CMP(4) Jinnah's and Muslim League's responses to the Cabinet Mission Plan on 22 May 1946 and 6 June 1946.
Documents included below:
  • Statement by Mr. M. A. Jinnah on the Cabinet Mission Plan, 22 May 1946. From 'Speeches and Documents on the Indian Constitution 1921-1947', Selected by Sir Maurice Gwyer and A. Appadorai, OUP, 1957 Vol. II. (excerpts)
  • Jinnah's Speech at the Secret Session of the All India Muslim League Council, New Delhi, June 6 1946. From 'Speeches, 'Statements and Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam', Vol IV, Khurshid Yusufi, Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lahore.
  • Resolution passed by the Council of the All-India Muslim League, 6 June 1946, Gwyer and Appadorai (excerpts)
  • Letter from Hatim A. Alavi to M. A. Jinnah, 10 June 1946(full text). From Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah Papers,  Cabinet Mission's Parleys for shaping India's future 1 April-31 July 1946, Volume XIII, Editor-in-Chief, Z.H. Zaidi, Government of Pakistan. (Reference provided by Arun Gupta)
          [Also see CMP(9)]

The point to note is that the League and Jinnah stated clearly that the Plan took them closer to their final goal of a sovereign Pakistan and that is why they accepted it. It was clearly stated that a united India was not their final goal, nor was it the reason for their acceptance. Any historian who asserts otherwise needs to explain why. 

Statement by Mr. M. A. Jinnah on the Cabinet Mission Plan, 22 May 1946. (excerpts)

I regret that the Mission should have negatived the Muslim demand for the establishment of a complete sovereign state of Pakistan, which we still hold is the only solution of the constitutional problem of India and which alone can secure stable Governments and lead to the happiness and welfare not only of the two major communities, but of all the peoples of this sub-continent.

It is all the more regrettable that the Mission should have though fit to advance commonplace and exploded arguments against Pakistan and resorted to special pleadings couched in deplorable language which is calculated to hurt the feelings of Muslim India. It seems that this was done by the Mission simply to appease and placate the Congress, because when they come to face the realities, they themselves have made the following pronouncement embodied in paragraph 5 of the statement..

I shall now deal with some of the important points in the operative part of the statement:

(1) They have divided Pakistan into two-what they call Section B(for the North-Western Zone) and Section C(for the North-Eastern Zone).

(2) Instead of two constitution-making bodies only one constitution-making body is devised with three Sections A, B and C.

(3) They lay down that : 'There should be a Union of India, embracing both British India and the States.... "

There is no indication at all that the Communications would be restricted to what is necessary for Defence nor is there any indication as to how this Union will be empowered to raise finances required for these three subjects, while our view was that finances should be raised only by contribution and not by taxation.

(4) It is laid down that : 'The Union should have an Executive and a Legislature


While our view was:
(a)that there should be no Legislature for the Union, but the question should be left to the Constituent Assembly to decide;
(b) that there should be parity of representation between the Pakistan group and the Hindustan group in the Union Executive and Legislature, if any; and
(c) that no decision, legislative, executive or administrative, should be taken by the Union in regard to any matter of a controversial nature, except by a majority of three-fourths; all these three terms of our offer have been omitted from the statement...

(5) Our proposal that the Pakistan group should have a right to seccede from the Union after an initial period of ten years, although the Congress had no serious objection to it, has been omitted and now we are only limited to a reconsideration of terms of the Union Constitution after an initial period of ten years.

(7) With regard to the constitution-making body for the purpose of framing the proposed Union Constitution, it will have an overwhelming Hindu majority as in a House of 292 for British India the Muslim strength will be 79 and, if the number alloted to Indian states(93) is taken into account, it is quite obvious that the Muslim proportion will be further reduced as the bulk of the States representatives would be Hindus..

This raises a very serious question indeed, for if it is left to the Union Constituent Assembly to decide these matters by a majority vote, whether any of the recommendations of the Advisory Committee should be incorporated in the Union Constitution, then it will open a door to more subjects being vested in the Union Government. This will destroy the very basic principle that the Union is to be strictly confined to three subjects.."

Jinnah's Speech at the Secret Session of the All India Muslim League Council, New Delhi, June 6 1946 Speeches, 'Statements and Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam', Vol IV, Khurshid Yusufi, Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lahore.

I advised you to reject the Cripps proposal, I advised you to reject the last Simla Conference formula. But I cannot advise you to reject the British Cabinet Mission's proposal. I advise you to accept it."..Mr Jinnah added "The Lahore resolution did not mean that when Muslims put forward their demand, it must be accepted at once. It is a big struggle and a continued struggle. The first struggle was to get the representative character of the League accepted. That fight they had started and they had won. Acceptance of the Mission's proposal was not the end of their struggle for Pakistan. They should continue their struggle till Pakistan was achieved."

Mr Jinnah said that they could create a deadlock in the Constituent Assembly if anything was done against their wishes. They would continue to fight in the Constituent Assembly for their objective. They would also fight for the right of the Units or Groups to rejoin the Group from which they seceded.

As regards groupings, Mr. Jinnah is reported to have expressed satisfaction and said : The Groups should have power on all subjects except defence, communications and foreign affairs. But so far as defence is concerned, it would remain in the hands of the British till the new constitution was enforced. So they need not worry about it now. They would fight in the Constituent Assembly to restrict "Communications" to what was absolutely necessary for defence only.


