Congress climbdown and Jinnah's rejection

CMP(17A) Congress "climbdown" on grouping and Jinnah's rejection of it, January 1947
Documents included
  • Text of Resolution passed by the All-India Congress Committee on 6 January 1947 "accepting" the British Government's 6 December 1946 statement[CMP(17)] on grouping (full text)
  • Secret record of Patel and Nehru's meeting with A.I.C.C's Bengal members on Congress "climb-down" in their 6 January 1947 Resolution (full text)
  • Resolution passed by the All-India Muslim League Working Committee   on 31 January 1947 (full text)
  • Viscount Wavell to Lord Pethick-Lawrence on Patel and Nehru reaction to the Muslim League resolution on   1 February 1947 (excerpts)
  • Unsigned and undated note on the Congress's January 6th  and Muslim League's January 31st resolutions (prob. by V.P.Menon, Reforms Commissioner)(full text)
[Also see the last two documents of CMP(12C) Behind the scenes-Jinnah]

From 'The Transfer of Power 1942-47' Volume IX The fixing of a time limit 4 November 1946 - 22 March 1947, Eds. Nicholas Mansergh and Penderel Moon, 1980.

Comment

The Congress made an attempt to placate the Muslim League by accepting the British Government's 6 December 1946 statement on the interpretation of grouping in the 16 May 1946 Cabinet Mission Plan.  In talks with Sardar Patel, Bengal Congressmen described this as a Congress "climbdown".  M.A.Jinnah and the Muslim League however stated that the  Congress's "acceptance"  in its 6 January Resolution was not unequivocal and genuine enough  and  rejected it.

It would be interesting to some day list all the constituencies and constituents which Jinnah had at various times demanded that the Congress abandon for  the cause of preserving India's "unity".


253 page 462 (full text)
Text of Resolution passed by the All-India Congress Committee on 6 January 1947

The A.I.C.C having considered events that have taken place in the country since the Meerut Session of the Congress in November last, the statement issued by the British Government on the 6th December 1946[CMP(17)], and the statement of the Working Committee of the 22nd December 1946[CMP(17)], advises Congressmen as follows

(I) The A.I.C.C. endorses the statement of the Working Committee of the 22nd December 1946, and expresses its agreement with the view contained therein.

(2) While the Congress has always been agreeable to making a reference to the Federal Court, on the question of interpretation in dispute, such a reference has become purposeless and undesirable owing to the recent announcements made on behalf of the British Government. A reference could only be made on an agreed basis, the parties concerned agreeing to abide by the decision given.

(3) The A.I.C.C. is firmly of the opinion that the constitution for a free and independent India should be framed by the people of India on the basis of as wide an agreement as possible. There must be no interference whatsoever by any external authority, and no compulsion of any province or part of a province by another province. The A.I.C.C. realises and appreciates the difficulties placed in the way of some provinces, notably Baluchistan, Assam, the N.W.F.P. and the Sikhs in the Punjab, by the British Cabinet scheme of 16th May 1946 and more especially by the interpretation put upon it by the British Government in their statement of 6th December 1946. The Congress cannot be a party to any such compulsion or imposition against the will of the people concerned-a principle which the British Government have themselves recognized.

(4)The A.I.C.C. is anxious that the Constituent Assembly should proceed with the work of framing a Constitution for free India with the goodwill of all parties concerned, and, with a view to removing the difficulties that have arisen owing to varying interpretations, agree to advise action in accordance with the interpretation of the British Government with regard to the procedure to be followed in Sections. It must be clearly  understood however, that this must not involve any compulsion of a province, and that the rights of Sikhs in the Punjab should not be jeopardized.

In the event of any attempt at such compulsion, the province or part of a province has a right to take such action as may be deemed necessary in order to give effect to the wishes of the people concerned. The further course of action will depend on the developments that take place, and the A.I.C.C. therefore directs the Working Committee to advise upon it whenever circumstances so require, keeping in view the basic principle of provincial autonomy.

