WAVELL PLAN AND SIMALA CONFERENCE – 1945


Lord Wavell, the Governor-General of India, with a view to resolving the deadlock in Indian politics set forth his plan which is famous in history as the ‘Wavell Plan‘ (1945).

Convened to agree on and approve the Wavell Plan for Indian self-government, it reached a potential agreement for the self-rule of India that provided separate representation for Muslims and reduced majority powers for both communities in their majority regions.

Wavell Plan proposed the following—–

If all the Indian political parties would agree to help the British war effort, then the British Government would introduce constitutional reforms in India after the war.

The Viceroy’s Executive Council would be immediately reconstituted and the number of its members would be increased.

In the Council there would be equal representation of high-caste Hindus and Muslims.

Other minorities including low-caste Hindus and Sikhs would be given representation in the Council.

With the exception of the Governor-General and the Commander-in-chief all members of the Executive Council were to be Indians.

An Indian would be appointed as the member for Foreign Affairs in the Council. However, a British commissioner would be responsible for trade matters.

The defence of India would remain in British hands until power was ultimately transferred to Indians.

The Viceroy would convene a meeting of Indian politicians including the leaders of Congress and the Muslim League at which they would nominate members of the new Council.

If this plan were to be approved for the central government, then similar councils of local political leaders would be formed in all the provinces.

None of the changes suggested would in any way prejudice or prejudge the essential form of the future permanent Constitution of India.

With a view to discussing the proposals with the Indian political leaders Wavell summoned a conference at Simla on 25 June, 1945. But the Simla Conference ended in a failure.