Burma GovernmentBurmese government
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THE GOVERNMENT OF BURMA (PROVISIONAL PROVISIONS). HANSARD, 7 June 1945.
This is a brief draft law, but it is in the middle of major incidents and is part of a broader political agenda towards Burma. With the great impact of the amazing Fourteenth Army campaigns, which may have freed most of Burma sooner than many had anticipated, it was necessary to prepare for the upcoming Burmese regime.
His Majesty's government's policies cannot be in question and there must be no mistake. The White Paper has often stated and reiterated that this goal is to give Burma the statute of domination as soon as conditions allow.
This is the view we want Burma to take. Burma's three-year occupancy by the Jap army, major onshore and airborne missions, have caused devastation throughout the state. These are the terms we now have to face in Burma.
While they do not change our desire to help Burma achieve its constitutionally objective as quickly as possible, they call for the phases at which this objective is to be achieved to be such as to fulfil the extraordinary conditions imposed by the conflict. There are four steps, as your Lordships have learned from the White Paper.
First of all, there is the time of army management, which is now in the freed territories. There is no way of setting a specific date by which the civilian authorities will replace the Burmese army authorities, as this must be dependent on the pace of advances in Burma's armed forces, but we can expect the Burmese Government to resume its work in Burma before the end of the year.
There will be a second phase when the civilian authorities resume, and it will be a transition phase during which the Burmese authorities will be preparing for the reinstatement of the 1935 law's state. That phase requires a transient prolongation of the current state of emergencies under which the Burmese authorities have been run since December 1942.
There will be an end to the government's crisis and there will be a re-establishment of self-government under the 1935 law, with a legislature and an executive body in charge of it. The task will then be for the leaders of the Myanmari themselves, in consultation with each other and with His Majesty's Majesty's administration, to achieve the 4th level of dominion-status-dominion in Burma itself, i.e. the Shan states and other planned territories that remain under a separate regimen until they wish otherwise.
These are the phases at which it is suggested that Burma should achieve its constitution objective despite the disruption to its policy development due to the Jap ansi. Her lordships will recall that the 1935 Law included contingency regulations to address a position in which the government of Burma could not continue in accordance with the norm.
Part 139 is the pertinent section of the Act and is similar to Part 93 of the Government Act, according to which the government of certain Indian Provinces has been in power for some years. Since the section was asserted on December 1942, the current government necessity must be lifted in December of this year, unless a change in the law is decided.
Given the interruption of Burmese politics, it would clearly be out of the question to return to the usual legal rules at this stage and it is therefore suggested that the deadline be extended. This prolongation does not mean that the government's state of necessity must be continued until December 1948.
In fact, we trust that by then the Burmese Government will be able to re-establish the functioning of the voting machine and that the domestic terms will allow for the holding of just and equitable ballots as a first substantial stage in the restoration of the full functioning of the other clauses of the 1935 law.
There are some operational problems that will take some effort to resolve, and the duration of this timeframe will be determined by the amount of elapsed in order to create the right environment for holding an election. In the best case, this is a more pro- 453-oriented deal in Burma than we are used to in that land, but with the demolition of the record, the relocation of communication, the movements of the people during the struggles and the exhaustion of government ministries that have taken place, there can be little doubts that it will take a while.
So the first aim of the bill is to extend the government's status of necessity. Secondly, the law is intended to seize authority to liberalise this governmental distress. Aim of this regulation is to allow the governor to achieve the highest possible level of cooperation with Burma during this time, for example by establishing an executive council that can include not only civil servants but also non-official people from Burma, and by establishing an inter-agency council that enjoys a broader level of public assistance.
It is the Governor's great desire to make full use of these competences at the earliest opportunity, as he is wise to ensure the cooperation of all parties in the task of rehabilitation from the first. These are the two objectives of this law, and I trust that your lordships will endorse that they will help to create a concrete foundation on which the Burmese government can begin the great reorganisation challenges that they will face when they come back to Burma after more than three years of inactivity.