280 page 508 (full text)
Sir F Burrows(Bengal) to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell
                                                                                                          GOVERNMENT HOUSE, CALCUTTA
                                                                                                                                              17 January 1947

My dear Lord Wavell,
Many thanks for your letter no. 40/3 of the 14th January on a variety of subjects raised in my last fortnightly  letter. Though, of course, I entirely get your point when you say "it is no bad thing that he (Gandhi) should remain for the present in a remote corner of Bengal", you will, I am sure, appreciate that that is a point of view to which I and my Ministers would not wholeheartedly subscribe!

I can well believe what you say about the draft resolution the little man drafted for the All-India Congress Committee about H.M.G.'s declaration of December the 6th. It is encouraging that Patel at all events showed a greater sense of realism. In this connection I think you would be interested to see a piece of secret information which our Intelligence Branch have got hold of, which tends to bear out your own information as to Patel's attitude.

I believe these reports no longer reach the D.I.B. The "Agent" is believed to be reliable and I think myself that the report rings true.
                                                                                                                                                     Yours sincerely,
                                                                                                                                                                 F.J.Burrows.

Enclosure to No. 280
EXTRACT FROM SECRET INFORMATION DATED 9.1.47

The majority (of the A.I.C.C. representatives from Bengal joining the A.I.C.C. meeting at Delhi on the 5th and 6th January) reached Delhi on the afternoon of the 4th and on the evening of the same date three Bengal members saw SARDAR VALLABHBHAI PATEL. He was running a temperature at the time and did not attend the A.I.C.C. meeting on the 5th and the 6th. MR. PATEL most anxiously asked the three Bengal members what the attitude of  all Bengal members would be towards the official resolution, the substance of which he described to them.

The Bengal members wanted to know if the acceptance of H.M.G's statement of December 6 would encroach upon the sovereignty of the Constituent Assembly. Mr. Patel said that the Constituent Assembly was not a sovereign body as it had many limitations and it must work through the limited scope of the Cabinet delegation's statement of May 16th. It is only to give the people of India some confidence in themselves that the Congress is giving out that it is a sovereign body. When the Congress accepted the May 16 formula of the Cabinet delegation in its entirety it was implicit in that acceptance that they would accept everything in the shape of December 6 statement of the British Prime Minister. The Constituent Assembly cannot function when one of its effective limbs is not there. It is therefore incumbent that the Muslim League members must be brought in and with their help a Constitution should be framed. Refusal to accept the December 6 Statement would lead to a state of war with the British Govt. and the Congress was not ready for that. Any fight with the British Govt. must nowadays lead to a fight with the Muslims and this must be avoided at any cost.

One of the three Bengal members asked if this climb-down on the part of the Congress would make the Muslim League join the Constituent Assembly, if the Congress would not lose its prestige with the people of India and abroad and why should Assam be let down unceremoniously when Pandit Nehru gave that Province high hopes. Mr. Patel said that this was definitely a climb-down on the part of the Congress; but for the good of the people of India principles have sometimes to be swallowed for the sake of expediency. In a political game compromises have to be made, and in India the Congress prestige will not suffer more than it has already suffered by entering the Interim Government. Entering the Interim Government was not the goal of the Congress but it is a stage in the achievement of independence. If it is found that the assumption of office is standing in the way of realization of its goal, the Congress will walk out of office and begin starting a fight. Surely the whole of India cannot be plunged into civil war for the sake of Assam.

The Congress viewpoint is that it has got a loop hole in the stone wall of British sovereignty in India. This loop hole is the Cabinet delegation's statement of May 16. By taking advantage of it it now wants to get rid of the British, their influence and administration. When the British had gone and ceased to play any part in the political game of this country, it will not be difficult for the Congress to come to really friendly terms with the Muslim League, since the League leaders will find none other to support them.

One of the Bengali members asked why Mr. Gandhi then advised Assam to keep aloof from grouping? Mr. Patel did not give any reply to this but said that the official Congress resolution to be moved on the 5th. at the A.I.C.C. meeting was discussed by Pandit Nehru with Gandhi at Noakhali, drafted by Pandit Nehru and was finally approved by Gandhi.

