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

Documents included:
a. The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Volumes VII, VIII,  IX and X, Eds. Nicholas Mansergh and Penderel Moon.

b. Wavell, The Viceroy's Journal, Ed. Penderel Moon.
The Origins of the Partition of India 1936-1947, Anita Inder Singh,  Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1987.

The 'behind the scenes' drama involving Jinnah serves to reveal  his  motivations and expectations from the Cabinet Mission Plan and from the British.   Jinnah's acceptance  of the Cabinet Mission Plan of 16 May 1946 [CMP(4)] and his subsequent acceptance of the June 16 1946 Interim Government proposals appear to have been based on certain assumptions and 'assurances' given by British officials to the Muslim League and to Jinnah:

1.  Viceroy Wavell and the Cabinet Delegation's assurance to Muslim League on the compulsory grouping provision,  given on the eve of the release of the Plan on 16 May 1946, an assurance of which  Congress was unaware.[CMP(11)]

2. Viceroy Wavell's purported promise or assurance to Jinnah that if the Congress did not accept the long term Plan, the Interim Government would be handed over to Muslim League with the Hindu quota filled with non-Congress  members.

3. Viceroy Wavell's purported promise or assurance to Jinnah in April-May 1946 of League-Congress parity in the Interim Government on a formula of 5:5:2.[Also see CMP(10)]

4. The June 16 1946 Plan for the Interim Government based on a formula 6:5:3 which seemingly upheld the Viceroy's assurance (2) listed above  in its paragraph 8, a paragraph which became the cause of much contention between Jinnah and the Viceroy later.

5. The Viceroy's assurances on the June 16 Plan about Jinnah's  right to be consulted in the appointment of  the Scheduled Caste and other minority nominees in addition to  the sole right to nominate all Muslims. These assurances  effectively reduced the 6:5:3 formula to 5:5:4, reduced the Congress to parity with the League and denied the Congress  the right to nominate anyone  in its own quota  except Caste Hindus.

6.  In my view, an unspoken expectation of both the British and Jinnah that Congress would refuse both the long term Plan of 16 May   and the short term Plan of June 16  and that this would result in Jinnah being given charge of the national government enjoying British support for implementing the long term plan. The Congress  would then be reduced to a mere supplicant agitationist opposition as had happened in the preceding war years. Jinnah might have also calculated that this situation would at best  serve to increase Jinnah's influence  and at worst prolong the stay of the British in India,  
precisely  as had happened during the preceding war years.

In the event, none of these assumptions of Jinnah and assurances by the British held up.

On June 25, the Congress agreed to the long term Plan of 16 May, subject to the right to interpret the grouping  of provinces into Sections  in a manner it said was consistent with the provincial autonomy intent of the document. 
The Congress's qualified acceptance of the long term Plan put the Viceroy and Cabinet Delegation in a quandary with respect to their previous assurances to the League on grouping[CMP(11)].

The Congress also refused to accept the June 16 short term Plan on the Interim Government and rejected Congress-League parity.    Congress also insisted on the right to appoint a non League Muslim and a Scheduled Caste member in its own quota (the Congress had swept most of the Scheduled Caste seats in the elections held in early 1946).

The Congress rejection of the  Interim Government Plan put the Viceroy  in a quandary with respect to his assurances to Jinnah  both on handing over the Interim Government to Jinnah and its very composition.  The Viceroy was forced to discard the June 16 plan and court the Congress for formation under another formula under paragraph 8 of the Plan.  In this situation, Jinnah was reduced to accusing the Mission and the Viceroy of betrayal and the Congress of perfidy. He was reduced to trying to force their hands by rejecting  the Cabinet Mission Plan[CMP(14)]and declaring League's campaign of Direct Action.

The question arises,  why were these assumptions and assurances so important to Jinnah and the Muslim League as to merit such an extreme reaction?  For instance, why couldn't a qualified acceptance by Congress of the long term Plan of 16 May 1946  be regarded as workable by the League which had the right of communal veto under the Plan? 
Why did Jinnah insist so vehemently that the Congress acceptance of the long term provisions did not constitute a real acceptance?

And why was Jinnah  so unyielding and vehement in insisting upon the principles of (a)  League-Congress parity in the Interim Government, in spite of the almost 3:1 legislative majority of  Congress over the League
[Also see CMP(10)]  (b) refusal to have a non League Muslim in the Government,  whether in the Congress quota or outside  (c) the 'right' to be consulted in the appointment of all non Caste Hindu members, including Scheduled Caste and other minorities, namely a right to restrict Congress nominees to Caste Hindus? 

Why was Jinnah so bitter about the Viceroy's refusal to 'honor' his 'assurance' to Jinnah to constitute the Interim national government of the June 16 Plan despite Congress's rejection of it? In the face of the overwhelming legislative majority of the Congress, how could Jinnah  reasonably  expect  the Viceroy to conspire to leave them out of Interim national Government which was to function in the interim period to full independence?

The short answer, in my view, is that the Cabinet Mission Plan with  its compulsory grouping of provinces in Sections and  separate Constituent Assemblies for Sections B and C granted Jinnah a virtually sovereign Pakistan as he  pointed out to the League[CMP(4)]. By maintaining parity with the Congress in the national government,  by appointing all Muslims in the national government and holding a veto on all non Caste Hindu members,  Jinnah could not only prevent the overwhelming Congress majority from  eroding the sovereignty of  'Pakistan'  Sections B and C but also continue to wield a veto on the affairs, including the Constitution making, of 'Hindustan' Section A.   This was his position as he saw it on June 6 1946 when the Muslim League accepted the Plan.

When the Congress refused to accept compulsory grouping, the virtually sovereign Pakistan of Jinnah's expectations with its own separate Section Constituent Assemblies was put in jeopardy
(it is worth noting that the Muslim League had majorities in 2 out of the 3 Section Constituent Assemblies). When the principle of  Congress-League parity in the Interim Government was denied and Muslims became an effective minority in the Interim Government, he tried to salvage his influence by demanding a veto on the Scheduled Caste and minority members of the Government. Ultimately this was not conceded either,  on the count that Muslim League was a self-declared communal party representing Muslims only.   In addition, the Congress claimed a right to appoint a Muslim in its quota if it so wished, violating the League's claim to be the sole arbiter of the fate of Indian Muslims, which had been the fundamental basis of his two nation theory and the demand for Pakistan.

Hence, in spite of Nehru offering Jinnah five seats in an Interim Government of fourteen on August 15 1946, in a further attempt to restore his lost position and influence as it existed on June 6 1946- in short,  to  bring the British and Congress 'back in line',  Jinnah went ahead with Direct Action Day on August 16 1946. Unfortunately, his assumption he could force the issue did not pan out. The British were intent on leaving India with their prestige intact and they were forced to recognize that as majority party the Congress had to be allowed to play a  major role in the  transition period despite the violence and the threat of civil war held out by the Muslim League.

The British imperative in this period was thus very unlike that in the preceding war years when the British suppressed and denied the Congress majority and backed their minority opponents, principally the League, instead. In the war years, the British backed the Congress's dissenters such as the League so that they could point out to the Congress that Indians could not agree among themselves; hence  India  could not make constitutional advance;  consequently,  the British were justified  not to hand over power to Indians which the Congress demanded as the price of its co-operation during the war.  In that period, the British backed the League's dissent  with the Congress and thereby succeeded in organizing the war effort in India without making any concessions to the Congress with respect to British power over India.  But in mid-1946,    the British were preparing to leave India and hence Jinnah's assumption that he had the same leverage with them then that he had had in the preceding years,  did not pan out.

The following are quoted from Wavell, The Viceroy's Journal.

May 13 (excerpt)
I saw Nehru and Jinnah this morning. A note of these discussions is enclosed.
[Ed. Penderel Moon's note:] The talk with Nehru was confined to administrative matters such as the proposal of some Provincial Governments to enlist I.N.A men in the Police. In the talk with Jinnah, who 'looked tired and ill', Lord Wavell outlined to him his proposals for a new Executive Council  (Interim Government), viz, a Council of twelve (five from Muslim League, five from Congress, including a Scheduled Caste representative, one Sikh, and one other). He said that he did not know whether H.M.G. would accept this, but if they did, he thought 'the Muslim League would be well advised to accept so favourable a proportion'. He also expressed the hope that Jinnah would reflect carefully before refusing to sit with a Congress Muslim because as there was a Congress Ministry of Muslims in the N.W.F.P. it might be difficult to resist Congress on this point.

'Jinnah listened carefully but made little comment. He seemed inclined to agree with me that the Defence Member should neither be a Hindu or a Muslim.... He said that whether or not the Muslim League came into the Interim Government would depend on whether our Statement seemed likely to offer a solution of the long-term issue. His fear was that the Congress plan was to get control of the Central Government, to shelve the fundamental long-term issue, and to concentrate on getting control in the Provinces. He could not come into the Government unless it was on a basis of a long-term settlement satisfactory to him being in view.

'I think this is the nearest I have ever got Mr. Jinnah towards accepting the possibility of entering an Interim Government. He did not commit himself in any way, but he did not adopt an entirely unreasonable and non possumus attitude as has so often been his practice in the past.'

June 3 (excerpt)
I saw Jinnah at 10 a.m., he seemed to be in good heart. He said he could not give me names for the Interim Government until after he had seen his Council, but I got the impression that the M.L. would probably come in. He asked about  the correspondence with Azad which had been reported in the Press, and I showed him a copy of my last letter to Azad.

