Members and purposeThe cabinet delegation was led by Sir Stafford Cripps, Mr. A.V Alexander and Lord Pet hick Lawrence. The delegation was sent with the instruction to try to resolve the issues of princely states and communities. The cabinet mission had the unenviable task of trying to reconcile the different views of the Congress and Muslim League.
- One was that Sindh, the North West Frontier, Baluchistan, West Punjab and East Bengal could be agreed upon as a separate state. Jinnah rejected the idea of partitioning the provinces of Punjab and Bengal as it would leave them 'moth-eaten' and economically handy-capped. He was especially adamant that East Bengal without Calcutta would be a 'man without lungs'.
- The other Cabinet Mission proposal was that if the League agreed to a loose federation with subjects like defense, foreign affairs and communications centrally decided, then the whole of Punjab and Bengal could be added to Pakistan. Jinnah said that he could not accept the second proposal either as it still meant Hindu Control at the center.
Proposal of Interim GovernmentAfter weeks of further discussions and meetings, the Cabinet Mission delegation eventually realized that the Congress and the Muslim League were fundamentally and implacably opposed to each other’s proposals. The Muslims League wanted the state of Pakistan to be granted first. Only then was Jinnah willing to discuss an amicable arrangement with the Congress party on various matters such as defense. The Congress wanted a central authority from which certain areas of administration could be given to the provinces.
Division of sub-continent
- Section A would be the Hindu majority provinces
- Section B would be the western Muslim provinces
- Section C would be Bengal and Assam
Congress deviatedThe Congress party seized upon the Cabinet Mission statement that this outline was only their recommendation and so was open to discussion and change. Both the British and Muslims league agreed that this indicated that Congress was only interested in trying to get power as soon as possible so they could deal with the Muslim league and princely states themselves. Although the Muslims League was unhappy with the Cabinet Mission not agreeing to an independent Pakistan, Jinnah said that he was willing to nominate Muslim League members to serve in the interim government needed to oversee the transition to independence.
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