The recommendations of Montford Reforms (Montague-Chelmsford Reforms) created Chamber of Princess as a consultative and advisory body having no say in the internal affairs of individual states and having no powers to discuss matters concerning existing rights and freedoms. 

Therefore Butler Committee (or Indian States committee) was set up in 1927 to examine the nature of relationship between the states and government. 

Harcourt Butler chaired a three-member committee including Prof. W.S. Holdsworth and S.C. Peel. The objective was to inquiring into the relationship between the Indian states and the paramount power and to suggest ways and means for more satisfactory adjustments of existing relations between them and the British India.

They visited sixteen Princely States and submitted their report in February 1929. The report noted the apprehensions of the princes about a possible transfer of relationship control by an elected Indian legislature. 

The following recommendations were given by the Butler committee.

(i) Paramountcy must remain supreme. Paramountcy is the supreme sovereign power which was kept above the reach of law and interpretation.

(ii) The states were bound by treaties with the Crown and the states should not be handed over without the ruler’s prior consent to an Indian Government in British India responsible to an Indian Legislature.

(iii) The Viceroy, not the Governor-General in council was to be the Crown agent in dealing states. In short viceroy was made the Crown’s agent in dealing with states.

Thus, the committee left it yet undefined creating ambiguity, which was appointed to define paramountcy.

The Indian princes were surprised at the concept of Paramountcy being left undefined. As a result they resorted to constitution of All India Union to save themselves from such vague concept of Paramountcy.

On April 3, 1926 Lord Irwin was appointed 30th Viceroy and Governor-General of India. In 1927, British government appointed a commission under the chairmanship of Sir John Simon. The Commission was appointed to study the reforms of 1919 and suggest further measures for Constitutional reforms. The Commission had no Indian member in it. The Indians boycotted this all-White commission.

Chekout with more images on Instagram Page – Butler Committee