According to a writer [in The Manchester Guardian (14-7-'47), the dismemberment of the Empire was prophesied as early as 1922 by H.J. Massingham in conference with Lady Gregory and Mr. Bernard Shaw.
Lady Gregory has recorded in her journal that Massingham expressed the opinion that if Britain wished to keep India subject they ought to execute Gandhi. Lady Gregory replied that another leader would arise, which Massingham denied. "No," he said, "you can't so easily replace a saint." "G. B. S." then chipped in with the remark that they ought to have built a sort of Eiffel Tower and put Gandhi at the top, where he could not be expected to address the people.
Lady Gregory said that would have been as dangerous as the Mahdi was in the grave from which he was dragged. She adds in her journal : "Massingham hears from his authorities that India has no more use for England, has learned all it has to teach; wants to be left alone. He and G.B.S. agree that it will go, and the Empire is breaking up, and that Ireland has taught her methods, invented by her so successfully, to the other countries in revolt."