Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): There is a statement I should like to make to the house in explanation of the fact that a release to the press was made this morning at eleven o'clock of an exchange of telegrams between Ottawa and New Delhi with respect to the amendment of the Franchise Act of British Columbia and its effect upon the franchise of East Indians. The reason the release was made this morning instead of being communicated first here in the house was that it was desired to have it released simultaneously here and in New Delhi. Because of the difference in time even eleven o'clock this morning meant something like 9.30 p.m. in New Delhi. The telegrams are as follows:
Right Hon. Louis S. St. Laurent.
Secretary of State for External Affairs,
I would like to convey to Prime Minister of Canada, to Premier of British Columbia, and to yourself, my appreciation and thanks for action taken by legislative assembly of British Columbia in passing bill enfranchising Indians. I hope this is forerunner of increasingly friendly relations between Canada and India.
Jawaharlal Nehru, Minister for External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations, India.
To which the following reply was sent: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,
Minister for External Affairs and Commonwealth Relations,
Greatly appreciate your kind telegram regarding enfranchisement of Indians in British Columbia which has resulted from action by legislative assembly of that province. I join with you in hope that friendship between India and Canada will be strengthened by this action.
Louis S. St. Laurent,
Secretary of State for External Affairs.