militant nationalists and the advocates of Home Rule made the British
 government to consider some political concessions for India.
     According to the declaration, the policy of the British government was
 that of the increasing association of Indians in every branch of the
 administration and the gradual development of self-governing institutions,
 with a view to the progressive realisation of ‘responsible government’ in
 India as an integral part of the British empire. The declaration, in effect,
 signified the transformation of the empire into a commonwealth of
 nations.
Government of India Act of 1919
Background
   • The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, named after their principal co-
       sponsors, E. S. Montagu, then Secretary of State for India and Lord
       Chelmsford, then Governor-General, were a logical sequel to the
       historic Declaration of 20 August 1917.
   • Prior to it, the accepted principle of government had been that both
       authority as well as responsibility for the governance of India was
       vested in the King-in-Parliament, who exercised it through the agency
       of the Secretary of State in London, the Governor-General-in-Council
       in India and the governors-in-council in the different provinces.
   • The association of Indians in the legislative sphere was designed only
       to acquaint the rulers with the thoughts and aspirations of the
       governed. It was clearly appreciated that, to the extent power had
       been constitutionally transferred to Indian hands, intervention by
       Parliament and its agents should cease.
   • Thus the Speaker of the House of Commons ruled in 1921, that
       parliamentary criticism should not extend to ‘transferred’ subjects in
       the provinces. As for the central government and the ‘reserved’
       subjects in the provinces, since legal responsibility for them vested in
       Parliament, there could be no abrogation of control.
   • Even here, the Joint Select Committee on the India Bill (1919) ruled
       that “in the exercise of his responsibility to Parliament, which he
       cannot delegate to anyone   else, the Secretary of State may reasonably