Courtesy Reuters

The Political Future of India

BY THE time these words appear in print, Parliament will be well seized of the new Government of India Bill. We shall be within sight of the end of that long process of inquiry and deliberation which began as far back as the autumn of 1927 when the Statutory Commission -- better known as the Simon Commission -- was nominated. Students of Indian affairs will not need to be reminded of the various stages between that inaugural step and the publication of the Joint Select Committee's Report last November. The highest point of importance and interest was reached in the two-years-long Round Table Conference, when the representatives of Great Britain and India met on free and equal terms to take counsel together on the whole question of India's future system of government. The White Paper, based upon those discussions and published in 1933, contained the proposals of His Majesty's Government for the future constitution of India. The Joint Committee has examined and reported on them, and now Parliament itself is called to complete the work of more than seven years. It may be useful, therefore, to look back at the whole great area which has been traversed, and, in the light of the knowledge and experience gained during the past seven years, to reinterpret our subject, setting its outstanding features in just perspective, and marking the spot to which our labors have now brought us.

Fortunately I need not discuss the basic considerations which must govern all serious thinking on the subject of Indian government. This has been done for the readers of FOREIGN AFFAIRS by Lord Reading, my predecessor in the Viceroyalty of India, in the issue for July 1933. His article brought us to the eve of the publication of the White Paper, which has since been examined by the Joint Committee selected from members of the House of Lords and House of Commons, appointed in 1933. The legislation now introduced in Parliament is founded on the Report of this Committee, and it

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