The Burmese government continued to exist during this period, working diligently to plan both immediate and long-term recovery. will want to know about these blueprints to restore Burma's prosperity. It is clearly of particular importance to restore Burma's reliance on the recovery of riceproduction and hardwood.
Of course, the first moves to restore civilian officials in the Burmese army are being made, and since many of them are members of Burma's civilian service, there is a need for tight coordination between their first moves and the Burmese government's intentions.
Each of these include expenses incurred by the Burmese government, which currently has no funds of its own, and His Majesty's government has declared its willingness to provide the necessary funds. Long range roadmaps address issues such as lending to the farmer, restoring the soil to the farmer, developing healthcare and community healthcare systems, expanding training and improving governance.
In all these areas, it will be crucial that rehabilitation is carried out in accordance with Burma's vision, and it will be so necessary to link all kinds of Myanmar citizens to these projects before they are completed at the earliest age. Therefore, these roadmaps, which the Government of Burma, with the support of His Majesty's Government, has been preparing for the recovery of the country's economy and which it hopes to put into effect in cooperation with the people of Burma, must be drawn up alongside the White Paper's roadmap for Burma's progress.
Myanmar has been suffering in this conflict, not through its own actions, but through the Eastern Allies. When Burma was liberated, the reception our forces were given was real and very kind. Indeed, Burma has a very powerful right to our compassion and help.
Politics for their progress under the constitution was developed by the deceased government. And all parties in this government have helped. More than anything, it is dependent on the cooperation it receives from the Myanmar population. And I am sure that your Lordships will wish the Governor of Burma well when he gets back to Burma and the Britons and Burmans who have helped him through these troubles.
Only a few of His Majesty's commanders have had to cope with such disastrous incidents as Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith. If his ministry to Burma during their distress were followed by the gratification of bringing them successfully on the path to a successful convalescence, it would be appropriate and just. 2.27 a.m. Gentlemen, I am pleased to be the first to be able this evening to speak in congratulating the distinguished Earl on a dual occasion - a rather unusual occasion in our discussions here - his inaugural address as a member of the House of your Lordships and his inaugural address as a member of the India and Burma offices in the new government.
Having heard the truly commendable address we have just heard, I am sure that the House is hoping to see the gentle count speak again on many forthcoming occasions and that he will be given an equal attention interview, whether he is addressing us in an institutional or personal capacity. Surely this is the case.
The swift understanding my fine fellow for a new and complicated issue is reflected in the presentation of Burmese politics, and I would like to compliment him, if I may, both on the policies of the White Paper and the law he has presented, and on the way in which he has presented them to your Lordships' House.
I know from the few month I had the honor of working in the office in India and Burma that these projects for Burma's growth are the result of a long and incubating time. Throughout this time, the Burmese office and the governor's personnel have done an enormous amount of detail.
To the diligent and hard-working officials to whom the Burmese nation owes much for the good launch it is likely to make once the civilian government can return, a message of commendation and thanks. There is no member of the current cabinet who, I believe, is misinterpreted by the general opinion more than the Secretary of State for India and Burma.
However, I am sure that if we make progress in the next few weeks, it will become clear that none of the famous holders of office in India and Burma had a sharper sense of intellect or a truly more advanced spirit than the current Foreign Minister. Only a few of us had ventured to believe that the Burmese freedom would take place from south to north, up to the collapse of Rangoon, before the rainy seasons, and I would link my precious friend on these seats to the honour of the 457 gentle count, who in his introductory comments of Gaulery and perseverance of simple troops, British Indians, Ghurka or Africans who fight in a troubled land under horrible tropic circumstances, and to the fate and courage of the generals and officials who command them.