Resolution passed by the Council of the All-India Muslim League, 6 June 1946, (excerpts)

1. This meeting of the Council of the All-India Muslim League, after having carefully considered the statement issued by the Cabinet Mission and the Viceroy on 16th May 1946... places upon record the following views for the guidance of the nation and direction of the Working Committee.

2. That the references made, and the conclusions recorded in paras 6,7,8,9,10 and 11 of the statement concerning the Muslim demand for the establishment of a full sovereign Pakistan as the only solution of the Indian constitutional problem are unwarranted, unjustified and unconvincing, and should not therefore have found a place in a state document issued on behalf and with the authority of the British Government.

These paragraphs are couched in such language, and contain such mutilations of the established facts, that the Cabinet Mission have clearly been prompted to include them in their statement solely with the object of appeasing the Hindus, in utter disregard of Muslim sentiments.

In order that there may be no manner of doubt in any quarter, the Council of the All-India Muslim League reiterates that the attainment of the goal of a complete sovereign Pakistan still remains the unalterable objective of the Muslims in India for the achievement of which they will, if necessary, employ every means in their power, and consider no sacrifice or suffering too great.

3. That notwithstanding the affront offered to Muslim sentiments by the choice of injudicious words in the preamble to the statement of the Cabinet Mission, the Muslim League, having regard to the grave issues involved, and prompted by its earnest desire for a peaceful solution, if possible, of the Indian constitutional problem, and inasmuch as the basis and the foundation of Pakistan are inherent in the Mission's plan by virtue of the compulsory grouping of the six Muslim provinces in Sections B and C, is willing to co-operate with the constitution-making machinery proposed in the scheme outlined by the Mission, in the hope that it would ultimately result in the establishment of complete[ly] sovereign Pakistan, and in the consummation of the goal of independence for the major nations, Muslims and Hindus, and all the other people inhabiting the vast subcontinent.

It is for these reasons that the Muslim League is accepting the scheme, and will join the constitution-making body, and it will keep in view the opportunity and right of secession of Provinces or groups from the Union, which have been provided in the Mission's plan by implication. The ultimate attitude of the Muslim League will depend on the final outcome of the labours of the constitution-making body, and the final shape of the Constitutions which may emerge from the deliberations of the body jointly and separately in its three Sections.

The Muslim League reserves the right to modify and revise the policy and attitude set forth in this resolution at any time during the progress of the deliberations of the constitution-making body, or the Constituent Assembly, or thereafter if the course of events so require, bearing in mind the fundamental principles and ideals herebefore adumbrated, to which the Muslim League is irrevocably committed.

(end quote)


Hatim Alavi was a Sindh Muslim League leader, who was a former Mayor of Karachi. In his letter, he quotes Jinnah as saying 'we can work on the two decks, provincial and group, and blow up the topmast'. By the term 'topmast', Jinnah presumably meant the Union.
(end comment)

161 Page 235
Hatim A. Alavi to M.A.Jinnah

7 Imperial Hotel
New Delhi
10 June 1946


Last Friday, when I phoned  Khurshid to convey to you a piece of information that had come my way, I had told him I would continue to stay here till the Interim Govt. was formed, which I am doing.

A Bombay friend arranged an interview between Sardar Patel and myself for Saturday last. I went to Khuhro's room to dictate a latter to his P.A. informing you about this when Khuhro said it was unnecessary to do so and that I could contact you if anything useful resulted.

Patel was put out by our decision and kept on saying that to join the Interim Govt on parity basis would be equivalent to a national suicide of the Hindus. Since I could not say aameen to this, I pointed out that (i) there was a cause for rejoicing that both Gandhiji and Jinnah had viewed the long-term proposals favourably, (ii) that parity was accepted at Simla by the Congress, and further that (iii) the Viceroy may now accept the long-pending Congress demand of forming  a national government by even bypassing any political party that was inclined to be intransigent.

Quaid-i-Azam, may I place before you my formula of how best we can choose our team? Let's have one each from the Eastern and Western Zones of Pakistan, one from the minority provinces and one each from the Services and the States.

You said at our Council meeting(2) that we can work on the two decks, provincial and group, and blow up the topmast. Will that be possible since the complete constitution is subject to ratification by the British Parliament?

As regards voting in B and C Assemblies, we shall be more favourably placed in C and not in B. In Sind, we shall have to be alert in not losing a seat to [G.M.] Sayed who has already declared his opposition to groupings.

Such a very great deal will also depend on the chairmen of our two Assemblies. If Sir Nazimuddin is going to the Centre, Sir Azizul Huq may probably be the best we can have in C.

If Congress is not coming into the Interim Govt., a superhuman burden will fall on us. Patel will indirectly attempt to push in his men(Deshmukh for Finance) so that he may have five snipers to shoot and sabotage and at the same time be available to recompense the industrialists and black-marketeers who support the Congress.

Quaid-e-Azam, it can never be for me to tell you that the enormous power we shall soon be wielding has the potentialities of regenerating, re-creating and re-vivifying our nation or destroying us also if we prove unworthy of our charge.

You said at our Council meeting that you had spent sleepless nights considering the British proposals. It is difficult even to imagine the responsibilities that will come to weigh on your person in the days to come. In times such as these, Phirozeshah Mehta used to quote Tennyson:
"I have not made this world
And He that has--will guide."

May God hold our lives as perpetual sacrifice for yours and may He always protect, keep and guide you. 

Yours obediently,
Hatim A. Alavi.

(2) Held at Imperial Hotel, New Delhi, on 5 & 6 June 1946


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 1944, Jaswant Singh

1830s-1898: British Forward Policy(1)

1899-1947: British Forward Policy(2)

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