer opens up a wide field of opportunity
for Indians to mold their country's destiny, to build up its prosperity at home and
to vindicate its importance in the world scheme of the future. India has played,
British Speeches of the Day
thanks to the valor of her fighting men, a notable part in the world's struggle for
freedom. She feels, and rightly feels, that both her past efforts and the developments
which she envisages entitle her to equal pride of place both among the peoples of
the British Commonwealth and among the great nations of the world. We share
that desire and, so far as in us lies, are making our offer as a genuine contribution
to that end. We are placing India's immediate future in Indian hands. It is for
them to take and to shape it.
One last word about these proposals. No one can regard them as concessions
wrung from us in the hour of weakness. They are offered in the hour of victory
as an earnest of our goodwill to India and our genuine desire to help forward the
fulfillment of her aspirations as well as the fulfillment of our own traditions and
instincts. I might indeed venture to claim that in relation to the present situation
in India and in the world, they justify certain words used of this country by
Emerson a century ago:
"With strength still equal to the time; still wise to entertain and swift to
execute policy which the mind and heart of mankind requires in the present
hour." [House of Commons Debates]
Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
San Francisco, June 20, 1945
The Trusteeship Chapter of the Charter
The Chapter on Trusteeship, with which the Commission is concerned this
evening, is in some ways, I believe, the most remarkable achievement of the Con-
ference. For, as has already, I think, been said, with regard to all the other pro-
visions of the Charter, the Delegates had a text on which to work-a legacy of the
earlier conversations at Dumbarton Oaks. But the Trusteeship Committee had
nothing, merely a blank sheet of paper. On this it had to write a complete and
balanced Chapter, covering the whole of a vast and complicated subject. That this
should have been achieved in the course of a few short weeks is no mean feat.
For the success of the Committee, two of my colleagues must receive the main
credit. First, of course, there is Commander Stassen, whose patience and statesman-
ship have been beyond all praise. To him fell the duty of compiling a working
paper from various suggestions which had been made-suggestions which did not
always harmonize-and of piloting it through the Committee. This he did with an
integrity and ability which won the admiration of all who worked with him. One
second name I would mention is that of the Chairman, Mr. Fraser, the Prime
Minister of New Zealand. Mr. Fraser was the ideal Chairman in this.Committee.
He showed, as always, a fairmindedness and a broad humanity which won the
hearts of all his colleagues. Everyone felt that he had had a full chance of express-
ing his views; and, as a result, our labors progressed smoothly and harmoniously,
if sometimes somewhat sporadically. I should like to express the gratitude which
we all owe to Commander Stassen and Mr. Fraser and to the very able staff who
assisted them in their untiring labors, and to congratulate them on the success
which has attended their efforts; and I should like to give our grateful thanks also
to the Rapporteur who has compiled so clear and compendious a report of our
discussions on this very wide subject.
I now come to the Chapter itself. I think we may all regard it with satisfaction.
It has been described as a great document. It is certainly, I think, an extremely
good document. It falls, as you know, into two parts. The first consists of a general
declaration of policy towards dependent territories. The second deals with that
limited category of territories which comes under the system of international
I propose to say nothing this evening about Section B. That, I think, is self-
explanatory, though I can assure those who were not on the Committee that it took
considerable labor to produce. I propose tonight to speak about the general
principles of Colonial Policy which are incorporated in the first part-Section A.
The British Proposals
For the inclusion of this first part in the Chapter, the United Kingdom can
fairly claim their share of credit. For the final text was based on the original paper
referred to by Mr. Forde, which we submitted to the Committee, in the early days
of the Conference. After weeks of battering in the Committee, it has emerged not
so very different. I should like to tell the Commission why we included this gen-
eral declaration in our paper, and why we are so glad to see it included in the
Charter. We in the United Kingdom have a long experience of colonial govern-
ment. It has been our privilege-sometimes rather an onerous privilege-to admin-
ister colonial territories of every kind and ltescription in every part of the world.
We have made no doubt many mistakes, but out of our experience and that of
other colonial powers there -have been gradually evolved certain general principles
of colonial government. We believed that the time had come when these principles
ought to be codified in a general declaration for the guidance of ourselves or other
colonial powers and for the information of the world; and this seemed a golden
opportunity, perhaps a unique opportunity, for such a declaration. Mr. Chairman,
these broad principles have been incorporated in the first part-Section A-of the
Chapter which is now before you.
