The President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, today inaugurated the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in New?
The President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, today inaugurated the Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference in New Delhi. He drove in state from the presidential residence - Rashtrapati Rhawan - to the Indian Parliament House, where the conference is being held. Together with India, Ceylon and Pakistan are standing host to the visiting member countries.
Dr. Prasad said it would be a bad day for the world if anything were to weaken the Commonwealth bond, which was not based on force, but a silken bond, invisible yet strong.
Although the bulk of the meetings will be held in the new conference hall built in Delhi for the UNESCO meeting last year, the opening session, by a happy inspiration, was convened in the circular central hall of the Indian Parliament, scene of many historic assemblies since its inauguration 30 years ago.
Among the delegates was Mr Hugh Gaitskill, leader of the British Parliamentary Opposition.
In the large gathering from all parts of the Commonwealth were representatives from United Kingdom, Malta, Nigeria, Trinidad, Malaya, Canada, Ceylon, Ghana.
Many of the delegates took time off to join with the Speaker of Lok Sabha, Mr Iyengar, in laying a wreath at Rajghat at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial, and in paying a visit to the famous iron pillar at Qutub Minar,
The conference will last nine days. It will devote one and a half days to a discussion of economic problems in the Commonwealth; one day each to the problems of the underdeveloped countries, social services and working of the party system; half a day each to the future of the smaller states in the Commonwealth and to the role of the English language; and two days to international affairs and defence.