Source : Labour Monthly June 1938, No. 6.
Publisher : The Labour Publishing Company Ltd., London.
Transcription/HTML : Salil Sen
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2010). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit "Marxists Internet Archive" as your source.
India has expressed herself in international affairs with wisdom and clarity. Collective security, co-operation with peace powers, opposition to Fascism and the pro-fascist policy of the British Government, resistance by every means to imperialist war, refusal to participate in Britain's wars without her own express consent, an active participation in international peace efforts -- these are to-day the guiding principles of Congress policy.
The text of the resolution on Foreign Policy passed at Haripura, given below, amplifies these principles. The adhesion of the Congress to the International Peace Campaign, on the Executive of which she is represented, and the active interest and initiative taken in making a contribution to a progressive policy in regard to Spain, China and Ethiopa, is an attempt in present circumstances to apply this policy in practice.
Congress has in recent months made its views known in appropriate ways to leaders of all sections of British public opinion and more than once communicated the concern of the Indian people to progressive delegations of the Council of the League of Nations.
The Indian Socialist movement, represented by the Congress Socialist Party at its recent conference at Lahore, adopted resolutions on Foreign Policy which reiterated the principles accepted by Congress and these pledge Indian socialist forces to collective security, resistance to imperialist war and support the pooling by the peace powers of their forces for world security.
The Congress Socialist Party have also declared their admiration and support of the National movement in China in its resistance to Japanese fascist aggression and of the Popular Front in Spain. The resolution also declares that the U.S.S.R. is the only major power working for world peace and expresses support of the Soviet Union.
The text of some important resolutions on foreign affairs are given below. They express the Indian view of international affairs.
Foreign Policy and War Danger
In view of the grave danger of widespread and devastating war which overshadows the world, the Congress desires to state afresh the policy of the Indian people with regard to foreign relations and war.
The people of India desire to live in peace and friendship with their neighbours and with all other countries, and for this purpose wish to remove all causes of conflict between them. Striving for their own freedom and independence as a nation, they wish to respect the freedom of others and to build up their strength on the basis of international co-operation and goodwill. Such co-operation must be founded on a world order, and a free India will gladly associate itself with such an order and stand for disarmament and collective security. But world co-operation is impossible of achievement so long as the roots of international conflict remain and one nation dominates over another and imperialism holds sway. In order therefore to establish world peace on an enduring basis, imperialism and the exploitation of one people by another must end.
During the past few years there has been a rapid and deplorable deterioration in international relations, fascist aggression has increased and an unabashed defiance of international obligations has become the avowed policy of fascist powers. British foreign policy, in spite of its evasions and indecisions, has consistently supported the fascist powers in Germany, Spain and the Far East and must, therefore, largely shoulder the responsibility for the progressive deterioration of the world situation. That policy still seeks an arrangement with Nazi Germany and has developed closer relations with rebel Spain. It is helping in the drift to imperialist world war.
India can be no party to such an imperialist war and will not permit her man-power and resources to be exploited in the interests of British imperialism. Nor can India join any war without the express consent of her people. The Congress, therefore, entirely disapproves of war preparations being made in India and large scale manoeuvres and air-raid precautions by which it has been sought to spread an atmosphere of approaching war in India. In the event of an attempt being made to involve India in a war this will be resisted.
The Congress has viewed with anxious concern the aggression of a brutal imperialism in China and the horrors and frightfulness that have accompanied it. In the opinion of the Congress this imperialist invasion is fraught with the gravest consequences for the future of world peace and of freedom in Asia. The Congress sends its deepest sympathy to the people of China in their great ordeal and expresses its admiration for the heroic struggle they are conducting to maintain their freedom and integrity. It congratulates them on achieving national unity and co-ordination in the face of danger and assures them of the solidarity of the Indian people with them in the common task of combating imperialism and achieving freedom.
As a mark of India's sympathy with the Chinese people, the Congress calls upon the people of India to refrain from purchasing Japanese goods.
The Congress condemns the decision of Great Britain as a Mandatory Power to bring about the partition of Palestine in the teeth of the opposition of the Arabs, and the appointment of a Commission to carry out this project.
The Congress records its emphatic protest against the continuation of the reign of terror which is still being maintained in Palestine to force this policy upon the unwilling Arabs.
The Congress expresses its full sympathy with the Arabs in their struggle for national freedom and their fight against British Imperialism.
The Congress holds that the proper method of solving the problem by which the Jews and the Arabs are faced in Palestine is by amicable settlement between themselves, and appeals to the Jews not to seek the shelter of the British Mandate and not to allow themselves to be exploited in the interests of British Imperialism.
Mr. Ram Mohan Lohia moved and Zaheer Ahmed seconded a resolution on the international situation which was carried by the conference.
It draws attention to the fascist and imperialist attack on socialism and democracy of the industrial countries and on national freedom in Colonial countries. It states that U.S.S.R. is the only major Power working for peace and regards the foreign policy of Great Britain as pro-fascist and as encouraging the forces of reaction and war. The resolution further records the belief that the united struggle of the National Freedom Movements and the world socialist and democratic forces alone can meet the fascist and imperialist attack. Warm wishes to the brave defenders of democracy and freedom, in particular to the National government of China and the popular front of Spain are expressed and support to the U.S.S.R. is assured. The resolution supports wholeheartedly the Congress resolution on non-participation in the wars of Great Britain and urges on the Indian people to prepare for the event when they will refuse supplies of men and money to the British Empire and utilise it to achieve independence.
World Peace Congress
The Congress having considered the report of Shri V. K. Krishna Menon on the World Peace Congress, records its appreciation of the part he took in this congress as its representative. It supports wholeheartedly the objective of the Peace congress to ensure world peace by removing the causes of war and offers its full co-operation to this urgent and vital task. The National Congress will willingly associate itself with the organisation which the peace congress has established in this behalf. The Congress, however, wishes to emphasise that imperialism itself is a continuing cause of war and its elimination is essential in the interests of peace. The President of the Congress is authorised and directed to take necessary steps in this behalf.
Against Imperialist War
The Congress has drawn repeated attention in the past to the danger of imperialist war and has declared that India can be no party to it. Since the last session of the Congress the crisis has deepened and fascist aggression has increased, the fascist powers forming alliances and grouping themselves together for war with the intention of dominating Europe and the world and crushing political and social freedom. The Congress is fully conscious of the necessity of facing this world menace in co-operation with the pro¬gressive nations and peoples of the world and especially with those people who are dominated by imperialism and fascism. In the event of such a world war taking place there is a grave danger of Indian man power and resources being utilised for the purposes of British imperialism and it is therefore necessary for the Congress to warn the country again against this and prepare it to resist such exploitation of India and her people. No credits must be voted for such a war and voluntary subscriptions and war loans must not be supported and all other war preparations resisted.
The Congress has followed with the deepest sympathy and anxiety the struggle that is going on in Spain between the people of Spain and a military Group aided by foreign mercenary troops and fascist powers in Europe. The Congress realises that this struggle between democratic progress and fascist reaction is of great consequence to the future of the world and will affect the future of imperialism and India. The Congress has noted without surprise that in this struggle the policy of non-intervention followed by the British Government has been such as to hamper in many ways the Spanish Government and people in fighting the fascist rebels and has thus in effect aided the rebels who are being openly backed and helped by the fascist powers.
The Congress on behalf of the people of India sends greetings to the Spanish people and the assurance of their solidarity with them in this great struggle for liberty.