The Commission will note that these principles are of a very general character;
and that is quite inevitable. It is sometimes imagined by those who have not very
closely studied colonial policy that all colonies are alike. That is very far from the
truth. They differ as much from each other as do metropolitan territories. They
range from the most primitive areas in the Pacific and central Africa to such highly
civilized countries as Ceylon, Malta and Java. They are inhabited by peoples of
different races, peoples of different religions, and peoples at different stages of
civilization. Each must be administered differently to take account of the varying
traditions, culture and capacities of the indigenous people. One must not go too
slow; and yet there are dangers in going too fast. To attempt to impose on primitive
peoples at one fell swoop all the elaborate machinery of modern civilization would
be merely to court disaster. But one general principle can be laid down which
applies to all dependent territories. In every area, whether backward or advanced,
there must be a duty on colonial powers to train and educate the indigenous peo-
ples to govern themselves; and that, as I see it, is the main purpose of colonial
government. It has been for many years, and I hope it will always continue to be,
the purpose of His Majesty's Government; and it is a purpose which must be
Progress in Self-Government Under the British System
In an earlier speech which I delivered in Committee, I compared properly con-
stituted colonial empires to a ladder. Up this ladder, I said, non-self-governing
peoples were constantly moving as they attained a higher measure of self-govern-
British Speeches of the Day
meant. Now I believe that to be a very fair analogy. I should like to take the experi-
ence of the British Commonwealth and Ernpire on which alone I am qualified to
speak. On the bottom rung there are the most primitive peoples, capable at' present
of taking only a very limited part in the administration of their own affairs; and
then, as you climb the ladder, you find territories such as the Caribbean Islands and
the Gold Coast-I could mention many others-where the peoples take an ever-
increasing part in their own administration. Some of them have constitutions dating
back three hundred years, and the vast majority of them have a large measure of
local autonomy. And at the very top of the ladder, far above the realm of our dis-
cussions tonight, are the great self-governing Dominions of His Majesty the King,
present here at our deliberations as fully-fledged members of the United Nations.
That, Mr. Chairman, in our view is the right conception. It is progressive, it is
dynamic, yet it takes account of the inescapable facts. In the noble address which
General Romulo has just delivered to the Commission, he has spoken to you of
freedom as the goal of all dependent peoples. I think we shall all honor his
sincerity and the eloquence with which he pleaded his cause. No one can help
being moved by his passion and fervor, and we must all sympathize with him, for
we all believe in the dignity of the human soul. But I would sound this warning
note. We are all of us in favor of freedom, but freedom for many of these terri-
tories means assistance and guidance and protection. They cannot all afford the
risks of independence for which they are ill equipped. Many are small, poor and
defenseless. They could not stand on their own feet unassisted. Many of them are
extremely backward. Many need a helping hand to build roads and communications,
to set up modern health systems, to introduce scientific methods of agriculture and
to encourage the spread of education, which is fundamental to all progress-and
assistance in a hundred other ways. Were we to take away that helping hand, such
territories would rapidly lose what they have gained. What we can give them is
liberty and free institutions. We can gradually train them in the management of
their own affairs so that, should independence ultimately come, they will be ready
That is the essence of the provisions' of Section A of this Chapter. It does not
rule out independence. It leaves it to the processes of natural evolution in cases
where it is appropriate.
Trusteeship Chapter an Essential Part of the Charter
There is one further consideration which is very relevant to us gathered here
in San Francisco. This Chapter which deals with non-self-governing peoples is
not a self-contained instrument. It is part of a Charter-a Charter with one over-
riding aim-to eliminate the frightful scourge of war, which has caused untold
misery twice in a generation. This Chapter is only one in that great instrument for
international peace and security, and it must be looked at in relation to the rest
of the Charter andthe aims which the Charter seeks to achieve.
I think I may fairly claim to speak as the representative of a country whose
contribution to peace and security is beyond dispute. Twice in a generation the
United Kingdom, without being attacked, has plunged herself into war in defense
of principles in which she believed. All her resources and all the resources of her
colonial empire-whose loyalty shone out ever bright as the prospect darkened-
were thrown voluntarily into the scale. With the other nations of the British Com-
monwealtl, we have fought through both these wars from the start and shall con-
tinue to the finish of this second World War, however long the war may continue.
