CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF INDIA - Volume I
Monday, the 9th December 1946
The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of India took place in Constitution Hall, New Delhi, on Monday, the 9th December 1946. at Eleven of the Clock. ELECTION OF TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN
Acharya J. B. Kripalani (United Provinces: General): (in requesting Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha to take the Chair as temporary Chairman, said)- *[Friends, at this auspicious occasion of historical importance I invite, on your behalf, Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha to be the temporary Chairman of this Assembly. Dr. Sinha needs no introduction. You all know him. He is not only the oldest among us but also the oldest parliamentarian in India, having served, as you know, as a member of the Imperial Legislative Council from 1910 to 1920. The entered the Central Legislative Assembly in 1921 not only as one of its members, but ;,'Is Deputy President also. He was then entrusted with the portfolio of an Executive Councellor and Finance Member of the Government of Bihar and Orissa. So far as I remember Dr. Sinha was the first Indian who was ever appointed as a Finance Member of a Province. He has a particular taste for education having been Vice-Chancellor of the Patna University for eight years. Over and above all this, Dr. Sinha is the oldest Congressman among us. Up till 1920 he was a member of the Congress, being at one time its Secretary. After the year 1920 when we started on a new way to gain freedom he parted company with us. He, however, never wholly left us. He has always been helping us. He never joined any other organization and his sympathies were ever with us. Such a person is entitled to be the temporary Chairman of this Assembly. His work is brief but it is all the same most important. It is inaugurating the proceeding of this House. As we begin every work with Divine blessings we request Dr. Sinha to invoke these blessings so that our work may proceed smoothly. Now, I once more, (in your behalf, call upon Dr. Sinha to take the Chair.] (Acharya J. B. Kripalani then conducted Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha to the Chair, which he then occupied amidst acclamation.) MESSAGES OF GOODWILL
The Chairman (Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha): Hon'ble Members, I shall read out to you this morning three messages which have been received by me from responsible State Officials of America, China and the Government of Australia. The American Charge d'Affaires writes: "My dear Dr. Sinha,
It gives me great pleasure to transmit herewith a copy of a telegram have just received from the Honourable Dean Acheson, the Acting Secretary of State of the United States. The telegram received is as follows:
'From the Acting Secretary of State,
Washington, D. C.
Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha,
Provisional Chairman of the Constituent Assembly, New Delhi. With the approach of December 9, I extend to you as Provisional Chairman of the Constituent Assembly, and through you to the Indian people, ------------------------------------------------------------- * English translation of Hindustani speech. ------------------------------------------------------------- the sincere good wishes of the United States Government and of the people of the United States for a successful conclusion of the great task you are about to undertake. India has a great contribution to make to the peace, stability, and cultural advancement of mankind, and your deliberations will be watched with deep interest and hope by freedom loving people throughout the entire world.' " (Cheers). The next message is from the Embassy of the Republic of China-"New Delhi. Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha Provisional Chairman Constituent Assembly: 'On the auspicious occasion of the opening of the Indian Constituent Assembly I have the honour to extend to Your Excellency in the name of the National Government of China my heartiest congratulations. sincerely hope that your great Assembly will succeed in laying a solid foundation for a democratic and...
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