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The Simon Commission was an attempt by the British Government to stave off more radical constitutional reform in its governance of India. For a number of years, successive British governments had gradually reformed the administration of India to give the indigenous population a greater say in how they were governed....

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The Simon Commission was an attempt by the British Government to stave off more radical constitutional reform in its governance of India. For a number of years, successive British governments had gradually reformed the administration of India to give the indigenous population a greater say in how they were governed. The seven British MPs who made up the Simon Commission were sent to India to check on the progress of the constitutional reform program instigated by the Government of India Act 1919.

The main problem with the Simon Commission was that there were no Indians serving on it. Furthermore, most Indians wanted an end to British rule; they didn't want what they considered little more than constitutional window-dressing. But as the remit of the Simon Commission was necessarily narrow—an end to British rule was simply not on its agenda—it was inevitable that nationalist sentiment in India would look upon its work as simply a delaying tactic to postpone the necessary measures needed to give India its full independence.

Nevertheless, despite its obvious shortcomings, the Simon Commission did lead to the passing of the Government of India Act 1935, which gave Indians a much greater degree of political authority, albeit solely at the provincial level. In turn, this led to crushing victories for the Indian National Congress in local elections, adding to the seemingly irresistible momentum for outright independence.

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The Simon Commission was a commission made up of 7 members of the British Parliament who were sent to India in 1927.  The task given to the commission was to investigate ways in which the system of governing India could be reformed.  In historical terms, the most famous member of the commission was Clement Attlee, who would be prime minister when India and Pakistan became independent in 1947.

The commission was extremely controversial, largely because it lacked any Indian members.  It conducted its study and published a report recommending, among other things, more representative government for Indian provinces.  This became the basis of the Government of India Act of 1935.

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