In 1946, Foreign Minister Pethick-Lawrence personally led a three-cabinet delegation to New Delhi in the hope of unlocking the League of Muslims from Congress and thus transferring British power to a single Indian government. Cripps was the principal responsible for the development of the cabinet`s elaborate mission plan, which proposed a three-stage federation for India, integrated by a minimal central government in Delhi, which would be limited to the management of foreign affairs, communication, defence and the only financial need to deal with these trade union issues. The subcontinent should be divided into three major groups of provinces: Group A, which was to include the Hindu-majority provinces of the Bombay presidency, the Madras, the United Provinces, Bihar, Orissa and the central provinces (almost all of which became independent a year later, India); Group B, which would include the Muslim-majority provinces of Punjab, Sindh, the north-western border and Balochistan (territories that gave birth to the western part of Pakistan); and Group C, with a Muslim majority (part of which became the eastern part of Pakistan and in 1971 Bangladesh) and the Hindu majority of Assam. Group governments should be virtually autonomous in all matters except those reserved for the trade union centre, and within each group, the pringé states should be integrated into their neighbouring provinces. Local provincial governments should have the choice of joining the group they were in if a majority of their population voted for. I do not want to think about the indulgence of this House, but after all, we must ask ourselves, at this early stage, whether, once things have gone so far – and my opinions are well known on this – we can find a better way to save India from the bloodbath that could be so close. I cannot doubt that, at first glance, and among the unknown factors that are positively resigned, it seems that a settlement of this line may offer India a prospect of flight from one of the most abominable disasters that have ever ravaged the vast expanses of Asia. Of course, we cannot form opinions on the very large contours and intricate details that have been given; Nor can we form strong opinions without knowing what the actual facts will be with what they hope will be from the government, the viceroy and other indian officials. However, I`ll say right away, with regard to the right Hon. s statement on the upcoming legislation, that if the facts correspond to the contours with which we were presented this afternoon, and when it is necessary, as I understand it, legislation should be introduced 43 to transfer power, under Dominion conditions, to quickly implement the different parts of India so that they can decide their future for themselves that such legislation is considered or that long delays must pass after its adoption before it enters into force. That is why, while we reserve all our freedom to discuss details, we will not oppose bills giving the different parts of India dominion status that can be presented to us on the basis of the Prime Minister`s statement this afternoon. The Prime Minister said it was thanks to the viceroy.
These are issues on which it is now extremely difficult to express strong opinions, but if the hopes in this statement are confirmed, there will indeed be great recognition, not only to the Viceroy, but also to the Prime Minister who advised Her Majesty to appoint him. Even in Russia, there are differences between notes that occupy different people. If it turns out that these two conditions have indeed been and in form, I say that all parts of this House are held in the same way by the offer and declaration that we have made, and on these points we can only be sure by the course of events in the weeks and months to come.