Our passionate devotion to the cause of freedom is surely in no doubt. But I would
tell you this. In the earlier stages of this war, when my country was grimly fighting
the vastly stronger foe, it was only the existence of our African Colonial Empire,
Press Conference on the Syrian Disturbances
the essential materials which we could draw from it, and the reinforcement route
to the Middle East across the heart of Africa-it was only these which saved us
from defeat. And if we had been defeated at that time, very likely none of us would
be sitting here today. The German aims of world domination might very well have
been realized, and liberty might have vanished from the earth. Throughout this
war the essential products of these territories and the use of bases at Freetown, at
Takoradi, at Mombasa, and in the Caribbean Islands, were available not only to
ourselves but to all the United Nations, and in particular to the United States of
America. And the same, I know, is true of the French territories which rallied to
General De Gaulle, and of the Belgian Colonial Empire. Those Colonial Empires,
in fact, were welded into one vast machine for the defense of liberty. Could we
really contemplate as the conscious aim of our deliberations the destruction of this
machine or its separation into its component parts? That, Mr. Chairman, would
indeed be a strange result of this Conference.
Independence and Liberty
Do not let us rule out independence as the ultimate destiny of some of these
territories. It is not ruled out by the wording of Section A of this chapter. But to
have included it as the universal goal of colonial policy would, we believe, be
unrealistic and prejudicial to peace and security. Nor, I am sure, is it in the minds
or desires of the vast majority of colonial peoples themselves. What do these peo-
ples want? They want liberty; let us give them liberty. They want justice; let us
give them justice. They want all that we comprehend in the term free institutions;
let us give them that. Let us train, educate them, let us give them the benefit of
our resources and our experience. Let us help them to climb the rungs of the
ladder of self-government. That is the purpose of this Chapter, so that ultimately,
dependent or independent, they may play their full part in a peaceful, prosperous
and interdependent world. [Oficial Release]
SIR EDWARD GRIGG
Resident Minister, Middle East
At a Press Conference, Beirut, June 11, 1945
I would not wish to utter a single word of recrimination on this unhappy con-
troversy with France. When friends fall out, the least said the soonest mended;
but a great deal has been said in the highest quarters in France which will not
bear impartial investigation. All this must delay a settlement, because it shows a
complete misunderstanding, not only of British action, but of the true situation in
the Levant. The facts must be established in order to make a settlement possible.
General Roget's Assertions
The latest example of such misunderstanding is a statement in Paris, from the
lips of General Oliva Roget, who was lately commanding the French troops in
Damascus. I, of course, give him credit for believing in the truth of what he says;
but the fact that he believes in what he says bears almost terrifying witness to the
manner in which he, with other Frenchmen, completely misconceived the realities
of the situation.
He says, for instance, that the British began reinforcing their troops in Syria
and filling up camps round Damascus early in May. It is true that there were troop
British Speeches of the Day
movements of the normal kind for relief and training. A division, posted mainly
in Palestine, with one brigade in the Levant States, had gone to Italy and another
had taken its place from that theatre; but at no time for months have British troops
in Syria been reinforced until June 1st, when we intervened to prevent further
bloodshed, in pursuance of the decision taken by His Majesty's Government on
May 31st. They have, on the contrary, been steadily reduced and were weaker before
May 31st than at any period since 1941.
Secondly, General Roget states that the disorders were started by British agents
provocateurs. That he should believe this is to me unbelievable. French, Syrians
and Lebanese alike have freely borne witness to the fact that Mr. Shone, our Minis-
ter, and General Holmes, who till very lately commanded the Ninth Army but is
absent on sick leave at the moment, with loyal aid from their civil and military
subordinates labored unceasingly to prevent friction between France and the local
Governments and populations. Their unremitting counsels of patience, in fact, pre-
vented an earlier explosion. We have done our utmost to hold an equal balance,
having regard to our recognition of the independence of the two States and our
traditional friendship with France. We finally intervened against our will, because
the SyriaA people believed that they must either surrender to force, or call in help
from their Arab neighbors, which would have been freely given. In that case, the
Middle East would have risen and would have dislocated the work of the Middle
That General Roget should believe that order had already been established
when we intervened, is the most astonishing of his illusions. I have had the facts
most carefully checked. He received the order to cease fire at 9:30 P.M. on May
31st, but refused to accept any order from a British officer. Sporadic firing, includ-
ing artillery and mortars, as well as machine guns, continued all night and looting
on a large scale started at daylight and increased all the morning. It was not till
midday on June 1st that the French Command began to withdraw its troops from
the streets of Damascus. The British troops entered the city at 4 P.M. General Roget
says that he used only one battery and one bomber aeroplane against the city. It is
true that he used only one bomber aeroplane, which dropped no more than three
bombs, but other aeroplanes constantly flew low over the crowded bazaars to
intimidate the population. The number of guns in the battery which shelled Da-
mascus is variously estimated, but whatever it was, the battery was not unsupported.
