Louis Mangione

Innovations in Education, Inc.

Transfer Of Power Agreement 1947

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The major political parties have repeatedly stressed their desire for a transfer of power as soon as possible in India. With this wish, Her Majesty`s Government has its sympathy and is ready to anticipate the date of June 1948 for the transfer of power through the establishment of an independent Indian government or government. Accordingly, Her Majesty`s Government proposes, as the fastest and, indeed, the only viable means of fulfilling this wish to introduce, during the current session, laws for the transfer of power this year on the basis of dominion status to one or two successor authorities, in accordance with the decisions taken following this announcement. This shall apply without prejudice to the right of the Indian Constituent Assemblies to decide, in due course, whether or not the part of India for which they are entitled remains in the British Commonwealth. 35 The London document concerned the `transfer of powers to more than one authority` and was initially presented to the Indian Committee on 4 March as an emergency plan. The Delhi document entitled “A method of delegation of powers to its successor Indian authorities, which would lead to a form of transitional constitution equivalent to that of a Dominion”, was initiated by Menon, but was prepared by Christie and made available to the Committee on 10 May (L/PO/428 and L/P/J/10/79). Draft Declaration of India`s Policy, prepared by the Secretary of State for India for the United Kingdom Ambassador to Washington, 20 February 1947 (FO 371/63529) 12. With respect to the Indian States, as expressly stated in the Cabinet mission, Her Majesty`s Government does not intend to cede its powers and obligations to a Government of British India as a matter of priority. It is not intended to conclude primacy as a system before the date of the final transfer of power, but it is envisaged that, for the interim period, the Crown`s relations with the various States may be adjusted by an agreement. 13 The conflict between congress and the Political Department was very long. Everyone interpreted the 1946 memorandum as perceived in their own interest: for Corfield, when paramountcy was obsolete, the states were in favour of their independence, from which they could, but only if they wanted to, enter into free negotiations with a view to a “political agreement” with the Indian government; For Nehru, the independence of the states and the disruption of the country as “backdoor anarchy” and therefore impossible, the option of not having a “political agreement” was not open.

The logic of some led to the proposal that States should remain free to establish contacts as they wished – with the Constituent Assembly, if they wished integration into the Union, with individual government departments of administrative relations and with the Department of Foreign Affairs if they wanted to be independent States (Corfield`s long memo of 27 March 1947, R/3/1/136). . . .

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