1. Note by Sir S. Cripps

2. Dr. Ambedkar and Mr. S. Rajah to Sir S. Cripps

3. Sir R.Lumley ( Bombay ) to the Marquess of Linlithgow (Extract)

4. Cripps Proposals

5. Statement of Dr. Ambedkar on the Cripps Proposals

6. The Marquess of Linlithgow to Mr. Amery

7. War Cabinet Paper W.P. (42) 283 Memorandum by the Lord Privy Seal

8. The Marquess of Linlithgow to Mr. Amery

9. The Marquess of Linlithgow to Mr. Amery

10. Dr. Ambedkar to the Marquess of Linlithgow

11. Precis of discussion in the Viceroy's Executive Council

12. Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Mr. Amery

13. Dr. Ambedkar to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell

14. Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Lord Pethick-Lawrence.

15. Note of meeting between cabinet delegation, Lord Wavell and Dr.Ambedkar

16. Dr. Ambedkar to Lord Wavell

17. Members of the Executive Council to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell.

18. Dr. Ambedkar to Rt. Hon'ble Mr. A. V. Alexander

19. Dr. Ambedkar to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

20. Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Dr. Ambedkar

21. Rao Bahadur Sivaraj to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell

22. Mr. Attlee to Dr. Ambedkar

23. Dr. Ambedkar to Mr. Attlee

24. Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Mr. Attlee

25. Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Mr. Attlee



*[f.1]  Note by Sir S. Cripps

LIP & J11014 : ff 51-2



30th March 1942

After telling me about the conditions of the Depressed Classes, particularly in Madras and Bombay, they then went on to point out that under the system of election they would have a very small representation only in the constituent assembly, as most of their so-called representatives would be Congressmen, and that their position would therefore be very weak. They summed up the demands that they would make to the constituent assembly and then asked me whether we considered that they came within the racial and religious minorities, to which I answered yes, and what sort of provisions were likely to be made in the Treaty for their protection. I stated that these would probably be along the lines of the League of Nations minority treaties, and if already there were special provisions in the constitution these would probably be repeated in the Treaty, and there would be some obligation to refer the matter to some outside authority in cases of dispute, the Government of the Indian Union undertaking to abide by the decision so given, and that if they did not do so it would constitute a breach of Treaty, whereupon the British Government could take such steps as it considered wise in the particular circumstances. I stated that though this form of protection might no doubt seem to them inadequate, once granted the idea of self-government and self-determination for India, there was no other possible way by which we could intervene to protect any minority in India.

So far as the interim period was concerned, I pointed out that the probabilities were that some representative of the Depressed Classes would be asked to serve on the Executive Council at the Centre, and that one of the first tasks of that Council would no doubt be to make some temporary arrangements as regards the carrying on of the Provincial Governments.

Mr. Ambedkar expressed the view that they would demand to be treated as one of the major elements and to be taken into consultation by the Viceroy in the formation of the new Executive. I stated that this was not a matter for me; the Viceroy would exercise his own judgement as to whom he should consult in this matter.

Naturally they were not very happy about the whole situation, but I did not gather that they would oppose the scheme, since there was no other alternative under which they could get any greater measure of protection.

[f.2]  Dr. Ambedkar and Mr. Rajah to Sir S. Cripps[f.3] 

Cmd. 6350

1 April 1942

We told you when we met you on the 30th March that the proposals of His Majesty's Government relating to Constitutional development of India will not be acceptable to the Depressed Classes for the reasons which we placed before you at the interview. Since then We have had consultations with many of the Depressed Classes' representatives in the various Provincial and Central Legislatures and all of them have unanimously endorsed the view we placed before you regarding the proposals.

We are all of us absolutely convinced that the proposals are calculated to do the greatest harm to the Depressed Classes and are sure to place them under an unmitigated system of Hindu rule. Any such result which takes us back to the black days of the ancient past will never be tolerated by us, and we are all determined to resist any such catastrophe befalling our people with all the means at our command.

We request you to convey to His Majesty's Government our deepest anxiety regarding the future of the Depressed Classes and to impress upon them that we must look upon it as breach of faith if His Majesty’s Government should decide to force upon the Depressed Classes a Constitution to which they have not given their free and voluntary consent and which does not contain within itself all the provisions that are necessary for safeguarding their interests.

In the end we want to thank you for assuming us that you called us in our representative capacity and that His Majesty's Government did not regard the Depressed Classes as a minor party—points upon which some doubt had arisen in our mind and about which we asked you for a correct definition of our position.


[f.4] Sir R. Lumley (Bombay) to the Marquess of Linlithgow (Extract)

MSS. EUR. F. 125156



24 April 1942

Report No. 104

1. Reactions to the result of Sir Stafford Cripps' Mission. As is always the case here, it is not easy to assess precisely the public reactions to the breakdown of the negotiations conducted by Sir Stafford Cripps. I am glad to say, however, that I do not notice any deterioration or any bitterness, with the exception, which I shall mention later. In fact, I am inclined to think that, as I hoped would be the case, the proposals, though they have failed, have produced a net gain, particularly in those quarters, which were formerly our most persistent opponents. From an informant whom I have usually found reliable, I learn that a very much better feeling exists amongst those who professed to have doubts about our ultimate intentions. The Draft Declaration has satisfied a great many of them on that point. I also hear that local informed Congress opinion was quite prepared to accept the provision of non-accession, and considered it to be the only method so far put forward, with any prospects of success, for obtaining Muslim agreement to discussions about a future constitution. This view is said to find a good deal of support amongst local Congress people, although it has not been declared openly, and all nationalist newspapers condemn the proposals mainly on the ground that they would vivisect India.

There have been no public declarations by Muslims here, but most Muslim newspapers appear to be well satisfied with the result of the negotiations on the ground, first, that they have not been let down, as they feared, and secondly, that the negotiations cannot have failed to have opened the eyes of the British Government to the fact that it is Congress intransigence which is the real obstacle. Parsees, I am told, are generally relieved that, for a time at any rate, Congress will not regain power.

The exception to which I have referred is Ambedkar. He came to see me to discuss the establishment of the National War Front, and although he has, with no enthusiasm, agreed to give it some support, he took the opportunity to let off to me some very bitter steam about the Draft Declaration. He said that he had been as good as told that Congress and the Muslim League were the only bodies which counted, and that if they agreed to the proposals, it would not matter what he or the Depressed Classes thought about them. He professed to be bitterly disillusioned and to feel humiliated. He declared that the proposals went back on the August Declaration, and that, with the example of the Irish Treaty before him, the suggestion that minorities could be safeguarded by means of a treaty was a very poor joke. How, he asked, could he and his friends be expected to continue their support of Government if they were to be let down in this way? He had thought of resigning from the National Defence Council but had decided to carry on for the time being, but he could not be expected to show any enthusiasm in support of Government. I reasoned with him as best I could, but I fear made little impression upon him. This mood of disgruntlement has been noticeable in Ambedkar for a long time— certainly since he was not taken in to the expansion of your Executive Council, as he had hoped. He will, I expect, succeed in obtaining some support for his views amongst his followers in this Province, for he is the only individual amongst them who is capable of thinking for them. Nevertheless, I feel pretty sure that this disgruntlement is largely a personal matter. As you know, his own financial position has been worrying him for some time. I have reason to believe that he owes money to certain people who have helped him in the past, and that he is unable to pay any of it back, and is even rather rude if they mention the subject As you know, too, he has been for some time, anxious to obtain position in the High Court or elsewhere, in which he could have a chance of providing for his own future. He has given me, for some time, the impression of a man who is no longer really interested in the work he is doing for his own followers, and is anxious to reach a different sphere. He is inclined, unfortunately, to attribute the difficulties of his own position to influences at work against him because he is a member of the Depressed Classes, and from that it is an easy step to the belief that we do not concern ourselves about him unduly because we do not think it worth-while to secure the support of the Depressed Classes. I would very much like to see something done for him, and I hope that, if a further expansion of your Council is now possible, he will be included,—not on personal grounds alone, but so that we may retain the interest of the Depressed Classes. He has been unhelpful about recruitment of Mahars, and does not put his weight behind it overmuch, in spite of the fact that he has long clamoured for Mahars being taken into combatant units. Nevertheless, the recruitment of Mahars continues, but not as well as it would do if he were really keen to help.

Apart from the bitterness displayed by Ambedkar, I think that the failure of Cripps' negotiations has left us in no worse position, and the net result is probably some gain.

[f.5]  Cripps Proposals

Text of Constitutional Proposals


The Right Honourable Sir Stafford Cripps

His Majesty's Government, having considered the anxieties expressed in this country and India, as to the fulfilment of promises made in regard to the future of India, have decided to lay down in precise and clear terms the steps which there-upon shall be taken for earliest possible realisation of self-government in India. The object is the creation of a new Indian Union which shall constitute a Dominion associated with the United Kingdom and other Dominions by common allegiance to the Crown but equal to them in every respect, in no way subordinate in any aspect of its domestic and external affairs.

His Majesty's  Government therefore makes the  following declaration :—

(a) Immediately upon cessation of hostilities steps shall be taken to set up in India in the manner described hereafter an elected body charged with the task of framing new constitution for India.

(b) Provision shall be made as set out below for participation of Indian States in the constitution making body.

(c) His Majesty's Government undertakes to accept and implement forthwith the constitution so framed subject only to :—

(1) Right of any province in British India that is not prepared to accept the new constitution to retain its present constitutional position, provision being made for its subsequent accession, if it so decides with such non-acceding provinces. Should they so desire, His Majesty's Government will be prepared to agree upon the new constitution giving them the same full status as Indian Union and arrived at by procedure analogous to that here laid down.

(2) Signing of treaty, which shall be negotiated between His Majesty's Government and the constitution-making body. This treaty will cover all necessary matters arising out of complete transfer of responsibility from British to Indian hands; it will make provision in accordance with the undertakings given by His Majesty's Government for protection of racial and religious minorities: But will not impose any restriction on power of Indian union to decide in future its relationship to other member states of British Commonwealth. Whether or not an Indian State elects to adhere to the constitution it will be necessary to negotiate revision of its treaty arrangements so far as they may be required in the new situation.

(d) Constitution making body shall be composed as follows unless leaders of Indian opinion in principal communities agree upon some other form before the end of hostilities. Immediately upon the result being known of provincial elections which will be necessary at the end of the hostilities, entire membership of lower houses of provincial legislatures shall as single electoral college proceed to the election of constitution making body by system of proportional representation. This new body shall be in number about one-tenth of the number of electoral colleges. Indian States shall be invited to appoint representatives in the same proportion to their total population as in the case of representatives of British India as a whole and with same powers as the British Indian members.

(e) During critical period which now faces India and until the new constitution can be framed, His Majesty's Government must inevitably bear responsibility for and retain control and direction of Defence of India as part of their world war effort, but the task to organise the full military, moral and material resources of India must be the responsibility of the Government of India with co-operation of peoples of India. His Majesty's Government desires and invites immediate and effective participation of leaders of principal sections of Indian people in counsel of their country, of Commonwealth and of United Nations. Thus they will be enabled to give their active and constructive help in discharge of the task which is vital and essential for the future freedom of India.     

[f.6]  Statement of Dr.  Ambedkar on the Cripps Proposals

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar : M.L.A., Leader of the Depressed Classes in a Statement to the Press, said :—

" The War cabinet's proposals show a sudden volt face on the part of His Majesty's Government. The putting forth of these proposals, which were denounced by them as an invasion of minority rights, is an indication of their complete surrender of right to win might. This is Munich mentality, the essence of which is to save oneself by sacrificing others, and it is this mentality which is writ large on these proposals. It is reported that the American and English people are annoyed at Indians not welcoming the proposals, of His Majesty's Government relating to the constitutional advancement of India and thereby allowing the mission of Sir Stafford Cripps to fail. One can forgive the Americans for their attitude, but surely the English people and Sir Stafford Cripps ought to know better. It does not seem to have been sufficiently realised that the proposals of His Majesty's Government now put forth as the best are the very proposals which have been rejected and condemned by His Majesty's Government as the worst only a few months previously. Those who realise this cannot but help saying that this is the ugliest part of the whole business of constitutional advance, which His Majesty's Government is now rushing to undertake. The proposals fall into three parts :—

(1) There is to be a Constituent Assembly with a right to frame the constitution for India. This Assembly is to have the fullest power to frame such constitution as the majority in the Assembly may choose to decide.

 (2) The new constitution is not to include all the present Provinces of India but only such Provinces as may be willing to be bound by it. For this the Provinces have been given a right to decide whether they shall join the new constitution or stay out of it. This is left to be done by a plebiscite in which a bare majority is declared enough to decide the issue.

