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Cabinet Mission Plan

  • Date Submitted: 06/26/2011 06:46 AM
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CABINET MISSION PLAN

INTRODUCTION:
When the Cabinet mission arrived in Delhi in March, it had three members, Cripps, A.V. Alexander and Pet hick-Lawrence. They would work in close conjunction with the Viceroy who was assured that it was not intended that he should be treated as a lay figure.
The Mission's task was to try to bring the leaders of the principle Indian political parties to agreement on two matters:
The method of framing a constitution for a self-governing, independent India
The setting up of a new Executive Council or interim government that would hold office while the constitution was being hammered out.
The main problem was, as it always had been, the Hindu-Muslim partition. Congress wanted a unified India and the Muslim League wanted a separate, independent Pakistan. The Mission set to work at once, spending two weeks in lengthy discussions with representatives of all the principal political parties, the Indian States, the Sikhs, Scheduled Castes and other communities, and with Gandhi and several other prominent individuals. But at the end of these discussions there was still no prospect of an agreement between the parties and the mission decided to put forward the two possible solutions for consideration.
A truncated Pakistan, which Wavell had wanted to tell Jinnah, was all he would get if he kept insisting on a sovereign Pakistan.
A loose federation with a three-tier constitution - provinces, group of provinces and an all-India union embracing both British India and the Indian States, which Cripps had devised with the help of two Indian officials, V.P. Menon and Sir B.N. Rau. The Union would be limited to three subjects, foreign affairs, defense and communications, with powers to raise funds for all three; all other subjects would vest in the provinces, but the provinces would be free to form groups, with their own executives and legislatures that would deal with such subjects as the provinces within the group might assign them. In this...

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