15 MAY 1941, Page 2

A Plan for India

In an important article on a later page Sir George Schuster, who was for six years a very successful Finance Member of the Viceroy's Executive Council, makes definite proposals for a way of treating the present deadlock in India. It will be seen that in essentials his plan resembles closely that set forth by Mr. Arthur Moore, Editor of the Statesman, in The Spectator of May 2nd, though Sir George points out justly the difficulty —and the needlessness—of cutting out the British Parliament and making the Indian Executive responsible directly to the Crown. What is immediately imperative is to associate India far more closely and far more widely with the war-effort, not merely, nor even primarily, for the sake of the war-effort, but in the hope and confidence that out of an expanded and increasing co-operation in practical matters would - emerge a solution of the problem of permanent relationship. Ad- mittedly, less could be immediately offered than Congress is demanding, but a generous release of political prisoners might go far to meet that difficulty. But the key to the solution, as to so many other solutions, may be at to Downing Street. Sir George Schuster raises the question of a direct address by the Prime Minister to India. That is asking a good deal. Mr. Churchill was an implacable opponent of the present Govern- ment of India Act, though he loyally abandoned hostility once the measure was law. That would make a liberal approach by him to India now tenfold more effective, and he is not the man to be fettered by past utterances made in a quite different situation. There may be the opportunity here for a supreme stroke of leadership and faith.