II. The Bengali delegates then saw Pandit Nehru who enquired who were opposing the resolution. He was told that the F.B. and the "Socialists" would oppose it. Pandit Nehru flared up at the word "Socialist" and said "Am I not a Socialist?". He said that it was he who had created the Congress Socialist Party, it was he who made Jai Prakash Narain find his feet in politics and it was he who had taken him in the Congress Working Committee. Now Jai Prakash Narain resigned from the Working Committee and perhaps he has done well. Pandit Nehru was told that Sarat Bose might also reply[?resign] but Pandit Nehru made no comments. Pandit Nehru was told that Bengal Congressmen would vote for the resolution but it baffled Bengal Congressmen's understanding when they found that it was Pandit Nehru who was letting down Assam when previously he had given high hopes to the leaders of that province. Pandit Nehru gave a curt reply saying that Assam could not hold up the progress of the rest of India and support to Assam would mean refusal to accept the British Prime Minister's statement of December 6, and letting loose forces of chaos and civil war. He was asked why then the resolution gave a direction saying that a province or a part of a province might not be compelled to join a group. Pandit Nehru said that this was a pious wish and did not mutilate the May 16 statement.

333 Page 586 (full text)
Resolution passed by the all-India Muslim League Working Committee at Karachi on 31 January 1947

The Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League have given careful consideration to the Statement issued by His Majesty's Government on December 6th, 1946, the resolutions passed thereafter by the Congress Working Committee on December 22nd, 1946, and by the All-India Congress Committee on January 6th, 1947, the speeches delivered by responsible leaders of the Congress at the A.I.C.C. session referred to above, and the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly during its two sessions so far held and record their views as follows:-

By their Statement of December 6th, His Majesty's Government admitted that the interpretation which the Muslim League had always put on paragraphs 19 (V) and 19 (VIII) of the Cabinet Mission's Statement of May 16th was the correct one and accorded with the intention of the Cabinet Mission and His Majesty's Government. By that Statement it was always[?also] proved that the Congress, on the other hand, had "put forward a different view" and therefore had not accepted what His Majesty's Government themselves described as "this fundamental point", namely, that decisions in the Sections, including questions relating to the settling of the constitutions of Provinces included in each Group, "should, in the absence of agreement to the contrary, be taken by a simple majority vote of the representatives in the Sections". His Majesty's Government, furthermore, added that "this statement, as so interpreted, must therefore be considered an essential part of the Scheme of May 16th for enabling the Indian people to formulate a constitution which His Majesty's Government would be prepared to submit to Parliament". Accordingly, in their Statement of December 6th, they urged the Congress to accept "this reaffirmation of the intention of the Cabinet Mission", or in the alternative to refer the point to the Federal Court at a very early date.

In their Statement of December 6th, His Majesty's Government also affirmed that the Congress had agreed that other questions of interpretation of the Statement of May 16th which might arise might be referred by either side to the Federal Court whose decisions should be accepted, and, on the assumption that the Congress had agreed to this procedure, His Majesty's Government asked the Muslim League also to agree to it in order to ensure that "the procedure both in the Union Constituent Assembly and in the Sections, may accord with the Cabinet Mission's Plan".

Thirdly, His Majesty's Government, in the last paragraph of their Statement of December 6th, reiterated the fact that, "there has never been any prospect of success for the Constituent Assembly except upon the basis of the agreed procedure", and they repeated the assurance: "Should the constitution come to be framed by a Constituent Assembly by which a large section of the Indian population had not been represented, His Majesty's Government would not, of course contemplate-as the Congress have stated they would not contemplate-forcing such a constitution upon any unwilling parts of the country". The meaning and the application of this assurance was further clarified by Sir Stafford Cripps in his speech in the House of Commons on December 12th, 1946, when he said: "But the Government also had to envisage the possibility in the clause in the final paragraph of the Statement. This was perhaps a statement of the obvious-that if the Muslim League could not be persuaded to come into the Constituent Assembly, then parts of the country, where they were in a majority could not be held to be bound by the results".