He made no comment, except to discourse on the way Congress always continued to haggle and ask for concessions. He then went on to complain that the Muslims had not been given parity in the Union Legislature, and stressed the very great concession he had made in agreeing to a Union at all, with a disquisition on the Canadian Constitution. He then asked what we should do if the M.L. came in and the Congress refused. I had anticipated this query and had consulted S. of S. through P.S.V. I told him that the M.L. would certainly not suffer by its readiness to work the Delegation scheme, and that the intention was to go ahead with the scheme as far as possible with any party who would work with it. He asked for something more specific before he met his Working Committee at 6 p.m. and I said I could do nothing more without consulting the Delegation. He said that the matter was of very great importance and asked me to do so.


The following are quoted from The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Volumes VII The Cabinet Mission.

440 page 785 (full text)
Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Mr. Abell
3 June 1946
We had better keep these on a file. I showed them both to Jinnah, and he seemed satisfied.
Enclosure 1 to No. 440


I have discussed with the Cabinet Delegation the point which you spoke to me this morning.

The Delegation cannot give you a written assurance of what its action will be in the event of the breakdown of the present negotiations; but I can give you, on behalf of the Delegation, my personal assurance that we do not propose to make any discrimination in the treatment of either party; and that we shall go ahead with the plan laid down in our statement so far as circumstances permit, if either party accepts; but we hope that both will.

As I know I can trust you, I will ask you not to make this assurance public, and simply to say to your Working Committee, if necessary, that you are satisfied on this point.

Enclosure 2 to No. 440
                                                                                                                      OFFICE OF CABINET DELEGATION,
                                                                                                                      THE VICEROY'S HOUSE, NEW DELHI

It is our intention to stick to the scheme as far as possible if either party are prepared to come in and work it. We may have to make some variations in view of the actual circumstances at the time but our intention will be to follow out the scheme as far as we can.


446 page 799 (full text)
Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Mr. Jinnah
4 June 1946

You asked me yesterday to give you an assurance about the action that would be taken if one party accepted the scheme in the Cabinet Delegation's statement of the 16th May, and the other refused.

2. I can give you on behalf of the Cabinet Delegation my personal assurance that we do not propose to make any discrimination in the treatment of either party; and that we shall go ahead with the plan laid down in the statement so far as circumstances permit if either party accepts; but we hope that both will accept.

3. I should be grateful if you would see that the existence of this assurance does not become public. If it is necessary for you to tell your Working Committee that you have an assurance, I should be grateful if you would explain to them this condition.


456 Page 819 (full text)
Note by Intelligence Bureau
5 June 1946

Today's meeting of the All India Muslim League Council has just concluded.
                                                 *       *       *
4.(d) Mr. Jinnah said that he and other members of the Working Committee were worried as to what would happen if the Muslim League accepted the proposals and the Congress did not. The Viceroy replied that he would brook no refusal from Congress and that if they decided against acceptance he would hand over the interim government to the Muslim League and give them all the support they required. This very point was raised by some members in the Council meeting and Mr. Jinnah took them into confidence and gave the same reply.
H.E. saw the whole report in 7th June 1946.


From Wavell, The Viceroy's Journal.

June 7 (excerpt)

At 7 p.m. I had an hour with Jinnah on the Interim Government. Not very successful. He said the League would only come in on the 5:5:2  formula, on which he claimed I had given him an assurance. I said that I had not, though it was the formula to which I was still working. He wanted the Defence Portfolio for himself, and Foreign Affairs and Planning for two of his followers.

The following are quoted from The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Volumes VII The Cabinet Mission.

550 page 954 (full text)

Statement by the Cabinet Delegation and His Excellency the Viceroy(as issued in New Delhi on 16 June 1946)

1. His Excellency the Viceroy, in consultation with the members of the Cabinet Mission, has for some time been exploring the possibilities of forming a coalition Government drawn from the two major parties and certain of the minorities. The discussions have revealed the difficulties which exist for the two major parties in arriving at any agreed basis for the formation of such a Government.

2. The Viceroy and the Cabinet Mission appreciate these difficulties and the efforts which the two parties have made to meet them. They consider however that no useful purpose can be served by further prolonging these discussions. It is indeed urgently necessary that a strong and representative interim Government should be set up to conduct the very heavy and important business that has to be carried thought.

3. The Viceroy is therefore issuing invitations to the following to serve as members of the interim Government on the basis that the constitution making will proceed in accordance with the Statement of May 16th:-

Sardar Baldev Singh                                                    Dr John Matthai
Sir N.P. Engineer                                                          Nawab Mohammed Ismail Khan
Mr. Jagjivan Ram                                                          Khwaja Sir Nazimuddin
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru                                           Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar
Mr. M.A.Jinnah                                                             Mr. C. Rajagopalachari
Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan                                   Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Mr. H.K. Mahtab                                                           Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

If any of those invited is unable for personal reasons to accept, the Viceroy will, after consultation, invite some other person in his place.

4. The Viceroy will arrange the distribution of portfolios in consultation with the leaders of the two major parties.

5. The above composition of the interim Government is in no way to be taken as precedent for the solution of any other communal question. It is an expedient put forward to solve the present difficulty only, and to obtain the best available coalition Government.

6. The Viceroy and the Cabinet Mission believe that Indians of all communities desire to arrive at a speedy settlement of this matter so that the process of constitution making can go forward and that the Government of India may be carried on as efficiently as possible in the meantime.

7. They therefore hope that all parties especially the two major parties will accept this proposal so as to overcome the present obstacles, and will co-operate for the successful carrying on of the interim Government. Should this proposal be accepted the Viceroy will aim at inaugurating the new Government about 26th June.

8. In the event of the two major parties or either of them proving unwilling to join in the setting up of a coalition Government on the above lines, it is the intention of the Viceroy to proceed with the formation of an interim Government which will be as representative as possible of those willing to accept the Statement of May 16th.

9.The Viceroy is also directing the Governors of the Provinces to summon the Provincial legislative assemblies forthwith to proceed with the elections necessary for the setting up of the constitution-making machinery as put forward in the Statement of May 16th.


565 page 974
Mr. Jinnah to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell
19 June 1946
I am in receipt of your letter of the 16th June 1946, together with an advance copy of the statement by the Cabinet Delegation and yourself of the same date.

In my interview with you at Simla prior to the announcement of the Cabinet Delegation's proposals, you had informed me that you were going to form the Interim Government consisting of twelve members on the basis of five Muslim League, five Congress, one Sikh and one Indian Christian or Anglo-Indian. As regards the portfolios, you had indicated that the important ones would be equally divided between the Muslim League and the Congress but details of actual allotment were to be left open for discussion. After the statement of the Cabinet Delegation and yourself, dated the 16th of May, 1946, you again on the 3rd of June at New Delhi gave me to understand that the formula for the formation of the Interim Government disclosed to me at Simla would be followed. On both the occasions I sought your permission to communicate this information to my Working Committee which you kindly gave. Accordingly I gave a full account of the talks I had with you, and the decision of the Working Committee in regard to the acceptance of the long-term proposals was largely influenced by the faith which they reposed in the scheme for the formation of the Interim Government disclosed by you to me on the two occasions.

Further as I have already pointed out in my letter to you of the 8th June, 1946, I made the statement before the Council of the All-India Muslim League that that was the formula, which, I was assured by you, would be the basis on which you would proceed to form your Interim Government, and therefore, this formed an integral part of the plan embodied in the statement of the Cabinet Delegation. This was one of the most important considerations which weighed with the Council of the All-Indian Muslim League also in arriving at their decision, although even then there was a section that was opposed to the plan being accepted.

When the Congress Press started a sinister agitation against Congress-League parity, with a view to inform you of the Muslim League stand, I wrote to you on the 8th June that "any departure from this formula, directly or indirectly, will lead to serious consequences and will not secure the co-operation of the Muslim League".

Subsequently, in my interview with you on the 13th June you informed me that you wanted to alter the basis and proceed on the formula of five Congress, five Muslim League and three others, namely, one Sikh, one Scheduled Caste and one Indian Christian. I told you then that if any change was proposed to be made I would have to place the matter before the Working Committee and may have to call another meeting of the Council of the All-India Muslim League. I also informed you that when the Congress finally agreed to your new formula I would then place it before my Working  Committee for them to take such action as they deem necessary.

After discussion with the Congress representatives you wrote to me on the 15th June informing me that you had failed to negotiate an agreement on the composition of the Interim Government on the basis of 5:5:3 and that the Cabinet Delegation and yourself would issue a statement of the 16th of June on the action that you proposed to take and that you would let me have a copy of it before publications.

Accordingly you sent me a copy of the statement by the Cabinet Delegation and yourself issued on the 16th June with a covering letter of the same date which I placed before my Working Committee and who after careful consideration of  the matter have authorized me to state as follows:-

(a) That the Working Committee are surprised that invitations have been issued to five Muslim Leaguers to join the Interim Government without calling for a list from the Leader of the Muslim League.

(b) That your latest proposal on the basis of which you now desire to form your Interim Government shows that you have abandoned parity between the Congress and the Muslim League, the two major parties, and have substituted parity between  the Muslim League and Caste Hindus, and have added a fourth representative of the minorities, namely, a Parsi. One of the minority representatives nominated by you, i.e., Mr. Jagjivan Ram, is a Congressman and has been selected, it appears, not to give real representation to the Scheduled Castes, but to give an additional seat to the Congress in the Interim Government.

(c) That the modifications which have been made in the original formula for the Interim Government have adversely affected the proportion of the Muslims in the Interim Government as a whole and as against the Congress as a single  group.

