CMP(9) - Jinnah's conversations with Major Woodrow Wyatt (1).
Documents included
  • Woodrow Wyatt /Jinnah talk 8th January 1946 (full text) from The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol VI The post-war phase:new moves by the Labour Government, 1st August 1945-22 March 1946, Eds, Nicholas Mansergh and Penderel Moon, 1976.
  • Note by Major Wyatt of Conversation with Mr. Jinnah, Friday, May 24th 1946 (full text) from The Transfer of Power 1942-7 Vol VII The Cabinet Mission.

Major Woodrow Wyatt was a Labour MP who was "Personal assistant to Sir Stafford Cripps while on Mission". The first conversation took place in January 1946 and the second in May 1946. Note Wyatt's suggestion to Jinnah about what resolution the Muslim League should pass including the intent to use the 'strong right arm', in the second document.

In the months before the Mission arrived in India, Major Wyatt spoke with both Jinnah and Nehru. A record of his talk with Jinnah which presages Jinnah's positions in the months ahead.

From The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Vol VI The post-war phase:new moves by the Labour Government, 1st August 1945-22 March 1946, Eds, Nicholas Mansergh and Penderel Moon, 1976.

Enclosure to no 357- Note by Major Rankin (full text)
Woodrow Wyatt /Jinnah talk 8th January 1946

Woodrow Wyatt had a long talk with Jinnah today the substance of which he repeated to me as follows:-

1. Interim Government.
Jinnah will not take part in any interim Government without-
(a) a prior declaration accepting the principle of Pakistan, tho' he would not ask at that stage for any discussion or commitment on details.

(b) Parity of the Muslim League with all other parties, i.e., out of 14 portfolios 7 must be Muslim League. This he said follows from the acceptance of the principle of Pakistan.

2. Constitution-making Body
Jinnah will insist on 2 C.M.Bs. The drawing of the frontier between Pakistan and Hindustan will be a matter for negotiation between the two C.M.Bs: he quoted rather vaguely as precedents the drawing of the Chekoslovak-Polish and the Yugoslav-Italian frontiers after the last war. He did not envisage "predominantly non-Muslim areas like the Ambala Division" remaining in Pakistan but insisted that Pakistan must be "a living state economically and culturally".

3. Any attempt to impose a unified constitution or to accept a majority decision by a single C.M.B would be resisted, if necessary by force.

4. Pakistan would remain within the Empire with a British Governor-General. British Industry and Commerce would be encouraged in order to develop Pakistan which would be far behind Hindustan economically.

5. Relations with Hindustan would be purely diplomatic: there would be no common currency, transportation system, army, etc.

6. All this was said in very definite fashion; and Wyatt received the impression(no doubt as he was intended to) that Jinnah would not budge from this position. Jinnah thought the Hindus would accept it as it would give them three-quarters of India "which is more than they have ever had before".


After the Cabinet Mission Plan/Statement was released on May 16th, the question was whether Jinnah would accept it or not.

Here Major Wyatt suggests to Jinnah what should be in the Muslim League Resolution to be passed on June 6th.[Text of actual June 6 resolution in CMP(4)].

The Transfer of Power 1942-7 Vol VII The Cabinet Mission. Eds, Nicholas Mansergh and Penderel Moon.

373, page 684 (full text)
Note by Major Wyatt
25 May 1946


1. He is very nervous and I do not think he is much looking forward to his meeting with the Muslim League Working Committee and All India Council.

2. He was very anxious to know if all the comings and goings between the Congress leaders and the Cabinet Mission were having the effect of modifying the Statement in any way. I told him that it was most unlikely that the Statement would be modified.

3. He considered that the Statement was not a practicable proposition. The machinery envisaged would not work and could not work mainly because there was no spirit of co-operation on the Congress side. The Mission had obviously not even fully appreciated the situation in India. What was required was a surgical operation. This Statement would settle nothing. He did not think the British were badly intentioned but they would have to learn by experience. There are only two ways of learning things, either by experience or by taking the advice of someone who knows something about it. If he thought that the Mission would not breach his confidence, he would make them some suggestions as to how they should proceed and put the Statement on one side. But he was not sure that he could have complete confidence in the Mission.

I told him that the Mission would not breach his confidence, but that they were most unlikely to alter their Statement in any way. He at once said, "Well, then it is no use my making any suggestions". These undeclared suggestions were connected with the difficulty which he conceived the British felt over the defence of India. From a previous conversation with him I believe that what he wanted to suggest was his idea that the British should remain as the binding force in the Indian Centre for some 15 years and deal with defence and foreign affairs for Pakistan and Hindustan consulting the Prime Ministers of each State.

