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Opinion » This day, that year

Posted at: Mar 15, 2019, 7:41 AM; last updated: Mar 15, 2019, 7:41 AM (IST)

Mr Jinnah’s Speech

LAHORE, SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 1919

ONE of the strongest speeches on Mr Banerjea’s amendment was the speech of Mr Jinnah. It was delivered in reply to Mr Ironside’s speech, and it tore that speech in pieces. Mr Ironside said the Bill affected only a small and wicked section of the people and had expressed his surprise that the bigger and saner section of the public had taken up an attitude of hostility towards it. “He would ask Mr Ironside,” said Mr Jinnah in his reply, “to study the history of his own country. Mr Ironside’s countrymen had fought and shed their blood since the time of King John for the principle that no man’s liberty be taken away without trial. It was not the wicked that they wanted to protect, it was the innocent for whom they were pleading. If the government were determined to carry the measure through, all I would say was that I for one believed the consequences would be most unfortunate.” Mr Jinnah characterised Mr Ironside’s further remark that “concession to public opinion on this point would be a weakness” as a monstrous suggestion.

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