Item 3 - Telegram from Lord Reading to Edwin Montagu

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MONT II/A/3/1/3

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Telegram from Lord Reading to Edwin Montagu

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  • 7 July 1921 (Creation)

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Malaviya has agreed to become a member of the committee appointed in connection with the Prince of Wales’s visit. Gwalior and Bikaner will also attend the meetings, though not as members, as will Shafi and Sapru. The inclusion of Malaviya is bold but wise, for though he is not quite a non-co-operator, he is in sympathy with Gandhi regarding social reform and carries weight with ‘thoughtful’ Indians; he seems increasingly inclined to advocate constitutional means for enforcing swaraj, and may eventually have a moderating influence on Gandhi's chief supporters and perhaps Gandhi himself. Malaviya is presently giving evidence before Rawlinson's Army Committee; he favours the formation of officer training corps at the univer-sities (a proposal which Reading thinks could be effected) and wants the Prince's visit to be identified with their formation. It is important that Malaviya should be associated with the Government in preparing a welcome to the Prince. Gandhi's social reform programme is meeting with success; he has just collected over a crore of rupees as a result of an appeal, though some of the money may not be paid. Many of the subscriptions are earmarked for particular reforms. These subscriptions are a tribute to Gandhi's moral and religious elevation. Many of them are not strictly political, but they produce an effect on the public mind. Gandhi is more criticised politically than before. It is unclear what his attitude will be to the Prince's visit. Refers to Montagu's telegram of 5 July: does not think the situation altered by subscription.

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