Item 10 - Telegram from Lord Reading to Edwin Montagu

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MONT II/A/3/27/10

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Telegram from Lord Reading to Edwin Montagu

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  • 3 Feb. 1922 (Creation)

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Refers to A3/27/8. Civil disobedience at Bardoli has not yet started, and the Congress Committee meeting at Surat has requested persons throughout the province to pay taxes, except in cases where Gandhi’s consent has been obtained for suspension, in preparation for mass civil disobedience. This is apparently because Malaviya, Jinnah, and others are trying to persuade Gandhi to postpone civil disobedience until the question of a conference is cleared up. He is preparing an answer to the secretaries of the Bombay Conference, who have asked him what his objections are to a conference are, as they desire to meet them, and he also has some letters from Gandhi, which he has postponed answering. Montagu should do as he thinks right about the Cabinet. The only point of difference between the Government of Bombay and the Government of India was that the latter did not wish Gandhi to be prose-cuted for seditious statements made at the Bombay conference when it was clear that he was about to declare for civil disobedience. Confirms his objections to deporting Gandhi. Recent reports indicate that Gandhi is trying to find a way out of civil disobedience. The Bombay Government have not yet sent a definite answer about the prosecution of Mohani. Public meetings for civil disobedience may be prohibited either under the Seditious Meetings Act or the Criminal Procedure Code.

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