(d) That in view of the serious changes which have from time to time been made to satisfy the Congress, it is not possible for the Working Committee to arrive at any decision in the matter of the formation of the Interim Government so long as the Congress does not finally convey its decision on the proposals to you. And

(e) That the question of distribution of portfolios should also be finally decided so that there may be no further hitch created by the Congress in this regard and the Working Committee may have a complete picture before them when they meet to consider the proposals.

Further, I shall be grateful if you will please make the following points clear with reference to your letter and  statement of the 16th June:-
(I) Whether the proposals contained in the statement for the setting up an Interim Government are not final or whether they are still open to any further change or modification at the instance of any of the parties or persons concerned;
(2) Whether the total number of 14 Members of the Government as proposed in the statement would remain unchanged during the interim period;
(3) If any person or persons invited as representatives of the four minorities, viz., the Scheduled Castes, the Sikhs, the Indian Christians and the Parsis, is or are unable to accept the invitation to join the Interim Government for personal or others reasons, how will the vacancy or vacancies thus created be filled by the Viceroy; and whether the Leader of the Muslim League will be consulted and his consent obtained;
(4) (a) Whether during the interim period for which the Coalition Government is being set up the proportion of Members of the Government, community wise, as provided in the proposals, will be maintained;
(b) Whether the present representation given to four minorities, viz., the Scheduled Castes, the Sikhs, the Indian Christians and the Parsis will be adhered to without any change or modification; and
(5) In view of the substitution of 14 now proposed for the original of 12 and the change made in the original formula, whether there will be a provision, in order to safeguard Muslim interests, that the Executive Council shall not take any decision on any major communal issue if the majority of the Muslim Members are opposed to it. I trust that you will kindly favour me with your reply as soon as possible.


573 page 988 (full text)
Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Mr. Jinnah
20 June 1946

I thank you for your letter of the 19th June which I have shown to the Cabinet Mission.

2. I do not think it is necessary for me to comment on the first part of your letter. I am sure you will appreciate that negotiations designed to secure acceptance by two parties with conflicted interests may not always end on the same basis as that on which they began; and, as you know, I never gave you any guarantee that they would necessarily be concluded on any particular basis.

3. I note the views of the Muslim League set out in paragraphs (a) to (e) of your letter.

4. The intention in the statement of June 16th was that the discussion of portfolios with leaders of the two main parties should follow the acceptance by both parties of the scheme. This intention still holds, since until the names are known, it is difficult to decide on the distribution of portfolios.

5. On the points which you desire to be made clear, in connection with the Government to be formed under our statement of June 16th, I give you the following reply after consultation with the Delegation:-

(I) Until I have received acceptances from those invited to take office in the Interim Government, the names in the statement cannot be regarded as final. But no change in principle will be made in the statement without the consent of the two major parties.
(2) No change in the number of 14 Members of the Interim Government will be made without the agreement of the two major parties.
(3) If any vacancy occurs among the seats at present allotted to representatives of minorities, I shall naturally consult both the main parties before filling it.
(4) (a) and (b) The proportion of members by communities will not be changed without the agreement of the two major parties.
(5) No decision on a major communal issue could be taken by the Interim Government if the majority of either of the main parties were opposed to it. I pointed this out to the Congress President and he agreed that the Congress appreciated this point.
(6) If you agree, I will send copies of the questions in your letter and of paragraphs 4 and 5 of this letter to the President of the Congress.


580 Page 999
Maulana Azad to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell
21 June 1946

I have Your Excellency's letter of 20th June, 1946. I appreciate your anxiety to come to an early decision regarding the formation of an Interim Government and I can assure you that my Working Committee fully share your anxiety.

A new difficulty, in addition to the old ones, has however been created by the publication in the Press of the alleged contents of Mr. Jinnah's letter to you in which he raises objection to the Congress nominations in the Interim Cabinet. It will be of great assistance to the Working Committee in coming to a decision if they could have copies of these alleged letters and your reply thereto as they deal with vital matters which we have to consider.


582 page 1000
Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Maulana Azad
21 June 1946

Thank you for your letter of today. Mr. Jinnah in his letter to me of the 19th June put to me the following questions:-
[There follows the text of the points at the end of No. 565 numbered (1),(2),(3),(4) (a) and (b), and (5).]
2. The operative part of my reply dated 20th June was as follows:-
[There follows the text of para.4 and para.5(1) to (5) of No. 573.]


596 Page 1023 (excerpts)
Record of Meeting of Cabinet Delegation and Field Marshal Viscount Wavell on Monday, 24 June 1946 at 10 am

3. The Secretary of State circulated a paper suggesting points which might be put to Mr. Jinnah. It was agreed if the Congress rejected the Statement of June 16th that Mr. Jinnah should be invited to see the Mission with up to three other representatives of the Muslim League and that they should be shown the full text of the Congress reply.

It was agreed that it would be preferable not to tax Mr. Jinnah with being partly responsible for the Congress attitude through his publication of his correspondence with the Mission. If an opportunity arose it might be indicated to him that his having done so had not made it any easier.

Discussion then turned to what should be said to Mr. Jinnah as to his position in respect of the Interim Government if the Congress accepted the Statement of May 16th. It was felt that it would not be desirable to say to him that as the proposal for the Interim Government made on the 16th June had now fallen to the ground, all the assurances given to him in connection with it fell with it. The First Lord said that we should have put to Mr. Jinnah a set of circumstances which would look to him extremely suspicious. The Congress had declared that their acceptance of the May Statement depended on satisfaction with regard to the Interim Government.  Agreement had not been reached about the Interim Government by negotiation. We had then made a proposition. The Congress raised objections which we did not accept, but at the same time Congress accepted the Statement of May 16th with the result that the assurances given to Mr. Jinnah in connection with the Statement of June 16th fell to the ground and the Congress were entitled to be considered for inclusion in the Interim Government on a level with the Muslim League.

The Viceroy said he agreed that it was a difficult situation to place before Jinnah. He felt that we must have Muslim League co-operation if there was to be an Interim Government on a political basis. Sir S. Cripps and the Secretary of State said that they agreed with this view. The First Lord wondered whether there was any way out by saying that we would form a Government of officials pending the agreement of the two parties. The Viceroy said his existing Council had pretty well ceased to exist. It would be difficult to find competent officials but he could carry on for a short period with his existing Government. The portfolios would have to be doubled. Sir S. Cripps said that if it was quite obviously a Caretaker Government and if the Constitution-making Body was got under way it might be possible to hold the situation at any rate for some months. The First Lord asked whether the food situation was likely to be serious. The official Government would be much criticized if there were a famine.  The Secretary of State said that Sir Robert Hutchings had told him confidentially that unless any untoward situation arose, as it easily might do, he thought that India would just scrape through without famine.

The suggestion was made that if Congress accepted the Statement of May 16th it might be possible to have direct discussions between the Congress and the Muslim League on the character of the Interim Government. The Secretary of State said that he thought negotiations for an Interim Government might last three or four months.

The discussion was adjourned until after the Congress reply had been received.


603 page 1032 (excerpts)
Maulana Azad to Field Marshall Viscount Wavell
25 June 1946

Ever since the receipt of your statement of June 16th my committee have been considering it from day to day and have given long and anxious thought to your proposals.
The important question of the composition of the Provisional Government remained. In this connection we emphasized that we could not accept anything in the nature of "parity" even as a temporary expedient and pointed out that the Provisional Government should consist of fifteen members to enable the administration of the country to be carried on efficiently and the smaller minorities to be represented in it..

One outstanding feature of this list[issued on June 16] was the non-inclusion of any Nationalist Muslims. We felt that this was a grave omission. We wanted to suggest the name of a Muslim to take the place of one of the Congress names on the list. We felt that noone could possibly object to our changing the name of one of our own men. Indeed when I had drawn your attention to the fact that among the Muslim League nominees was included the name of a person who had actually lost in the recent elections in the Frontier Province and whose name we felt had been placed there for political reasons, you wrote to me as follows: "I am afraid that I cannot accept the right of the Congress to object to names put forward by the Muslim League, any more than I would accept similar objections from the other sides. The test must be that of ability." But before we could make our suggestion I received your letter of the 22nd June which surprised us greatly. You had written this letter on the basis of some Press reports. You told us that the Cabinet Mission and you were not prepared to accept a request for the inclusion of a  Muslim chosen by the Congress among the representatives of the Congress in the Interim Government. This seemed to us an extraordinary decision. It was in direct opposition to your own statement quoted above. It meant that the Congress could not freely choose even its own nominees. The fact that this was not to be taken as a precedent made hardly any difference. Even a temporary departure from such a vital principle could not be accepted by us at any time or place and in any circumstances.

In your letter of 21st June, you give certain questions framed by Jinnah in his letter, dated 19th June, and your replies to them. We have not seen Mr. Jinnah's full letter. In question 3 reference is made to "representation of the four minorities, viz., the Scheduled Castes, the Sikhs, the Indian Christians and the Parsees", and it is asked as to "who will fill in vacancies caused in these groups, and whether in filling up the vacancies the Leader of the Muslim League will be consulted and his consent obtained".

In your answer you say "if any vacancy occurs among the seats at present allotted to Representatives of the minorities, I shall naturally consult both the main parties before filling it". Mr. Jinnah has thus included the Scheduled Castes among the minorities and presumably you have agreed with this view. So far as we are concerned, we repudiate this view and consider the Scheduled Castes as integral parts of Hindu Society. You also, in your letter of June 15th, treated the Scheduled Castes as Hindus. You pointed out that in your proposal there was no "parity" either between Hindus and Muslims or between the Congress and the Muslim League inasmuch as there were to be six  Hindus belonging to the Congress, as against five Muslims belonging to the League. One of the six Hindus belonged to the Scheduled Castes. We are in any case not agreeable to the Leader of a Party, which claims to represent a community which is a minority, interfering with the selection of names of either the Scheduled Castes, whose representation you counted as falling within the Congress quota, or with the selection of representatives of the minorities mentioned.