The situation created by the issue of this statement by His Majesty's Government was that the onus of taking the next step fell on the Congress and they were called upon:
(1) to accept honesty and unequivocally the correct interpretation of paragraphs 19(V) and  19(VIII) of the Cabinet Mission's Statement of May 16th, which interpretation had been already accepted by the Muslim League, or to refer the point to the Federal Court,
(2) to reaffirm that they accepted the procedure for the settling of other questions of interpretation that might arise, so that the decision should accord with the basic and fundamental principles of the Scheme of 16th May, 1946, namely, that either side could refer such questions to the Federal Court whose decisions would be binding on all concerned, and
(3) to postpone the session of the Constituent Assembly which had been called for the 9th December, 1946, pending settlement of the dispute over fundamental points of principle and procedure which had been brought to the fore by the Statement of December 6th and the correct interpretation of which the Congress had not accepted, as was made clear in that Statement, there being no prospect of success for the Constituent Assembly without such agreement, particularly on the part of the Congress.

The Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League regret to note that the Congress have reacted to the situation created by the Statement of December 6th in a manner which shows that they are determined to adhere to their own views and interpretations of fundamental provisions in the Cabinet Mission's Statement of May 16th, which militate against clearly expressed intentions and interpretations of the authors of the Statement as well as of His Majesty's Government as a whole and which destroy the very basis on which the constitutional plan set forth in that Statement had been drawn up. By their resolution of December 22nd the Congress Working Committee rejected the suggestion that the point in dispute should be referred to the Federal Court if Congress did not accept "this reaffirmation of the intention of the Cabinet Mission", and that Committee decided to convene a meeting of the All-India Congress Committee for the purpose of giving a decision on the issues raised by the Statement of 6th December. The Working Committee of the Congress, however, in their resolution indulged in an attack on the British Government for their renewed interpretation and clarification which had called the Congress bluff, and on the Muslim League for no other fault except that its stand had at last been vindicated.

The All-India Congress Committee, by its resolution passed on January 6th, purported "to agree to advise action in accordance with the interpretation of the British Government in regard to the procedure to be followed in the Sections", about which there never was any doubt in the mind of any sane and honest person, but it immediately added the following qualifying clauses:

"It must be clearly understood, however, that this must not involve any compulsion on a Province and that the rights of the Sikhs in the Punjab should not be jeopardized.

"In the event of any attempt at such compulsion, a Province or party of a Province has the right to take such action as may be deemed necessary in order to give effect to the wishes of the people concerned.

"The future course of action will depend upon the developments that take place and the A.I.C.C., therefore, directs the Working Committee to advise upon it, whenever circumstances so require, keeping in view the basic principle of provincial autonomy".

These qualifying clauses, in the considered opinion of the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League, confer the right of veto within the Section on a "Province", and what is more absurd-on "a part of a Province", as well as on the Sikhs in the Punjab, and therefore they completely nullify the advice or so-called "acceptance" by the Congress of the December Statement, and this A.I.C.C. resolution is no more than a dishonest trick and jugglery of words by which Congress has again attempted to deceive the British Government, the Muslim League and public opinion in general.

The question or issue was a very simple one. What was required was a straight and honest answer-and not these evasions, equivocations and camouflage from one of the two major contracting parties to the questions whether the Congress honestly and sincerely agreed to the proposals of the 16th of May as clarified by His Majesty's Government on the 6th December 1946, and whether they were prepared to honourably abide by them and carry out the letter and spirit of the proposals which were put before the two major parties by the British Government, who were merely acting as mediators, as, unfortunately the two major parties had failed to come to any agreement at Simla and the Conference at Simla had broken down.

Of the second point in His Majesty's Government's Statement of December 6th, namely, the procedure whereby either side could refer other questions of interpretation to the Federal Court, the resolution of the A.I.C.C. makes no mention, but the mover of the resolution, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, on being questioned on the second day of the A.I.C.C.'s deliberations as to whether the Congress had agreed to this procedure, categorically answered in the negative and declared:

"Apart from this, in view of recent developments and the Statement of December 6th, which produces a new situation I am not prepared to admit for an instant that we have agreed to any future procedure about references. Whatever the future brings we shall have to consider it. I should like to make it perfectly clear that we are giving no assurance about any references in regard to any other matters to the Federal Court... We are not going to commit ourselves at the present moment to any reference to the Federal Court or to any other authority. We shall decide-or the Constituent Assembly shall decide-as we think best in the circumstances."

