ABSTRACT

why did Lord Mountbatten so desire to become governor general of both India and Pakistan? One can only speculate on this question. The fact is that the force with which he pursued this goal was demeaning to a man of his stature. It became trying for Jinnah to turn down his repeated requests. Mountbatten made his first move to Jinnah on this on May 17, 1947, when the latter agreed orally to the "basic principles." In the same talk, Mountbatten tried to find out what Jinnah intended to do about the office. Jinnah wanted to put him off, but Mountbatten persisted and said he wanted Jinnah's personal reaction to the proposal. Jinnah said that on the basis of very short reflection his opinion was that there should be separate governors general. However, he thought that there should be another official with higher rank above the two who would be the personal representative of the king and who could advise the two states on the details of partition. He felt Mountbatten should hold that office. Mountbatten said that he did not know whether the British government would accept such a plan. If the British government did not accept this idea, would Jinnah support a dual, governor general for an interim period? Jinnah said he would have to have time for further consideration. Mountbatten reminded Jinnah that he was leaving for London the next day. Jinnah said that he would try to give his opinion to someone on the viceroy's staff so that Mountbatten could be informed in London. At that, Mountbatten dropped the subject and Jinnah was relieved.