Mortar fire was continuously used and at times very heavy. So were the guns
carried by the tanks which patrolled the streets and fired at random.
I must deal with one other of General Roget's statements. He declares that, in
the days immediately preceding the trouble, a stream of lorries kept arriving with
arms for the Syrian Gendarmerie in the Citadel. In fact, no arms were delivered.
A careful check is always kept of the movement of motor transport. These are the
movements to and from the Damascus area. On May 23rd and 24th, 13 empty
carriers passed through Damascus as part of the relief which I have already men-
tioned. Between May 24th and May 26th, 25 empty lorries were handed over to
the Gendarmerie by previous arrangement. The French authorities had every oppor-
tunity of checking that number as correct, and also the fact they were empty. On
May 24th, eight other lorries brought men into Damascus for an ENSA show at
the theatre, and took them away immediately afterwards. The French Chief of
Staff inquired if these were reinforcements, and accepted the explanation.
I observe that M. Bidault has complained that all the dispatches of French
correspondents were delayed, very largely cut and mutilated. I have asked whether
the correspondent of the Agence Francaise de Presse had any complaints on this
score, and hold a written statement from him. In this he declares that only two of
Final Plenary Session of the United Nations Conference
his dispatches were stopped between his arrival some little time before the trouble
broke out, and the present moment. These dispatches were about the concentration
of Iraqi forces on the Syrian border and about the return of the Mufti to Palestine.
He expected them not to be passed, and they had nothing to do with events in the
two States concerned. Otherwise, he suffered no difficulty or delay from the British
censorship, and writes that his telegrams to Paris and London were read and passed
with all the speed he could desire. There is no evidence that any other
correspondent was treated differently.
"We Must Keep the Peace of the Middle East"
I have made this statement because British officers and British action have been
grossly traduced. We have no selfish designs in the Levant. It passes my compre-
hension that anyone can suppose that Britain wants to assume any further respon-
sibility or is anxious for any trouble which she can, with honor, avoid. Our people
have been at war for nearly six years. British soldiers have been serving for over
four years in the Middle East, far from their families. We want to put an end, at
the earliest possible moment, to the privations and sacrifices of our country, and to
the long estrangement from home which our soldiers have endured with such good
temper, and with such clear understanding that the cause in which they serve is
greater than themselves. To do that, we must finish the war with Japan as soon as
possible. To finish the war with Japan as soon as possible, we must keep the peace
of the Middle East, because it is an indispensable base for the Far East. If we had
not intervened to prevent further bloodshed in Syria, there would have been far
graver fighting in Syria itself and ferment throughout the Middle East. We are,
therefore, pursuing no selfish ambition in the Levant, but seeking only for a peace
here, and everywhere, which all our Allies can honorably accept.
THE EARL OF HALIFAX
British Ambassador to the United States
At the Final Plenary Session of the United Nations Conference,
June 26, 1945
The United Kingdom is proud to have shared with our Allies and friends in
all that has led to this gathering of nations. And it is fitting that we should have
met in a great American city. For it was a President of the United States who
brought a project of peace before the world in 1918. To another President we
largely owe our very name, our victory, and our present purpose. Finally, on this
historic day in the world's long search for peace, his successor comes to set his own
stamp of approval and support upon our labors.
Our work now stands for the world to judge and I am confident that neither
Mr. Cordell Hull, in whose vision this design took shape, nor Mr. Stettinius, whose
courage and character have served it well, need fear the verdict. For the Charter is
a notable advance, both on all that has gone before and on the plan of the sponsor
powers, from which it grew. I do not doubt that in this result the future will
acknowledge the part of all nations, and not the least, I hope, that of the different
members of the British Commonwealth. We cannot indeed claim that our work is
perfect or that we have created an unbreakable guaranty of peace. For ours is no
enchanted palace to "spring into sight at once," by magic touch or hidden power.