In question 4 the Scheduled Castes are again referred to as a minority and it is asked whether the proportion of members of the Government community-wise as provided in the proposals will be maintained. Your answer is that the proportion will not be changed without agreement of the two major parties. Here again one communal group functioning admittedly as such is given the power to veto changes in other groups with which it has no concern. We may desire, if opportunity offers itself, to increase the representation of the Scheduled Castes, or to give representation, when it is possible, to another minority, for example the Anglo-Indians. All this would depend on the consent of the Muslim League. We cannot agree to this. We may add that your answers restrict the Congress representation to Caste Hindus and make it equal to that of the League.

Excerpts from June 25 1946 Congress Resolution in CMP(12)]


The following are quoted from Wavell, The Viceroy's Journal.

Viceroy Wavell's entries on June 24  and June 25 1946

June 24 (excerpts)

..Sometime today I dictated a note to the Mission on the deplorable mess we had got into:

Congress manoeuvres have now put us into a very difficult position, both with Mr. Jinnah and as to the formation of an Interim Government.

Relying on a letter from Congress that the acceptance of the Statement of May 16th and the Interim Government hung together, and an assurance that there was no possibility of the Congress rejecting an Interim Government and accepting the Statement of May 16, we have committed ourselves, in paragraph 8 of the Statement of June 16, to forming an Interim Government with anyone who had accepted the Statement of May 16. This paragraph was put in, perhaps rashly, because we felt that Mr. Jinnah who had already accepted the Statement of May 16, should not be put at a disadvantage with the Congress, who had not; and in furthermore of our pledge that we would go ahead as far as possible with anyone who accepted the Statement of May 16.

We are now precluded from trying to form an Interim Government with the participation of the Muslim League; but without that of the Congress; and Congress will claim that in any fresh attempt all the original bases and the assurances given to Mr. Jinnah have disappeared. We have in fact been out-manoeuvred by the Congress; and this ability of Congress to twist words and phrases and to take advantage of any slip in wording is what Mr. Jinnah has all along feared, and has been the reason for this difficult attitude. The success of the Congress, which he will feel has been mainly due to their continuous contacts with the Mission, especially since the Statement of June 16th, will increase his distrust, both of the Congress and of the Mission and of the Viceroy.

In these conditions, I feel that it would be quite useless to try and press Mr. Jinnah to make the concession of accepting a Congress Muslim; and indeed I doubt whether Congress would now be prepared to come in if that concession were made. They would now see their advantage, and would press it by demanding further concession. The atmosphere for any sort of compromise is now, I think, more unfavourable than at any other time.  Tempers are frayed, the Muslim League feel that they have been betrayed; and the Congress feel that they have gained an advantage of which they will not be slow to make capital.

The alternatives for an Interim Government therefore appear to be:
(a) To ask Mr. Jinnah to form a Government. I do not see how this could possibly be done, since both sides have now accepted the May 16 Statement; unless we decided that the Congress's is a dishonest one, as it in fact is, and refuse to regard it as an acceptance.
(b) To capitulate entirely to the Congress and ask them to form a Government, seeking the cooperation of the Muslim League, on such terms as they judge right. It does not seem to me that this would be fair or honest to the Muslim League, and I could not accept it.
(c) To form a Caretaker Government of officials, to carry on for a short period while the Mission goes home for consultations; and everybody has a rest and recovers from the strain and heat aroused by the recent discussions and negotiations.
The solution depends on whether the Delegation propose to regard the Congress acceptance of the Statement of May 16 as genuine,  in spite of their expressed intention to evade at least one of its essential provisions. If the Delegation do not accept it, then Mr. Jinnah can be asked to participate in a Government as already agreed.

If the Delegation proposes to accept the Congress acceptance of the Statement, I think that the only possible solution is a temporary Caretaker Government of officials. It may not hold the situation for long, perhaps for not more than a few weeks, perhaps hardly that; but we have been manoeuvred into a position when it seems to be the only chance. However long it lasts, and whatever decision H.M.G gives as to their general policy, I am quite certain that our last chance of getting a genuine Coalition Government for India has gone, for a very long time at any rate.

June 25 (excerpts)
The worst day yet, I think. Congress has accepted the Statement of 16 May, though with reservations on its interpretation. They did not intend to do so, having always said they would not accept the long-term policy unless they accepted the short-term one, Interim Government. Now Cripps, having assured me categorically that Congress would never accept the Statement of May 16, instigated Congress to do so by pointing out the tactical advantage they would gain as regards the Interim Government. So did the Secretary of State. When I tackled him on this, he defended it on the grounds that to get the Congress into the Constituent Assembly was such a gain that he considered it justified. It has left me in an impossible position vis-a-vis Jinnah.

We had a meeting with Delegation from 12-1.30 pm. I challenged the assurance given to Gandhi last night[CMP(12B)] on the matter of the undertaking to be signed by a Candidate for the Constituent Assembly as not quite honest, but these politicians can always out-talk me, and I had to withdraw. We then discussed the Congress letter of acceptance which is a dishonest acceptance, but is so cleverly worded that it had to be regarded as an acceptance.


The following are quoted from The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Volumes VII The Cabinet Mission.

609 page 1044 (full text)
Record of Meeting of Cabinet Delegation and Field Marshal Viscount Wavell with Mr. Jinnah on Tuesday, 25 June 1946 at 5.30 pm

Prior to the meeting Mr. Jinnah was given a copy of the Congress President's reply, dated 25th June[quoted above].

The Secretary of State said that Mr. Jinnah would observe that the Congress reply gave grounds why the Congress could not accept the Statement of June 16th but that in the last paragraph they accepted the Statement of May 16th. Mr. Jinnah pointed out that the acceptance was subject to a particular interpretation of the provisions of the Statement of May 16th in regard to the Constituent Assembly meeting together in sections.

The Secretary of State said that the Delegation were satisfied that the Congress letter constituted an acceptance. It was not in any way a provisional acceptance. The Muslim League in accepting the Statement had also adhered to their own point of view and had made statements about maintaining their goal of complete sovereign Pakistan and others which went quite as far as any reservations made by the Congress.  Mr. Jinnah said that the Muslim League had reiterated that sovereign Pakistan was their goal but they had accepted the Delegation's plan and put no interpretation on its provisions. The Secretary of State said that the Muslim League resolution referred to a right of secession being implied in the Delegation's Statement. This was definitely an interpretation. Mr. Jinnah said he could not agree. In the first place the Muslim League did not dispute that a Union Constitution should be framed on the basis laid down in the Statement. They did not dispute that that constitution should continue for 10 years. They maintained that the revision of the constitution provided for after 10 years implied a right of secession. At Simla the Congress had admitted as much and raised no fundamental objection. The Secretary of State said that the Muslim League were quite entitled to try and get a right of secession accepted by the Constitution-making Body. The Congress also were entitled to try and get their point of view accepted. Mr. Jinnah said that the Congress reservation was different in kind. They said that the first question for the Constitution-making Body to decide was whether Provinces should not be able to opt out of the Group at the outset. Obviously they would get a large majority for a decision in that sense. Sir S. Cripps pointed out that the resolution would require a majority of both communities as being a major communal issue. Mr. Jinnah said he did not think that it would be held to be a major communal issue. There would be a Hindu Chairman and it seemed to him by no means evident that such a decision need necessarily be taken.

Mr. Jinnah said he hoped  the Delegation would make it publicly clear that they considered that a majority of both parties would be required for such a decision. The Viceroy pointed out that the Delegation had said in their   Statement of May 25th [CMP(12)]that they did not accept the Congress interpretation. The Secretary of State said that the Delegation considered that the Congress letter was definitely an acceptance of the long-term plan. Mr. Jinnah said he thought the reservations made by the Congress were most vital and broke the whole thing. The Secretary of State said that the Muslim League reservations were quite as fundamental. They held themselves free to withdraw at any stage or reject the ultimate result of the Constituent Assembly if they did not like it. The First Lord said that they thought that the provision in the Delegation's Statement about the revision of the constitution did not mean that there was a right of secession. It meant that any party to the constitution could after 10 years have an amendment moved to it.

That amendment had got to be agreed to before it had effect. He would say that the Congress letter was an acceptance even more than the Muslim League resolution. The Congress like the Muslim League said that while adhering to their own views they accepted the proposals.

Mr. Jinnah said that the Sections and Groups were an essential feature of the scheme which the Congress wanted to smash. These were the one thing for which the Muslim League had made one concession after another. It had never been contemplated in the Statement that Provinces would be able to opt out of Sections. He begged the Delegation to make it clear that they did not accept the Congress interpretation. He had with great difficulty made substantial concessions in these negotiations because he felt that if we succeeded in making a settlement we should be blessed by 400 million people. But he found that the other side had made no gesture or move towards him. Day after day at prayer meetings Mr. Gandhi had poured out attacks upon the Muslim League. He hoped that the Delegation would appreciate that he had refrained from replying in kind. The Secretary of State said that Mr. Jinnah's personal restraint had been appreciated but the worst trouble in India was mutual suspicion and both Dawn and the Hindu papers made the task of negotiators much more difficult. In the last few days the Delegation had been trying to persuade the Congress to accept the Muslim point of view even on one or two matters on which they felt that it was not really justified. They had nearly succeeded but at the critical moment letters which had passed between the Viceroy and Mr. Jinnah and an account of one of Mr. Jinnah's interviews with the Viceroy had appeared in the Press with devastating effect. Mr. Jinnah said that he had been compelled to disclose this correspondence firstly by the constant suggestions in the Hindu Press that the Muslim League case was going by default and, secondly, by the fact that His Excellency had told him that the Congress were pressing for the inclusion of a non League Muslim. Congress had refused Hindu-Muslim parity which they had agreed to at Simla and in that position Mr. Jinnah maintained that  the Muslim League was the only party entitled by its achievements at the elections to nominate a Muslim member of the Central Government.

