1946 Parliamentary Delegation to India
A UK Parliamentary delegation visited India in January - February 1946 to meet leading politicians in India to ascertain their views on independence. It included Lord Chorley, Lord Munster, Robert Richards, Muriel Nichol, A G Bottomley, R W Sorensen, W L Wyatt, Godfrey Nicholson, A R W Low and R Hopkin Morris.Reginald Sorensen was Labour MP for West Leyton. He kept in his papers a number of items relating to the mission including itineraries, meeting notes & photographs which provided not just a personal account of the politics of the time, but also an evocative image of the socio-cultural discoveries he made in India.The Parliamentary Delegation was followed by a Cabinet Commission led by the Secretary of State for India, Lord Pethick-Lawrence, and also including Stafford Cripps and A V Alexander. It arrived in India in March 1946. Its aim was to begin negotiations with those involved in the independence process. They travelled round the continent meeting not just the leaders of the Indian National Congress Party and Muslim League but also engaging with the heads of Sikh communities and the Princely states. Over a period of three months the mission failed to construct a constitutional agreement between the two main parties and the inevitability of partition was now greatly apparent.