20 DECEMBER 1930, Page 18


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] Sin,—From the cables received in India it seems clear that Federalism is the fashion in London, and Mr. Srinivasa Sastri said at the plenary session of the Conference that he was now a " convert " to it. Mr. Sastri also said that " the idea of federation was comparatively new." I would like to point out that this idea is at least twelve years old. It was first expressed by the Council of the European Association in 1918, in their

final statement " on the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms Scheme. That 'statement said :—

" That, in initiating and encouraging progress towards repro. sentative Government, the possibility of the real people of India

developing another ideal of self-government, such as that of a Federation of Indian States, should be kept in view, and that the Main endeavour should be to foster qualities and aptitades, which must prove beneficial to India, whatever her political future, rather than to force on a system which may eventually prove unacceptable to the bulk of the Indian people."

It must be recalled also that Sir Frederic Whyte, before he left India, was conducting researches into its possibility with the connivance of the Government of India.—I am, Sir, &c.,