A BISHOP ON THE PREMIER'S SPEECH : The Tribune India

Lahore, Thursday, September 21, 192

A BISHOP ON THE PREMIER'S SPEECH

WE have pointed out, with reference to the observations of that section of the Anglo-Indian Press which, in order to defend the Premier against the charge of having gone back upon the declaration of 1917, sought to explain that declaration away as having pledged England to nothing more than “the increasing association of Indians, in every branch of the administration,” that if this had been all that the British Government was thinking of at the time, no announcement would have been necessary, and that the only thing new in the announcement was the promise of a responsible government. This is the point which so great an authority as the Bishop of Madras urged in a remarkable letter which he contributed to the Manchester Guardian about the same time. “Memories,” writes the Bishop, “are sometimes short in political life, and it has been forgotten that in 1919 the Home Government and the Government of India together decided to adopt a new policy,” a policy which was “to make the end of one epoch and the beginning of a new one.” He goes on to say that this new policy could not mean “the increasing association of Indians in every branch of the Administration,” for that had been pledged by the Royal Proclamation of 1857, and adds:-- What did constitute a new policy was “the gradual development of self-governing institutions with a view to the progressive realisation of a Responsible Government”. That was the very thing which Lord Morley had said in 1909, that he “would have nothing to do with” and which all previous Secretaries of State and Viceroys had regarded as inconsistent with the fundamental principle of the responsibility of the Executive in India to the British Parliament. 

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