CMP(10) Jinnah's conversations with Major Woodrow Wyatt (2) - on 11 June 1946

Document included
  • Note of Conversation between Major Woodrow Wyatt and Mr. Jinnah, on the morning of Tuesday, 11 June, 1946.From The Transfer of Power Vol VII, Eds. Nicholas Mansergh and Penderel Moon, 1977.(full text)

A conversation primarily about the Interim Government. Jinnah's utter contempt for the Congress and for its legislative majority/constituency is evident to me in (5). This exchange took place after the Muslim League had approved the Cabinet Mission Plan on June 6th.

From The Transfer of Power Vol VII, Eds. Nicholas Mansergh and Penderel Moon, 1977.

489, page 866(full text)
Note by Major Wyatt
Note of Conversation between Major Woodrow Wyatt and Mr. Jinnah, on the morning of Tuesday, 11 June, 1946

1. Mr Jinnah said that he is not prepared to discuss parity with anyone. He had had great opposition in his own party to accepting the Mission's proposal, he did not think that opposition was fully appreciated, nor what he had gone through. The only way he had been able to persuade the Muslim League Council and Working Committee to accept the Statement was by promising them that he would not join the Interim Government unless the Muslim League had parity with the Congress. He was now pledged to that. He could not go back on that. He was not his own master. Whatever I might think of the reasonableness of the claim it was there and fixed.

2. Although he was not prepared to discuss parity he would discuss it with me in order to try and satisfy me. I told him that I disagreed with him and thought that he no longer had a justifiable claim to parity. He had voluntarily suspended the issue of a fully independent sovereign state for Pakistan for ten years so that he could not say that this was a case of two equal nations meeting together to wind up the affairs of the sub-continent. His reply to this was rather thin and he said that he had not given up the idea of Pakistan.

3. He was not prepared to meet Nehru or anyone else from Congress to talk about the Interim Government until Congress had accepted the Mission's proposals. Then any such talk would have to be on basis of parity. The moment that Congress accepted, he would, of course, be willing to meet Nehru and the Viceroy and put before them the names of his nominees with the suggested portfolios.

4. He was very shocked because he got the impression that it was not considered important who the Muslim League nominees were, as though any old people from the Muslim League Working Committee would do. He wanted the best men. This was an important matter. It was a very different type of Executive Council to anything they had had before, and it had a big job before it. He was not going to put in as his nominees people who were popular or well known in the Muslim League if they could not do the job. He had many able men in the civil service and he would put some of those in even though no one had ever heard of them. The problem was to get the right man for the right job. He was quite prepared to talk over the portfolios with Nehru and make adjustments with him so that they could get a workable team which was what was needed.

5. In his view the Congress grievance about parity was not bona fide. It had been suggested by Bhullabhai(sic) Desai in the first place and he had had the approval of Gandhi. 

Discussions had always proceeded on the basis of parity. The first Simla Conference only broke down because a Unionist Muslim was nominated for one of the Muslim vacancies. Congress was only trying it on and we should take no notice of them. If we stuck it out they would give in. At the moment they are trying to drive a wedge between the British and the Muslims.

6. He seemed slightly interested in an idea that had been put to him of an inner cabinet of six with parity for Congress and the Muslim League. (Something based on these lines may be the way out).

7. He would not consider anything based on the first Simla Conference formula of parity between caste Hindus and Muslims.

8. He complained that he had made the concession about the Union Government and got nothing in return for it and the Congress were trying to break the whole thing down on every conceivable pretext.

9. Sikhs: He said "I will give you an assurance that as soon as the Interim Government is constituted I will go down and see Master Tara Singh and will give him anything that he asks for within reason. I am going to stand as a candidate in the Punjab for the Section "B" Constituent Assembly. This will be the time for me to say publicly to the Sikhs that on any matter which affects their community the Muslim League will be guided by the majority of the Sikh votes as far as possible. I cannot go further than that and I cannot give them the absolute right of voting on communal issues in the same way as will be done at the Centre."

NOTE[IN ORIGINAL]: I have now heard otherwise from different sources(apart from Mr. Jinnah) that Jinnah did promise the Muslim League Council and Working Committee that he would not go into the Interim Government without parity. I believe that he did really have to deal with a great deal of resentment in his party.

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Page 2

Secondary sources on Page 3

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

CMP(2) - The Congress League positions on 12 May 11946

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

CMP(4) - Jinnah's and Muslim League's responses too the Cabinet Mission Plan 22 May  and June 6 1946

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

CMP(6) -  Jinnah's meeting with Mission Deleggation on 16 April 1946

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

CMP(7) - The Congress unease with parity- it's excchanges with the Mission  8-9 May 1946

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(8) - More exchanges on parity during Simla Connference meeting  11 May 1946

CMP(9)- Jinnah's Conversations with Major Wyatt(1) on Pakistan and the Cabinet Mission Plan , 8 January and 25 May 1946

CMP(10) - Jinnah's Conversations with Major Wyatt(22) on the interim government, 11 June 1946

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

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

CMP (A1) - Additional material - Some Plain speaking from Sir Khizr Hayat, Abell on the Breakdown plan, Viceroy to Jinnah

CMP(A2) North West Frontier Province, October-November 1946 and February-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 summary /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

CMP(22) A reply on the Cabinet Mission Plan

Extra(1) - Speech by Jinnah in March 1941 outlining the case for an 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) -  Jinnah's letter to Gandhi during Gaandhi-Jinnah talks in 1944 on defining Pakistan

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

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(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 (6B) April-July 1947  Negotiations on Pakistan between Mountbatten and Jinnah

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

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

Extra(9) Links to a selection of cartoons on Indian constitutional parleys published in the Daily Mail, UK, in 1942 and 1946-1947, by L.G. Illingworth, from National Library of Wales' online Illingworth exhibition