Cabinet Mission Plan 1946 documents

India's Constitutional Question
- The Cabinet Mission Plan 1946


CMP(12) - Congress Working Committee resolutions spelling out the party's position, May-June 1946

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

CMP(14) - League withdrew from Plan, called Direct Action, Viceroy Wavell talked to Nehru, July-August 1946

CMP(15) - The Viceroy tried to strong-arm Nehru and Gandhi on compulsory grouping, Pethick Lawrence to Attlee, August-September 1946

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

CMP(17) - The League's boycott of the Constituent Assembly, Jinnah and Wavell, Mission insisting on compulsory grouping, etc October 1946-January 1947

Extra(1) - Speech by Jinnah in March 1941 outlining the case for an independent sovereign Pakistan

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

Extra(3)-BR Ambedkar quoted from his book 'Pakistan or the Partition of India'
CMP (19) - What did parity and communal veto mean in numbers?

CMP(20) Another summary/another take on the Cabinet Mission Plan-with links to the above reference material

CMP(21) Mountbatten discusses the Cabinet Mission Plan with Sardar Patel and M. A. Jinnah, 24-26 April 1947

Additional material on Page 2

Secondary sources on Page 3


It is worthwhile for those interested in India's  constitutional question in the pre-independence era to read for themselves primary sources on the Cabinet Mission Plan and related materials. 

I have typed out full text and excerpts of discussions, letters, statements and speeches of the primary actors of that period- Congress, Muslim League and the British,  and uploaded these to  this website to make them accessible to a larger audience..

The main sources I have drawn from are

1. 'The Transfer of Power 1942-7'   Ed. Nicholas Mansergh, E.W.Lumby and Penderel Moon.

2. 'Speeches and Documents on the Indian Constitution 1921-47'. Selected by Sir Maurice Gwyer and A. Appadorai, 1957

3. 'Speeches, 'Statements and Messages of the Quaid-e-Azam', Ed.Khurshid Yusufi, Bazm-i-Iqbal, Lahore.

My own thesis is that the Congress Party had to accept Partition of India as the best of only two bad choices offered  by the Plan- a truncated sovereign Pakistan right then or a larger sovereign Pakistan after the British left, whose boundaries would pass through the outskirts of Delhi.

This is borne out by the British and Jinnah's insistence that Congress accept those provisions of the Cabinet Mission Plan which specified the compulsory grouping of provinces into separate sections  and those which specified that the proposed Indian Union have not one but two or more separate Constitution making bodies for all subjects except only three Union subjects defence, foreign affairs and communications.

These provisions meant that under the Cabinet Mission Plan, the Pakistan sections B and C would  for all practical purposes constitute an independent state,  with Hindustan/section A unable to prevent its secession at any point of time.   The only way for Congress to prevent such a larger sovereign Pakistan from coming into being was to stress that grouping of provinces should not be compulsory. When that position was not accepted by the British or Jinnah, the Congress settled for the lesser evil, the smaller truncated Pakistan.

I believe the primary material supports my thesis of these being essentially the only two choices before the Congress and of Congress leaders including   Gandhi, Maulana Azad, Nehru and Patel's being collectively aware of such. 

Summaries of my thesis:
CMP (18) - My take
CMP (20) A POV on the Cabinet Mission Plan- with links to the reference material
CMP (19) - What did parity and communal veto mean in numbers?

Update in 08/09: is closing down in end-October 2009. The new location of this website is:

New additions:
Extra (6B) April-July 1947  Negotiations on Pakistan between Mountbatten and Jinnah, Collins and Lapierre

09/08 on Page 3: Secondary sources:
1939-1947 Jinnah and the Anglo-Muslim League Alliance, Narendra Singh Sarila

New since 02/08:
CMP(22) A reply to A.G.Noorani on the Cabinet Mission Plan

New since 07/07:
Extra(9) A selection of 1940s' cartoons on Indian constitutional parleys by L.G. Illingworth
New since 03/07:

Extra(1C) Jinnah's speeches and Statements from 1943-45
New since 02/07:
CMP(A3) Bengal and Bihar, August-November 1946
CMP(A4) Punjab, February-March 1947
New since 01/07:

Material on Page 2  in addition to the above-listed:

CMP(7B) Jinnah and Azad's responses to the Cabinet Mission's preliminary proposals 8-9 May 1946

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

CMP(12A) Congress and the Cabinet Mission's arguments over inclusion of a Congress Muslim in the Interim Government June 12 and June 23 1946

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

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

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

CMP(21) Mountbatten discusses the Cabinet Mission Plan with Sardar Patel and M. A. Jinnah, 24-26 April 1947

Extra(4) Congress and Muslim parties' positions 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) B.R.Ambedkar's commentary on Communal Representation in Federal and Provincial Legislatures 1909-1947 formatted

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 and Gandhi's 1943 letter to Jinnah from jail

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

Extra(8) Comments on Separate electorates, Joint electorates and Reserved constituencies

Note: This collation would not have been possible without the help of my brother. Without his patient guidance and steady involvement  it might have been impossible for me to navigate the oceans of  material on this subject. The beautiful picture above was shot by him(click on it to enlarge).