With regard to the 3rd point, namely, that "if a constitution came to be framed by a Constituent Assembly in which a  large section of the Indian population had not been represented", such a constitution would not be forced upon any "unwilling parts of the country", the A.I.C.C. resolution, in paragraph 3, completely distorts the meaning and application of this  principle and makes this an excuse to instigate a section of the population of Assam, the North-West Frontier Province, the Sikhs and even Baluchistan, to revolt against decisions that might be taken by the relevant Sections sitting as a whole and by simple majority vote. In the opinion of the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League the subsequent decision of the Assam Provincial Congress not to abide by the procedure laid down for Sections and its reiteration that "the Constitution for Assam shall be framed by her own representatives only" is a direct result of this instigation and is a step taken by Assam Congressmen in collusion with the All-India leaders of the Congress.

The Constituent Assembly met on the 9th December and subsequent dates and thereafter on the 20th of January and subsequent dates and has already taken decisions of vital character so far as it is known to the public; and as some of the sittings were held in camera it is very difficult to get correct information as to what other resolutions it has passed or what decisions it has already taken. It has passed a resolution known as Independent Sovereign Republic Resolution laying down the objectives.

It is not only a proclamation of India as an independent sovereign republic but it lays down fundamentals of the constitution as was admitted by Pandit Jawaharalal Nehru, the mover of the resolution. It is a very vital resolution.

It lays down the essentials of the next constitution; several things which are mentioned there are fundamentals of the constitution. It speaks of a republic or "Union", functions and powers vested in the "Union" or as are inherent or implied in the Union and resulting therefrom, and talks of present boundaries, states and present authorities, the residuary powers, powers being derived from the people, minority rights and fundamental rights. These are undoubtedly fundamentals of the constitution and they are beyond the limit of the powers and the terms of the scheme of the Cabinet Mission of 16th May and the resolution is therefore illegal, ultra vires and not competent to the Constituent Assembly to adopt.

Next, it has appointed several committees and has proceeded to elect Advisory Committee, referred to in paragraph 20 of the Statement of the Cabinet Mission and the Viceroy on the rights of the citizens, minorities, tribal and excluded areas. Further it has appointed a Steering Committee and various other Committees and as some of the decisions have been taken in camera it is very difficult to say what resolutions it has passed or decisions it has taken. It has also passed the "Rules of Procedure" and assumed control of Sections by means of these rules for which there is no warrant and no justification, particularly Rule 63, which runs as follows:-

"63(1) The Assembly shall, before finally settling the Union Constitution, give an opportunity to the several Provinces and States through their Legislatures to formulate, within such time as it may fix, their views upon the resolutions of the Assembly outlining the main features of the Constitution or, if the Assembly so decides, upon the preliminary draft of the Constitution.

(2) Before the Constitution of any Province is finally settled or the decision to set up a Group Constitution for the Section in which the Province is included is finally taken, an opportunity shall be given to the Province concerned through its Legislature to formulate, within such time as may be fixed for the purpose, its views-
(a) upon the resolutions outlining the main features of the Constitution or, if the majority of the representatives of the Province in the Assembly so desire, upon the preliminary draft of such Constitution,
and
(b) upon the preliminary decision of the Section concerned as to whether a Group constitution shall be set up for the Provinces included in the Section and, if so, with what provincial subjects the Group should deal."

And lastly, it has appointed a Committee to define the scope of the Union subjects whereas the position was made quite clear, immediately after the statement of the 16th of May was issued, by the Secretary of State for India in his broadcast and by Sir Stafford Cripps at his Press Conference where he read out an explanatory statement. Both of them stated in the clearest possible terms, the time and manner in which group constitutions were to be framed by the sections concerned before the Union Constitution was taken up. The Secretary of State said:

"After a preliminary meeting in common, these representatives of the Provinces will divide themselves up into three Sections. These Sections will decide upon provincial and Group matters. Subsequently they will reunite to decide upon the constitution for the Union."

Sir Stafford Cripps at his Press Conference said:
"So the three sections will formulate the provincial and Group constitutions and when that is done they work together with the State's representatives to make the Union Constitution. That is the final phase". And the Union is strictly confined to three subjects.

