Edwin Montagu

Thursday 20 November 1924 was another ofthose grey, misting London days that, piling one upon another, can so powerfully depress the spirit. Rabbi Vivian Simmons used the occasion to appreciate, if also to misunderstand, the statesman whose funeral address he delivered that day in the New West London Synagogue. How easy Simmons found it to call Edwin Montagu ‘a passionate, indefatigable, convinced idealist, one who put his idealism into practice in a great and far-reaching scheme of Reform. In this respect, he was true to the great heritage of his race.'((V.G. Simmons, Funeral Address. Edwin S. Montagu (London [1924]) 4.))

We remember Edwin Montagu today principally for two things: delaying and forcing the significant modification of what would become the Balfour Declaration, and for the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms in India, intended to move the subcontinent towards self-government in as slow and orderly a manner as possible. Diarchy came too late, for

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