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Cabinet Mission (1946)

After the failure of British efforts to establish peace consensual constitutional adjustment and the results of general elections, which created deadlock between Muslim League and Congress, British government sent a special mission of Cabinet ministers in India. This mission gave the plan to resolve the deadlock which is known as Cabinet Mission Plan. The main purpose of the mission was setting up a constitutional frame work and Executive council with the help of Indian parties. Lord Pethick Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps, the President of the Board of Trade and A.V. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty were the members of this mission.

The mission held talks with the representatives of the Indian National Congress and All India Muslim League for two weeks. On one side Congress was eager that the task of constitution making should be given to the constituent assembly. It also believed that best solution of all problems lay in federal form of government. It demanded that the matters of defence, foreign affairs and communication should be dealt by federal government. Moreover Congress did not want to discuss about the idea about Pakistan. On the other hand Muslim League leaders were saying that Hindus and Muslims had communal differences and they also raise the voice for the partition of India. After an extensive discussion with Congress and Muslim League the Cabinet Mission gave its own proposal on May 14 1946.

According to their own proposed plan their would be union of India comprising British India and the Indian states that would deal with defence, foreign affairs and communication. All residuary power would belong to provinces and the provinces should be divided in to three sections. There would also be an interim government with the support of all political parties.

The Muslim league accepted the plan initially Congress had accepted the plan though it rejected the interim government. According to the plan government should be given to Muslim League because it had accepted the interim government but Viceroy did not give it to Muslim League. In the meantime Nehru said that Congress had accepted the constituent assembly by changing the Cabinet plan. In these circumstances Muslim League quit itself from the plan and Viceroy invited Congress to made interim government although it had initially rejected it. However Viceroy soon realised that it will give no fruit without Muslim League so he invited Muslim League as well.

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