It is clear from the above that the Constituent Assembly, in which only the Congress Party is represented, has taken decisions on principles and procedure some of which exceed the limitations imposed by the Statement of May 16th on the Constituent Assembly's functions and powers at the preliminary stage and, which further impinge upon the powers and functions of the Sections. By taking these decisions in the Constituent Assembly and by appointing packed Committees consisting of individuals chosen by the Congress, the Congress has already converted that truncated Assembly into a rump and something totally different from what the Cabinet Mission's Statement had provided for.

In view of these facts and circumstances the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League are definitely of the opinion that the Congress, by rejecting this final appeal of His Majesty's Government to accept the correct interpretation of fundamental procedure of the Cabinet Mission's Statement of May 16th, and by having already, by the resolutions and decisions taken in two sessions, converted the Constituent Assembly into a body of its own conception, has destroyed all the fundamentals of the statement of the 16th May Constitutional Plan. The Working Committee accordingly call upon His Majesty's Government to declare that the Constitutional Plan formulated by the Cabinet Mission as announced on May 16th has failed because the Congress after all these months of efforts have not accepted the statement of 16th May 1946, nor have the Sikhs, nor the Scheduled Castes.

The proposals of 16th May could only be given effect to and carried out if the two major parties agreed to accept them. The Congress had not and have not accepted and do not accept them, although the Muslim League had accepted by their resolution the statement of 16th May 1946, as far back as 6th June  1946. But in view of the fact that the Congress refused to accept the proposals in toto and unequivocally, the Muslim League had to withdraw its acceptance on the 29th of July 1946.

The Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League are, therefore, emphatically of the opinion that the elections to, and thereafter the summoning of the Constituent Assembly, in spite of strong protests and most emphatic objections on the part of the Muslim League, was ab initio void, invalid and illegal as not only the major parties had not accepted the statement but even the Sikhs, and the Scheduled Castes had also not done so; and that the continuation of the Constituent Assembly and its proceedings and decisions are ultra vires invalid and illegal, and it should forthwith be dissolved.

In view of these facts and circumstances the Working Committee are clearly of the opinion that as the Congress as a major contracting party has not accepted the statement of 16 May 1946, as clarified by the Statement of His Majesty's Government of the 6th of December 1946, no useful purpose will be served by summoning a meeting of the Council of the All-India Muslim League to reconsider its decision of the 29th of July 1946, whereby it had withdrawn the acceptance of the Cabinet Mission's plan of 16th May 1946.


336 page 594(excerpts)
Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

                                                                                                                                                               NEW DELHI, 1 February 1947
I saw Nehru for half an hour this evening. I told him how much I regretted the League decision which seems to leave no loophole.* A final breach between  Congress and League would have serious effect on the country. There could be no question of H.M.G dissolving the Constituent Assembly or reversing their policy but obviously a Constituent Assembly without the League and possibly without the States could not make an acceptable Constitution for India as a whole.

2. As to the Central Government..

3. Nehru said that the work of the Constituent Assembly would go on but that obviously they could not force a constitution on a reluctant Province. He thought that they would probably draw up a model outline Constitution for a Province and send it round to Provinces for discussion by the Provincial Assembly. They would discuss with States Negotiating Committee on 8th February and see how far the States were prepared to cooperate with the Constituent Assembly. The meetings of the various Committees had been postponed till the end of February in the hope of Muslim League and States joining.

4. As to the Cabinet, the matter required careful consideration. It was not merely that the League had refused to join the Constituent Assembly, but that until the Bombay resolution was withdrawn they were committed to a policy of direct action, i.e. of active opposition to the Government of which they at present formed part.
....

*At noon on 1 February Lord Wavell had seen Sardar Patel who had remarked that the League Resolution 'was uncompromising and left no loophole'. Note by Wavell.

369 Page 657
Unsigned and undated(probably by V.P.Menon, Reforms Commissioner)

The two main points in the Statement of Dec. 6 are:-
(i) that the Congress should accept H.M.G's view that, in the absence of other agreed procedure, decisions in Sections will be taken by simple majority vote; and
(ii) that other questions of interpretation should be referred to the Federal Court whose opinion should be accepted.