The Secretary of State and the Viceroy said that they could not accept that position and the Viceroy emphasized that he had repeatedly made this clear to Mr. Jinnah. The First Lord said that politically some principle must be accepted in such negotiations. The Delegation had told the Congress that they could not interfere with the Muslim League nominations and they certainly could not maintain that the Congress could not nominate whom they wished from among their own members for their own places in the Government.

The Viceroy said that the point now reached was that the Delegation proposed to go ahead with the Constituent Assembly and constitution-making treating both parties as having accepted the Statement of May 16th with reservation.  As the Congress had refused the proposals about the Interim Government the Statement of June 16th fell to the ground.  In accordance with paragraph 8 of that Statement he would make an attempt to get a representative Coalition  Government of those who had accepted the May Statement. He thought Mr. Jinnah would agree that it was no use making a further attempt immediately and he proposed that there should now be an interval during which a Caretaker Government would be appointed for the time being. After a short interval he would try again to get a Coalition Government which he believed was the right solution. The Cabinet Mission had decided that they would return to England. In the meantime he hoped that Mr. Jinnah would use his position to prevent feelings between the two parties being inflamed.

Mr. Jinnah said that the Muslim League had accepted the proposals of May 16th. Did he understand that the Delegation did not now wish to form an Interim Government? He had understood that if one party rejected the offer of June 16th we should go ahead with the other. A very unfortunate situation seemed now to have arisen. The Muslim League had accepted the Statement of May 16th on the basis of the formula for the Interim Government which the Viceroy had told Mr. Jinnah that he was working for. The Viceroy said he had told Mr. Jinnah repeatedly that he could let his Working Committee know what basis he was working on the clear understanding that he made it plain that there was no guarantee that the 5:5:2 proportions would be finally achieved.

Mr. Jinnah said he disliked the suggestion for a postponement of the question of the Interim Government. He thought it was bad for the prestige of the Delegation and also for his own prestige. It would destroy both but the Delegation could, of course, do as they pleased. His view was that they should proceed now to form an Interim Government on the basis of the Statement of June 16th with those who were prepared to accept it. Sir S. Cripps said that it was clear from paragraph 8 of the Statement of the 16th June that the fresh negotiations for an Interim Government must be on a new basis. Mr. Jinnah said that the point was, the Congress having rejected the Statement of June 16th, the Delegation felt they could not adhere to it. In his opinion it would be wrong and misguided to depart from that Statement. The Secretary of State said that the Delegation were not asking for Mr. Jinnah's opinion of their conduct.

The First Lord said that at last the Delegation had got both parties to accept the Statement of May 16th. He accepted 100 per cent. what Mr. Jinnah had sa
id as to the sacrifices he had made to help India's problem. It was possible to proceed right away with the attempt to get a representative Government of both parties but it would be much more convenient if the Mission could go home and the Viceroy could have a short interval. He thought that the chances of success would be greater in that way. He begged Mr. Jinnah to use his influence with his Working Committee to come into the Government on this basis.

The Viceroy said that if the two parties agreed to discuss this question of the Interim Government together he would be glad if they could make any suggestion which would enable an Interim Government to be formed forthwith. But he was not prepared at present to enter into another long negotiation. Mr. Jinnah said that he appreciated the efforts which the Delegation had made but he must say with respect that he considered that the Delegation had not been able to enter into the skin of this problem. If they now said that they postponed the whole thing and would consider de novo there was a very poor chance of a coalition. The Viceroy asked whether Mr. Jinnah was prepared to make any concessions to facilitate an immediate settlement. Would he, for example, accept the inclusion of a Congress Muslim. Mr. Jinnah said that he was not prepared to do that. That would be starting from the beginning again. The Viceroy said that the Delegation had fought hard on this issue but had failed. Mr. Jinnah said that he was glad to hear this but in his view every move the Delegation had made had been at his cost.

Mr. Jinnah said that he would like to have a statement in writing from the Delegation of the points they had put to him in order that he could put it to his Working Committee.


627 page 1069 (excerpts)
Statement by Mr. Jinnah on 27 June 1946

I regret that the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy should have thought fit to postpone indefinitely the formation of the Interim Government on the basis of 16th June, as that statement clearly says that the Viceroy aimed at inaugurating the Interim Government about 26th June. It is very difficult to see what are the mysterious reasons and causes for this sudden departure. The Muslim League emphatically disapproves of this action on the part of the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy, because all contingencies including rejection by the Congress, were contemplated by and provided for in the statement of 16th June, and Clause 8 of the statement, taken along with the context, is quite clear and the Delegation and the Viceroy were
in honour bound to go ahead with the formation of the Interim Government immediately with those who were willing to come into the Interim Government on the basis and principles set out in their statement of 16th June.

Notwithstanding the clear statement of 16th May and the further statement of the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy of 25th May
[CMP(12)] clarifying and finally giving their authoritative interpretation, the Congress, both in the letter of the President and their resolution, adhere to their wrong interpretation that any province or provinces is or are entitled to opt out initially, and that they have a right at any stage to do so. This is clear indication that the Congress is not accepting the long-term proposals in a sincere and honest spirit of co-operation and peaceful settlement. If they persist in this and adopt measures to set at nought what is described by the statement of the Delegation of 25th May to constitute the essential feature of the scheme, the whole plan will be wrecked at its very inception.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that if any attempt is made to whittle down in any way the assurances given to the Muslim League or to change or modify the basis of the statement of June 16th which has been accepted by the Muslim League, it will be regarded by Muslim India as going back on the part of the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy on their pledged word in writing and as a breach of faith. The British Government will in that case forfeit the confidence of Muslim India and of those whom they expect to work on their part, according to their pledged word.


631 page 1076 (full text)

Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Mr. Jinnah
28 June 1946

The Cabinet Mission and I feel that there are certain points in your statement released yesterday which it would be wrong to leave unanswered.

You will remember that an interview which the Cabinet Mission and I had with you on the evening of the 25th June, before the meeting of your Working Committee at which you accepted the proposals in the Statement of the 16th June, we explained to you that as Congress had accepted the Statement of 16th May while refusing to take part in the Interim Government proposed in the Statement of 16th June, this had produced a situation in which paragraph 8 of the Statement of the 16th June took effect. This paragraph stated that if either of the two parties was unwilling to join in the setting up of a Coalition Government on the lines laid down in that Statement, the Viceroy would proceed with the formation of an Interim Government which would be as representative as possible of those willing to accept the Statement of the 16th May.

We said that since the Congress and the Muslim League had now both accepted the Statement of 16th May, it was the intention to form a Coalition Government including both those parties as soon as possible. In view, however, of the long negotiations which had already taken place, and since we all had other work to do, we felt that it would be better to have a short interval before proceeding with further negotiations for the formation of an Interim Government. Thus whatever interpretation you may put on paragraph 8, your Working Committee can have been in no doubt as to the course we proposed to adopt. I confirmed in writing the same evening what we had told you.

Secondly, the assurances which you quote in your statement related specifically to the particular Interim Government that would have been set up if both major parties had accepted the Statement of the 16th June. To prevent misunderstanding I propose to publish this letter together with your letter of the 19th June the substance of which has already appeared in the Press, and my reply of the 20th June.


632 page 1077 (full text)

Mr. Jinnah to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell
28 June 1946

I am in receipt of your letter of 27th June, 1946. I had already pointed out by my letter of the 26th of June in reply to yours of the 25h and also, at the interview on Tuesday, 25th June, with you and the Cabinet Delegation that you were in honour bound to proceed forthwith with the formation of your Interim Government in accordance with the Statement of the 16th of June which was final, and the assurances given to us.

The Cabinet Delegation and yourself issued an official Statement late in the evening of 26th June, and as I have already pointed out in my Statement issued to the Press yesterday, by that pronouncement you have chosen to go back upon your pledged word, by postponing the formation of the Interim Government.

Now I have received your letter of 27th June and hereby inform you that I cannot agree with you when you say in your letter that "it is essential to have a short interval before resuming negotiations". I repeat that you should have proceeded in terms of the paragraph 8 without delay. But since you have adopted this course of action in the official Statement of the Cabinet Delegation and yourself, which is neither fair nor just, I strongly urge upon you without prejudice, that the elections to the Constituent Assembly should also be postponed as, you know, that according to all the relevant documents and particularly the two Statements of the Cabinet Delegation and yourself, dated 16th and 25th of May, the long-term plan and the formation of the Interim Government formed one whole, each constituting an integral part of the whole scheme. It is, therefore, undesirable to proceed with one part, i.e., elections to the Constituent Assembly and to postpone the other.