(3) The Constituent Assembly shall be required to enter into a treaty with the British Government. The treaty is to contain provisions for the safety and security of racial and religious minorities. After such a treaty is signed the British Government is to withdraw its sovereignty and the constitution framed by the Constituent Assembly is to come into operation. Such in brief outline is the scheme of His Majesty's Government. The proposal regarding Constituent Assembly is not a new proposal. It was put forth by the Congress when the war broke out and what is important is that this proposal of the Congress was rejected by His Majesty's Government. This is what Mr. Amery said in the House of Commons on August 14, 1940, regarding Constituent Assembly :—

" Congress leaders..'.... have built up a remarkable organisation the most efficient political machine in India...... If only they had succeeded, if the Congress could, in fact speak, as it professes to speak, for all the main elements in India's national life, then however advanced their demands our problem would have been in many respects far easier than it is today. It is true that they are numerically the largest single party in British India, but their claim in virtue of the fact to speak for India is utterly denied by very important elements in India's complex national life. These others assert their right to be regarded not as mere numerical minorities but as separate constituent factors in any future Indian policy. The foremost among these elements stands the great Muslim community. They will have nothing to do with a constitution framed by a Constituent Assembly elected by a majority vote in geographical constituencies. They claim the right in any constitutional discussions to be regarded as an entity and are determined only to accept a constitution whose actual structure will secure their position as an entity against the operations of a mere numerical majority. The same applies to the great body of what are known as the Scheduled Castes who feel that in spite of Mr. Gandhi's earnest endeavours on their behalf, that, as a community, they stand outside the main body of the Hindu community which is represented by the Congress." This statement was made by Mr. Amery when he was elucidating the announcement made by the Viceroy on 8th August 1940 in which the following pledge was given to the minorities, on behalf of His Majesty's Government. The Viceroy Said : " There are two main points which have emerged. On these two points His Majesty's Government now desire me to make their position clear. The first is as to the position of the minorities in relation to any future constitutional scheme...... It goes without saying that they (H. M. Government) could not contemplate the transfer of their present responsibilities for the peace and welfare of India to any system of Government whose authority is directly denied by large and powerful elements in India's national life. Nor could they be parties to the coercion of such elements into submission to such a Government," Again on the 23rd April 1941, Mr. Amery referred to the demand of the constituent assembly and  expressed himself in the following terms: " India's future constitution should be devised by Indians for themselves and not by the British Government. India's future constitution should be essentially an Indian constitution, framed in accordance with the Indian conception of Indian conditions and Indian needs. The only essential condition is that the constitution itself and the body which is to frame it must be the outcome of agreement between principal elements in India's national life." Such were the views expressed and pledges given by His Majesty's Government regarding Constituent Assembly, which is now conceded. Regarding the demand for Pakistan it was a demand put forward by the Muslim League. This demand was also rejected by His Majesty's Government. This is what Mr. Amery said in regard to it in the House of Commons on August 1, 1940.

" This reaction against the dangers of what is called the Congress Raj or Hindu Raj has gone so far as to lead to a growing demand from Muslim quarters for a complete breaking up of India into separate Hindu and Muslim dominions. I need say nothing to day of the manifold and to my mind, insuperable objections to such a scheme, at any rate in its extreme form. I would only note that it merely shifts the problem of permanent minorities to some-what smaller areas, without solving it."

Again on April 23, 1941 he referred to it in his speech in the House of Commons and spoke about it in the following terms:—

" I am not concerned here to discuss the immense practical difficulties in the way of this so called Pakistan project nor need I go back to the dismal record of India's history in the 18th century or to the disastrous experience of the Balkan countries before our eyes today in order to point out the terrible dangers inherent in any break up of the essential unity of India, at any rate in its relation I to the outside world. After all, there is no British achievement in I India of which we have reason to be proud than the unity......... we have given her."

Such were the views of His Majesty's Government only a year ago regarding Constituent Assembly and Pakistan.

It is quite obvious that the proposal for a Constituent Assembly is intended to win over the Congress, while the proposal for Pakistan is designed to win over the Muslim League. How do the proposals deal with the Depressed Classes ? To put it shortly, they are bound hand and foot and handed over to the Caste Hindus. They offer them nothing, stone instead of bread. For the Constituent Assembly is nothing short of a betrayal of the Depressed Classes. There can be no doubt as to what the position of the Depressed Classes will be in the Constituent Assembly nor can there be any doubt regarding the political program of the Constituent Assembly. In the Constituent Assembly there may be no representatives of the Depressed Classes at all because no communal quotas are fixed by these proposals. If they are there they cannot have a free, independent and decisive vote. In the first place the representatives of the Depressed Classes will be in a hopeless minority. In the second place all decisions of the Constituent Assembly are not required to be by a unanimous vote. A majority vote is enough to decide any question no matter what its constitutional importance is. It is clear that under this system the voice of the Depressed Classes in the Constituent Assembly cannot count. In the third place the present system of proportional representation by which the members to the Constituent Assembly are to be elected under the terms contained in His Majesty's proposals cannot but result in the caste Hindus having virtually the right to nominate the representatives of the Depressed Classes to the Constituent Assembly. Such representatives of the Depressed Classes will be the tools of the caste Hindus. In the fourth place the Constituent Assembly will be filled with the Congresses who will form the dominant majority party able to carry out its own program. There is no doubt that Mr. Gandhi, whatever may be said about his endeavours in the matter of the social uplift of the Depressed Classes is totally opposed to giving political recognition to the Depressed Classes in the constitution as a separate and distinct element in the national life of India. That being the case the program of the majority party in the Constituent Assembly will be to wipe out the political safeguards already granted to the Depressed Classes in the present constitution.

Anyone who realises what is implied in the Constituent Assembly will admit that His Majesty's Government by their proposals have literally thrown the Depressed Classes to the wolves. It may be said that while there is the Constituent Assembly which may deny constitutional safeguards to the Depressed Classes, His Majesty's Government have been careful to include in their proposals in the provisions for a treaty with the Constituent Assembly the object of which is to secure the interests of the Depressed Classes. This proposal of a treaty is evidently borrowed from the plan adopted by His Majesty's Government for the settlement of the Irish dispute. The proposal regarding the treaty does not say what are the safeguards His Majesty's Government will decide to include in the treaty. This is an important point because there may be a difference of opinion between His Majesty's Government and the Depressed Classes on the nature, number and method of the political safeguards that may be necessary to protect the interests of the Depressed Classes under the new constitution.

The second and equally important question about the treaty is what is going to be the sanction behind the treaty. Will the treaty be a part of the constitution framed by the Constituent Assembly, so that any provision in the constitution, which is repugnant with the treaty, will be null and void. Or, will the treaty be just a treaty between the two Governments—the Indian National Government and His Majesty's Government, as any trade treaty. If the treaty is to be of the former kind it will be the law of the land and will have legal sanction of the Indian Government behind it. If, on the other hand, the treaty is to be of the latter kind it is obvious it will not be the law of the land and will have no legal sanction behind it. Its sanction will be a political sanction. Now a treaty cannot override the constitution framed by the national Government for the obvious reason that such a thing, as was found in the case of Irish Free State, is incompatible with Dominion Status. The only sanction behind such a treaty will be a political sanction. It is obvious that the use of such sanction must depend upon the colour of the Government and the state of public opinion.

Given this fact the questions that arise are two :—(1) What are the means which His Majesty's Government will have at its disposal to enforce the treaty obligations. (2) Secondly, will His Majesty's Government be prepared to use these means to coerce the Indian National Government to abide by the terms of the treaty. With regard to the first question it is obvious that the means for enforcing the treaty are two-fold, use of force and trade war. As to the military force, the Indian army will not be available. It will be entirely transferred to the control of the new Indian National Government. His Majesty's Government will have therefore lost this means of enforcing the treaty. It is impossible to believe that His Majesty's Government will send its own army to compel the National Government to obey the treaty. A trade war is not possible. It is a suicidal policy and the experience of the Irish war with the Irish Free State for the recovery of land annuities shows that a nation of shopkeepers will not sanction it even though it may be for their interest and honour. The treaty therefore is going to be an empty formula if not a cruel joke upon the Depressed Classes. His Majesty's Government has sent out these proposals to be welcomed by Indians. But neither His Majesty's Government nor Sir Stafford Cripps have offered any explanation as to why they are offering to Indians the very proposals which His Majesty's Government have been condemning in scathing terms only a few months ago. A year ago His Majesty's Government said that they would not grant Constituent Assembly because that would be a coercion of the minorities. His Majesty's Government is now prepared to grant Constituent Assembly and to coerce the minorities. A year ago His Majesty's Government said that they will not allow Pakistan because that is Balkanisation of India. Today they are prepared to allow the partition of India. How the Government of a Great Empire lose all sense of principle ? The only explanation is that His Majesty's Government has, as a result of the course of the war, become panic-stricken. The proposals are the result of loss of nerve. How great is the panic that has overtaken His Majesty's Government can be easily seen if one compared the demands made by the Congress and the Muslim League and the concessions made to them by these proposals. The Congress, while it demanded that the constitution should be framed by a Constituent Assembly, did not demand that the question of safeguards for the minorities should be decided by the Constituent Assembly by a mere majority vote. On the other hand when the Viceroy announced that the British Government will not be a party to the coercion of the minorities involved in the demand by the Congress, the Working Committee of the Congress at its meeting at Wardha held on August 22, 1940 passed the following resolution :—

" The committee regrets that although the Congress has never thought in terms of coercing any minority, much less of asking the British Government to do so, the demand for a settlement of a constitution though through a Constituent Assembly of duly elected representatives has been misrepresented as coercion and the issue of minorities has been made into an insuperable barrier to Indians progress." The Working Committee added:— " The Congress had proposed that minority rights should be amply protected by agreement with the elected representatives of the minorities concerned."

This shows that even the Congress did not demand that the decision of minority rights should be included in the purview of the Constituent Assembly. His Majesty's Government has not only given the Congress what it did not ask for but has given them the additional right to decide this minority rights issue by a bare majority vote. With regard to the question of Pakistan, the same attitude is noticeable. The Muslim League did not demand that Pakistan must be conceded immediately. All that the Muslim League had asked for was that at the next revision of the constitution the Musalmans should not be prevented from raising the question of Pakistan. The present proposals have gone a step beyond and distinctly given to the Muslim League the right to create Pakistan. These are constitutional proposals. They are intended to lead India to wage a total war in which Hindus, Musalmans, Depressed Classes and Sikhs are called upon wholeheartedly to participate. Yet Sir Stafford Cripps, either with the consent or without the consent of His Majesty's Government has been making discrimination between major parties and minor parties. The major parties are those whose consent is necessary. Minor parties are those with whom consultation is believed to be enough. This is a new distinction. Certainly it was never made in the prior pronouncements either of His Majesty's Government or of the Viceroy. The pronouncement spoke of the " consent of the principal elements in the national life of India."

So far as the Depressed Classes are concerned I am not aware of any pronouncement in which the Depressed Classes were placed on a lower plane than the one given to the Mussalmans. I quote the following from the speech of Viceroy made in Bombay on January 10, 1941 from which it will be seen that the Depressed Classes were bracketed with the Mussalmans. "There are insistent claims of the minorities. I need refer only to two of them; the great Muslim minority and the Scheduled Classes; there are the guarantees that have been given to the minorities in the past, the fact that their position must be safeguarded and that those guarantees must be honoured."

This invidious distinction now sought to be made is a breach of faith with those minorities whose position has been lowered by this discrimination. From a constitutional point of view it is an obnoxious distinction. From the point of view of total war it is bound to cause more disaffection and disloyalty in the country. It is for the British to consider whether in this attempt to win the friendship of those who have probably already decided to choose other friends they should lose those who are their real friends. The proposals show a sudden volte face on the part of His Majesty's Government. The putting forth of those proposals, which were denounced by them as an invasion of minorities’ rights, is an indication of their complete surrender of right to might. This is Munich Mentality, the essence of which is to save oneself by sacrificing others. It is this mentality, which is writ large on those proposals. My advice to the British Government is that they should withdraw these proposals. If they cannot fight for right and justice and their plighted word they should better make peace. They can thereby at least save their honour. "

[f.7]  The Marquess of Linlithgow to Mr. Amery


Telegram,MSS. EUR. F. 125123

MOST IMMEDIATE                                                                    

1 July 1942


No. 1968-S. Your private and personal telegram No. 799[f.8]  of July 1st. I would prefer (a) to issue announcement in paragraph 4 as a separate announcement, and to accompany it with (b) a communiqué in the following terms :—

Begins. His Majesty the King has been pleased to approve the appointment of Sir C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Sir E. C. Benthall, Sir Jogendra Singh, Sir J. P. Srivastava and Sir Mohammed Usman to the Executive Council of the Governor-General of India.

The following appointments to portfolios have been made by the Governor-General:—

As Member in charge of " Information " Sir C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar in succession to the late Right Hon'ble Sir Akbar Hydari.

As Member in charge of " Civil Defence " Sir J. P. Srivastava in succession to the late Dr. Raghavendra Rao.

As Member for " War Transport " and for " Posts and Air " respectively consequent on the appointment of Sir Andrew Clow, late Member in charge of " Communications ", to be Governor of Assam, Sir E. C. Benthall and Sir Mohammed Usman.