4. He was perplexed about the interpretation of paragraph 15(v)[of the Cabinet Mission Plan - CMP(3)]. He thought that it should have been so worded as to read that "Provinces grouped in sections should be free to form groups..". I told him that in my view that was the effect of paragraph 15(v). The provinces would be compulsorily grouped together in their sections at the Constituent Assembly and they would then be free to form groups or no.

He fully appreciated that if the representatives of Assam and North West Frontier Province did not take part in the work of their sections they could not be forced to do so and the sections would have to proceed without them, although this did not alter the fact that Assam and the North West Frontier Province would not be able to opt out of their group until the new constitution had been made.

5. He said that the preamble to the Mission's Statement had bitterly hurt the feelings of the Muslims. Not only that, it was inconsistent with the rest of the Statement. This onslaught was quite unnecessary and had been done in order to placate Congress. Indeed, the word Pakistan was an anathema throughout the Statement. This preamble made matters even more difficult for him than before.

6. His general criticism of the Statement was that it had not settled any of the fundamentals. For example:-

(a) The Muslim group of Provinces had not got parity with the others at the centre.

(b) There was no real protection for the Muslims in the Constituent Assembly, because from the very start the chairman would be a Hindu, unless the Muslims were to say that the election of the chairman was a communal issue, in which case the Constituent Assembly would break down straight away.

(c) The position of the States was left far too vague.

(d) Provinces had not been given the right to secede after 10 years although the Congress had always been willing to give the right to secede and had raised no real objection this time at Simla.

(e) The Union had been given the power to raise money. This was not a communal issue and would inevitably lead to taxation from the Centre with other subjects being added on the short list of the Union Government.

7. He explained to the Viceroy why there should be entirely separate Constituent Assemblies which only met together for the purpose of deciding the structure of the Union Government.

He thought the Viceroy had understood. This was a psychological matter and the Mission had created a single Constituent Assembly working in three sections only to please the Congress, ignoring Muslim feeling.

8. The only real safeguard for the Muslims was parity between Federations. The method of voting on communal issues would not work as there would always be dispute as to what was a communal issue and what was not.

9. He could not understand why the Muslim provinces had been split into two groups. He agreed that it was something to have the groups at all and without them he could not even have looked at the Scheme.

10. He disliked the Advisory Committee on which the Muslims would be in a minority, and as far as he could see would be unable to prevent the Union Constituent Assembly incorporating its recommendations as a part of the constitution of the Union Government, thus added another subject to those dealt with by the Union Government. ??

11. He dilated at considerable length on the attitude of Congress who had not conceded anything during the Simla Conference and would never approach the Constituent Assembly in a spirit of co-operation. They would aim the whole time to use their majority to steam-roller the Muslim League and sidetrack the provision as to safeguarding the Muslims on communal issues. It was inconceivable that such a Constituent Assembly could work at all.

12. He will not come down to Delhi until June 1st or 2nd. He can say nothing further until he has consulted the Muslim League Working Committee and Council. He is being bombarded with telegrams from his supporters protesting against the Statement and the Muslim reaction is very strong against it. My own impression is that he definitely wants to see where he is with the Muslim League before giving a decision on the Statement and he wants them to have time in which to absorb the two shocks which they have been given.
(a) His own letter agreeing to a Union Government
(b) The preamble to the Mission's Statement.

He is particularly hurt that the Mission have seized on this concession(which was an enormous one from his stand point) and have not taken his offer as a whole. None of the provisios that went with it have been accepted. I pointed out to him that everything that Congress had asked for had not been accepted either but he did not seem particularly convinced.

13. I asked him, in view of the foregoing, whether he thought that the Muslim League Working Committee might possibly pass a resolution on the following lines:-
The British had exceeded their brief in pronouncing on the merits of Pakistan. They had no business to turn down what millions of people wanted. Their analysis of Pakistan was outrageous. But the Muslims had never expected the British to give them Pakistan. They had never expected anyone to give them Pakistan. They knew they had to get it by their own strong right arm.

The scheme outlined in the Cabinet Mission's Statement was impracticable and could not work. But nevertheless in order to show that they would give it a trial, although they knew that the machinery could not function, they would accept the Statement and would not go out of their way to sabotage the procedure-but they would accept the Statement as the first step on the road to Pakistan.

At this proposition he was delighted and said "That's it, you've got it", and I am completely convinced that that is what the Muslim League will do.

14. He will demand parity in the Interim Government if he decides to come into it.