633 page 1078 (full text)

Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Mr. Jinnah
28 June 1946

I have received your letter of the 28th June and have shown it to the Cabinet Ministers.
We are quite unable to accept your suggestion that we have gone back on our word. As I have said in a letter to you earlier today our course of action was determined by what had been laid down in paragraph 8 of the Statement of the 16th June; and we had made it plain to you before your Working Committee meeting on the 25th June that we proposed to follow this course.

The arrangements for the elections to the Constituent Assembly have already been put into operation and we do not propose to postpone them.

As the substance of your letter was included in the All-India Radio news today I am publishing this reply.


634 page 1078 (full text)

Mr. Jinnah to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell
28 June 1946

I am in receipt of your letter of 28th June. The facts are correctly stated in my statement that was released to the Press yesterday, the 27th of June.

The explanation that you now give  in your letter under reply of what took place between me and the Cabinet Delegation and yourself does not change in any way the position. The fact is that you did not communicate to me your views officially before the meeting of the Working Committee. I requested you to send your views officially to me and you did so by your letter of the 25th June, which reached me at midnight after the Working Committee had passed their Resolution which was released to the Press according to the solemn arrangement that we were to give our reply immediately after the decision of the Congress. If you wish to take the credit that some indication was given to me of the change on your part in the course of the interview, where we discussed so many things, you may do so.

As regards paragraph 2 of your letter I am surprised when you say that the assurances quoted by me from your letter in my Statement were given "if both the major parties had accepted the Statement of the 16th of June".  No such indication of any such condition is given in your letter of 20th of June, which I understand from your Private Secretary has already been released to the Press together with some other correspondence. May I request you to release this letter also?

I have received a second letter from you dated the 28th of June. May I also request you to publish the full text of my letter of the 28th June asking you to postpone the Constituent Assembly elections-and not only a substance of it which might have appeared in the All-India Radio Broadcast-as you proposed to release your reply to the Press.


637 page 1080 (full text)

Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Mr. Jinnah
29 June 1946

Thank you for your letter of yesterday. In regard to your paragraph 3, I refer to opening sentence of paragraph No. 5 of my letter of June 20th which reads as follows: "On the points which you desire to make clear, in connection with the Government to be formed under our statement of June 16th, I give you the following reply after consultation with the delegation."

I have underlined the relevant words. It was clear from this sentence that the assurances given applied only to the particular interim Government proposed in the statement of June 16th.

I have no objection to your publishing your letter of the 28th June, suggesting the postponement of election to the Constituent Assembly or your letter under reply.


The following is quoted from Anita Inder Singh, The Origins of the Partition of India 1936-1947,  Oxford University Press, Delhi, 1987
On 29 June, the Cabinet Delegation returned to Britain.   British officials now debated the basis on which the League and the Congress should be called in to form the  interim government. Penderel Moon suggested that the 6:5:1 basis could be adhered to.

'If for any reason, including the non-co-operation of either of the major parties, it is impossible to form a Coalition Government. . . then the Congress as the largest single party should be called upon to form a Government; but the intention of doing this should not be disclosed, except possibly at the last moment to Jinnah. . . If we had the courage to recognize the Congress' right to include a nationalist Muslim in their quota of representatives, the League would not have refused to co-operate. The League could not possibly go into the wilderness on the ground that an extra Muslim was being included in the Government in the place of a Caste Hindu. The League is relatively weak and quite unused to fighting. If it decides to fight it will fight on strong ground and not on an absurdity.' (Note by Penderel Moon, 29 June 1946, L/P&J/10/73, p. 341)

'Of course what prevented us from doing that which Moon refers to in last para', commented Pethick-Lawrence, 'was the pledges we gave Jinnah in the ill-advised letter of Viceroy to Jinnah on 20 June para 5(1) and (4)... to which I was at that time strongly opposed'.(Handwritten note by Pethick-Lawrence, undated but around beginning July, Ibid.,p. 339)

Turnbull was also in general agreement with Moon. Pethick-Lawrence, drawing up instructions for the Viceroy in consultation with the cabinet, firmly believed that 'it is unreasonable of Jinnah to demand that all the Muslim members should be nominees of the Muslim League in view of the fact that the Muslim League achieved only 76% of the Muslim votes'.  If the principle was repudiated, the Congress 'may be prepared not to press for the actual inclusion of a Congress Muslim'.

The Viceroy should make it plain to Jinnah that 'we cannot support his claim' that all the Muslims should be nominated by the Muslim League, but that the British agreed with him that a majority of both communities would be required for raising a major communal issue. He should, at the same time, urge upon Nehru the 'essential importance' of Congress not pressing their claim to the inclusion of a Congress Muslim. If the League refused to come in, the Congress would be asked to form the Government, though the Viceroy would oppose it.(Note by Pethick-Lawrence, July 1946, Ibid., pp. 320-3.) Wavell favoured the 6:5:3 ratio for the formation of the interim government, to which the cabinet agreed.(Cabinet Meeting on 18 July 1946, Ibid., pp.200-2.).

The following is quoted from Wavell, The Viceroy's Journal.

Viceroy Wavell's entry on June 30 1946 (excerpts)
June 30
Came up to Simla for a little change and rest, and to think out the next move.

A Retrospect: Summary of Cabinet Mission's Work
(March-June 1946)

Phase V May 16 Statement was a good one, E. and O.E. We made a mistake over the Europeans; we gave the Congress lawyers a loophole for misinterpretation - quite wilful on their part, of course-between paragraphs 15(4) and 19(5); and perhaps we might have done something more to satisfy the Sikhs. Possibly too the condemnation of Pakistan was rather too sweeping. But on the whole it was a great tribute to the Constitutional ingenuity of Cripps and Rau.

Could we have kept the initiative after its issue, and forced a reply within a limited period? Only I think if we had really a definite plan of action from the first. The long period of argument, quibbling, huckstering and hesitation by Congress was deplorable, and I think it ought somehow to have been prevented. The Mission's continuous touch with Congress during this period, and the pathetic anxiety they showed to persuade them to accept was to my mind all wrong. It was, I think, both undignified and unprofitable; and I am not sure that it was always quite honest.

Phase VI The negotiations for an Interim Government were going on concurrently with Phases IV and V. I am not very proud of the way I conducted these, though I am not sure that I could have done any better. I was hampered by two things, that it was impossible to keep the Interim Government separate from acceptance or rejection of the long term policy; and that I never quite knew what was going on behind the scenes. I think perhaps I was wrong to begin with the 5:5:2 formula, also not to press Jinnah more strongly about a Congress Muslim from the very start. Still it is difficult to deal with people who continually change their ground, who give you to understand that only one point requires to be settled, and as soon as they get some satisfaction or concession on that, raise another, and so on. Thus the Congress first concentrated on the powers of the Government, then made an issue of parity, and finally of the Congress Muslim. Still I feel that I should somehow have been cleverer about it; and a little firmer with Jinnah.

I think the Statement of June 16 was on the right lines but perhaps Engineer was a mistake. If Anthony[Ed. Penderel Moon's note below: Frank Anthony, President-in-Chief of the Anglo-Indian Association and a member of the Central Legislative Assembly] had been suitable it would have been better to have included an Anglo-Indian. But the really unfortunate mistake was Paragraph 8, which was meant to help Jinnah and has caused him such irritation and enabled him to accuse us of bad faith. I wonder if Cripps foresaw from the first the way that would, or might, work out. At any rate it was, I think, definitely sharp practice on his part, after having several times assured me, when I raised the point, that there was no possible chance of Congress accepting the May 16 Statement, unless they came into the Interim Government, to point out to the Congress, as I am sure he did the tactical advantage they would gain by accepting the May 16 Statement, even with reservations, and thus preventing Paragraph 8 of June 16 being operated in Jinnah's favour. The S. of S. did so too. They played too keen a game, at the most charitable view. Cripps even said, with some satisfaction, that it was Paragraph 8 which had brought about Congress's acceptance of May 16 Statement.

Whether Gandhi's final spanner could have been kept out of the works, if Jinnah had not published his letter;and whether Jinnah could have been restrained from publishing his letter, if we had kept in touch with the Muslim League as some of the Mission did with the Congress, it will never be possible to say; but I do blame myself for not having had some line to Jinnah to re-assure him a little.[Ed. Penderel Moon's note below: One of Cripp's assistants, Woodrow Wyatt, was on good terms with Jinnah and not unsympathetic to the Muslim League. Wavell might have  made more use of him as a line to Jinnah but did not feel complete confidence in him. He regretted that he did not keep in closer touch with Jinnah through members of his own staff.]

Anyway, the third attempt which I have seen, and in which I have taken some part-very minor role in the Cripp's offer, the leading part in 1945, and a large but unsatisfactory role in this Cabinet Delegation business has ended in failure; and perhaps a worse failure than ever before. What were the main causes?

As I have indicated, I think at the root of the failure lay the fact that H.M.G. and the Delegation never had any definite basic plan; and so could never keep the initiative. They negotiated as supplicants asking for favours, rather than as masters granting them. And we are still masters of India, even if a little precariously. We showed ourselves much too eager to make a bargain, almost at the price of honour and peace. I still believe that a firmer more masculine attitude would not only have been more befitting a great people, but would have paid a better dividend.

It was quite wrong of the Mission to have had such constant contacts with the Congress camp, and especially with Gandhi. They put exaggerated faith and belief in him and showed him absurd deference. Sudhir Ghosh, Gandhi's emissary, is I believe a snake in the grass; and I would certainly never have trusted him. Even Rajagopalachariar would I am sure let them down if it suited his book or that of the Congress; and was throughout a propagandist of the Congress case.

