chapter
6 Pages

Introduction

Edward, Lord Irwin arrived in India as Viceroy in 1926 during a lull in political activity, following a hectic period from 1919 through the early 1920s. He departed India amidst communal rioting, with Gandhi in self-imposed silence, and perhaps weary of an Indian secretary who viewed the situation with some satisfaction. Three aspects of Irwin's career and personality proved integral to his Viceregal experience and to his influence on Indian policy. These included his familiarity, or lack thereof, with India, his personal sense of self-assurance and his close ties to British policymakers at the highest levels. Irwin's greatest asset in securing the Viceroyalty, however, was the strength of his connections to the other members of the Tory leadership. As Congress pondered Irwin's declaration in late 1929 and early 1930, the Viceroy remained hopeful about the prospects for a settlement in India. Irwin's proposal for the parliamentary statement, and his proffered draft for it, arrived in London in mid-June.