The Manchester Guardian has done a service of equal value to India and the Empire by sending a special correspondent to that country on a fact-finding mission. The two articles which the correspondent has hitherto contributed to the paper, and extracts from which have now been received in this country, show that he has taken great pains to see men of all shades of view, and to obtain them expressions of opinion. regarding the current situation in India which can be considered fairly representative. In his second letter he says that he has spoken to a few journalists and politicians in Bombay, some of them co-operators and some non-co-operators, and when he asks them what the English government should do, all said India did not want to get what the British thought good of her, but wanted to be allowed to decide for herself what she needed. They suggested a round table, at which all classes and interests in India should be represented, and at which officials should be present to provide information. In our view, this statement of the Indian position requires modification. The Conference should follow and not precede a decision by the British statesman to let India become mistress of her own house, within a time to be specified with her consent, and to grant her a full measure of responsible government, including provincial and fiscal autonomy. freedom, insofar as it may be deemed possible in the circumstances. This is perhaps precisely what the correspondent himself means when he says: – “Asked about what the Conference is likely to propose, most of them, including some non-cooperators, answer: “Autonomy is not immediate and complete. .’ They recognize the need for a transition period, which some estimate at five years, but most at ten years. Few are willing to consider a longer transition period.
INDIAN DEMAND FOR AUTONOMY: The Tribune India