chapter  4
30 Pages

Watching Gandhi: Predicting Indian Political Behavior, 1933–1935

Conservative opponents of the federal plan organized their arguments and their resistance along fairly familiar lines, relying not simply on appeals to imperial greatness, but on conceptions of British colonial exceptionalism. As Lord Stonehaven, the Conservative Party Chairman, noted to Baldwin early in the campaign, the real need was to stress the danger of disaffecting the legitimate hopes which we have raised in the minds of loyal and educated Indians. The largely Conservative policy-makers of this period now appear to have been strong imperialists, determined to consolidate the Empires position in the face of rising nationalist movements, and quite certain of their ability to do so. Conservative ambivalence, and even some real pessimism, about the potential consequences of the effort to smooth relations with the Dominions in the mid-1920s showed little sign of decreasing even after the advent of the National Government in 1931.