(Last Updated on : 19/04/2012)
The Indian Statutory Commission was a group of seven British Members of Parliament that had been dispatched to India in 1927 to study constitutional reform. The Commission was named Simon Commission, following the name of the chairperson of the Commission Sir John Simon.
The Government of India Act 1919 had introduced the system of dyarchy to govern the provinces of British India. However, the Indian public demanded for revision of the difficult dyarchy form of government. Moreover the Government of India Act 1919 itself stated that a commission would be appointed after ten years to investigate the progress of the governance scheme and suggest new steps for reform. In the late 1920, the Conservative government, which was in power in Britain feared imminent electoral defeat at the hands of the Labour Party. They also feared the effects of the consequent transference of control of India to such an inexperienced body. Hence, in November of 1927, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin appointed seven MPs (including Chairman Simon) to constitute the commission.
The Simon Commission of 1919 was entrusted with the charge to look into the state of Indian constitutional affairs. The growth of the education and the development of the representative institution in British India were the significant responsibilities vested with the Simon commission. The Simon commission were to give report as to whether or what extent the principle of responsible government could be establish in India. The Simon commission was also asked to enquire the fact that how far it was desirable to establish Second Chambers of the local legislature. During the enquiry, the Simon commissions did snot however taken into accounts the relation of the British Government with the Indian states and found the British Government extremely constitutional.
The Simon Commission created extreme dissatisfaction throughout the whole India. This was so because no Indian Members were included in the Commission. The Simon Commission was an all-White Composition. Lords Birkenhead justified the exclusion of the Indians members from the Simon Commission. He opined that since the Commission was composed by the Parliament, it was necessary that the members of the Commission should be from the parliament.
The Simon Commission created enough disaffection allovers the country and everywhere it was hailed with black flags. A general hartal was observed throughout the Country on the day the commission landed in India. In such circumstance, the Central Assembly was invited to form a joint Committee to co-operate with the commission. But however it refused to do so. As a whole, Simon Commission in India was a complete failure.