845.00/1446: Telegram

The Officer in Charge at New Delhi (Merrell) to the Secretary of State

603. Sir Richard Tottenham, additional Secretary in the Home Department who is directly charged with the suppression of internal disorder in India, informed me yesterday afternoon that the disturbances reported in my various telegrams44 particularly those in Delhi and Bombay are now under control. He described them as outbursts resulting from resentment against the arrest of Gandhi and the other Congress leaders which were spontaneous and sporadic but in some cases directed by lesser Congress leaders. They could not arrest everyone. In some of the most likely places for Congress movements to develop, no disturbance had occurred. He felt that the cause of the Congress Party had been hurt by the violences perpetrated.

Sir Richard expects the real civil disobedience movement to begin later (time unpredictable) starting on a lower level and being more widespread than the recent occurrences. He seemed confident that the Government would be able to keep the movement under control.

Gandhi has not yet started a fast.

  1. The many telegrams from New Delhi reporting in detail on the internal situation in India are not printed.