Gandhi ran true to form and was the real wrecker. His one idea for 40 years has been to overthrow British rule and influence and to establish a Hindu raj; and he is as unscrupulous as he is persistent. He has brought to a fine art the technique of vagueness and of never making a statement which is not somehow so qualified or worded, that he cannot be pinned down to anything definite. His practice of mixing prayers with politics, or rather of making prayers a medium of political propaganda, is all part of the make-up. He is an exceedingly shrewd, obstinate, domineering, double-tongued, single-minded politician and there is little true saintliness in him.

With very few exceptions, the Congress Working Committee are not an impressive lot; while there is a good deal of cleverness there is no statesmanship amongst them....
Jinnah over-called his hand in the end, and was too uncompromising on the non-League Muslim issue; but he is straight compared with Congress, and does not constantly shift his ground, as they do, though he too drives a hard bargain.

Such is the judgement of one trained as a soldier on some very well intentioned but in the end a little sordid, political manoeuvres. ... I was in agreement with most of what they did, it was their dilatory, too conciliatory, rather tortuous methods which I thought wrong; and I do not think I could have changed them.

I am depressed at the future prospect. Congress have been encouraged and will set their claims higher than ever. The suspicion and dislike of Jinnah for the Congress have been enhanced; and to them is added, I fear, a mistrust of H.M.G., and perhaps of myself. Further negotiations will not be easy.

The following are quoted from The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Volume VIII The Interim Government.

Jinnah's letter to the Prime Minister Attlee, 6 July 1946
68 page 106 (full text)

Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell

                                                                                                                                                                          INDIA OFFICE, 23 July 1946
Following is text of letter Prime Minister has received from Jinnah dated 6th July. I am considering the draft of a reply which I propose should sent through you under flying seal.

Dear Mr. Attlee,
It is not without deep regret that I have to say that the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy have, by handling the negotiations in the manner in which they did, impaired the honour of the British Government and have shaken the confidence of Muslim India and shattered their hopes for an honourable and peaceful settlement. They allowed themselves to play in the hands of the Congress, who all along held out the threat of non-cooperation and civil disobedience, if they were not satisfied; and virtually, from the very beginning, adopted an aggressive and dictatorial attitude, pistol in their hand. They are determined to seize power and try to establish Caste-Hindu domination over Muslim India and the other communities inhabiting this vast sub-Continent. I hope when you go through  all the relevant correspondence and hear the Mission, you will come to the same conclusion as I have indicated above. I think you will agree with me that it is not only an obsession but has become a disease with the Congress, and it is an impossibility. Even now, having wrecked the formation of the Interim Government as proposed by the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy in their final Statement of 16th June, they have accepted the long-term plan, not in the spirit of cooperation and to construct but to wreck it. This will be clear to you from the reservations and interpretations that they have put upon the long-term plan and which are contrary to those embodied in the Statement of the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy dated 16th May and their further Statement of May 25th (particularly grouping of provinces).

I therefore trust that the British Government will still avoid compelling the Muslims to shed their blood, for, your surrender to the Congress at the sacrifice of the Muslims can only result in that direction. If power politics are going to be the deciding factor, in total disregard for fair play and justice, we shall have no other course open to us except to forge our sanctions to meet the situation which, in that case, is bound to arise. Its consequences, I need not say, I need not say, will be most disastrous and a peaceful settlement will then become impossible.

I am writing this letter to you in confidence and to one whom I have known for a long time. Today you happen to be at the helm of the British nation as the Prime Minister and, I hope, you will give your most earnest and careful consideration to what I have urged not without painfulness, which is apparent from my letter and that you will maintain the honour of the British nation for fairplay.

I am enclosing herewith for your information and consideration my two Statements that I have issued, in case you may not have come across them; and also two editorials from the only British paper now left in India.

I am sending a similar letter to Mr. Churchill, the Leader of the Opposition.

This letter is strictly private, personal and confidential.
 Hoping you are well and with kind regards,
                                                                                                                                                                        Yours sincerely,
                                                                                                                                                                             M.A.JINNAH. Ends.

70 page 110 (full text)
Mr. Attlee to Mr. Jinnah
                                                                                                                                                10 DOWNING STREET, 23 July 1946

My dear Jinnah,

Thank you for your letter of 6 July. 

I have, of course, studied closely the correspondence between the Cabinet Mission and the Viceroy and the political  parties in India and I have had a full discussion with the members of the Mission since they returned here. I should like to express to you my appreciation of the very real contribution which the Muslim League, under your leadership, made to the general effort to obtain a settlement.

It seems to me that the Congress also made a contribution, the substantial nature of which has to be recognized, and I cannot quite accept your description of their attitude.

As regards the Statement of May 16th, the terms of the Congress acceptance certainly leave something to be desired.  But I must point out that the Muslim League, in their resolution of the 6th June, also made certain reservations. Only the proceedings of the Constituent Assembly itself will show whether the reservations which each party has thought it necessary to make will permit of a constitution being produced, under which the natural aspirations of both can be reasonably satisfied.

Everyone knows that, if there is to be peaceful and assured future for India, these present differences must be resolved by argument and compromise. That is after all the function of the Constituent Assembly and I have sufficient faith in the resources of statesmanship in India to believe that it will be equal to the great task which it has to carry through. It seems to me that you, as the unchallenged political leader of the Muslims, will earn a great debt of gratitude from future generations if you continue to use your powerful influence to promote this end. Of course, the other side must make a similar contribution of success is to be achieved.

I appeal to you personally to use your great influence in India's cause, and I trust also that you will do your utmost to assist the Viceroy in the formation of an Interim Government. The Constituent Assembly is much less likely to take a course which we should all regret, if the two parties are collaborating in the Government, and for this reason in particular I attach great importance to the formation of a Coalition Government without any further delay.
                                                                                                                                                            Yours sincerely,
                                                                                                                                                                                                C.R. ATTLEE

86 page 135 (excerpt)
Text of two Resolutions passed by the All-India Muslim League Council at Bombay on 29 July 1946
[Full Text of   Resolution No. 2 in CMP(A3)]

Resolution No 1.
On the 6th of June 1946, the Council of the All-India Muslim League accepted the scheme embodied in the statement of the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy dated 16th May...

The scheme of the Cabinet Delegation fell far short of the demand of the Muslim nation for the immediate establishment of an independent and fully sovereign state of Pakistan comprising the six Muslim Provinces, but the Council accepted a Union Center for ten years strictly confined to three subjects, viz., Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communications, as the scheme laid down certain fundamentals and safeguards and provided for the grouping separately of the six Muslim Provinces in Sections B and C for the purpose of framing their Provincial and group Constitutions unfettered by the Union in any way; and also with a view to end the Hindu-Muslim deadlock peacefully and accelerate the attainment of freedom of the peoples of India.

In arriving at this decision, the Council was also greatly influenced by the statement of the President which he made with the authority of the Viceroy that the Interim Government, which was an integral part of the Mission's scheme, was going to be formed on the basis of a formula, viz., 5 Muslim League, 5 Congress, 1 Sikh and 1 Indian Christian or Anglo-Indian stipulating that the most important portfolios would be distributed equally between the two major parties, the Muslim League and the Congress.

The Council authorized the President to take such decision and action with regard to further details of setting up the Interim Government as he deemed fit and proper. In that very resolution the Council also reserved the right to modify and revise this policy, if the course of events so required.

The British Government committed a breach of faith with the Muslim League in that the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy went back on the original formula of 5 : 5 : 2 for setting up of the Interim Government to placate the Congress.

Having gone back on the original formula upon the faith of which the Muslim League Council had come to their decision of the 6th of June, the Viceroy suggested a new basis of 5 : 5 : 3 and after carrying on considerable negotiation with the Congress and having failed to get the Congress to agree to it, intimated to the Parties on the 15th of June that he and the Cabinet Delegation would issue their final statement with regard to the setting up of the Interim Government.

Accordingly on the 16th of June the President of the Muslim League received a Statement embodying what was announced to be the final decision for setting up the Interim Government by the Viceroy making it clear that if either of the two major parties refused to accept the Statement of the June 16th, the Viceroy would proceed to form the Interim Government with the major party accepting it and such other representatives as were willing to join. This was explicitly laid down in the paragraph 8 of the Statement of June 16th.

Even this final decision of the Cabinet Mission of the 16th of June with regard to the formation of the Interim Government was rejected by the Congress, whereas the Muslim League definitely accepted it. Though this proposal was different from the original formula of 5 : 5 : 2, the Muslim League accepted it because the Viceroy had provided safeguards and given other satisfactory assurances which were contained in his letter, dated the 20th of June 1946, addressed to the President of the Muslim League.

The Viceroy, however, scrapped the proposal of the 16th June and postponed the formation of the Interim Government on the plea concocted by the "legalistic talents" of the Cabinet Mission putting the most fantastic and dishonest construction upon paragraph 8 of the Statement to the effect that as both the major parties, i.e., the Muslim League and the Congress had accepted the statement of May 16th, the question of the Interim Government could only be taken up in consultation with the representatives of both the parties de novo.

Even assuming that this construction was tenable, for which there is no warrant, the Congress by their conditional acceptance with reservations and interpretations of their own, as laid down in the letter of the President of the Congress, dated the 25th of June, and the Resolution of the Working Committee of the Congress passed at Delhi on the 26th of June, repudiating the very fundamentals of the Scheme had, in fact, rejected the Statement of the 16th of May and there was therefore no justification, whatsoever, for abandoning the final proposals of the 16th of June.
As regards the proposal embodied in the statements of the 16th and 25th of May of the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy, the Muslim League alone of the two major parties has accepted it. The Congress have not accepted it because their acceptance is conditional and subject to their own interpretation which is contrary to the authoritative statements of the Delegation and the Viceroy issued on the 16th and the 25th of May. The Congress have made it clear that they do not accept any of the terms or the fundamentals of the scheme but that they have agreed only to go into the Constituent Assembly and to nothing else; and that the Constituent Assembly is a sovereign body and can take such decisions as it may think proper in total disregard of the terms and basis on which it was proposed to be set up.

