Cabinet Mission Pan

Cabinet Mission Plan May 1946

Cabinet Mission

Editor’s note:  A high-powered British parliamentary delegation consisting of three Cabinet Ministers, Lord Pethick-Lawrence, Sir Stafford Cripps and Mr A B Alexander, arrived in India on March 23, 1946. They announced their suggested plan for India’s future on May 16, 1946. Their report, available at, is attached as a pdf file. Key exceprts are reproduced below.

11. We are therefore unable to advise the British Government that the power which at present resides in British hands should be handed over to two entirely separate sovereign states.

12. This decision does not, however, blind us to the very real Muslim apprehensions that their culture and political and social life might become submerged in a purely unitary India, in which the Hindus with their greatly superior numbers must be a dominating element. To meet this the Congress have put forward a scheme under which provinces would have full autonomy subject only to a minimum of central subjects, such as foreign affairs, defence and communications.

Under this scheme provinces, if they wished to take part in economic and administrative planning on a large scale, could cede to the centre optional subjects in addition to the compulsory ones mentioned above.

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