India Defence League

India Defence League

The India Defence League was a British pressure group founded in June 1933 dedicated to keeping India within the British Empire.

It grew from the parliamentary India Defence Committee and was founded with the support of ten Privy Councillors, twenty-eight peers, fifty-seven MPs, two former Governors and three former Lieutenant-Governors of Indian provinces and including members of the armed forces and the judiciary. [Graham Stewart, "Burying Caesar. Churchill, Chamberlain and the Battle for the Tory Party" (Phoenix, 1999), p. 164.] Viscount Sumner was its Honorary President, with Lord Carson, Rudyard Kipling, Winston Churchill, Sir Henry Page-Croft, the Marquess of Hartington, and Viscount FitzAlan holding the Vice-Presidencies. [Stewart, p. 164.] It eventually had over one hundred peers as members. [Stewart, p. 183.]

In the IDL also helped Admiral Keyes win the Portsmouth North by-election in 1934. [Maurice Cowling, "The Impact of Hitler. British Politics and British Policy. 1933–1940" (Chicago University Press, 1977), p. 247.]


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