Date: January 27, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge writes that the prospect of India governing itself would be the greatest democratic achievement of the 21st century.
(Original document available here)
For generations the British have excelled in capacity to deal with foreign people. That is why in every quarter of the globe they have been pre-eminently successful in planting colonies to develop trade.
It is this faculty that has enabled them now to make what promises to be a satisfactory settlement with India. The British assume the responsibility for foreign relations, defense and finance. That leaves the conduct of domestic affairs largely in the hands of the Indian people. As a guaranty of good faith Gandhi and others recently engaged in the movement for complete self-government have been released from confinement.
This prospect is important not only because of the effect upon the British Empire but because of the new era it opens for 320,000,000 people in India. It is one of the greatest movements toward self-government of the present century. Every well wisher of India must hope the plan will be accepted and adopted. If British statesmanship can pacify that country it will do more than anything else to revive the prosperity of the whole empire. Under order and liberty the progress of India will be assured.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Fr. Stephen Lawson who prepared this document for digital publication.