We recently had a first-hand report from my fine fellow Duke of Devonshire on the success of Africa's forces, and all the accounts indicate that the Burma operation was one of the most tedious and brilliant of wars. His early and prosperous graduation has enabled your lordships to debate Burma's brighter side this afternoons.
And I was very happy that the gentleman stressed this point. As I remember very well, I believe he said that the efficiency of this approach would be dependent on the cooperation of the Myanmar population. The whole program for Burma's swift progress towards Commonwealth independence is based on the fundamental premise that this cooperation will come about.
There has been no positive response to the government's suggestions, either at home or abroad, and the system could be destroyed if unaccountable criticisms led the people of Burma either to interfere proactively or to engage in non-cooperation passively with the UK administration. However, I believe that many of the concerns that have been voiced are either due to a real confusion in the government's suggestions or to aspirations that go beyond what is directly feasible through the re-establishment of a nationally governed country in freed states that are sexually more developed than Burma.
To the Burmese we must do our best to persuade them that we are completely honest when we speak of early self-government. It is certainly our right to call on the Burmese to show the necessary levels of endurance and self-control during the brief period that we consider necessary to achieve proper advancement towards full home domination. I would like to highlight another point in this programme for a swift transition to self-government in Burma.
Governor's autonomous reign expires once a general election has taken place, and he is legally obliged to hold a general election as soon as the terms in Burma allow it. To my dear fellow declared with great clarity, I thought, the exact barriers that stand in the way of a general election at the time and that must be eliminated before a general election can be made.
This is a legal requirement and I would stress that the governor will not be able to make his free will. Under Section 139 of Burma's law, he can only rule by proclamation as long as he is confident that the government of Burma cannot be governed by the law, which of course imposes Burma legislation and a ministry of accountability under the 459 broad outlines of the constitution.
However, I see nothing arbitrary or degrading for Burma over a brief spell of straightforward domination in which Burma's leadership is partnered with the governor to bridge the time span that must pass before a general election can be called. Up until the fall election, General de Gaulle will remain in power through a ministry that he himself has nominated and is accountable to him, and with the support of a Consultative Assembly that is only active in an consultative role.
However, Burma has no nationally elected leaders like General de Gaulle, who can have the backing of all the peoples, and we cannot allow any sort of parliamentary group to take over before all the citizens of the land have had a reasonable opportunity to elect their own state. For my part, I cannot see anything irrational when I call on Burma to agree to a transition phase of immediate domination that will secure the continued existence of the Myanmar nation from the candidates for leadership - a time that the freedom-loving French have considered essential in their own well-established democracies.
It is not, I believe, all too often that the ultimate triumph of this programme must be dependent on our ability to win Burma's goodwill from the first. In this context, it will be very much to be hoped that we will receive the help not only of the old hands who assisted us before and during the conflict and to whom we are more than we can ever recognise, but also of many young men who have taken leading roles, both politically and militarily, in the antifascist organisation or the Burma army.
These are new and important aspects of Burma's nationwide lives. We should not overlook the fact that the Burmese leaders who assisted the Japanese did so because they thought it was the best way to serve their own nation, not because they were the least benevolent towards Japan.
The draft law and the White Paper entitled White Paper Politics for Burma's Recovery and 460 advances in Burma marked a turning point in the story of Britain's dependence on a much bigger populace than any of the Dominions. How quickly this will be implemented depends on whether we can ensure the trust and cooperation of the people of Burma.
We' have a great advantage in the governor' s persona, Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith. It is dedicated to the Burmese and fully understands their policy ambitions, and I very much hopes that any government in office after the general elections will nominate Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith to ensure the continuation of his good work for Burma.
Provided they really care about the well-being of the Burmese people, they will certainly be encouraging the Burmese to give their full support to this plan for the economical rebuilding of their ravaged land and for the fastest possible progress towards full nationality. 4:00 p.m. Gentlemen, may I extend my sincere greetings and my esteem to the words of the gentleman who spoke to the honourable count?
