chapter  6
46 Pages

“The Men Who Know”: Authority, Policy and the Future of the Empire in the Conservative Party

The Congress triumph of 1937 did nevertheless spell the end of a certain era in British colonial history. In fact, the entire process of forming, negotiating and implementing the 1935 India Act, the precursor to these elections, indicated or at least does so in hindsight that such a development in the imperial system was likely, if it was not indeed already underway. The discussions and debates that surrounded the making of the 1935 Act revealed just how thoroughly the culture, vocabulary and ideas that accompanied or followed from the notion of a "Raj permeated elite imperial society. The 1935 Government of India Act remains ultimately valuable historically for what it did and for what it was, even though it never attained the goals for which it was designed. The Act stands, therefore, the pivot point in the late history of British India, both the last stand of the Raj and the start of India's final march to independence and partition.