1946 Cabinet Mission to India

1946 Cabinet Mission To India

1946 Cabinet Mission to India

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The British Cabinet Mission of 1946 to India aimed to discuss and plan for the transfer of power from the British Raj to Indian leadership, providing India with independence under Dominion status in the Commonwealth of Nations. Formulated at the initiative of Clement Attlee, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the mission consisted of Lord Pethick-Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India, Sir Stafford Cripps, President of the Board of Trade, and A. V. Alexander, the First Lord of the Admiralty. However, Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, did not participate.

Purpose and proposals

The Mission's purpose was:
  1. Hold preparatory discussions with elected representatives of British India and the Indian states in order to secure agreement as to the method of framing the constitution.
  2. Set up a constitution body.
  3. Set up an Executive Council with the support of the main Indian parties.


The Mission held talks with the representatives of the Indian National Congress and the All-India Muslim League, the two largest political parties in the Constituent Assembly of India. The two parties planned to determine a power-sharing arrangement between Hindus and Muslims to prevent a communal dispute, and to determine whether British India would be better-off unified or divided. The Congress party under Gandhi-Nehru nexus wanted to obtain a strong central government with more powers compared to state governments.Seervai, H. M.: Partition of India: Legend and Reality, 2005....
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