Lahore, Friday, July 16, 1920

A lesson and a warning

THOSE in this country who have, in a fit of absent-mindedness or at any rate without much careful thought, joined in the cry that “ Mr. Montagu must go” will, we hope, lay the lesson of the last debate in the House of Commons to heart. According to Reuter, the most remarkable aspect of the debate was the bitter feeling shown towards Mr. Montagu. The Times’ Parliamentary correspondent fully corroborates this view and says that no attack of such concentrated violence on an individual minister has been made since the era of coalition Government began. The violence of the attack may be judged from the fact that when one of the Unionist rebels demanded Mr. Montagu’s resignation, half the House shouted its approval and the result of the division was greeted with repeated cries of “Resign Montagu.” Does any one in India require to be told that these men, whom apparently nothing would please better than the resignation of Mr. Montagu, are not exactly men overflowing with love for India or sympathy with India’s national aspirations? Surely, we in India must think not twice, but twenty times, before we join our voice to that of such dubious allies. In our own opinion, far from demanding Mr. Montagu’s resignation, we in India should make a firm stand by the minister who, though he has failed to satisfy us, though he has both done and said things which we bitterly regret and in some cases strongly condemn, has at least done enough to disconcert and give dire offence to our bitterest enemies, the sworn foes of Indian liberty. Let us carry on our fight with Mr. Montagu himself as strongly and as vigorously as we know how, but let us, at the same time, make it clear that we do not wish to see him sacrificed to Unionist wolves or at the shrine of frightfulness and terrorism. 

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