Editorial from the July 1920 issue of the Socialist Standard
We are, due to the systematic terrorism our democratic rulers have succeeded in establishing, prevented from commenting upon the report of the Commission concerning the Punjaub disturbances at the time the report was published. The matter has again cropped up, in the House of Commons, and Mr. Montagu, the Secretary of State to India, made what was described as a terrible speech. From it we reproduce the following passage because of the implications contained in it
“I say, further, that when you pass an order that all Indians, whoever they may be, most forcibly or voluntarily salaam any officer of His Majesty the King, you are enforcing racial humiliation. I say, thirdly, that when you take selected schoolboys from a school, guilty or innocent, and whip them publicly, when you put up a triangle, where an outrage which we all deplore, and which all India deplores, has taken place, and whip people who have not been convicted, when you flog a wedding party, you are indulging in frightfulness.”
We are not going to add anything to those words: their import will make itself felt.
While we are upon this matter notice may be taken that the Labour Party were dumb during the debate. Only Clynes got up and passed a few inane remarks about the soldier's difficulties and the course the Party were going to follow. As for the crime against the working class of India, they left it severely alone.
The most pungent criticism, as possibly the most hypocritical, was supplied by Mr. Asquith, and surely the spectacle of the hero of Featherstone upbraiding the hero of Amritsar was meant to supply the element of comedy to the piece.
A week or two ago the Poles appeared to be making progress against the Bolshevik armies, and our masters and pastors, buoyed up with false hopes, declared that it would not be right for them to try to secure peace in the midst of the Poles' success. The usual has happened, and at once the air is thick with threats of what the Bolsheviks will find up against them if they do not make peace immediately. Isn't it a huge joke?