British Empire
The end of the British empire - India
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  full transcript - source7  
British government report on the state of India in 1947
(Catalogue ref: DO 142/259)
Source 7a

In my despatch No. 94 of 30th August, I undertook to comment on certain extracts from two leading articles in the Independence Number of the Eastern Economist, dealing with the internal situation in India.

2. Few could disagree with the opinion there expressed that the maintenance - or perhaps one should rather say the re-establishment - of law and order is the first and most important task in India to-day. In the Punjab, where the appalling scale of the atrocities of the last three weeks - the full tale of which may never be told - has only lately come to be realised by public opinion from reports of Ministers, press correspondents and the stories of refugees, such action is of immediate urgency, not least because of the danger that the stories put about by the many thousands of refugees from that distressful province may result in the spread of communal trouble to other parts of the two Dominions.

Source 7b

It has already been necessary to impose a severe curfew in Delhi for some days on this account; and Mr. B. G. Kher, Prime Minister of Bombay, who has been in Delhi for the current meeting of the Constituent Assembly and came to luncheon with me a week ago, made no secret of his anxiety lest the Punjab situation might have unpleasant repercussions at any moment in Bombay. Since then, there have been isolated cases of stabbing in Bombay. It is fortunate, indeed, that the division of the Province of Bengal has not so far resulted, as many had feared it might, in a situation similar to that in the Punjab; but during the last few days Calcutta, which had been remarkably peaceful for a period of three weeks, has been the scene of renewed communal trouble.
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