The agreement reached at an encouraging speed at the Burmese conference last week bears at their feet the names of C. R. Attlee and Aung San. The fact that two of the Burmese representatives, Ba Sein and U Saw, withheld their signatures for various reasons is regrettable, but not a serious moment. Aung San is now by far burma`s most influential political figure and a colony he supports has the best chance of gaining the support of the population. The agreement offers, as the British Government has readily admitted, the means for Burma to determine its own fate inside or outside the British Commonwealth. The April elections will create a Constituent Assembly that will be completely free to shape the Constitution it loves. He can choose dominion status, he can opt for total independence; This last point is fully accepted by the British Government, which also unreservedly recognises the right of the Burmanes as the ultimate right of the Sudanese to decide on their right. its own status in the world. It is obviously not clear that the Burmese will effectively interrupt any link with the British common good; In many ways, it would be very detrimental to do so; But their right to do so is indisputable. The provisions for full autonomy during the immediate transition period are reasonable and the Karen and other border peoples, who supported us so gallantly during the war, reserve the same right to decide on the form of their association with the Burmese government, on how Burma can decide on its own status. Overall, it was a conference that fulfilled unusual hopes.
The Prime Minister also gave Parliament an overview of the historic relationship between the UK and Burma. He said that the first links with Burma came from the activities of the East India Company, that Burma was a kingdom at that time and that the whole country had been annexed by the United Kingdom in 1886. Effective British rule over all of Burma lasted just over 60 years.  Your comments will help us improve the Spectator archives Opposition Leader Winston Churchill has delivered a devastating attack on the British government`s handling of the Burmese issue. . . .