Letter

Scope and Content

Letter from Auchinleck to G.E.B. Abell, Private Secretary to the Viceroy, concerning requests made by governors of provinces to the Viceroy for the allocation of small parties or units of British troops. He states that, in the past, the Indian Army has had to deal mainly with local disturbances, and troops for internal defence have been distributed in small packets at likely centres of disturbance, but that now the Indian Army is confronted with the possibility of widespread risings against the Government, and the available troops must be located where they can best deal with serious risings wherever they may occur, stressing that it is the task of the provincial police to deal with trouble in the early stages, and these are at the disposal of the governors of provinces, but all naval, military and air forces must remain at the disposal of their military commanders. He suggests that, when the governors of provinces need help and advice, they should approach the appropriate General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, not the Viceroy, on matters of detail which must of necessity be the responsibility of army commanders. He expresses his own conviction that local police must be strong enough to deal firmly at the outset with local troubles, and his willingness to help them with military equipment to strengthen their power. Typescript.