British Lion Special 1933

British Lion Special 1933
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THE SURRENDER OF AN EMPIRE
By
Sir Michael O’Dwyer, G.C.I.E., K.C.S.I.
late Governor of the Punjab

THE British people by superhuman efforts saved the Empire in the Great War; since then our Statesmen have been busily engaged in surrendering it. Ireland has under the treaty of 1921 become a hostile republic, in fact if not in name; Egypt and Iraq, standing on our Sea and Air routes to the East, are fast slipping away from our legitimate influence, though we rescued the first from the Dervishes and the second from Turkish tyranny; the great island colony of Ceylon whose prosperity has been built up by British enterprise and capital and which is protected by the British Army and Navy, free of charge, has in the last few years been given a pseudo-democratic constitution which enables the local political cliques to set at nought British Authority, strangle British trade and squeeze out the British Officials.

India still remains, but our position in India and our responsibility for the welfare of its 350 million people are now being abandoned. If that insane policy inherited from the Socialist Government and embodied in the White Paper, is carried through, and the present Government are straining every nerve to carry it through, India will he lost to the British Empire “after a period of transition”. (to. quote the Prime Minister’s words).

With it the British Empire will go down. For as that great Viceroy, Lord Curzon, said 30 years – ago, “India is the pivot of our Empire. If this Empire loses any other part of its Dominions, we can survive. But if we lose India the Sun of our Empire will have set.”

That is the great issue with which the British people are to-day confronted. Fortunately they are waking up to the fact that the Government without any mandate from the Constituencies are flinging away the glorious heritage for which our fore fathers shed their blood. The surrender of our position in India would be even more disastrous to the peoples of India whom we have rescued from anarchy, civil war, invasion, famine and pestilence, that to the millions in this country whose livelihood depends on the trade—£200 million per annum–which British enterprise and capital have built up to the advantage of Great Britain and India. The surrender which the: White Paper contemplates would in the words of Mr. Lloyd George he the greatest betrayal: in history. It can only be averted by prompt and vigorous action on the part of the British people: They have the last word. Let them speak it.