As Member for " Defence " Sir Firoz Khan Noon.

To succeed Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar as Commerce Member on his appointment as a Representative of India at the War Cabinet, Mr. N. R. Sarker.

As Member in charge of the Department of Education, Health and Lands in succession to Mr. Sarker, Sir Jogendra Singh.

As Member in charge of the Department of Labour in succession to Sir Firoz Khan Noon, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

The Portfolio of His Excellency the Commander-in-Chief will in future be designated the " War " portfolio.

The new Defence Member will be responsible for the work at present discharged by the Defence Co-ordination Department, together with such other matters relating to the defence of India as are not included in the portfolios of" War " and " Civil Defence ".        Ends.


War Cabinet Paper W.P. (42) 283

LIP & JI81510 : ff 407-16



6 July 1942

I think it is desirable for purposes of official record and for the assistance of any similar Mission to India in future that I should provide a detailed account of the discussions which I had with Indian leaders during my recent visit to India.


[f.10] (f) The Depressed Classes

I received Dr. Ambedkar and Mr. Rajah as representatives of the Depressed Classes on the 30th March. They pointed out that, under the present system of election of Depressed Class representatives to Provincial Legislatures imposed by the Poona pact, [f.11]  the Depressed Classes would get very small representation in the Constituent Assembly, as most of their so-called representatives would be Congressmen. They asked me whether we considered the Depressed Classes to be one of the racial and religious minorities, and I replied that we did. They then asked what kind of provisions were likely to be made in the Treaty for their protection. I said that these would be on the lines of the League of Nations minority treaties, and that, if there were special provisions in the Constitution, these would probably be repeated in the Treaty, and that there would be some obligation to refer the matter to some outside authority in the event of a dispute, the Government of the Indian Union undertaking to abide by the decision so given. If the Indian Government failed to do so this would constitute a breach of treaty, and the British Government could take such steps as it considered wise in the particular circumstances. I said that, though this form of protection might seem to them inadequate, it was the only possible one, once granted the principle of self-determination for India.

On the following day Dr. Ambedkar and Mr. Rajah wrote to me saying that the proposals were unacceptable to the Depressed Classes, as they would place them under an unmitigated system of Hindu rule, and would be resisted by them by all the means at their disposal. They requested me to convey their anxieties to His Majesty's Government, and to impress upon them that the Depressed Classes would regard it as a breach of faith if a Constitution were forced upon them by His Majesty's Government which had not received their free and voluntary consent, and did not contain within itself the provisions necessary for safeguarding their interests.


[f.12]  The Marquess of Linlithgow to Mr. Amery


Telegram, MSS. EUR. F. 125 123

IMMEDIATE                   NEW DELHI, 23rd July 1942, 5-35 p.m.

Received : 23 July, 5-30 p.m.


No. 2169-S. Following from Lumley, dated July 22nd:—

Begins. Ambedkar made a strong speech last night declaring civil disobedience at this time " treachery to India and "playing the enemy's game "and urging all Indians as a patriotic duty " to resist with all the power and resources at their command any attempt on the part of Congress to launch civil disobedience ".

2. He also announced that before he left for Delhi he would issue a statement explaining the line of policy which the Independent Labour Party and other allied organisations must follow. He asked his audience (of his followers) to study that statement and implicitly carry out its instructions. Ends.

[f.13]  The Marquess of Linlithgow to Mr. Amery

Telegram, MSS. EUR. F. 125 123



24 October 1942

No. 47-Q.C. My telegram No. 46-Q.C.

(a)  Following is telegram received from Members of Council.—

Begins. We have read with considerable surprise the statement [f.14]  said to have been made by the Secretary of State in House of Commons that "the present European members were being retained merely because of difficulty in finding suitable Indians for posts ". If the Secretary of State has been correctly reported we beg to dissociate ourselves wholly with the position taken up by him. In our considered opinion there is no difficulty whatsoever in finding suitable Indians for any positions in Government of India and we have to remind the Secretary of State that if Congress and the Muslim League had accepted the Cripps' proposals there would have been at the Centre today a wholly Indian Government with very wide powers. We have to add that statement in question is entirely at variance with facts and constitutes an affront to Indians and we have to request Your Excellency to communicate these our views to the Secretary of State. We also desire in this place to call attention to the Secretary of State's declaration that he was not prepared in the present circumstances to permit interviews with Congress leaders and to enquire where the members of the Government of India come in on this policy and whether they have any say in it. In this connection Lord Simon's statement in which he describes members of the Government as advisers seems significant. [f.15]  We would not have troubled Your Excellency with this communication while you are on tour but we feel very strongly our position has been rendered extremely difficult by declaration of this character. Ends.

Above telegram is from Mody, Sultan Ahmed, Aney, Sarker, Ambedkar, Srivastava, Jogendra Singh.


[f.16]  Dr. Ambedkar to the Marquess of Linlithgow


MSS. EUR. F. 125 1 124

NEW DELHI, 29 October 1942

My dear Lord Linlithgow,

In the course of my second weekly interview with you I told you that the position of the Scheduled Castes was very unsatisfactory and that the Central Government had not done what I thought it was bound to do for their treatment. On that you very kindly asked me prepare a Memorandum for your consideration containing the grievances of the Scheduled Castes and the remedies for removing them. All this of course must be within your recollection. Indeed it is you who reminded me several times since then if the Memorandum was ready. Unfortunately owing to the heavy pressure of work, which fell on me since I took charge, I could not give to the work of preparing the Memorandum the priority which I should have liked to give to it. I am, however, happy that at last I have been able to submit it for your consideration.

2. The [f.17] Memorandum unfortunately has become a very lengthy document. I had a choice between making the Memorandum a short one containing bare recital of the grievances and the remedies to remove the same or to make it an exhaustive one containing not only the grievances and the remedies but also the reasoning in support of the remedies suggested. I have chosen the latter alternative. In doing so I have had to bear in mind the fact that the grievances set out in the Memorandum and the remedies suggested for their removal will go to different Departments for their opinion, and unless the Memorandum contained the reasons, the remedies can have very little chance of being accepted.

3. For Convenience I am setting out below in   bare outline the grievances

 and the remedies which are included in the accompanying Memorandum :—

I.        Political  Grievances :-






More representation in the  Central Legislature



More representation in the  Central Executive



Assurance of fair representation in the Public Services  



 (i)   By declaring the Scheduled Castes as a minority and



      by reserving 13 1/2 percent. Of the annual vacancies



      for them.



 (ii)  Raising age bar                  



 (iii) Reduction of Examination fees



 (iv) Appointment of Scheduled Caste officer to protect



     Service rights of the Scheduled Castes.



Representation on the Federal Public Service Commission





II.      Educational Grievances -



An annual recurring grant of Rs. 2 lakhs for scholarships to



Scheduled Caste students studying for Science, Engineering



and Technology at the different Universities.



An annual grant of Rs. 1 lakh for education in Science,



Technology and Engineering in foreign countries to



students belonging to the Scheduled Castes.



Scholarships and free-ships for Scheduled Castes boys at the



Indian School of Mines conducted by the Central Government.



Appointment of two representatives of the Scheduled Castes



on the Central Board of Education established by the



Government of India.



Facilities for Technical training by reserving



 (a)  apprenticeships in Government Printing Presses, and



 (b)  apprenticeships in Government Railway workshops





III.     Other Grievances -



Provision  for adequate publicity of the social and political



grievances of the Scheduled Castes.



Special provision for securing for members of the Scheduled



Castes a footing in the Government Contracts system in the



Public Works Department.


4. I give this Summary because I quite realise that it will not be possible for you to find the time necessary to go through the whole of it. I wish you could find time to read the whole of the Memorandum. But if you cannot read the whole, I would request you at least to read Part IV (pages 32-36) of this Memorandum. In that Part of the Memorandum I have instituted a comparison between the condition of the Scheduled Castes and the Anglo-Indians and the efforts made for the betterment of the latter. I request you to read it because I feel sure that by its perusal you will see how just and modest are the demands I have made and what the Government of India has done for the elevation of a class not more unfortunate than the Scheduled Castes.

5. I need not say that I hope the grievances of the Scheduled Castes will be remedied before you go. Believe me, I have read with genuine sorrow that you will be quitting your office in April next. I have no idea who is going to be your successor and what attitude he will adopt towards the Scheduled Castes. In you I have learnt to place great confidence as the benefactor of the Scheduled Castes. You have done the greatest deed towards them by giving them a place in your Executive Council. It is a most revolutionary act for which there can be no parallel in India's history. I have no doubt and no member of the Scheduled Castes has any doubt that if you knew the grievances of the Scheduled Castes you would never hesitate to set them right. It is from this point of view that I say that I am happy to have to seek justice for my people from one who knows that justice is due to them. I know you have the will to do it and that you will not like to leave it to your successor to do what you wish to do, and what you can do. I need hardly say that for this act of justice myself and the 50 millions of the Scheduled Castes will ever remain grateful to you[f.18] .

Yours Sincerely,



[f19]  Precis of Discussion in the Viceroy's Executive Council

Enclosure to No. 298

December 1942

The Viceroy  explained at the outset that the discussion was necessarily on an informal basis and without prejudice to existing constitutional arrangements, and then examined briefly and objectively the three directions in which he understood in advance to be desired— (a) The complete Indianisation of his Council; (b) The elimination or reduction of the powers of control and interference of the Secretary of State; and (c) Mitigation of the purely official nature of the administration in the Section 93 Provinces. The general discussion was then opened.


Dr. Ambedkar (Member for Labour) was opposed to any change unless it was in accordance with the Declaration of August 1940* (providing for consultation with important minorities). Subject to that, he was in favour of change, since what was needed was a strong Government, i.e. one with public opinion behind it. In the Provinces, ministerial government was best, even if merely a minority ministry. An Executive Council would be better than advisers. As for the Centre, Indianisation by itself would not placate Congress and might merely irritate them; and were Non-Congress elements worth placating ? Before Indianisation took place the communal composition of the Council must be settled, and that by Indians themselves. Congress had shirked this problem; they had not the will to solve it. His suggestion was to take the Cripps proposals as a basis and try for a national Government composed of Congress, the Moslem League, Depressed Classes, Sikhs and Christians. The Indian members of Council ought to sit down and prepare a scheme for communal representation. Though he preferred an autocratic Viceroy to a distant Secretary of State, he would not press for interference with the Secretary of State's powers.


[f.20]  Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Mr. Amery

Telegram, UP & J181522 : F 198


NEW DELHI, 7 June 1945, 7-55 p.m.

Received : 7 June, 10 p.m.

970-S. Superintendent series. Ambedkar Srivastava and Khare have this morning submitted [f.21]  joint note protesting against proposed equality for caste Hindus and Moslems and asserting that the proposals approved by His Majesty's Government are unfair both to Hindus and to the Scheduled Castes. They consider that caste Hindus should have a majority over Moslems and that Scheduled Castes should have more than one member. They ask that their views be communicated to His Majesty's Government.

2. The short answer is that the proposals approved by His Majesty's Government are for an interim arrangement only and that the main object at present is to get the parties to work together. I see no reason to modify views already expressed in my official telegrams.



[f.22]  Dr. Ambedkar to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell


Wavell Papers, Political Series, April 1944-July 1945 Pt. I, pp. 207-9

NEW DELHI, 7 June 1945

Dear Lord Wavell,

I am grateful to you for asking me in my capacity as the leader of the Scheduled Castes to be a member of the Conference which you propose to call in furtherance of your proposal for the Indianisation of the Executive Council. I told you, for reasons, which I need not repeat here, that I am unable to accept your offer. Thereupon you desired me to name a substitute. Though I have expressed my disapproval with your proposals, I do not wish to deny you such help as you may derive from the presence of a Scheduled Caste representative in your Conference. I am, therefore, prepared to suggest a substitute. Judging on the suitability of various names that occur to me, I cannot think of any other name than that of Rao Bahadur N. Siva Raj., B.A., b.l. He is the President of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation and is also a member of the Central Legislative Assembly and of the National Defence Council. If you like you may invite him to the conference as a representative of the Scheduled Castes. 2. There is one other matter to which I feel I must draw your attention right now. It relates to the extreme inadequacy of the representation given to the Scheduled Castes in His Majesty's Government's proposals for the reconstitution of the Executive Council. Five scats to 90 millions of Muslims, one scat to 50 millions of Untouchables and I scat to 6 millions of Sikhs is a strange and sinister kind of political arithmetic which is revolting to my ideas of justice and common sense. I cannot be a party to it. Measured by their needs, the Untouchables should get as much representation as the Muslims, if not more. Leaving needs aside and taking only numbers the Untouchables should get at least three. Instead, they are offered just one in a Council of fifteen. This is an intolerable position.