There is no question that the very capable and sincere nature of this address has led the gentle Count, who has just been speaking, to also address so generously the Members with whom he was recently associated. His Majesty's government policies, as described in the White Paper, are universally accepted elsewhere and throughout the state.
I would therefore ask the gentle count to believe, if I have to make a few remarks, that they are in no way a criticism of politics, but rather point to one or two risks that may arise in its use. It is difficult because what we think is right and probably the only way is not necessarily seen elsewhere as sincere as we know it in this land, even if only because the Burma constitution's bias towards the objective of Burma's self-government as sovereignty in this Commonwealth is in the four phases to which the distinguished Earl alludes.
My aim is therefore to call on the administration - or whatever administration is in power - to go from platform to platform as quickly as possible. This has been emphasised elsewhere and mentioned by the gentle Earl in his opening words, but it is a point that cannot be emphasised too often.
There are four phases involved: the newly established Burma Army Authority, the proclamation of the Burma Act, the re-establishment of the 1935 Constitution and, Emily, self-government and sovereignty. Of course they will to a certain extend be dependent on the level of cooperation between the Governor and the authorities of Burma and the People of Burma, but the first of these two phases - the army management - is even more within our powers to decide whether the organisation of the citizens of Burma has achieved a level of progress that will allow the debate on a constitution for the time being.
When I insist that the time of the Burmese army management comes to a halt and the second phase takes place as soon as possible, then I am doing so because I want to take a measure that will persuade the Burmese and others that we want to implement these four phases as quickly as possible in succession.
Mr President, I do not think anyone in your House of Lordships wants to blame me for being hostile to the army government and the state. I can even imagine cases where a 462ilitary government could be run to the benefit of the country's population instead of giving way to civilian management.
Burma's stance is slightly different from India - if not an outrageous way of describing it as participbus in fi nelium - a governor and a government. As the gentle count has pointed out, the army government includes a very large number of former officials from Burma, but is it not unavoidable that the presence of these officials in the army government will lead them to look over the shoulders of the government of Burma in India, and is it not humane for the government of Burma in India to be angered by someone else who runs an administrative body that could necessarily make it better itself?
They are ephemeral and ill-equipped to take account of long-term changes in the constitution and to take account of policymaking. Moreover, in any army government there is an inevitable trend among those who carry out it not always to put civilian consideration first, but sometimes even civilian consideration first, and nowhere else!
Personally, I have had some experiences of this, and in view of these experiences and in these conditions, I call for the end of the defence regime, if not immediately, then within a period of time that is to be calculated in terms of the number of days rather than the number of days. In any case, if it cannot be ended everywhere in the entire re-occupied Burmese area, it should be ended as far as possible in that area, with certain areas where there are still ongoing armed forces possibly under armed management, but with the closeest contacts with the Government of Burma in Rangoon.
Although harbours and airports must necessarily be used to pursue the campaigns and the commander-in-chief needs certain of Burma's manpower and physical resource assets, nothing stands in the way of turmoil and restlessness - or at least, as the White Paper states - which would warrant the continued rule of a civilian government.
The White Paper and the comments of the honourable Count 463 indicate that so far there have been no major riots, riots or difficulties in carrying out Burmese armed missions. When we have been disillusioned - or rather, when we would have been disillusioned - then these disillusions have obviously not only been largely alleviated but eliminated by the behavior of many of those Burmese themselves who, after close interaction with the Axis teachings and practice of Japan, may have felt that cooperation with us is to be preferred in the interests of their own peoples and their nationalities.
Not only do I believe that this is the case, but I also believe, based on information from other resources that are undoubtedly available to your lordships, that there is currently a very great passion for the best form of nationism in Burma, a grassroots group that has shown little interest in its own business so far, but which is now devoting its life not only to itself but also to liberating its own nation within the framework of what it can do.