Subsequently it has been made further clear and beyond any doubt in the speeches that were made at the All-India Congress Committee in Bombay on the 6th of July by prominent members of the Congress and in the statement of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the President of the Congress, to a press conference on 10th July in Bombay and then again even after the debate in Parliament in a public speech by him on the 22nd of July...

Once the Constituent Assembly were summoned and met there was no provision or power that could prevent any decision from being taken by the Congress, with its overwhelming majority, which could not be competent for the Assembly to take or which would be ultra vires of it and however repugnant it might be to the letter or the spirit of the scheme.

It would rest entirely with the majority to take such decisions as they may think proper or suit them and the Congress have already secured by sheer numbers an overwhelming Caste-Hindu majority whereby they will be in a position to use the Assembly in the manner in which they have already declared, i.e., that they will wreck the basis form of grouping of the Provinces and extend the scope, powers and subjects of the Union Centre which is confined strictly to three specific subjects as laid down in paragraph 15 and provided for in paragraph 19 of the statement of 16th May.

The Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy collectively and individually have stated on more than one occasion that the basic principles were laid down to enable the major parties to join the Constituent Assembly and that the scheme cannot succeed unless it is worked in a spirit of co-operation .

The attitude of the Congress clearly shows that these conditions precedent for the successful working of the constitution-making body do not exist. This fact, taken together with the policy of the British Government of sacrificing the interests of the Muslim nation and some other weaker sections of the peoples of India, particularly the Scheduled Castes, to appease the Congress and the way in which they have been going back on their oral and written solemn pledges and assurances given from time to time to the Muslims, leaves no doubt that in these circumstances the participation of the Muslims in the proposed constitution-making machinery is fraught with danger and the Council, therefore, hereby withdraws its acceptance of the Cabinet Mission's proposals which was communicated to the Secretary of State for India by the President of the Muslim League on the 6th of June 1946.

[Full Text of   Resolution No. 2 in CMP(A3)]

526 page 832(excerpt) [full text in CMP(17)]
Note by Field Marshal Viscount Wavell 30 October 1946
Note on Interview with Mr. Jinnah 30-10-1946

3. Jinnah adopted a completely intransigent attitude. He went over all the old arguments, mainly to the effect that the Congress acceptance of the Statement of May 16 was not a genuine one and should never have been accepted as such. He said that the question of procedure inside the Constituent Assembly could not possibly be subjected to the decision of the Federal Court.

I listened patiently to all the old arguments on the weakness of the Mission and HMG in accepting the Congress acceptance of the Statement of May 16th(I was on rather weak ground here, since I entirely agree with Jinnah myself).

4. The main theme of a long discussion was that Jinnah could not possibly secure the acceptance of the Statement of May 16 from his Council unless it was agreed that Congress accepted the literal interpretation of the Mission's plan. He said that he was afraid that his Council would reject it and say that nothing but Pakistan would satisfy them.

I kept to the line that whatever there might be in his arguments, there were practical considerations; the best hope of avoiding civil war and getting the Muslims the best possible terms in India was to continue to carry out the Mission's plan as far as possible. Time is limited since HMG was not prepared to remain in India indefinitely.

5. Jinnah's further arguments were to the effect that the Congress leaders were completely over-rated; had simply reached the position they had because they had been to jail and were therefore martyrs; that the personnel of the Muslim League was really completely superior in administrative capacity, etc; that HMG must make up their minds and support what they had laid down.

He referred as usual to the "piles of letters and telegrams" which he had received, from Muslim Leaguers, imploring him to stand firm, complaining of the numbers of Muslims who were being persecuted by the Hindus, and the failure of the Hindu leaders to condemn the action of the Hindus while carrying out propaganda against the Muslims, and so forth.

I tried to keep the discussion on practical lines of the best tactics in the existing circumstances; but his attitude was to the effect that "if HMG will not take a firm line and protect us, then leave us to our fate".

From The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Volume  IX.
145 Page 246(full text)
Notes by Major Woodrow Wyatt
Notes on conversation with Mr. Jinnah - December 3, 1946

1.  Some of the insistence which Mr. Jinnah placed on his attitude may possibly be discounted slightly by the fact that he was most anxious to impress his view-point on the people I had invited to meet him at luncheon.

2.  He is still harping on the unfairness of the Cabinet Mission's interpretation of paragraph eight of the statement of June 16.  He feels very bitterly that he should have been allowed to form a Government when the Congress turned down the short-term plan.

3. He vehemently sticks to the view that Congress have never accepted the long-term plan, never meant to accept it and never will accept it. Nor do they ever intend to reach a settlement in India. He says repeatedly that all they are after is to seize power. He makes it clear that for his part, he will do all he can to prevent that.

4. He now refers to the Cabinet Mission plan as a fraud and a humbug.  Nothing can be done until it is put out of the way.  He has no intention whatsoever of going back to India by December 9.

5. He has now returned to the proposition that only the creation of Pakistan can deal with the situation. Any lingering thoughts that he had at Simla of a central government with three subjects appear to have gone for ever.

6. I asked him the direct question: "If the Congress were now to say without equivocation that they accepted the Cabinet Mission plan, together with the grouping system in its entirety, would you feel that there were still some possibilities in the Constituent Assembly and the Cabinet Mission plan?" His answer was most decisively No,  that it was not even worth discussing the proposition. "You don't realize", he said, "how far the situation has gone in India since you were there". His theme song on this issue is what he calls the deliberate butchery of Muslims by Hindus in Bihar.

7. When asked for a constructive proposition, he said that the only thing that could be done immediately was to restore law and order. Congress were not in the interim government to co-operate, only to seize power. They must all co-operate, particularly the British, in restoring law and order. There must be a period of tranquility in which the poor could feel secure in their homes, before anything further could be done. Then, for Pakistan.

8. My general impression is that Jinnah will certainly come to no agreement now on the basis of the Cabinet Mission plan, even if the Congress agreed completely to the grouping system and all it implies. He is going to make the most of the situation in Bihar, and say that it demands over-riding action from the British. He is then going to get back to his old argument that the British have no need to be getting out of India now, that their responsibility is to stay and hold the ring. I think that he will covertly advance this, so that he may gain time to build up the Muslim League to a state in which it has every chance of beating Congress physically. I do not ever remember seeing him before in a worse mood, from the point of view of reaching agreement with anyone over anything. His last words to me as he got into his car were:"There is no time any more for argument".

The only hope now, I am sure, is to frighten him badly, and to say that if he won't accept the Constituent Assembly, then his people must leave the government, and he will get no support from the British. END.


The following is included as a follow-up to some of the passages in the previous document.

From The Transfer of Power 1942-7, Volume X.
124 page 198 (excerpt)
Sir E. Mieville to Rear-Admiral Viscount Mountbatten of Burma
11 April 1947
Your Excellency,
I saw Mr. Jinnah for half an hour this afternoon. He was at his very best. He started by recalling the luncheon party at which we were both present at Buckingham Palace last December and told me how much he had enjoyed it. He said that his enjoyment was enhanced by the fact that on talking to the King he found that His Majesty was pro Pakistan. On talking to the Queen after luncheon he found that Her Majesty was even more pro Pakistan, and finally when he had a conversation with Queen Mary he found that Her Majesty was 100% Pakistan! I replied that I was sorry that Their Majesties had acted in such an unconstitutional way as to express their opinions on political matters connected with their Indian Empire, at which he laughed quite a lot.
(end excerpt)

The June 16 1946 Plan announced by the Viceroy for a Congress-League Interim Government listed the following members. The formula was ostensibly  6:5:3 (5 Congress Hindus + 1 Congress Scheduled Caste + 5  League Muslims + 1 Sikh + 1 Indian Christian + 1 Parsi). 

Sardar Baldev Singh                                         Dr. John Matthai
Sir N.P. Engineer                                               Nawab Mohammed Ismail Khan
Mr. Jagjivan Ram                                               Khwaja Sir Nazimuddin
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru                                Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar
Mr. M.A.Jinnah                                                   Mr. C. Rajagopalachari
Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan                        Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Mr. H.K. Mahtab                                                Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

However,  the Viceroy's letter to Jinnah on June 20, 1946 (quoted above), giving Jinnah the right to be consulted on the Scheduled Caste and other minority appointees in the future reduced this formula to 5:5:4 effectively and also took away the right of Congress to nominate any one but Caste Hindus in its own quota.

The  Congress-League  Interim Government which finally came into being in October 1946 had the following members. The formula was 6:5:3 (4 Congress Hindus + 1 Congress Scheduled Caste + 1 Congress Muslim + 4 League Muslims + 1 League Scheduled Caste + 1 Sikh + 1 Indian Christian + 1 Parsi).

Sardar Baldev Singh                                          Dr. John Matthai
Mr. C.H. Bhabha                                                  Mr. I.I. Chundrigar
Mr. Jagjivan Ram                                                Mr. Ghazanfar Ali Khan
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru                                 Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar
Mr. Jogindar Nath Mandal                             Mr. C. Rajagopalachari
Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan                         Dr. Rajendra Prasad
Mr. M.Asaf Ali                                                      Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel    

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


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

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