This is a matter to which I drew your attention at the meeting of the Executive Council held on the 5th June when you explained His Majesty's Government's proposals to the Council. At the meeting of the 6th morning you replied to the criticisms offered by Members of Council the previous evening on the merits of the proposals. I naturally expected that you would also deal with the point I had raised. But to my great surprise you completely ignored it and made no reference to it whatever. It could not be that I was not emphatic enough. For I was more than emphatic. The conclusion I draw from your omission to refer to it is that either you did not think the matter to be of sufficient importance to deserve your notice or that you thought that I had no intention beyond lodging a protest. It is to remove this impression and to tell you in quite unmistakable terms that I propose to take definite action should His Majesty's Government fail to redress the wrong that I feel the necessity of writing this letter.       

I would not have felt as hurt as I do if such a proposal had come from the Congress or the Hindu Mahasabha. But it is a decision by His Majesty's Government. Even the general Hindu opinion is in favour of increased representation to the Scheduled Castes both in the Legislature and in the Executive. To take the proposals of the Sapru Committee as an indication of general Hindu opinion, the proposal of His Majesty's Government must be admitted to be retrograde. For, this is what the Sapru Committee has said:—

" the representation given to the Sikhs and Scheduled Castes in the Government of India Act is manifestly inadequate and unjust and should be substantially raised. The quantum of increased representation to be given to them should be left to the Constitution-making Body.

" Subject to the provisions of clause (b) the executive of the Union shall be a composite cabinet in the sense that the following communities shall be represented on it, viz.— (i) Hindus, other than Scheduled Castes.

 (ii) Muslims. (iii) Scheduled Castes. (iv) Sikhs. (v) Indian Christians. (vi) Anglo-Indians.

" (b) The representation of these communities in the executive shall be, as far as possible, a reflection of their strength in the Legislature. "

I may add that two of my Hindu colleagues in the Executive Council have in the memorandum they have presented to you this morning[f.23]  expressed that the representation given to the Scheduled Castes in His Majesty's Government's proposals is inadequate and unfair. What shocks me [is] that His Majesty's Government with all their profession of being trustees for the Scheduled Castes and contrary to their repeated declarations should have treated their wards in such an ill-liberal, unfair and unjust manner and far worse than enlightened Hindu opinion would have done I feel it, therefore, my bounden and sacred duty to oppose the proposal by every means at my command. The proposal means a deathknell to the Untouchables and will have the effect of liquidating their efforts over the last 50 years for their emancipation. If His Majesty's Government notwithstanding its many pronouncements wish to hand over the fate of the Untouchables to the tender mercies of Hindu-Muslim combine, His Majesty's Government may well do it. But I cannot be a party to the suppression of my people. The conclusion to which I have come is to ask His Majesty's Government to redress the wrong and to give to the Untouchables at least 3 seats in the new Executive Council. If His Majesty's Government is not prepare(d) to grant this, then His Majesty's Government should know that I cannot be a member of the newly constituted Executive Council, even if I was offered a place in it. The Untouchables have been looking forward to a full recognition of their political rights for some time past. I have no doubt that they will be stunned by the decision of His Majesty's Government. And I would not be surprised if the whole of the Scheduled Castes decided as a matter of protest not to have anything to do with the new Government. I am sure their disillusionment will bring about a parting of the ways. This is what I anticipate will be the result of His Majesty's Government's proposals, if they are not revised. So far as I myself am concerned, my decision is made. I may be told that this is not the final shape of things. This is only an interim arrangement. I have been long enough in politics to know concessions and adjustments more [once] made grows into vested rights and how wrong settlements once agreed upon become precedents for future settlement. I cannot therefore allow grass to grow under my feet. If I have capacity to judge aright, I visualise that the distribution of seats though it begins as a temporary arrangement will end by becoming permanent. Rather than be left to regret towards the end, I feel I must lodge my protest against it at the very beginning.

It may well be that His Majesty's Government may not mind my eclipse and even the eclipse of the Scheduled Castes from the future Government of India : nor regret the consequent parting of the ways between the British Government in this country and the Scheduled     Castes. But I believe it is only fair that His Majesty's Government should know what I have to say about the subject. I have therefore to request you to communicate to His Majesty's Government my proposal for increase in the representation of the Scheduled Castes in the executive Council and the course of action I propose to take if the proposal is rejected by them.

I am,

Yours sincerely,



[f.24]  Field Marshal Viscount Wavell to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

LIPOl 10122


 PRIVATE AND SECRET                                           

NO.45                                                    THE VICEROY'S HOUSE, NEW DELHI,

5 December 1945


14. Ambedkar has recently submitted to Council his proposals for Labour Legislation for the Budget Session of 1946. One was a bill to amend the Factories Act, to reduce hours of work from 56 hours to 50 hours per week. This will have to be reconsidered by Council when the comments from Provincial Governments have been received. A second proposal is to introduce a bill to fix minimum wages. All Provincial Governments are being consulted on this, but the bill is undoubtedly too ambitious in trying to fix minimum wages for too many industries. The schedule even includes Agriculture, though the administrative machinery to enforce minimum wages in all the 6,50,000 villages of India cannot possibly be provided. There was, however, a good deal of sympathy in Council for the proposal to introduce a bill governing at any rate those industries where sweated labour is believed to be employed. Provincial Governments are being consulted. Council accepted a non-controversial bill to amend the Workman's Compensation Act, and another called the Employment (Standing Orders) Bill designed to secure that workers in large industrial establishments know what their conditions of service are. Finally Council approved a proposal to introduce a bill to amend the Trades Union Act and refer it to a Select Committee. The bill makes recognition of Trade Unions compulsory on employers.

15. At a later meeting Ambedkar introduced rather prematurely a unified scheme of insurance and social security for industrial workers. I fully sympathize with Ambedkar's desire to get a move on with such schemes, but in this one he had not secured the necessary measure of inter-departmental agreement, and it was not clear that all Provinces would be able to make administrative arrangements for implementing the medical part of the scheme. We hope, however, to get the remaining preliminary work done in time to introduce a bill in the Budget Session and make a motion to circulate it to elicit public opinion.


[f.25]  Note of Meeting between Cabinet delegation, Field Marshal Viscount Wavell and Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on Friday,

5th April 1946 at 12 noon

[L/P&J/5/337: PP. 83-5]


Dr. Ambedkar said that he had little to add to the memorandum, of which copies had been supplied to the Delegation, giving the text of the resolution passed by the Working Committee of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation at its meeting on April 2nd. Paragraph 5 of this memorandum contained a list of safeguards, which were largely designed to secure to the Scheduled Castes adequate representation in Government and the Public Services. The Federation would never accept any constitution in which these were not included.

On the question of Pakistan Dr. Ambedkar doubted whether Muslims as a whole would really be benefited by the new State. So many of them would have to remain in Hindustan and would be unwilling or unable to migrate.

He wondered whether Pakistan was a permanent or a passing mood on the part of the Muslims. Quite probably it would pass. But it was impossible to wait and see and the Muslim demand had grown so strong that it had become necessary to meet it somehow. In his book on the subject he had proposed that this dilemma should be resolved by an adaptation of the solution which Mr. Asquith had propounded in 1920 for the Irish problem. Mr. Asquith had suggested that Ulster should be separated from the rest of Ireland for six years ; but that a council consisting of representatives of both parts of the country should be established to deal with matters of common concern during this period. At the end of the six years Ulster would have had to choose whether to remain separate or to re-unite with Southern Ireland. Similarly, Dr. Ambedkar had proposed that Pakistan should be given independence for ten years, at the end of which it would be known whether it was an economic proposition. He admitted that if the people of Pakistan then wished to join up with Hindustan they would be in a weak position to negotiate and all the bargaining counters would be on the other side. During the ten-year period there might be a common council, but it would be purely consultative and would have no executive power. Any All-India Central Government to which the Muslims could, in their present mood, be brought to agree would be so weak as to be useless. There were many other fissiparous tendencies besides the Muslim demand for Pakistan, and the only Central Government worth having would be a strong one which could hold the country together.

In reply to an inquiry on the method of representation of the Scheduled Castes in the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Ambedkar said that he did not want a Constituent Assembly at all. It would be dominated by the caste Hindus, and the Scheduled Caste members would be no more than a small minority, which would always be outvoted even if a three-quarters or a two-thirds majority were required for the Assembly's decisions. All the assurances of protection, which His Majesty’s Government had given to the minorities, would go by the board. Moreover there would be an immense amount of corruption in the Assembly—members would be bought over to vote against the interests of their communities.

His own proposal was that the tasks envisaged for the Constituent Assembly should be divided into two classes, viz:—

(a) Constitutional questions properly so-called, e.g. the relations between  the Legislature  and  the Executive and their respective composition and functions. There was no great controversy about these matters, which did not excite the emotions. To deal with them was beyond the mental capacity of the type of man whom Provincial Assemblies might be expected to send up, and was a job for experts.

(b) Communal questions.

Questions under the first of these headings should be referred to a commission presided over by an eminent constitutional lawyer from Great Britain or the U.S.A. The other members should be two Indian experts and one representative each of the Hindu and Muslim communities. The terms of reference of the Commission should be the Government of India Act of 1935 and they should be required to recommend what changes should be made in the Act as it stood.

Questions under (b) should be referred to a conference of the leaders of the different communities. If the conference failed to arrive at an agreed solution, His Majesty's Government would have to make an award. This would no doubt be accepted if it were reasonable.

Dr. Ambedkar then described the position of the Scheduled Castes today. It was estimated that they numbered sixty million, though this figure was probably inaccurate, firstly, because there were no reliable statistics for the States and, secondly, because the census had become mixed up with politics. All these people were subject to very serious disabilities. In the villages they were without land and were virtually the slaves of the Caste Hindus. As an instance of the power of the latter, he said that when some Untouchables had escaped from their villages to take up well-paid work under the Military authorities, the Caste Hindus had managed to force them back to work for them. Owing to the preponderance of Caste Hindus in the Subordinate Police and Revenue Services the Government was already, from the point of view of the Untouchables, not a British but a Hindu one. An example had been the recent arrest of 100 of their boys in Bombay for throwing stones at Mr. Gandhi, when the police had also taken the opportunity to do considerable damage in the Scheduled Caste area of the city.

Politically, although the Scheduled Castes like the other communities, had been granted separate electorates in 1932, they had virtually been deprived of them by the Poona Pact. [f.26]  Instead, they had got the system of double elections which meant that in the second election, in which all the Hindus voted, the Caste Hindus could nullify the result of the first election in which Untouchables were the only voters. He referred to the figures appended to the Working Committee's resolution of April 2nd which showed, firstly, that in many cases the Congress Scheduled Caste candidates, though outvoted by the Federation candidates in the primary elections, had beaten them in the final elections : and, secondly, how small was the number of Scheduled Caste voters in comparison with the total of general voters: Even so,  Congress had resorted to loot and arson to ensure the success of their candidates ; he produced a volume of photographs to show what they  had done.

The Central Legislature had been in existence since 1919, yet no questions were ever asked, resolutions moved or anything else done with the object of helping the Scheduled Castes.

In the Indian States the position of the Scheduled Castes was especially bad. There were even certain foods, which they were not allowed to eat. In the representative institutions, which were now being established in certain States, no community had been given separate representation except the Muslims. The Political Department should have taken greater interest in these constitutional experiments, and should have seen to it that the Scheduled Castes were given separate electorates. The Delegation should see the President of the All-India Scheduled Castes States Conference.

The Scheduled Castes had been the earliest source of manpower for the East India Company's army, and so it was with their help that the British had conquered India. They had been the friends of the British I ever since. Yet the British had never consciously and deliberately helped them, though since 1892 they had given enormous help to the Muslims.

He thought that if India became independent it would be one of the greatest disasters that could happen. Before they left, the British must ensure that the new constitution guaranteed to the Scheduled Castes the elementary human rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that it restored their separate electorates and gave them the other safeguards which they demanded. At present disillusionment was driving his followers towards terrorism and communism. He was on trial with them for the efficacy of constitutional methods. Lord Pethick-Lawrence said that up to now Indian politics had been dominated by two issues, the question of winning independence from British rule and the Hindu-Muslim problem. Once these were out of the way party divisions would probably be on economic issues. Surely the Scheduled Castes would have a better chance of getting their rights by allaying themselves with the left wing than by relying on the British who were about to hand over power. In reply Dr. Ambedkar reiterated that so long as there were joint electorates, Scheduled Caste voters would be so few that Hindu candidates could safely ignore their wishes. Caste Hindus would never support Scheduled Caste candidates. Admittedly under the present system they had to vote for Untouchables in the final elections ; but their object in doing so was never to favour their own candidate but merely to outvote the candidate put up by his own Federation. Separate electorates were fundamental, since without them the Scheduled Castes would never have their own representatives.


Dr. Ambedkar to Lord Wavell, Governor General of India


[f.27]  Bhimrao R. Ambedkar,        

22, Prithviraj Road, New Delhi

Dated, 3rd May 1946

 Member, Governor General's

M. A. PH. D., D. Sc., Barrister-at-Law,

Executive Council.


