Pethick-Lawrence Mission of 1946

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pethick-Lawrence Mission of 1946

 

a delegation sent to India by the British government (Mar. 23-June 29, 1946) to arrange dominion status for India. Headed by F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, secretary of state for India and Burma, it was sent at a time of a growing anti-imperialist movement in India, which threatened British rule. The mission conducted negotiations with leaders of the principal political parties: the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. There were four major proposals. (1) India was to become a union of the provinces of British India and the various principalities and acquire the rights of a dominion. (2) The union’s central organs were to handle matters of defense, foreign relations, and communications. (3) All remaining matters were to be dealt with by the governments of the provinces and principalities, which would receive extensive autonomy. (4) The provinces were to be grouped into three zones according to religion, one with a predominantly Hindu population and two with primarily Muslim populations.

No time for granting India the rights of a dominion was set. The mission’s proposals were a concession to the Indian national liberation movement but at the same time pursued a different goal—to grant India a limited, fictitious independence and to split up the religious communities of India and set them against each other. The mission greatly exacerbated the discord between Hindus and Muslims. The conditions for granting independence to India were ultimately determined by the Mountbatten plan.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.