British Speeches of the Day
But we have, I am convinced, forged an instrument by which, if men are serious in
wanting peace and are ready to make sacrifices for it, they may find means to win it.
Here in San Francisco we have seen but the beginning of a long and challenging
endeavor. And there is a sense in which what we have done here is less important
than what we have learned here. We have learned to know one another better; to
argue with patience; to differ with respect; and at all times to pay honor to sin-
cerity. That the thought of many men of many nations should thus have met in a
large constructive task will have a value beyond price during the coming years,
as stone by stone we carry on what we have here begun. Time alone can show
whether the house that we have tried to build rests upon shifting sands, or, as I
firmly hope, upon solid rock, to stand as a shield and shelter against every storm.
Long years ago in Europe men set themselves to raise a cathedral to God's
glory. "Let us," they said, "build a church so great that those who come after us
will think us mad to have attempted it." So they said, and wrought, and, after
many years, achieved; and the great cathedral of Seville is their monument.
Let us also, mindful alike of the world's need and of our own weakness, pray
that, under God's guidance, what we have done here in these last weeks will be
found worthy of the faith that gave it birth and of the human suffering that has
been its price. [Oficial Release]
QUESTION TIME IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
The first hour of every sitting day in the House of Commons is
devoted to answering questions which Members of Parliament put
to Ministers. A selection from some of the questions asked during
May and June, 1945, is included below, together with the Ministers'
answers, with the intention of illustrating the scope and purpose of
this, part of Parliamentary business.
MEDICAL MANPOWER (SERVICES)
Dr. Haden Guest (Labour) asked the Minister of Health the number of
medical men and women who have been enlisted into the medical services of the
Navy, Army and Air Force, respectively, from the beginning of the war in 1939
to the latest convenient date.
Mr. Willink: The numbers of medical men and women recruited from Great
Britain and Northern Ireland into the medical branches of the Services up to
May 24th last are 2,405 in the Royal Navy, 12,200 in the Army and 2,564 in the
Royal Air Force, making a total of 17,169. The figure for the Army includes a
number recruited for work with the Indian Medical Service.
Dr. Haden Guest: What proportion do the doctors recruited into the Fight-
ing Services bear to the total number of active medical practitioners on the register?
Mr. Willink: Perhaps it would be helpful to give the answer under two
categories. The proportion of the total number recruited to the total on the register
is 27.5 per cent. The proportion of the number recruited to the total number of
active practitioners is 31.3 per cent. The proportion of general practitioners in the
Services is 21.4 per cent. [May 31, 1945)
Question Time in the House of Commons
RUSSIA (FLEET TRANSFERS)
Mr. Rhys Davies (Labour) asked the Prime Minister whether he is now
able to give information as to the transfer of vessels from the British Navy to the
The Prime Minister: This is a very long answer, Mr. Speaker, so with your
permission and that of the House I propose to give it as a statement after the
question period has ended, as there are so many other questions to be answered.
The Prime Minister: After the Italian Fleet had surrendered the Soviet
Government raised with the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United
States the question of handing over to the Soviet Government a number of Italian
warships and merchant ships. The Soviet Government represented that they had
waged war against Italy in alliance with His Majesty's Government and the United
States Government, and that the Soviet Navy would make good use of any ships
so handed over for prosecuting the war against the principal enemy, Nazi Germany.
The ships for which the Soviet Government asked were:
40,000 tons of merchant shipping
These ships the United Kingdom and United States Governments agreed, at the
Teheran Conference, should be made available to the Soviet Navy.