Dear Lord Wavell,

The omission on the part of the Cabinet Mission to invite a representative of the Scheduled Castes to their Conference in Simla has given rise to many misgivings in the minds of the Scheduled Castes as to how the Cabinet Mission proposes to dispose of their demand for constitutional safeguards. As the situation is critical, I like to acquaint you with the reactions of the Scheduled Castes in this connection.

The omission to invite a representative of the Scheduled Castes to the Simla Conference is capable of many explanations. One explanation that appears to me to be plausible is that the demands of the Scheduled Castes are such that they do not require the consent of other parties in as much as they do not trench upon their legitimate rights. This is certainly so at least with regard to three of their demands, namely, (1) separate electorates, (2) proper representation in the Central Executive, and (3) undertaking from parties to accept certain general principles in regard to the safeguarding of the interest of the Scheduled Castes in the future constitution as a condition precedent for an interim Government.

That the demands of the Scheduled Castes do not require the consent of other parties is a view, which I had urged very strongly upon the Mission in the course of my interview on the 5th of April 1946.

The demand for Separate Electorates by a Majority Community as is the case of Muslims in the Punjab, N.W.F. Province, Sind and Bengal, stands on a different footing from the demand for Separate Electorates by a Minority Community such as the Scheduled Castes. A demand for Separate Electorates by a Majority Community must require the consent of the Minority Community. But the demand for Separate Electorates by a Minority Community can never be made dependent upon the wishes of the Majority Community. The Electorate is primarily a Mechanism devised for protecting a Minority against the Majority. That being so, whether the Electorate should be joint or separate must be left entirely to Minority to determine on the ground that the Minority knows what is best in its own interest. The Majority can have no say in the matter and must really accept the decision of the Minority. Following this up, the Hindus can have very little to say as to whether the Scheduled Castes should or should not have Separate Electorates.

The demand of the Scheduled Castes for Separate Electorates does not adversely affect any other community, not even the Hindus. That is why all other Communities accept this demand. The contention of the Hindus that the Scheduled Castes are Hindus and therefore cannot have a Separate Electorates is simply purely and misses the essential point that Separate Electorates is really a mechanism for the protection of the minorities and has nothing to do with religion. If any evidence of this is necessary, one could refer to the case of Europeans, Anglo-Indians and Indian Christians who are all one by religion yet each have a Separate Electorate.

If the Cabinet Mission took these facts and arguments into consideration there would be nothing unnatural if it accepted the contention of the Scheduled Castes that the consent of the Hindus is not necessary and that it was entirely a matter for the Cabinet Mission to decide, particularly when it has been proved that Joint Electorates have made representation of the Scheduled Castes a farce.

The second demand of the Scheduled Castes that their representation in the Interim Government should be 50 % of the representation granted to the Muslims is also a demand for which the consent of the Hindus is not necessary before it could be conceded. It is for the Mission to decide what representation the Scheduled Castes should have in the Central Executive having regard to their numbers and the weight of the disabilities they are suffering from and the lee-way they have to make to bring themselves in line with other advanced communities. You will remember that this question was raised by me at the time of the last Simla conference and you were prepared to give two seats to the Scheduled Castes which was just a little less than 50 percent offered to the Muslims.

There is nothing new in the third demand. It is merely a reiteration of your own view, which you expressed to Mr. Gandhi in your letter of 15th August 1944. In para 5 of that letter you said :—

" It is clear in these circumstances that no purpose will be served by discussion on the basis which you suggest. If, however, the leaders of the Hindus, the Muslims and the important minorities were willing to co-operate in a transitional Government established and working within the present constitution, I believe good progress might be made. For such a transitional Government to succeed, there must, before it is formed, be agreement in principle between Hindus and Muslims and all important elements as to the method by which the new constitution should be framed." This principle which you enunciated must be presumed to have been made on behalf of His Majesty's Government and as such it must be binding on the Cabinet Mission. Consent of parties would seem to be quite unnecessary for the Mission to give effect to this principle, which is all that the Scheduled Castes have demanded.

If I may say so, these contentions have sufficient force to lead to the conclusion that Mission does not think that the consent of the Hindus is necessary before it can pronounce upon the demands of the Scheduled Castes and that this is why the Scheduled Castes have not been invited to send their representatives to the Simla Conference.

But unfortunately this is not the only explanation that comes to one's mind. There is another explanation, which is possible. It is that the Cabinet Mission regards an agreement between the Congress and the Muslim League enough to give them a clear line to proceed with the formation of the interim Constitution as well as for determining the machinery for shaping the future constitution of India without waiting to consider the case of the Scheduled Castes.

The Scheduled Castes are filled with anxiety as they do not know definitely what the plan of the Mission is. If the Mission has adopted the second plan, which may well be the fact, then I feel that I shall be failing in my duty if I did not lodge my protest against this betrayal of the Scheduled Castes and inform the Mission that they will be wholly responsible for the consequences that might ensue.

This letter is written by me in my capacity as a representative of the Scheduled Castes. It is addressed to you in your capacity as a Member of the Cabinet Mission. I shall be grateful if you will be so good as to circulate it to your colleagues.

I am,

Yours sincerely,

B. R. Ambedkar.

His Excellency Field Marshal

The Right Hon'ble Viscount Wavell of

Cyrenaica and Winchester, SIMLA.

G.C.B., G.M.S.I., G.M.I.E., C.M.G., M.C.,

Viceroy & Governor General of India.



[f.28]  Members of the Executive Council to

Field Marshal Viscount Wavell


{LIP&J151337 : p. 248 ]

Top Secret                                                                    NEW DELHI, 8th May 1946


Dear Lord Wavell,

We, the undersigned members of the Executive Council of the Governor General of India, present today in New Delhi, believing that it would facilitate the arrangements which your Excellency and the Cabinet Mission have in view, hereby place our respective portfolios at the disposal of His Majesty and Your Excellency.

Yours sincerely,













[Addendum in original :] (The three absent members—Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, Sir Arthur Waugh and Sir Jogendra Singh submitted their resignations separately. The War Member was in the United Kingdom, the Industries and Supply Member was on deputation in the United States and Education, Health and Agriculture Member was on tour.) 


Dr. Ambedkar to Rt. Hon'ble Mr. A. V. Alexander,

Member, Cabinet Mission

[f.29] Bhimrao R. Ambedkar,        

22, Prithviraj Road, New Delhi.

M. A., Ph. D., D. Sc., Barrister-at-Law,                  

Member, Governor General's Executive Council.

Dated, 14th May 1946


Dear Mr. Alexander,

It is a pity that your efforts to bring about a settlement between the Congress and the League should have failed. I know you deserve every sympathy and every gratitude. At the same time, I cannot help saying that the Mission's effort to settle reminds me of an old Baniya who being without a son to inherit his wealth married a young girl with the hope of begetting a heir. The bride conceived but the bridegroom was stricken with a fell-disease. He, however, refused to die without having a look at the baby and would not wait for delivery, which was far off. He was so impatient that he called the doctor, asked him to open the stomach of his wife and let him see whether it was a boy or a girl. The result of the operation was that both the baby and the mother died. If I may say so, the Mission wanted to do very much what the Baniya did. You may not be aware but there are many who, like me, feel that the Mission was engaged in bringing about a forced delivery earlier than the natural period of gestation.

2. To my mind, it is only right to say that the Hindus and the Muslims are today mentally incompetent to decide upon the destiny of this country. Both Hindus and Muslims are just crowds. It must be within your experience that a crowd is less moved by material profit than by a passion collectively shared. It is easier to persuade a mass of men to sacrifice itself collectively than to act upon a cool assessment of advantages. A crowd easily loses all sense of profit and loss. It is moved by motives which may be high or low, genial or barbarous, compassionate or cruel, but is always above or below reason. The common sense of each is lost in the emotion of all. It is easier to persuade a crowd to commit suicide than to accept a legacy. It is not for me to advise you how you should proceed. The Mission has found greater wisdom and higher inspiration in the Bhangi Basti and in 10 Aurangazeb Road. I would be the last person to say anything in depreciation of such wisdom and inspiration. But I do think that if the Mission were not to exhibit the pathetic spectacle of an old man in a hurry, a phrase used by Chamberlain to describe Gladstone engaged in his campaign for Irish Home Rule and allow that in diplomacy is called ' Cooling period ' they will find that they have an easier situation to deal with.

3. That is a matter for the Mission, for the major parties and those who have put their faith in the major parties. I am concerned in knowing how you propose to deal with the problem of the Untouchables and their demand for constitutional safeguards. In the official statement issued by the Mission on the last day of the Simla talks, it is said that the Mission will announce the next step it proposes to take within a few days after they return to Delhi. Obviously, the eyes of all the Scheduled Castes are turned towards this announcement. What the Mission will do will ultimately decide their fate. The decision of the Mission will either open to the Untouchables the path of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness or it will drive a nail in their coffin. The question being one of life and death it would not be wrong if I were to engage your attention for a few minutes with the problem of the Untouchables.

4. The problem of the Untouchables is a formidable one for the Untouchables to face. But fortunately it is simple to understand if only the following facts are borne in mind. The Untouchables are surrounded by a vast mass of Hindu population which is hostile to them and which is not ashamed of committing any inequity or atrocity against them.  For a redress of these wrongs which are matters of daily occurrence, the Untouchables have to call in the aid of the administration. What is the character and composition of this administration ? To be brief, the administration in India is completely in the hands of the Hindus. It is their monopoly. From top to bottom it is controlled by them. There is no Department which is not dominated by them. They dominate the Police, the Magistracy and the Revenue Services, indeed any and every branch of the administration. The next point to remember is that the Hindus in the administration are not merely non-social, they are positively anti-social and inimical to the Untouchables. Their one aim is to discriminate against the Untouchables and to deny and deprive them not only of the benefits of law, but also of the protection of the law against tyranny and oppression. The result is that the Untouchables are placed between the Hindu population and the Hindu-ridden administration, the one committing wrongs against them and the other protecting the wrong-door instead of the victims.

5. Against this background, what can Swaraj of the Congress variety mean to the Untouchables ? It only means one thing, namely, that while today it is only the administration that is in the hands of the Hindus, under Swaraj the Legislature and Executive will also be filled with Hindus. It goes without saying that Swaraj would aggravate the sufferings of the Untouchables. For, in addition to their having to face an hostile administration, the Untouchables will have to face an hostile or indifferent Legislature, a callous Executive and an administration uncontrolled and unbridled in venom and in harshness in its iniquitous attitude towards the Untouchables. To put it differently, under Swaraj of the Congress variety, the Untouchables will have no way of escape from the destiny of degradation which the Hindus and Hinduism have fixed for them.

6. I hope this will give you some idea as to why the Untouchables have been insisting that the only way by which the Untouchables can prevent this Swaraj from becoming a calamity to them is to have their representatives in the Legislature so that they may keep on protesting against wrongs and injustices done to them by the Hindus, to have their representatives in the Executive so that they may make plans for their betterment and to have representatives in the services so that the administration may not be wholly hostile to them. If you accept the justice of the demand of the Untouchables for constitutional safeguards, you will have no difficulty in understanding why the Untouchables want separate electorates. The Untouchables will be a minority in the Legislature. They are destined to remain a minority. They cannot overcome the majority which being communal in its making is, so to say, fixed and pre-ordained. All they can do is to place themselves in a position to be able to determine the terms on which they will be prepared to work with the majority and not be compelled to accept the terms prescribed by the majority, and secondly, if the majority refuses to work with them and declines to redress their wrongs, they would at least be free to utter their protest against the majority on the floor of the Legislature. How are the Untouchables to maintain their freedom to protest? Only if their representatives in the Legislatures do not owe their election to the votes of the majority.  This is the basis of their demand for separate electorates.         

7. No safeguard are going to be of any value to the Untouchables unless the Untouchables get a separate electorate. Separate electorate is the crux of the matter. I have before me a copy of the representation submitted to the Cabinet Mission by three Congress Harijans who were interviewed by the Mission on the 9th April 1946. They were no better than the three tailors of Tooly Street who had the audacity to present an address to the Parliament saying : " We the people of England ". Apart from this, it is instructive to note that there is no difference between the demands put forth by me on behalf of the Scheduled Castes Federation and the demands put forth by these Congress Harijans. The only difference that exists relates to the question of electorates. I do not know how you interpret the demands of the Congress Harijans. They are not really demands. They represent what the Congress is prepared to give to the Untouchables by way of political safeguards. This is not merely my understanding. It is my knowledge. For I have been informed by persons who know the mind of the Congress that if I was prepared to accept joint electorates, the Congress on its part would be quite prepared to concede all other demands of mine. You must be wondering why should the Congress be prepared to concede all the demands of the Scheduled Castes and object only to one namely, separate electorates. There will be no wonder if you know what game the Congress is playing. It is a very deep game. Realising that there is no escape from giving the Untouchables some safeguards, the Congress wants to find out some way by which it can make them of no effect. It is in the system of joint electorates that the Congress sees an instrument of making the safeguards of no effect. That is why the Congress is insisting upon joint electorates. For joint electorates means giving the Untouchables office without power. What the Untouchables want is office with power. This, they can only get through separate electorates and that is why they are insisting upon it.