2. As regards (i), the A.I.C.C resolution says:-
"The A.I.C.C is anxious that the Constituent Assembly should proceed with the work of framing a constitution for free India with the goodwill of all parties concerned and, with a view to removing the difficulties that have arisen owing to varying interpretations, agree to advise action in accordance with the interpretation of the British Government in regard to the procedure to be followed in the Sections".

3. There is nothing in any part of the Resolution which qualifies or whittles down this statement of the Congress intention.

4. The resolution has said that there must be no compulsion on a Province and that the rights of the Sikhs in the Punjab must not be jeopardized. But the Constituent Assembly is the proper forum for adjustment of various points of view and no objection can therefore be taken to this expression of the Congress view-point. Indeed, the practical position is that once the Sections get working it is the Congress and the Sikhs who are in a minority and even matters of procedure will be regulated by majority opinion. The Union Assembly has a Congress majority but it is not in a position to interfere in decisions taken by Sections in matters relating primarily to Group and Provincial Constitutions. So it may be found that the Congress will not have effective sanctions-apart from withdrawal from Sections-even if they feel that the Sections have compelled Provinces or failed to safeguard the rights of the Sikhs.

5. As regards (ii), the Statement of May 16 adequately protects Muslim interests in the Union Constituent Assembly-vide para 19 (vii). There is no question but that the Congress have accepted this.

6. In their Statement of Dec.6 H.M.G have expressed the hope that if the Muslim League decides to participate, the Federal Court will be asked to pronounce upon matters of interpretation of the Statement of May 16 (other than the question of procedure in the Sections). This is clearly of the nature of a suggestion to the parties and its acceptance cannot be imposed on the parties. As the same time, H.M.G.'s commitment to implement the Constitution drafted by the Assembly is contingent upon their being satisfied inter alia that the terms of the State Paper of May 16 are adhered to.

7. It is therefore not reasonable to hold that Congress has not accepted the State Paper of May 16 as subsequently clarified by the Cabinet Mission and H.M.G.

8. Incidentally it may be mentioned that it is not correct to say that the Sikhs have not accepted the Statement of May 16.*  *Mr Abell noted against this para.:'True'.

Home

CMP(1) -  From Ayesha Jalal's 'The Sole Spokesman'

CMP(2) -  Congress and Muslim League positions on 12 May 1946

CMP(3) -  The Cabinet Mission Plan 16 May 1946

CMP(4) - Jinnah  and ML  responses to the CMP 22 May  and June 6 1946

CMP(5) -  Jinnah's meeting with Mission Delegation on 4 April 1946

CMP(6) -  Jinnah's meeting with Missiion Delegation on 16 April 1946

CMP(7A) - Maulana Azad's meeting with Mission Delegation on 17 April 1946

CMP(7) -  The Congress unease with parity  8-9 May 1946

CMP(7B) - Jinnah and Azad responses to preliminary proposals 8-9 May 1946

CMP(8A) - Simla Conference meetings on 5 May 1946 on the powers of the Union

CMP(8) -  More exchanges on parity, Simla Conference meeting  11 May 1946

CMP(9) -  Jinnah and Wyatt(1) on Pakistan and CMP, 8 Jan. and 25 May 1946

CMP(10) -  Jinnah and Wyatt(2) on the interim government, 11 June 1946

CMP(11) -   Congress opposition to grouping. Gandhi, Patel and Azad, May 1946

CMP(12) - Congress Working Committee resolutions, May-June 1946

CMP(12A) - Arguments over inclusion of a Congress Muslim, June 1946

CMP(12B) - Behind the scenes-Gandhi, June-July 1946

CMP(12C) - Behind the scenes-Jinnah, June-July 1946

CMP(13) - Jawaharlal Nehru's press conference on the Plan, 10 July 1946

CMP(14) - League rejected Plan, called Direct Action,  July-August 1946

CMP(15) - Viceroy strong-arming Nehru, Gandhi on compulsory grouping, Pethick-Lawrence to Attlee, Aug -Sept 1946

CMP(16) - Intelligence assessment on Jinnah's options and threat of civil war, Sept. 1946

CMP(17) - League Boycott of the Constituent Assembly Dec. 1946

CMP(17A) - Congress "climbdown" on grouping and Jinnah's rejection, January 1947

CMP (A1) - Plain speaking from Sir Khizr Hayat, Abell on the Breakdown plan, Wavell

CMP(A2) - North West Frontier Province, Oct-Nov 1946 and Feb-March 1947

CMP(A3) - Bengal and Bihar, August - November 1946

CMP(A4) - Punjab, February - March 1947

CMP (18) - My take

CMP (19) - What did parity and communal veto mean in numbers?