His Majesty's Government later pointed out, however, that the Italian ships
were built to sail in the temperate waters of the Mediterranean and were unsuit-
able for immediate service in the severe climate of the Northern Seas where the
Soviet Government proposed to employ them. It had, moreover, to be borne in
mind that the Italian Navy had sailed forth'from their ports to join the Allies
in defiance of German orders, that they were pursued by aircraft and suffered
losses in vessels and personnel, including one modern capital ship. Their sur-
render was received by Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham in Malta harbor and
must be considered an honorable naval event. The accession of the Italian Fleet
to the naval forces of the Allies was, at that time, definitely helpful. Some served
in the Mediterranean as warships, others as warship transports, and a good deal of
valuable work was done by them. They also served in the Indian Ocean and on
anti-blockade runner patrols in the Atlantic. Their dockyards rendered important
The question then arose of how to meet the very reasonable and natural request
of Soviet Russia. His Majesty's Government did not wish to see Italy, at that
moment, deprived of its Navy, which was an essential part of the national life
we are resolved to preserve. We therefore proposed that the request of Soviet
Russia for this share of the Italian Navy should be met by the United States and
Great Britain. Accordingly it was further agreed that the Italian ships should,
for the time being, continue to serve the Allied cause, which they had done with
discipline and vigor, and that an equivalent number of British or American
warships and merchant ships should be delivered to the Soviet Navy on temporary
loan. This leaves the issue of the disposition of the Italian Navy to the Peace
Conference which I hope will take place some time or other, it being quite usual
that wars should be followed by Peace Conferences.
British Speeches of the Day
The following action was therefore taken. Half the merchant shipping and
all the warships,.with the exception of the United States cruiser Milwaukee, were
provided by His Majesty's Government. The British warships handed over to the
Soviets were the battleship Royal Sovereign, eight ex-American ("Town" Class)
destroyers and four modern submarines. A further non-operational "Town" Class
destroyer was made available to provide spare parts. Full details including names
and tonnages of all these ships, will be circulated in the OFFICIAL REPORT.
The Russian sailors came to the United Kingdom in the spring of 1944 and
spent some weeks here working up the ships preparatory to taking them to North
Russia. When this important fleet of 13 vessels sailed into the Russian harbor of
Murmansk, a good impression was made upon our Soviet ally, and I received a
message of thanks from Marshal Stalin himself. I feel bound to state that I take
full personal responsibility for this transaction. The units of the Royal Navy have
since then been operating as part of the Red Fleet. The destroyer Churchill and
submarine Sunfish have been lost on active service and the remaining ships will
continue on loan to the Soviet Government until otherwise agreed between the two
Mr. Rhys Davies: While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that very *
explicit statement, which ventilates a problem that has troubled a good number of
people, may I ask whether the time will arise when there will be a settlement of
this account between the two fleets; and whether the House will be able to discuss
The Prime Minister: I certainly think the House of Commons should dis-
cuss this matter, very likely when the next Naval Estimates are presented, or even
earlier, but it will be a new House of Commons. So far as the settling of accounts
is concerned, I consider that the heroic contribution of the Soviet armies to the
breaking of the spirit of the German Army, and driving them into rout and ruin,
constitutes a claim against which we should not attempt to place the provision of
these particular vessels on loan.
Mr. Ivor Thomas: Now that operations against Germany have ceased and
there is so much need for shipping in the Pacific, has not the time come to con-
sider the return of these vessels to the Royal Navy for use in the war against Japan?
The Prime Minister: These would not be vessels that we should use in
the war against Japan. Admittedly, they are of an older type, and we send to the
other side of the world only the best and newest ships, because the cost and diffi-
culties of maintaining them there make it worth while to send only the best and
newest, and the Americans would not thank us if we brought older vessels. On
the other hand, I could not think of anything so ungracious at this moment as to
suggest to the Soviet Government by withdrawing these vessels that we had any
objection whatever to their having a fleet and training their men for a powerful
fleet and an adequate mercantile marine free to traverse all the oceans of the world.
Mr. Shinwell: When the right hon. Gentleman says that he accepts personal
responsibility for what was, undoubtedly, at the time a very fine gesture, would
he agree that this was a War Cabinet decision?
The Prime Minister: Certainly it was. All the actions which I have taken
are War Cabinet decisions, and when I was ill at MarakeeshI telegraphed this
project home to my colleagues and they all accepted the proposal, but as I was the
principal inaugurator of it, and as it seemed to be coming under question, I thought
I would say that I would take responsibility on account of my prominence in the
matter. But my colleagues are equally bound with me in this, which was a very
serious step, involving the transfer of so many of His Majesty's ships; and as the
Question Time in the House of Commons 445
House has taken it so well, I invite former colleagues on the opposite Bench to
share the credit.
Following are the details:
LIST OF SHIPS TRANSFERRED
H.M.S. Royal Sovereign ........................ 29,150 tons
H .M .S. Brighton ...............................
S Chelsea ................................