8. I believe the case in favour of separate electorates for the Scheduled Castes is a cast-iron case. Every other party except the Congress accepts it. The arguments in favour of separate electorates have been set out by me in my letter of 3rd May 1946 addressed to Lord Wavell which he must have shown to you and it is therefore unnecessary to repeat them here. The question is : what the Mission is going to do with this demand of the Scheduled Castes. Are they going to make the Untouchables free from political yoke of the Hindus ? Or, are they going to throw them to the wolves by favouring the system of joint electorates in order to make friends with the Congress and the Hindu majority whom it represents ? The Scheduled Castes are entitled to ask His Majesty's Government that before the British abdicate, His Majesty's Government shall make sure that Swaraj does not become a strangle-hold for the Untouchables.

9. Allow me to say that the British have a moral responsibility towards the Scheduled Castes. They may have moral responsibilities towards all minorities. But it can never transcend the moral responsibility which rests on them in respect of the Untouchables. It is a pity how few Britishers are aware of it and how fewer are prepared to discharge it British Rule in India owes its very existence to the help rendered by the Untouchables. Many Britishers think that India was conquered by the Clives, Hastings, Cootes and so on. Nothing can be a greater mistake. India was conquered by an army of Indians and the Indians who formed the army were all Untouchables. British Rule in India would have been impossible if the Untouchables had not helped the British to conquer India. Take the Battle of Plassey which laid the beginning of British Rule or the battle of Kirkee which completed the conquest of India. In both these fateful battles the soldiers who fought for the British were all Untouchables.

10. What have the British done to these Untouchables who fought for them? It is a shameful story. The first thing they did was to stop their recruitment in the army. A more unkind, more ungrateful and more cruel act can hardly be found in history. In shutting out the Untouchables from the Army the British took no note that the Untouchables had helped them to establish their rule and had defended it when it was menaced by a powerful combination of native forces in the Mutiny of 1857. Without any consideration as to its effects upon the Untouchables the British by one stroke of the pen deprived them of their source of livelihood and let them fall to their original depth of degradation. Did the British help them in any way to overcome their social disabilities ? The answer again must be in the negative.  The schools, wells and public places were closed to the Untouchables. It was the duty of the British to see the Untouchables, as citizens, were entitled to be admitted to all institutions maintained out of public funds. But the British did nothing of the kind and what is worst, they justified their inaction by saying that untouchability was not their creation. It may be that untouchability was not the creation of the British. But as Government of the day, surely the removal of untouchability was their responsibility. No Government with any sense of the functions and duties of a Government could have avoided it. What did the British Government do ? They refused to touch any question which involved any kind of reform of Hindu society. So far as social reform was concerned, the Untouchables found themselves I under a Government distinguished in no vital respect from those native Governments under which they had toiled and suffered, lived and died, through all their weary and forgotten history. From a political standpoint, the change was nominal. The despotism of the Hindus continued as ever before. Far from being curbed by the British High Command, it was pampered. From a social point of view, the British accepted the arrangements as they found them and preserved them faithfully in the manner of the Chinese tailor who, when given an old coat as a pattern, produced with pride an exact replica, rents and patches and all. And what is the result? The result is that though 200 years have elapsed since the establishment of the British Rule in India the Untouchables have remained Untouchables, their wrongs remained unredressed and their progress hampered at every stage. Indeed if the British Rule has achieved anything in India it is to strengthen and reinvigorate Brahmanism which is the inveterate enemy of the Untouchables and which is the parent of all the ills from which the Untouchables have been suffering for ages.

11. You have come here to announce that the British are abdicating. It cannot be wrong for an Untouchable to ask " to whom are you leaving this legacy of authority and power ? " To the protagonist of Brahmanism, which means to the tyrants and oppressors of the Untouchables. Such a method of liquidating the British Empire in India need not raise any qualms of conscience among members of other parties. But what about the British Labour Party ? The Labour Party claims to stand for the unprivileged and the down-trodden. If it is true to its salt, I have no doubt that it will stand by the sixty millions of the Untouchables of India and do everything necessary to safeguard their position and not allow power to pass into the hands of those who by their religion and their philosophy of life are unfit to govern and are in fact the enemies of the Untouchables. It will be no more than bare act of atonement on the part of the British for the neglect of the Scheduled Castes whose trustees they always claimed to be.

12. What has led me to unburden myself at such length is the anxiety caused by the apparent silence of the Mission over the question of constitutional safeguards raised by the Untouchables. This anxiety has been deepened by the attitude taken by the Mission towards the pledges given to the Untouchables and to the minorities by His Majesty's Government. The attitude of the Mission in regard to these pledges reminds one of Lord Palmerston who said, " We have no permanent enemies; we have no permanent friends; we have only permanent interest." You can well imagine what a terrifying prospect it would present to the Untouchables if the impression was created that the Mission was adopting this Palmerston maxim as its guide. You came from the under-privileged classes of Great Britain and I have full faith that you will do your best to prevent a possible betrayal of the 60 millions of India's under-privileged. That is why I have thought of placing their case before you. If you will allow me to say, the Untouchables have got a feeling that they have no greater friend in the Mission than yourself.

I am,

Yours sincerely,

B. R. Ambedkar.

The Rt. Hon'ble Mr. A. V. Alexander,

C.H.M.P., Member, Cabinet Mission,

Viceroy's House,

New Delhi.


Dr.  Ambedkar to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

{LIP&JI 10143 : f/96-8]

22, Prithviraj Road, New Delhi,

22 May 1946


[f.30]  Dear Lord Pethick-Lawrence,

In reading the statement issued by the Cabinet Mission I have found that on certain points there is much ambiguity. They are set out below :—

(1) Whether the term " minorities " in paragraph 20 of the statement includes the Scheduled Castes ?

(2) Paragraph 20 lays down that the Advisory Committee on the rights of citizens, minorities and tribal and excluded areas should contain full representation of the interests affected. Who is to see whether the Advisory Committee does in fact contain full representation of the interests affected ?

(3) Whether, in order to see that there is full representation of the interests affected, H.M.G. propose to reserve to themselves the right to add to the Committee by nomination of persons from outside the Constituent Assembly representing such interests ? The necessity for nomination from outside seems to be essential, for otherwise there is no other method for securing representation of tribal and excluded areas from within the Constituent Assembly. If the necessity for nomination is admitted, will the principle of nomination of members of the Scheduled Castes from outside the Constituent Assembly be extended to secure full representation of the Scheduled Castes on the Advisory Committee ?

(4) In paragraph 22 of the statement there is a provision for a treaty between the Union Constituent Assembly and the United Kingdom providing for certain matters arising out of the transfer of power. Will this proposed treaty include a provision for the protection of the minorities as was stipulated in the Cripps proposals ? If the Treaty is not to have such a provision, how does H.M.G. propose to make the decisions of the Advisory Committee binding on the Constituent Assembly ?

(5) The statement includes Europeans under the category of " General ". From this it may be presumed that the Europeans will have the right to vote for the election of representatives to the Constituent Assembly. Are the Europeans entitled to put up Europeans as candidates for the election of the Constituent Assembly ? This is not made clear in the Statement.

These are questions which require clarification. I shall feel grateful if you will be so good as to favour me with your answers to them. I am leaving Delhi tonight for Bombay. Any reply that you may like to make to the questions set out above may kindly be sent to my address in Bombay, which is given below. (Address: Saloon No. 27, Central Station,

B. B. & C. 1. Railway, Bombay).

Yours sincerely,

B. R. Ambedkar    


[f.31]  Lord Pethik-Lawrence to Dr. Ambedkar

[ LIP&J151337 : pp. 371-2 ]

28 May 1946

Thank you for your letter of the 22nd May[f.32]  in which you ask for elucidation of certain points in the recent Statement.

You will appreciate that the object of the Delegation is to set up machinery whereby Indians can frame their own constitution for an independent India. The object of our Statement is to provide a basis on which the parties can come together for that purpose and we hope that it will be accepted and worked by all concerned. We have limited our Statement to the minimum which seemed to us necessary for that purpose. Other matters which arise will fall to be decided by the Constituent Assembly.

It is certainly our intention that the term " minorities " in paragraph 20 of the Statement includes the Scheduled Castes. On the other hand, it will be for the Constituent Assembly itself to set up the Advisory Committee and we assume that it will desire that it should be fully representative.

It is not our intention to interfere with the Constituent Assembly. The personnel of the Advisory Committee is not however limited by our Statement to persons who are members of the Constituent Assembly.

I think your other questions are largely covered by the further Statement which was issued by the delegation on Saturday evening and of which I enclose a copy.

Mr. Alexander has asked me to acknowledge and thank you for your letter which you sent him recently. He is away from Delhi for a few days on a visit to Ceylon and will reply to you on his return.



[f.33]  Rao Bahadur Sivaraj to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell

LIP&JI 51337  .• pp. 410-13

5 June 1946

No. 592/73/43

A meeting of the Working Committee of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation was held in Bombay on 4th June 1946 under my Chairmanship to consider the situation arising out of the proposals made by the Cabinet Mission regarding the future constitution of India. The Working Committee has passed a Resolution which they have asked me to send to the Members of the Cabinet Mission for their consideration. In pursuance thereof, I am enclosing herewith a copy of that Resolution. I shall be grateful to know from the Cabinet Mission if they have anything to say in regard to the demands contained in paragraph 6 of the Resolution.


Enclosure to No. 454




The Working Committee of the All-India Scheduled Castes Federation has taken into consideration (1) the first statement issued by the Cabinet Mission on the Constitution of India; (2) the Press interviews given by the Members of the Mission in amplification of their statement ; (3) the second statement made by the Cabinet Mission and (4) the correspondence between the Cabinet Mission and the Hon'ble Dr. B. R. Ambedkar. There are many points arising from the statement of the Cabinet Mission on which the Working Committee would like to state its views. For the present, the Working Committee prefers to deal with the plan of the Cabinet Mission for framing the future Constitution of India in so far as it affects the Scheduled Castes.

2. The working Committee has noticed with profound indignation that the Cabinet Mission has not mentioned the Scheduled Castes even once in the course of their statement of 5,000 words. It is difficult to understand the working of the mind of the Cabinet Mission. The Mission could not have been unaware of the existence of the Untouchables, their disabilities, the tyrannies and oppressions practised upon them day to day by the Caste Hindus all throughout India. The Cabinet Mission could not have been unaware of the pronouncements made by His Majesty's Government that the Untouchables were separate from the Caste Hindus and constituted a distinct element in the national life of India. The Cabinet Mission could not have been unaware of the pledges given by His Majesty's Government that no Constitution which had not the consent of the Scheduled Castes would be imposed upon them. The Cabinet Mission could not have been unaware of the fact that at the Simla Conference convened by Lord Wavell only a year ago, the Scheduled Castes were given separate representation from the Caste Hindus. Having regard to these circumstances, the Working Committee feels no hesitation in saying that in ignoring the Scheduled Castes in the manner in which it has done, the Cabinet Mission has brought the name of the British nation into disgrace and disrepute.

1.     The Working Committee has noticed the statement made by the Cabinet Mission in the course of the Press interviews that they have made double provision for the representation of the Scheduled Castes in the Constituent Assembly and in the Advisory Committee. The Working Committee feels bound to say that these provisions are absolutely illusory and unworthy of serious consideration. In the plan set out by them the Mission have not reserved any seat for the Scheduled castes in the election by the Provincial Legislatures to the Constituent Assembly as they have done for the Sikhs and the Muslims. There is no obligation on the Provincial Legislature to elect a specified number of Scheduled Caste members to the Constituent Assembly.  It is quite possible that the Constituent Assembly may not have in it any representative of the Scheduled Castes. And even if a few representatives of the Scheduled Castes should find place in the Constituent Assembly, they being elected by Hindu votes, they can never represent the true interests of the Scheduled Castes. As to the Advisory Committee it cannot be substantially different from the Constituent Assembly. It will only be a reflection of the Constituent Assembly.

4. The Working Committee finds it extremely difficult to understand how the cabinet Mission could have come to believe that they had made enough and good provision for giving effective voice to the Scheduled Castes in the Constituent Assembly and the Advisory Committee. Abundant and incontrovertible evidence was presented to the Mission to show that the real representatives of the Scheduled Castes are those who were elected in the primary elections for which the Scheduled Castes have separate electorates, that the present Scheduled Caste members of the Provincial Legislatures who fought the primary elections were at the bottom of the poll and that on account of the vicious system of joint electorates the men who were at the bottom in the primary elections came to the top in the final elections only because of the Caste Hindu votes and that therefore the Scheduled Caste members of the Provincial Legislatures in no way represent the Scheduled Castes but they are tools of the Caste Hindus. Far from making double provision for representing the Scheduled Castes in the Constituent Assembly and the Advisory Committee, the Mission has without compunction ignored this unimpeachable evidence and without any justification committed the gravest act of treachery in leaving the Scheduled Castes to the mercy of the Hindus. The Working Committee desires to inform the Mission that the Scheduled Castes are not impressed either by their logic or by their sense of moral responsibility.