In order to catch this ghost, I call for the transition from the first to the second and from the second to the third level to take place as soon as possible and to recall that the third level is not the ultimate objective but merely a step towards that objective - an objective formulated in the White Paper and reaffirmed by those who spoke for His Majesty's Government.
While I believe that the way in which the policies of His Majesty's government have been explained, as much as we agree with this politics, enjoys a little of what I and other fine lords had to watch in declarations on policies concerning overseas affairs in the Empire - in other words, to do good by covertly.
I would like to point out elsewhere that this extraordinary incident, the arrest of Rangoon a few month before it was due, was announced under conditions that paid the greatest tribute to the Fourteenth Army and that almost all of Burma was freed and returned to the Commonwealth, not by a declaration by His Majesty's Government, not by a minister, not by any tragic incident or by any advertising, but by the publishing of a White Paper.
Not too long to do something and make a declaration that corrects the sense that many must have if our policies are to be sketched out in a White Paper and presented in a way that is somewhat suspect, what we say we will do.
First and foremost, what must be done is to bring about an incident through an operation, even if it is only the end of the Burmese and other Burmese armed forces that will persuade them that the policies set out by the honourable Count and others are indeed a genuine, sincere and essential policies of all of us in this state.
This is essential if we want to prevent the misunderstanding in Burma that has occurred in India and if we want to prevent not only anger, but possibly also animosity on the part of those very individuals who have contributed to driving the Japanese themselves out of their community. Perhaps unavoidably, the gentle count made a general reference to aid to Burma.
I am not quite sure whether the funding to be made available (to use his own words) is in the shape of a present or a credit, or to what extent. However that aid may be, it must be appropriate.
It is my sincere thanks to the Myanmar Ministry of Finance that the people of Burma have not been reproached as a kind of widow's crust that they can resort to not only for the necessary rehab of their land but also for the kind of developments that must finally come from Burma's means and that can be found by the people of Burma with the help of 465 other breeds that they themselves can provide with things that the people of Burma do not.
This cooperation between the Myanmarians and others will bring about much of the necessary funding. It is very important here to take away the notion from those in Burma and elsewhere that the Myanmarians, or even the population of another developing state, are enough for themselves and do not need help from elsewhere.
That, on the side of the people of Burma and all others alike, I stress the need to accept the need to give and take in the right way, and not in the way so often given to it, not only in Burma, but elsewhere, that "give and take" means "you give and I take".
" As a result, I am confident that this bill and the policies it results in will be acceptable to your Lordships' House and that everything that can be done to speed up developments and bring the Burmese issue to a successful conclusion will be done. This is very important, I think, because like the lord, Lord Rennell, this is a very important time.
This is the first time we have had to address one of our properties that has been freed from Japan's grasp, and it will be seen by the outside community as a serious part of our own policies for our-dependence. Mr President, I would like to join Lord Rennell in deploring the fact that an opportunity in our story is encircled by all the manifestations of its importance that we would have liked to see as a sign that it has not come more into the public eye.
Why, when you have freed this land, do you not give the full effect of what is ultimately the purpose of the Atlantic Charter, namely that the freed territories can immediately opt for their own type of state? In my opinion, those who make this criticisms do not generally recognise that there must be some distinction between the situations of the freed nations, which used to be free from external scrutiny, and those that were under the scrutiny of politicians, because in the latter case there is a close link between the power they used to scrutinise and their own responsibilities to ensure that the phases in which they can move towards the full manifestation of self-determination are organised and well organised and pursue a course that will produce the best results.
This is a hard issue to discuss with any degree of assurance, because I appreciate that the full provisions of the White Paper were still hard to publish in Burma itself, but I am particularly concerned with what has been said in two recent Newspapers.
Their general tone is that there is a call for immediate autonomy on all sides in Burma, and this is felt particularly strongly by the organisation from which we so much have heard, the anti-fascist organisation. In Burma's conditions, it must be very hard to get an idea of what the crowd's feelings about such a topic are.
