12 DECEMBER 1931, Page 2

The Outlook in India The best comment on the repressive

measures it has unhappily been necessary to take in Bengal is the observation made by Lord Irwin in his maiden speech in the House of Lords on Tuesday, that mere repression, unaccompanied by a resolute attempt to reach agreement with India on the great issues now at stake, was futile as a remedy for political discontent. The ex-Viceroy's reference to discussions he had had on the possibility of wholesale repression, and the conclusion reached by him- self and his advisers that the only result would be to put back the clock and bring up all the old problems for settlement afresh under far less favourable conditions, was impressive and convincing. The situation in Bengal, where the local Congress committee has declared an anti-British boycott, is grave, and it will be graver still in India as a whole if Mr. Gandhi on his return decides for another civil disobedience campaign. If that does happen the movement will he broken as it has been broken before, but no such agitation must prevent the new committees of the Round Table Conference from going forward with their appointed task. To abandon the plans made in London would be weakness. However deplorable the methods by which a section of India may advance its demands for self-government, they provide no just ground for the refusal of self-government, * * * *