Leeds nostalgia: Indpendence for India in 1946

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On this day 70 years ago, British PM Clement Attlee told the House of Commons India would get to determine its own fate.

He said: “No great nation can stand alone today but if India elected to be outside the Commonwealth, it would be our responsibility to facilitate the transition.”

He went on to say India was in a ‘state of transition’, adding there was great tension with the ‘tide of nationalism running very fast.’

He added: “My colleagues are going to India with the intention of using their utmost endeavours helping her attain freedom as speedily and fully as possible.”

Also on this day in 1946, it was still snowing in Leeds. City folk woke to find the landscape white-over. In Bridlington, fishing boats were confined to the harbour for the third day in a row because of rough seas.

Sunday bus routes were also re-introduced this in 1946, with a limited service on five Leeds routes, with plans to make the service fully operational across the city by the end of the month.

MPs voted themselves a £1,000 pay rise, at a time when the annual salary of ordinary backbenchers stood at £600. Members of the Select Committee also urged they be given tax-free annual expenses of £500.

In other news, Leeds was braced for a beer shortage, principally because coopers could not make the barrels fast enough, owing to a lack of materials.

Princess Elizabeth took her first trip alone in a warship - the HMS Superb.

Going back five years further, March 15, 1941, Leeds was bombed by the Germans, with damage to the town hall, museum and houses on Bloomfield Place and Woodhouse Street.