The first is the seizure of property and the second is the elimination of debt, both of which are, of course, actions aimed almost exclusively at India's investment and landowners for those who know Burma's conditions. However, although there is perhaps some reluctance to believe that Burma itself, in general and among the masses of the people, has this great resolve to ensure immediate autonomy in its entirety, I recognize with the Lord, Lord Rennell, that there is a very great nationalist sentiment in Burma.
In my opinion, the fact that this is so important reinforces the case for a caretaker government. Apart from the very clear point that the honourable Earl, Lord Scarbrough, was used in the introduction of this law, I believe that a caretaker government is necessary for two other reason, because it is clear that there must be a very substantial amount of spending by the UK Treasury Department for rehab and the like, and also a substantial amount of spending in exchange for so-called'denial orders'.
" However, it will also be necessary for the Burmese government to use its own loan for borrowing. Much will therefore hinge on the immediate government stabilization and the pledge of solid and efficient governance. Allow me to reiterate to your lordships that Burma begins with a guilt of about 40,000,000 against India and, talking on India's behalf, it would be very reluctant to see all the moves that could jeopardise this particular outlay.
This is the costs of the railroads, watering systems and the like, which used to be run by India and which have now been transferred to the Myanmaris. However, post-war rehabilitation will also involve a very high level of privatisation of outside funding, and here too much will be dependent on the way the authorities are run and their effectiveness in a transitional regime.
Mr President, I agree with the honourable Earl, Lord Listowel, when he says that our resolve to establish as soon as possible a statute consistent with that of domination, not only on the basis of our own pledges, but also in the interests of our prestige in the outside worlds, must not be weakened.
It would be a pleasure to make a decision with Lord Rennell as early as possible about the time of military rule, although it is clear to me that it is not as simple as it seems at first glance. There are still powerful bags in Burma, I believe, and those who can remember the story of Burma's initial post-Burma village will see how many outlaws, big parts of what we call dacoit, are in Burma itself.
It is also my wish that during this transitional government some serious measures can be taken to help Burma become ready for the alternate regimes that the honourable Count, Lord Listowel, has spoken of. So if we can find an option or get the Burmese to find an option that will give them a more resilient government that is less susceptible to the caledioscopic changes that former ministries have passed, a government that can offer a more efficient and accountable way of administering, then that would all be good.
On the other hand, I would like to see it possible, when it comes to the end phase, to conclude a contract or agreement that safeguards India's interests in Burma. Burma's story has always been connected with India. I believe there is a very large amount of India's investments in Burma.
In fact, according to such computations, which can be done in a topic that is always somewhat unclear and where it is hard to obtain accuracy, it is possible that Indians have spent some 55,000,000,000 in Burma, while just over 40,000,000 has been spent from UK and other overseas wells.
It is not only the Burma-India trading relationship that is important to both sides, but I believe that the Indians have every right to feel some concern about the course of the relationship between Burma and India in recent years. Let us recall the anti-inflation movements; let us recall the unrest against India's work; and we cannot overlook the fact that there has been a very powerful move to confiscate the great possessions that the Indians have gained in the countries of sub Burma.
In my opinion, the numbers show that, particularly in Lower Burma, about two third of the country was farmed by the country's capitol and a significant part, perhaps a third, is still in India's possession. It is therefore of the utmost importance that an agreement be made to safeguard India's sovereignty in Burma, whether by contract or otherwise.
All of us can pray that the precautions predicted by the Lord concerning the destiny of the Shan States and the Karims will be taken with particular caution. They' re individuals who have never been prepared to tolerate any kind of civilian submission to the Myanmar and they are some of the individuals who have provided the spine of the Myanmar armed forces from the beginning.
They have a completely different way of living than most Burmese people. The Burmese won't be very happy to accept that. Let me just say this: I think that we will all follow the course of the transition government in Burma with the greatest care and even with some concern.
