Mr. Clement Attlee, the British Premier, made a declaration in the House of Commons on March 15, 1946, that a British Cabinet Delegation consisting of Lord Pethick Lawrence, Secretary of State of India, Sir Stafford Cripps and Mr. A.V. Alexander (the First Lord of Admiralty) would visit India to make recommendations regarding the constitutional reforms in India. The Cabinet Delegations met representatives of different political parties but could not solve the constitutional difficulties. At last the Cabinet Mission announced the following proposals on May 16, 1946.
Proposals of Cabinet Mission Plan
1. There will be three groups pf British Indian provinces:-
a) Group “A” will comprise of the Hindu majority provinces, namely, Bombay, Madras, the United Provinces, the Central Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, Delhi, Ajmer-Marwera and Coorg.
b) Group “B” and “C” will comprise of the provinces, where Muslims predominate. Group “B” included Punjab, the N.W.F.P. (North-West Frontier Province), Sind and Baluchistan. Group “C” included Bengal and Assam.
2. A Constituent Assembly was to set up to frame a Constitution for India. After this, the Constituent Assembly will divide itself into three different parts (according to Groups) for the purpose of framing the Constitution for the Groups.
3. There should be a Union Government comprising of British India and the Indian States which should control Defence, Foreign Relations and Communications (including Transport, Railways etc.) and also it will have the power to raise finances for the Union.
4. The Cabinet Mission considered the demand of the Muslim League for creating an independent State of Pakistan. This demand was ruled out for the following reasons : –
a) Even after the creation of Pakistan, there will be left a large number of minorities both in India and Pakistan, and they would be at the mercy of the majority community.
b) It will shatter the economy of the country.
c) The division of the armed forces on communal lines will altogether disrupt the defence forces, and thus jeopardise the defence of the country.
Attlee’s statement of February 20, 1947
On February 20, 1947, Mr Attlee, the Prime Minister of England, made a statement in Parliament that British rule in India would end by June, 1948, and power would be transferred finally to the Indians.
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