5. While the whole plan of the Cabinet Mission is mischievous inasmuch as it proposes to solve the minority problem by allowing freedom to the Muslim majority to dispose of the non-Muslim minorities in the Muslim zone and the Hindu majority to dispose of the non-Hindu minorities including the Scheduled Castes in the Hindu zone, the Working Committee finds that the Cabinet Mission in framing its plan has shown greater concern for the protection of the Muslim community than for safeguarding the interests of the Scheduled Castes. In paragraph 15 of their plan the Cabinet Mission have prescribed what matters are to be beyond the reach of the Constituent Assembly. The object behind this provision in paragraph 15 is to prevent the domination of the Muslim community by the Hindu community. The fear which the Scheduled Castes have of the Hindu majority is far greater and far more real than the Muslim community has or can have. The Scheduled Castes have been urging that the only effective protection they can have is representation through separate electorates and the provision for separate settlements. The Cabinet Mission were aware of these demands and all the evidence in support of them. Following the principle adopted by the Cabinet Mission to guarantee freedom to the Muslim community from the domination of the Hindu majority in the manner referred to above, it was possible for the Cabinet to lay down in the same paragraph 15 a further limitation on the powers of the Constituent Assembly by prescribing that the Scheduled Castes should have the right to be represented in the Legislatures through separate electorates, and to have a statutory provision for separate settlements as means of escape from the domination of the Hindu majority.

6. The Working Committee has noted that the Cabinet Mission has, in its second statement,*[f.34]  provided that the ratification of the treaty between the United Kingdom and the Indian Constituent Assembly will be subject to proper safeguards being made for the protection of the minorities including the Scheduled Castes. The Cabinet Mission in its hurry to placate the Congress Party had not dared to include this provision in clause 22 of its first statement although it had formed part of the Cripps proposals of 1942. While the Working Committee is glad that the Mission has retrieved its position and saved the honour of the British people in whose name pledges were given to the Scheduled Castes, the Working Committee demands that the plan of the Cabinet Mission should be amended in the following respects:

(1)   The following clauses should be added as clauses (7) and (8) to paragraph 15 of the statement:

"(7) The Scheduled Castes should have the right to be represented in the Legislatures through separate electorates.

(8) That the Constitution shall contain a provision making it obligatory on the Government to undertake the formation of separate settlements for the Scheduled Castes."

(2) Paragraph 20 of the first statement should be so amended as to make those members of the Scheduled Castes who topped the polls in the last primary elections, members of the Advisory Committee and be allowed to elect five other representatives of the Scheduled Castes to the Advisory Committee.

7. The Working Committee desires to inform His Majesty's Government and the British Labour Party that they should prove their sincerity towards the Scheduled Castes by proceeding at once to rectify the wrong done to them by the Cabinet Mission. Failing this, there will be no alternative for the Scheduled Castes but to resort to direct action. If circumstances require, the Working Committee, in order to save the Scheduled Castes from this impending catastrophe, will not hesitate to ask the Scheduled Castes to resort to direct action.

8. The Working Committee is aware of the panic caused among the Scheduled Castes by the Plan put forth by the Cabinet Mission. The Working Committee desires to tell the Scheduled Castes to maintain the courage and heroism they have shown in fighting the last elections against the Congress single-handed and without resources in spite of the acts of violence, coercion and arson practised by the Congress and when every other Party had shut its shop, and assures them that there is no reason to be panicky and given courage and solidarity, their cause which is the case of justice and humanity is bound to triumph notwithstanding the machinations of their enemies.

9. The Working Committee hereby authorises the President to constitute a Council of Action charged with the duly of examining the lines of direct action and to determine the one most effective and fix the time for launching the same. 10. The Working Committee has noticed :

(1) The campaign of tyranny and oppression which is being carried on by Caste Hindus against the Scheduled Castes in villages and towns throughout the length and breadth of India for no other reason except that they fought the elections against the Congress, and which has caused many deaths and injuries;

(2) the shameful part which the Hindu police have been playing in siding with the Caste Hindus in belabouring and arresting innocent men and women from among the Scheduled Castes;

(3) the unlawful part which the rationing officers are playing as partisans of the Congress in refusing to the Scheduled Castes supply of rations;

(4) the conspiracy of silence observed by the newspapers who have never cared to condemn these outrages on innocent men and women;

(5) the utter indifference shown by the Provincial Government in protecting the lives and properties of the Scheduled Castes.

The Working Committee cannot help feeling that this conduct of the majority community proves beyond the shadow of a doubt how unworthy the Hindu community is to be entrusted with power and that if the majority community does not improve its morality, the Scheduled Castes would be forced to protect themselves by every means open to them.



[f.35]  Mr. Attlee to Dr. Ambedkar

Paris, 1st August 1946

My dear Ambedkar,

I have carefully considered your letter of July 1st and the papers enclosed#.

On 1st July Dr. Ambedkar sent Mr. Attlee a lengthy letter with which he enclosed copies of recent correspondence, a memorandum, a speech and some other items. Dr. Ambedkar's letter was in continuation of a telegram he had sent Mr. Attlee on 17th June and covered similar ground. The telegram read :

' At time of last year's Simla Conference, Viceroy on my protest and with consent of Home Government promised increase Scheduled Castes ' representation in Interim Government to two seats in Council of 14. I had demanded three. Compromise I accepted two. New Proposals Interim Government announced yesterday give Scheduled Castes only one seat. This gross breach of solemn promise given after due deliberation. One seat most unfair. Mission is treating sixty million Untouchables as being equal to four millions Sikhs, three million Christians in matter of representation. Scheduled Caste nominee does not represent Scheduled Castes, is elected entirely by Hindu votes and is creature of Congress. Representation to Scheduled Castes Congressman is no representation to Scheduled Castes. It is representation to Congress. Cabinet Mission heaping upon Scheduled Castes one wrong after another, bent on sacrificing them with view appease Congress and destroying their independent position in public life country. Please intervene and redress wrong by directing Mission to give Scheduled Castes two seats to be filled by nominees of Federation which Mission knows alone represents Scheduled Castes. Scheduled Castes insist on two seats or none. To avoid misunderstanding of my motive I like to state that I have no desire to be in Interim Government and will stand out. Am fighting for rights of Scheduled Castes. Hope there is some sense of justice left in British Government—Ambedkar '. (L/P&J/10/50 : ff 81-3 and Attlee Papers, University College, Oxford.]


I am afraid that I cannot accept the view that the Cabinet Mission and the Viceroy were unjust to the Scheduled Castes. The reason why they have revised the policy followed at the Simla Conference of 1945 is, as you suggest, the result of the elections to the Provincial Legislatures, which were held last spring. The Mission made a careful study of the voting figures and I have examined them myself. We appreciate that there are grounds for the view that the present electoral system does not do justice to those Scheduled Caste candidates who are opposed to Congress. On the other hand, I do not find that the figures substantiate what you say about the achievements of candidates belonging to your Federation at the primary elections. [f.36]  While I do not propose to go into the matter in detail here the facts are that primary elections were held in only 43 of the 151 seats reserved for the Scheduled Castes. Of these 43 primary elections, the Scheduled Castes Federation contested 22 and topped the poll in only 13.

In your letter you make three specific requests. [f.37]  As regards the first, His Majesty's Government are anxious that the Constituent Assembly should have the fullest possible freedom of action consistent with the terms of the Cabinet Mission's Statements of May 16th and May 25th. We ourselves of course consider the Scheduled Castes to be an important minority which should be represented on the Minority Advisory Committee. But the declaration for which you ask could not be confined to the Scheduled Castes and would have to be a statement of all the elements who we consider should be included as Minorities in the Advisory Committee. Even though it would be only an expression of opinion on the part of His Majesty's Government, it would inevitably be interpreted as an attempt to interfere with the Assembly's freedom and as such would be likely to cause serious resentment. In these circumstances I cannot believe that such a declaration would be of value to the cause of the Scheduled Castes.

Turning to your second request, I do not find that my speech in the House of Commons on March 15th last contained the words which you attribute to me. What I said was " We are very mindful of the rights of minorities and minorities should be able to live free from fear." This remains the view of His Majesty's Government, which found expression in paragraph 4 of the Cabinet Mission's Statement of May 25th. I do not consider that His Majesty's Government would be wise to make at this stage any further pronouncement elaborating what was said in that paragraph.

Your final request is that in the Interim Government the Scheduled Castes should have at least 2 representatives who should be nominees of the Scheduled Castes Federation. I regret that I cannot hold out any hope of this being possible.

I was very glad to sec that you had been elected to the Constituent Assembly.

C. R. A.            


[f.38]  Dr.  Ambedkar to Mr. Attlee

{LIP&JI 10150 : f 55 }

" Rajgruha "

Dadar, Bombay 14

12th August 1946


My dear Attlee,

Thank you for your letter of the 1st August 1946. I did not expect you to find time to reply to my letter of the 1st July 1946. I am therefore grateful to you for your having found time to let me know your views about the points that I had raised in my letter.

2. I am afraid I cannot accept your justification for the revision of the policy followed by His Majesty's Government in the Simla Conference of 1945 nor of the Mission's method of treating the Scheduled Castes. I cannot help saying that Mr. Alexander's statement in the House of Commons that the majority of the Scheduled Castes are with the Congress is an atrocious statement and has no foundation in truth. This is not only my view but the view of every Englishman in India. If you only consult Sir Edward Benthall who is now in England, I am sure he will support me.

3. With regard to the analysis you have given of the result of the achievements of the Federation in the Primary Election, all I can say is that you have misunderstood the situation and I am afraid no outsider who does not know the significance of the facts or the method of the election will be able to understand what they mean without proper explanation. The main ground of my charge against the Mission is that when the other side of the picture were (was) presented by the Congress, it was their bounden duty to have called me and to have asked for an explanation. This, the Mission did not do, which they were in justice bound to do. If I had failed to give them satisfactory explanation then they would have been justified in the conclusion to which they came. That the Mission was grossly misinformed is proved by my election to the Constituent Assembly from Bengal. The Cabinet Mission stated in the House of Commons that my influence was confined to Bombay and C.P. How is it then that I was elected from Bengal ? In connection with my election, I would like to impress upon you three facts: One is that I did not merely scrape through but I came at the top of the poll beating even Mr. Sarat Chandra Bose, the topmost Bengalee leader of the Congress Party. Secondly, I am in no way connected by communal ties with the Scheduled Castes community of Bengal. They are of different caste to which I belong. In fact the people of my caste do not exist in Bengal at all and yet the Bengalee Scheduled Castes supported me, so strongly that I was able to come first. Thirdly, though the Scheduled Castes in Bengal had been returned on the Congress ticket yet they broke the rule of their Party not to vote for anybody except for Congressmen and voted for me. Does this prove that I have no following in Bengal ? I am sure if the Cabinet Mission are honest in their conclusion, they ought to revise the erroneous opinion which they have expressed in the House of Commons and revise the view and give proper recognition to the Federation.

4. With regard to the status of the Scheduled Castes in the Minority Advisory Committee, I am glad to have an assurance that the British Cabinet considers the Scheduled Castes to be an important minority. I am afraid that I must again repeat that unless and until the Cabinet Mission were to make a public declaration, this view will not help the Scheduled Castes. I say this because, as you will see, (in) the last letter which Maulana Abul Kalam Azad wrote to the Viceroy on behalf of the Congress before the negotiations broke down, he emphatically challenged the view that the Scheduled Castes were a minority. The Scheduled Castes fear that if this view is not corrected by the British Cabinet in time, the Scheduled Castes' case may not be considered in the Advisory Committee which is bound to be packed by Congressmen. The danger of their being relegated to the position of a social group within the Hindus as distinguished from a minority, appears to be most certain in view of the recent pronouncement of Mr. Gandhi who evidently thinks that he can now do anything he likes with the Scheduled Castes in view of the fact that the British Government have refused to lend them their support.