3.19 p.m. Gentlemen, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the gentle Earl who presented this Bill this afternoons. The fact that he has tabled this bill also draws our eye to the strange position sometimes created by the movements of the electric power, for only a few short get-togethers ago my dear fellow sitting directly below me (the Count of Listowel) could have brought this bill into force.
I would like to express my condolences to my dear colleague, the Earl of Listowel. There must have been a slip-up when it was proposed that the Burmese who helped the Japanese were driven by reasons of support from their own people. l loathe interrupting my precious one.
All I want to say is that I limited my comment by saying that some - I did not speak generally - the Burmese were driven by the patriots. Surely I immediately agree with my dear friend's rectification and continue to think that Quisling and others who will soon be on the stand will use this comment as a means of defense if they have to appear before their magistrates.
Mostly I sympathise with the Lord Rennell in his criticisms of this law. It is a great pity that, in re-establishing Section 139, we did not have the guts to re-establish full autonomy and thus enable the Burmese to achieve their aspirations.
Finally, as some of us know long before the outbreak of the conflict, there was a powerful campaign for Burmese autonomy. Burmese people have been fighting for their liberty, and I think we could have trusted them more than we trusted them.
I have helped him on other opportunities to point out how often the government does not make its intention properly known and how often it does the right thing in the right way.
Hopefully an effort will be made to speed up the process of becoming a fully autonomous state. I thought that when the Count, when he passed the law, suggested that at some point there should be another one. I understand that there will be some kind of temporary council while the army is in charge.
I am convinced that this kind of thing will not result in harmonious or good governance, because it will significantly slow down the grant of full autonomy. May I ask the gentle Earl what is the meaning of the rebuilding of Burma's ideal and the provision of funding by that state.
Does this mean that we will increase their debt or does it mean that they will regard the UK Government as a dairy to which they can always come to get rid of their finances? 3.28 a.m. Gentlemen, before the distinguished Count answers this very interesting discussion, which we almost forgot because of the Lord Chancellor's unhappy error, I would like to make a comment on an issue which has not been raised but which I consider to be very important.
And before I do that, if I may be lying, I would personally like to congratulate Mr Earl on reaching this point in the government's Front Bench and on his address this afternoons. Mr President, I am speaking with great caution on the matter we are debating this afternoons because this House is full of former secretaries of state, former vice-kings and former Indian governors, and I would not dare to talk about this law on the administrative arrangements in any of our eastern dependencies.
However, I think there is something that must be said on this most important opportunity when we mark a huge landmark in the constitutionally evolution of His Majesty's Commonwealth. I would like to refer to the policy impact of the White Paper on the law and also to the honourable Count's talk and today's 474 other honourable gentlemen's talks on the other war zones in the Pacific.
Yours lordships are conscious that in addition to their campaigns, the Japans have conducted an intense policy drive of war, which they believe would be generally active in East Asia and Asia. Soon disillusionment, as my honourable Earl of Listowel and the honourable Earl pointed out to those Burmese who tended to welcome the Japonese invasion as a way to deliverance; but the war has produced certain results in some parts of the East, and the expedition is by no means over.
We' ve just won a truly noteworthy win in Burma. Burma's two Japanese armies were the most populous, and I believe the most severely armed and best educated of all their fortresses. Success in beating them and triumphing in the Rangoon vs. Yangon races will always be a huge success in the records of our wartime.
His Excellency recalled to Your Lordships that this had a small triumph in Burma. In some cases, it has already been thwarted by a tactical failure by the Japans. As for the Japans, the country's armed failure is losing more "face" than the animal humiliations of whites in front of the local people, which was one of 475 of their ways of damaging our reputation, has taken its toll on us in "face".
