The British under the leadership of the die-hard imperialist Churchill were most reluctant to make any firm commitment regarding Indian independence. Sir Stafford Cripps, who had recently joined the government as Lord Privy Seal and become a member of the War Cabinet and leader of the House of Commons, had decided to proceed to India. Churchill gave the genesis of this new policy, "The crisis in the affairs of India arising out of the Japanese advance has made Britain wish to rally all the forces of Indian life to guard their land from the menace of the invader." The American President Roosevelt urged Churchill to settle matters with India that finally persuaded Churchill to send Cripps to India.
Cripps publicly disclosed the contents of the Declaration at a press conference on March 29. The object was "the creation of a new Indian Union which shall constitute a Dominion, associated with the United Kingdom and other Dominions by a common allegiance to the Crown, but equal to them in every respect." The said goal would be achieved in the following manner: immediately after the war, an elected body would be set up to frame a new Constitution for India. Any province of British India not prepared to accept the new Constitution would have the right to retain its present constitutional position. To such non-acceding provinces, his Majesty's Government would be prepared to give the same full status as to the Indian Union.