Georgetown ............................ Town class
Leamington ........................... 1,090 tons
Richm ond ..............................
St. A lbans .............................
H.M .S. Sunfish ................................ 768 tons
Unison ................................ 646 tons
U rsula .................................
In addition to the warships 20,000 tons of merchant shipping was also trans-
feared. June 5, 1945]
MERCHANT NAVY (WAR CASUALTIES)
Mr. Ede (Labour) asked the Prime Minister the total number of casualties
sustained by men of the Royal Merchant Navy during the period of the European
war; and how many of those who were at any time posted as missing or prisoner
are still unaccounted for.
The Prime Minister: The total number of casualties sustained by men of
the Merchant Navy serving on British registered ships as reported from September
3, 1939, to April 30, 1945, was 43,582. Of this total 30,589 were fatal casualties,
4,690 were reported missing, 4,215 wounded, and 4,088 interned. 5,994 of those
reported missing or interned are still unaccounted for.
[June 5, 1945)
ARTS COUNCIL OF GREAT BRITAIN
Mr. Brooke (Conservative) asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether
any decision has been reached as to the future of the Council for the Encourage-
ment of Music and the Arts.
Sir J. Anderson: I have recently considered this matter in consultation with
my right hon. Friends the then Minister of Education and the then Secretary of
British Speeches of.the Day
State for Scotland. The present Council was set up to maintain the standard and
the national tradition of the arts under war conditions. The experience thus
gained seemed to us to show that there will be a lasting need after the war for a
body of this kind to encourage knowledge, understanding and practice of the
arts in the broad sense of that term. It was accordingly decided to incorporate
the Council with this object and with the name of the Arts Council of Great
Britain. The Present Council has been financed by a grant in aid on the Vote for
the Ministry of Education, but we reached the conclusion that the grants in aid
of the new Council would be more appropriately provided on the Treasury Vote,
on which grants in aid of a number of cultural and scientific bodies are already
borne. This would involve a change, after the present financial year, in the
Ministerial responsibility to Parliament. The association of the Education Depart-
ments with the work of the Council would, however, be maintained, by arranging
that appointments to membership of the Council should be made in consultation
with the Ministers responsible for those Departments, and that those Ministers
should each nominate one of their senior officers to attend meetings of the Council
to keep them in touch with the work of the Council and to be the medium of con-
sultation when important questions of policy were being considered. My noble
Friend the Secretary of State for -Scotland and my right hon. Friend the Minister
of Education have informed me of their concurrence in these proposals.
[June 12, 1945]
BRITISH DOMINIONS (MIGRATION)
Sir D. Gunston (Conservative) asked the Under Secretary of State for
Dominion Affairs whether he is now in a position to issue a statement as to the
attitude of the various Commonwealth Governments in regard to migration.
Mr. Emrys-Evans: The position of the United Kingdom Government has
been made clear in another place by my Noble Friend the Secretary of State for
Dominion Affairs on a number of occasions and I would also refer to the statement
which I made on the 2nd December, 1943.
The question has been under discussion with the Governments of Canada. the
Commonwealth of Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa and South-
ern Rhodesia, by correspondence, at the meeting of Prime Ministers in May, 1944,
and in subsequent meetings with Dominion representatives in London. These dis-
cussions related both to the general question of assisted migration after the war
and to the immediate problem likely to arise on the cessation of hostilities in con-
nection with the resettlement of members of the Armed Forces in civil life. On
the latter aspect, the United Kingdom Government have put forward proposals
for a free passage scheme for ex-Service men and women, and men of the Merchant
Navy somewhat similar to that in operation between 1919 and 1922. Under such
a scheme, the United Kingdom Government would provide free transport to the
port of embarkation overseas while the Dominion Government would provide
certain facilities in its own country.
As a result of these discussions, the Dominion Governments and the Govern-
ment of Southern Rhodesia have authorized the following statements of their
attitude and the present position:-
British Dominions (Migration)
The mobilization of Canada's resources for the common war effort in some
respects involved a relatively greater displacement of personnel than in most other
countries. There are for exaniple, between 300,000 and 400,000 soldiers and air-
men overseas, many of whom have been away from their homes for four or five
years without a break. Their repatriation and re-establishment in civilian life will
be a first charge on the Government of Canada, and must take priority over the
movement and placement of others. Having in mind shortage of shipping, which
is expected to continue for a considerable period after the end of the European
hostilities, and is likely to make the repatriation of service personnel a disappoint-
ingly slow business, the Canadian Government do not think it is possible for them
to give realistic consideration at this time to possible plans for the movement of
other classes of persons. In this connection it is also pointed out that the great
expansion of war industries in Canada has tended to be concentrated in certain
areas, to which scores of thousands of workers have been drawn from all over a
very large country. Here again the task of their re-establishment in normal civilian
employment will be of considerable magnitude and is likely to take some time.
