Item 1 - Copy of a telegram from Lord Reading to Edwin Montagu

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MONT II/A/3/27/1

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Copy of a telegram from Lord Reading to Edwin Montagu

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  • 25 Jan. 1922 (Creation)

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(Official.) The Governor of Bombay [Lloyd] has recommended that Gandhi should be prosecuted immediately, and has sought the Governor-General [Reading]’s approval. The Governor thinks the main charge should be based on certain articles by Gandhi, particularly ‘A Puzzle and its Solution’, the object of which is to create disaffection against, and so overthrow, the Government. In reply, the Government of India have signified their general agreement with this view, but as they believe that Gandhi’s next move must involve a more direct challenge to the Government than any hitherto attempted, and as they wish to avoid the idea that Gandhi is being prosecuted because he has made a conference impossible, they suggest that prosecution should be deferred till after 31 January, when Gandhi will probably institute civil disobedience. They also prefer that prosecution should be based on more recent statements than those mentioned by the Governor. No fresh reference need be made to them before prosecuting, if Gandhi embarks on an active campaign of civil disobedience.

(Carbon copy.)

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