Montagu's Statement of 20 August 1917

Just five weeks after assuming office on August 20, 1917, Montagu, the new Secretary of State, made a statement in the House of Commons regarding the goal of British Government in India. He announced:
"The policy of His Majesty's Government, with which the Government of India are in complete accord, is that of the increasing association of Indians in every branch of the administration and gradual development of self-governing institu¬tions with a view to the progressive realisation of responsible Government in India as an integral part of the British Empire. They have decided that substantial steps in this direction should be taken as soon as possible...I would add that progress in this policy can only be achieved by successive stages. The British Government and the Government of India, on whom the responsibility lies for the welfare and advance¬ment of Indian peoples, must be judges of the time and mea¬sure of each advance, and they must be guided by the co-ope¬ration received from those upon whom new opportunities of service will thus be conferred and by the extent to which it is found that confidence can be reposed in their sense of responsibility."

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