With this in mind, I ask your Lordships to look at the White Paper, the draft law itself and the very elegant discourses of the gentle Count and my honourable friends, the Count of Listowel. With regard to the White Paper and the draft law itself, I would like to endorse my good friends Lord Ammon and other good men's request that on one opportunity we bring a little more heat to our position, something that is understandable to the million of our Burmese people who will not be reading the White Paper, even if it is interpreted into the national language, but will be informed of its content by their own guides.
Looking at section 23 of Part I of the White Paper, you will see that on 18 April 1943 the Secretary of State declared that His Majesty's government's objective was to help Burma achieve full self-government within the British Commonwealth as soon as conditions allow.
Turning to the sixth part of Part II, you will see that His Majesty's Government's final aim will be for the leaders of the People of Burma, having reached a reasonable degree of consensus between the various political groups and branches, to draft a constitution that they themselves consider most appropriate for Burma, taking into consideration not only the UK, but also the other different kinds of constitution in democratic states.
The machine for this will be a question of discussing and voting with the Burmans representatives. This kind of notice has been writing in India for the last twenty years and more. It is completely accurate and straightforward, but it does not give the same significance as, for example, the beautiful testimony of the President of the United States when the US forces arrived in the Philippines that the Filipino nation would gain its immediate autonomy.
This may be a good objective and, as I said, the White Paper is quite right, but why could the Prime Minister or the Secretary of State not make a major statement by wireless in anodised form, both of which can be used to explain what we are going to do for Burma?
The White Paper has given us many seemingly unavoidable guarantees, controls and delay that only raise suspicions of our good faith and give a chance to the activists who want to undermine our policies. While I share my good fellow Earl of Listowel's view that it is very important that the Myanmar community does its best to work together and make the most of the inter-phase period of implementation of this policies; but can we not give a little more courage, show a little more heat and welcome a broader rule in the near term?
That is the kind of thing we could have done: we could have said that we would immediately hand over the Burmese authorities to the Domina. And we could have immediately given them the title of a domination, the solemn domination of Burma. We could then look at the security arrangements which, I dare say, all sensible Burmese would support.
In terms of publicity, I would like to see the Burma office's official languages changed in the nearhood. It is important that we counter the considerations of Japan about our good beliefs in all Asian nations for the benefit of the men who still have missions in Malaya and southern China and the other parts of this huge area, which still need to be freed from the terrible oppression of there.
In particular I would like to thank the gentle Earl, Lord Listowel, for his 477 very kind comments and the great backing he has given to the law. His Excellency suggested that the examination of Burma's constitution should begin before the ordinary legislature is established.
I do not believe, as has already been said, that there is any other explanation why the debate should not begin during the time of the government's state of necessity. And he proposed to consult not only the older Burmese, who have squatted so noblely in recent years, but also the younger member who is now on the front line.
Mr President, I think I can reassure him that it is the Governor of Burma's wish to introduce all kinds of opinions, even those of the newer one. We were urged by the Lord Rennell, the Lord, to go from platform to platform as quickly as possible, and in particular he demanded that the time of our army management should end as soon as possible.
Mr President, I think I can reassure him that both the armed forces and the civilian agencies want an end to Burma's armed conflict as soon as possible and that it is not necessary to liberate the entire area of Burma before it can be cloned.
It also asked for further information on the type of funding for Burma from His Majesty's government. If not, the advance payments to the Government of Burma are interest-free credits without a specific date or payback period, as the Secretary of State emphasised elsewhere.
His Lordship, Lord Ammon, thought that this bill might have caused delays. We are indeed training them by ensuring some progress and associating the Burmese people with the government, even during the period of need.
As a nobleman who has urged him to complete this 478 leg as soon as possible, I can reassure him that there is no wish in any part of the world to extend it longer than is necessary to prepare for the poll. In my view, I must reiterate, so that the government's policies are not misinterpreted, that there are indeed very genuine operational problems in speeding up election preparation.
When the Burmese Government returns, we can be sure that it will do its best, albeit with relatively small government agencies, to press ahead with these arrangements.