These problems are therefore receiving priority in the Canadian Government's
consideration. As the Government make progress with the question of the repatria-
tion and re-establishment of Canadian overseas service personnel, and of the de-
mobilization of war industries, they will be ready to consider with other countries
what steps should be taken to facilitate the movement of persons wishing to change
their place of work and residence from one country to another. They have examined
the conditions under which reciprocal exchange of social security benefits can be
arranged in such cases, and other kindred aspects of the subject. They will gladly
enter into discussions with the United Kingdom authorities on these matters as
early as the situation may make this practicable and fruitful.
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA
As a result of correspondence and recent discussions between officials in Lon-
don, agreement in principle has been reached with the Government of the Common-
wealth of Australia regarding the drafting of agreements between the United
Kingdom and Australian Governments to cover a free passage scheme for ex-
Service personnel from this country and an assisted passage scheme for civilian
migrants. Details are still under discussion between the two Governments, and
there are certain important points still outstanding awaiting settlement. As soon
as agreements are finally concluded, a full announcement will be made. Meanwhile,
it is important to make it clear that at the present time the pressure on shipping is
such that any substantial movement of migrants will be impracticable for some time
The New Zealand Government desire greater population in New Zealand, and
fully recognize its importance in the development of the Dominion. At the present
time, however, and for some time in the future, they are faced with two major
problems. There is first the necessity for rehabilitating men discharged from the
New Zealand forces. Secondly, it is essential to remedy the extreme shortage of
housing, which is so considerable that it can only be overcome by extensive and
large scale building operations, which will take some time to complete so long as
the Dominion is at war. Civil construction work is severely limited by the shortage
of man-power and materials, and it may be some little time before the building
British Speeches of the Day
programme, which was largely suspended on the outbreak of war, can be resumed
to the extent needed.
There may be some immediate openings for migrants of particular types, and
the possible establishment of new industries in the Dominion should in due course
provide openings for an expanding range of skilled workers. The existing ob-
stacles, however, are such that the New Zealand Government cannot contemplate
entering on a commitment to assist migration of people from overseas until these
have been overcome. They are, of course, ready to welcome migrants from the
United Kingdom and other parts of the British Commonwealth who do not re-
quire special assistance, financial or otherwise, in establishing themselves in the
UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA
The position in the Union differs materially from that existing in other
Dominions, in that, owing to its large non-European population, the Union cannot
absorb people belonging to manual or unskilled occupations, including laborers
for agricultural purposes. Furthermore, the Union Government have repeatedly
stated that their first care will be rehabilitation of their own demobilized ex-Serv-
icemen and women, and until this has been effected they are not prepared to
consider any large scale scheme of immigration in the immediate post-war period.
Against this general background, the Union Government are prepared to consider
applications from members of the United Kingdom Forces and, in particular,
members of the Royal Air Force who received training in South Africa and many
of whom, in the meanwhile, married South African nationals. While the Union
Government find themselves unable at this stage to embark on any big immigration
scheme, they will welcome skilled workers in such numbers as the needs of the
Union and the absorptive capacity of the Union admit: and from the latter point
of view such settlers must be carefully selected.
As a result of correspondence and discussion with representatives of Southern
Rhodesia, agreement in principle has been reached regarding the conclusion of an
agreement to cover the migration of' ex-Service personnel from this country. De-
tails are still under discussion and a full announcement will be made when final
agreement has been reached.
A White Paper will be issued shortly.
[June 14, 1945]
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British Health Services Today.
The British Constitution.
50 Facts About Britain's War Effort.
Britain's Fighting Forces (illustrated).
Britain's Future in the Making (illustrated).
50 Facts About India (illustrated).
First Blows: Britain's Fight Against Japan
(All available free on application.)
For catalogue of Films available, terms of hire, etc., apply
to any office of British Information Services.