2.     In these circumstances, I would press upon you to reconsider the matter and make a declaration that the Scheduled Castes are an important minority to avert a possible danger to their future position in the new Constitution. 6. I am sorry to read that you cannot hold out any hope of the Scheduled Castes getting two seats in the Interim Government. I do not see any justification for this denial. Both on the ground of their numbers and also as compared to the assurance given at the time of the last Simla Conference of 1945, they are entitled to better treatment than is proposed to be given to the Sikhs and other smaller minorities. I should think that the claim made by me was more than justified. With kind regards,

Yours sincerely,

B. R. AMBEDKAR.     


[f.39]  Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Mr. Attlee

LIP&J/ 10/50 : ff 38-40

India Office, 3 September 1946

Secretary of State's Minute : Serial No. 48/46


Prime Minister,

You asked for my views on Ambedkar's letter to you of the 12th August. [f.40] 

2. As regards his second paragraph you will find an analysis of the election results for the Depressed Classes in the memorandum which my Private Secretary sent to yours on the 26th July with the draft reply to Ambedkar's previous letter. Shortly, the facts are that in the primary elections which were contested, Congress polled more votes than Ambedkar's Organisation, while a still larger proportion were polled by Independent candidates who may or may not be supporters of Ambedkar. But apart from this, two-thirds of the seats were won by Congress unopposed. The figures are, of course, not conclusive but it is not justifiable to say that the First Lord's statement in the Commons has " no foundation in truth," though I think it was rather too positive.

3. As regards paragraph 3 of Ambedkar's letter, it was not stated in the House of Commons that his influence was confined to Bombay and Central Provinces. He is referring to the President of the Board of Trade's speech, in which the actual words used were " Dr. Ambedkar's Organisation is somewhat more local in its character (than the Congress Organisation) being mainly centered in Bombay and the Central Provinces ". I have made inquiries as to what happened in the Bengal Election to the Constituent Assembly which is, of course, by proportional representation. Ambedkar got five first preference votes. Sarat Chandra Bose also received five first preference votes. The quota for election in Bengal was four votes. Naturally the Congress would organise their voters to secure as nearly as possible four first preferences for each of their candidates. The phrase " top of the poll " has really no meaning in a proportional election. No-one denies that Ambedkar has influence among some of the depressed classes in Bengal. There are twenty five Scheduled Caste members of the Bengal Assembly, four of whom were returned as Independents and one as an Ambedkar candidate. I do not know whether all the Independents voted for Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly election or whether he got some Anglo-Indian votes.

4. With regard to Ambedkar's paragraph 4. I am convinced that we cannot make a public declaration that we regard the Scheduled Castes as a minority who should be represented in the Minority Advisory Committee. It is correct, of course, that Congress do not regard them as a minority for the purpose of separate political representation, whereas we have always done so. But we are not in a position to secure that Ambedkar's organisation is represented on the Minorities Advisory Committee.

5. I do not think it is really essential to send a reply to Ambedkar but should it seem to you more courteous to do so I attach a short draft. [f.41] In case you wish to see them, I attach also extracts[f.42]  from the speeches by the First Lord and the President of the Board of Trade in the Commons' Debate. My own speech contained a passage similar to the latter but rather shorter.




[f.43]  Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Mr. Attlee

L/P&J/10/50 : ff 28-32

 India Office, 9th September 1946

Secretary of State's Minute : Serial No. 51/46


Prime Minister.

Your personal minute No. M. 296/46 of September 4th, [f.44]  regarding the representation of the Scheduled Castes on the Advisory Committee of the Constituent Assembly.

2. It certainly was the Mission's intention that the Advisory Committee should contain representation of the Scheduled Castes and I informed Ambedkar of this by a letter  [f.45] I wrote to him in India. In the third paragraph of your reply to him of 1st August[f.46]  you explained to Dr. Ambedkar that, while H.M.G. themselves consider the Scheduled Castes an important minority which should be represented on the Minority Advisory Committee, they could not accede to his request for a public declaration to this effect, since any such declaration

(a) would also have to specify all the other elements which H.M.G. consider should be included as minorities in the Advisory Committee; and

(b) would be liable to be interpreted as an attempt to interfere with the Constituent Assembly's freedom of action.

3. The position, however, is that we have left the composition of the Advisory Committee to be decided by the Constituent Assembly and we cannot now prescribe it ourselves. I do not think we can be accused of misleading the House as the position was clearly stated in the President of the Board of Trade's speech on 18th July of which the relevant passage was attached to my Minute to you of 3rd September. [f.47] 

4. The controversy on the question whether the Scheduled Castes constitute a minority for the purpose of separate political representation or whether they should be classed with the Hindus has of course a long history. Gandhi has spent a large part of his life in propagating the latter view. But when I said, in paragraph 4 of my minute of September 3rd, that Congress did not regard the Scheduled Castes as a minority for the purpose of separate political representation, I had particularly in mind the passage in Azad's letter to the Viceroy of June 25th[f.48]  (some-weeks after our Statement of May 16th) to which Dr. Ambedkar has referred in both his letters[f.49]  to you. In this Azad said that Congress " repudiated the view that the Scheduled Castes are a minority and considered them as integral parts of Hindu society " (second paragraph on page 23 of Cmd. 6861). This statement had reference to the Viceroy's assurance to Mr. Jinnah[f.50]  that he would consult the main parties before filling any vacancy among the seats in the Interim Government allotted to representatives of minorities. It was not altogether unnatural that Congress should regard the Scheduled Castes as their own responsibility and object to the Muslim League having a say in the appointment of a Scheduled Caste representative.

5. There is no positive reason to think that Congress will not wish to include in the Advisory Committee Scheduled Caste representatives in adequate numbers. They will be concerned to escape criticism both in India and abroad; and they are most anxious to win over to their own ranks, or at least to conciliate, as large a proportion as possible of the Scheduled Castes, if only to prevent them from allying themselves with the Muslim League. The Committee is to deal with the rights of citizens as well as with those of minorities, so that inclusion of Scheduled Caste representatives need not prejudice the question whether they are or are not a minority. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that Dr. Ambedkar or any other member of the Scheduled Castes who opposes Congress will secure a place on the Committee.

3.     I still feel that we should not volunteer a pronouncement in response to Dr. Ambedkar's request for a public declaration that the Scheduled Castes are a minority within the meaning of paragraph 20 of the Mission's Statement of May 16th. To do so would almost certainly arouse a controversy with Gandhi which might result in Congress opposing their inclusion as a demonstration. Even if we did not say that the Scheduled Castes are a minority but only that they should be included on the Committee, our statement would arouse requests for a similar statement in favour of the Anglo-Indians and others, and would be interpreted as interference with the Constituent Assembly, which is what we are most anxious to avoid. There is no possibility that such a declaration would influence Congress to give the Scheduled Castes better treatment in the Advisory Committee than they would otherwise do, nor would it help Dr. Ambedkar, since it would refer simply to the Scheduled Castes, making no distinction between those who favour Congress and those who do not.* [f.51]                            


 [f.1]* The Transfer of Power; Nicholas Mansergh, Editor-in-Chief; published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1970; Vol. I, No. 442, pp. 552-53.

 [f.2]The Transfer of Power, Vol. I, No. 487, p. 603.

 [f.3] The text of this letter was transmitted by Lord Linlithgow to Mr. Amery in No.442

 [f.4] The Transfer of Power, Vol. I, No. 684, pp. 846-47.

 [f.5] Report of Depressed Class Conferences, Nagpur Session, held on July 18, 19 and 20, 1942, pp. 98-99.

 [f.6]Report of the Depressed Class Conferences, held on July 18, 19 and 20, 1942, Nagpur Session, pp. 00-06.

 [f.7] The Transfer of Power, Vol. II, No. 211, pp. 300-01.

 [f.8] No. 206

 [f.9] The Transfer of Power, Vol. II, No. 227. pp. 336-37.

 [f.10]The Transfer of Power, Vol. II, No. 227, p. 336-37. Portion concerning Dr. Ambedkar alone is reproduced.—Ed.

 [f.11] The Poona Pact between Hindu and Depressed Class leaders modified the Communal Award of 4 August 1932 (see note H). Its principal provisions were as follows : 148 instead of 71 seats were to be reserved for the Depressed Classes but their representatives were to be elected jointly by Caste Hindu as well as Depressed Class voters; however, the joint electorate's choice was to be confined to a panel of four candidates selected in a primary election in which only Depressed Class voters could take part. The Pact was reached under pressure from Gandhi (then in goal at Poona) who regarded the Depressed Classes as members of the Hindu community and opposed separate electorates for them. He threatened a fast (begun on 20 September) ' unto death ' unless the Communal Award was altered to meet his objections. The Pact was agreed on 24 September and the acquiescence of H.M.G. was announced on 26 September 1932.

 [f.12] The Transfer of Power, Vol. II, No. 310, pp. 436.

 [f.13] The Transfer of Power, Vol. III, No. 116, p. 153.

 [f.14] For texts of statements by Mr. Amery and Lord Simon referred to in this telegram, see No. 119.

 [f.15] Significant ' deciphered as ' to (? derive) Special Significance '.

 [f.16] The Memorandum has been included in section I of Part II of this volume.—Ed. The Transfer of Power, Vol. HI, No. 125, pp. 165-68.

 [f.17] The Memorandum has been included in section I of Part II of this volume.—Ed.

 [f.18]Dr. Ambedkar submitted a further memorandum to Lord Linlithgow under cover of a letter dated 8 January 1943, in which he stated that this memorandum presented the case against the Constituent Assembly from the standpoint of the Depressed Classes and set out the questions on which the Depressed Classes had desired him to obtain an assurance from the Secretary of State. MSS. EUR. F 125/125. See No. 336, para. 9.

 [f19]Transfer of Power, Vol. Ill, (End. to No. 298), p. 426. (Extracts concerning Dr. Ambedkar alone are reproduced. Rest of the discussion is omitted.—Ed.)

 [f.20] The Transfer of Power, Vol. V, No. 482. p. 1094.

 [f.21] This note is printed in Wavell Papers, Political Series, April 1944-July 1945. pl I, pp. 209-10.

 [f.22]The Transfer of Power, Vol. V, No. 483, p. 1094-97.

 [f.23]See No. 482. (Transfer of Power).

 [f.24] The Transfer of Powers, Vol. VI, No. 268, p. 605. Only para 14 concerning Dr. Ambedkar is reproduced. Other paras are omitted.—Ed.

 [f.25]The Transfer of Power, Vol. VII, No. 58, pp. 144-47. L/P&J/10/50 B. R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or the Partition of India (Thacker & Co., Bombay, 1946).

 [f.26] See No. 45. note 3.

 [f.27] Source : Privately printed leaflet by Dr. Ambedkar.—Ed

 [f.28]The Transfer of Power, Vol. VII, No. 218, pp. 460-61.

 [f.29] Source : Privately printed leaflet by Dr. Ambedkar.—Ed.

 [f.30] The Transfer of Power, Vol. VII, No. 359, pp. 661-62.

 [f.31] The Transfer of Power, Vol. VII, No. 399, p. 723. No.359 No.376

 [f.32]Not traced in India Office Records.      

 [f.33] The Transfer of Power, Vol. VII, No. 454, pp. 808-12.

 [f.34] No. 376.

 [f.35] Transfer of Power, Vol. VIII, No. 105, pp. 170-72.

 [f.36] In his letter of 1st July Dr. Ambedkar wrote that : ' That results of the Primary Elections— wherever they took place in India—proved that the candidates put up by the Federation came to the top and those put up by the Congress went down to the bottom.' L/P&J/10/50 : f 81.

 [f.37] These were :

(1) To state openly that His Majesty's Government holds that the Scheduled Castes are a minority within the meaning of paragraph 20 of the Cabinet Mission's Statement.

(2) That His Majesty's Government will see that satisfactory safeguards which will enable them to live free from the fear Of the Majority are provided for the Scheduled Castes before it agree to sign the Treaty for cessation of sovereignty.

(3) That in the Interim Government the Scheduled Castes should have at least two representatives which should be the nominees of the Scheduled Castes Federation.

Ibid.,: f 82. Dr. Ambedkar had noted that the Cabinet Mission had already made the point that there must be adequate provision for the protection of the minorities. His second request would be met if there were added to this statement the words : ' safeguards which will enable the Scheduled Castes to live free from the fear of the Majority.' These were words, Dr. Ambedkar claimed, which Mr. Attlee himself had used in his speech on 15th March. Ibid.

 [f.38] The Transfer of Power, Vol. VIII, No. 142, pp. 221-23.

 [f.39] The Transfer of Power, Vol. VIII, No. 250, pp. 411-12.

 [f.40] No. 142. L/P & J/10/50 : ff 63-9

 [f.41] Not printed. Mr. Attlee does not appear to have sent a reply to Dr. Ambedkar.

 [f.42] Not printed.

 [f.43] Transfer of Power, Vol. VIII, No. 288, pp. 466-68.

 [f.44] No. 253. (Refers to S. No. in The Transfer of Power.—Ed.).

 [f.45] No. 399, Vol. VII (See P. 502— Ed.).

 [f.46] No. 105, Vol. VIII (See P. 509— Ed.).

 [f.47] No. 250. (See P. 515— Ed.).

 [f.48]Vol. VII, No. 603. (Transfer of Power).

 [f.49] See footnotes to No. 105 and No. 142. (Transfer of Power).

 [f.50] Vol. VII, No. 573. (Transfer of Power).

 [f.51]Mr. Attlee noted on this Minute : ' No further action. ' Attlee Papers, University College, Oxford.