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The plan for the transfer of power to which all concerned had agreed, was authoritatively announced by the British Government in the form of a statement on June 3, by Prime Minister Attlee in the House of Commons and Secretary of State for India the Earl of Listowel in the House of Lords.

The existing Constituent Assembly would continue to function but any constitution framed by it could not apply to those parts of the country which were unwilling to accept it. The procedure outlined in the statement was designed to ascertain the wishes of such unwilling parts on the question whether their constitution was to be framed by the existing Constituent Assembly or by a new and separate Constituent Assembly. After this had been done, it would be possible to determine the authority or authorities to whom power should be transferred.

The Provincial Legislative Assemblies of Bengal and the Punjab (excluding the European members) will therefore each be asked to meet in two parts, one representing the Muslim majority districts and the other the rest of the Province.

The members of the two parts of each Legislative Assembly sitting separately will be empowered to vote whether or not the Province should be partitioned. If a simple majority of either part decides in favour of partition, division will take place and arrangements will be made accordingly.

For the immediate purpose of deciding on the issue of partition, the members of the Legislative Assemblies of Bengal and the Punjab will sit in two parts according to Muslim majority districts and non-Muslim majority districts. This is only a preliminary step of a purely temporary nature as it is evident that for the purposes of final partition of these Provinces a detailed investigation of boundary questions will be needed; and, as soon as a decision involving partition has been taken for either Province, a Boundary Commission will be set up by the Governor General, the membership and terms of reference of which will be settled in consultation with those concerned.

Moreover, it was stated that the Legislative Assembly of Sindh was similarly authorized to decide at a special meeting whether the province wished to participate in the existing Constituent Assembly or to join the new one. If the partition of the Punjab was decided , a referendum would be held in the North-West Frontier Province to ascertain which Constituent Assembly they wished to join. Baluchistan would also be given an opportunity to reconsider its position and the Governor General was examining how this could be most appropriately done.

In his broadcast, Mountbatten regretted that it had been impossible to obtain the agreement of Indian leaders either on the Cabinet Mission plan or any other plan that would have preserved the unity of India. But there could be no question of coercing any large area in which one community had a majority to live against their will under a government in which another community had a majority. The only alternative to coercion was partition.

On the morning of June 4, the Viceroy held a press conference and said for the first time publically that the transfer of power could take place on "about 15 August" 1947.

The Council of the All India Muslim League met in New Delhi on 9th and 10th of June 1947 and stated in its resolution that although it could not agree to the partition of Bengal and the Punjab to give its consent to such partition, it had to consider the plan for the transfer of power as a whole. It gave full authority to the Quaid-i-Azam to accept the fundamental principles of the plan as a compromise and left it to him to work out the details.

The All India Congress Committee passed a resolution on June 15 accepting the 3rd June plan. However, it expressed the hope that India would one day be reunited.


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