Gandhi Versus the Empire

By Haridas T. Muzumdar | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXVI THE PARTING OF THE WAYS

Mahatma Gandhi's final speech at the Round Table Conference, the second at the plenary session, proposing a vote of thanks to the Chairman, delivered on December 1, 1931, is partially reproduced in this chapter.

Concluding the second Round Table Conference on December 1, 1931, Mr. J. Ramsay MacDonald, Premier of Great Britain, said in part:

"At the beginning of the year [ 1931] I made a declaration of the policy of the then government and I am authorized by the present one to give you and India specific assurance that it remains its policy. I shall repeat the salient sentences of that declaration [which marked the conclusion of the First Round Table Conference held at St. James's Palace from November 12, 1930 to January 19, 1931].

"'The view of his Majesty's government is that responsibility for the government of India should be placed upon the legislatures, Central and Provincial, with such provisions as may be necessary to guarantee during the period of transition the observance of certain obligations and to meet other special circumstances and also with such guarantees as are required by the minorities to protect their political rights.

"'In such statutory safeguards as may be made for meeting the needs of the transitional period it will be the primary concern of his Majesty's government to see the reserved powers so framed and exercised as not to prejudice the advance of India through the new Constitution to

-322-

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