Gandhi said that he would attend the conference if the Viceroy insisted but would "sit in a corner". In the end he did not attend the meeting but remained available at Simla for the duration.
Jinnah expressed the anxiety that the Muslims would be in a minority in the new Executive Council and he claimed that the Muslim League had the right to nominate all the Muslim members to the Council. Wavell said he could not accept this. Jinnah argued that the League had won all the by-elections in the preceding two years and therefore represented all the Muslims of India.
"…if we accept this arrangement, the Pakistan issue will be shelved and out into cold storage indefinitely, whereas the Congress will have secured under this arrangement what they want, namely, a clear road for their advance towards securing Hindu national independence of India, because the future Executive will work as unitary Government of India, and we know that this interim or provisional arrangement will have a way of settling down for an unlimited period, and all the forces in the proposed Executive, plus the known policy of the British Government and Lord Wavell's strong inclination for a united India, would completely jeopardize us."
When the conference met on July 15, Wavell formally announced his failure and sportingly blamed himself for the result. In fact, the Viceroy deserved the greatest praise. With resolution and persistence he had succeeded in winning the consent of Churchill and of others to open the Indian question and give the Indian leaders another chance to install a national government.
It was the two principal political parties, the Congress and the Muslim League, that were really responsible for the failure. They had taken up positions that admitted no compromise.
Congress leaders blamed Jinnah for the lost opportunity and said that the Viceroy should have gone ahead without the League. But in fact the entire plan had been based on the idea that the Executive Council would be an all-party body.
Some days after the conference, at a public meeting the Quaid-i-Azam, referred to Gandhi's presence at Simla during the Simla Conference in scathing terms:
"The first question is why did Mr. Gandhi as one of the leaders of the recognized parties go to Simla? Having gone there, why did Mr. Gandhi not attend the conference? The reason is simple. It was to play the role of wire puller."