CMP(20) - Another take -with links to reference material

CMP(21) - Mountbatten discussing CMP with Patel and Jinnah, 24-26 Apr 1947

CMP(22) - A reply on the Cabinet Mission Plan

Extra(1) - Jinnah's speech in March 1941 on independent sovereign Pakistan

Extra(1A) - Jinnah's Speeches and Statements from 1941-1942

Extra(1B) - Jinnah's Speeches and Statements from 1938-1940

Extra(1C) - Jinnah's speeches and Statements from 1943-45

Extra(2) - Gandhi-Jinnah talks in 1944 on defining Pakistan

Extra(3) - BR Ambedkar quoted from his book 'Pakistan or the Partition of India'

Extra(4) - Congress and Muslim parties' on the Communal question 1927-1931

Extra(4A) - Excerpts of Motilal Nehru Committee Report 1928

Extra(4B) - Nehru, Bose, Jinnah Correspondence 1937-38

Extra(5) -  BR Ambedkar on Communal Representation 1909-1947

Extra(6) - Gandhiji's scheme of offering the Prime Ministership to Jinnah in 1947

Extra(6A) - Jinnah on Congress's offers of Prime Ministership 1940-43

Extra (6B) - Apr-Jul 1947 Negotiations on Pakistan between Mountbatten and Jinnah

Extra(7) - M.A.Jinnah and Maulana Azad on two nation theory

Extra(8) - On Separate electorates, Joint electorates and Reserved constituencies

Extra(9) - Links to cartoons on Indian constitutional parleys from the Daily Mail, UK, 1942 and 1946-1947, by L.G. Illingworth

Extra(10) -Nehru Report 1928 (10 MB pdf)
Extra(11) -Iqbal's letters to Jinnah, May-June 1937

Extra(12) -Jinnah, Linlithgow, Sikander Hayat, Pakistan rumblings 1942-43

Durga Das (1) 1919-1931, Jallianwala Bagh to Bhagat Singh

Durga Das (2) 1931-1936, Crescent Card: Jinnah in London to Fazli Husain in Punjab

Durga Das(3) 1937-1940, Provincial Autonomy to Jinnah gets the veto

Durga Das(4) 1940-1945, The War Years: India's War Effort-Pakistan on a platter

Durga Das(5) 1945-1947, The Cabinet Mission to Divide and Quit

1937-1940(2)  Congress and Jinnah fall out in U.P., Jinnah's anti-Congress campaign and the Viceroy gives Jinnah a Veto: Ayesha Jalal, Sarvepalli Gopal and Stanley Wolpert


1937: Congress-Jinnah tussle over coalition government in U. P., M.J. Akbar

1937: Nehru, Jinnah and Coalition Governments, Bimal Prasad

1939-1940: India and the War, Anita Inder Singh

1945-1946: The Elections of 1945-46, Anita Inder Singh

1857-1938 Glimpses of British policy in Punjab: Ian Talbot and David Page

1930-1939 Congress Decline in Bengal, John Gallagher

Glendevon (1) 1937: Congress's Office Acceptance Saga over Governor's Powers

Glendevon (2) 1937-1940: Federation, Jinnah, Congress activism in Princely States

Glendevon (3) 1939-1942: Linlithgow, Congress, Jinnah,War-time Realignments

1939-1947: Jinnah and the Anglo-Muslim League Alliance, Narendra Singh Sarila

1944: Gandhi-Jinnah talks, Jaswant Singh

1830s-1898: British Forward Policy(1)


1899-1947: British Forward Policy(2)

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