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Letter from M. A. Jinnah to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Mount Pleasant Road, Malabar Hill, Bombay.—The prospect of clearing up the breach of faith on the part of the English (i.e. the postponement of the formation of an interim government) is hampered by recent events of a much worse character. As for the apparent discourtesy shown to him by members of the Cabinet Mission in June, he considers the matter closed and would never, in any case, allow personal feelings to affect his handling of issues which affect millions of people.

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Transcript

Mount Pleasant Road, Malabar Hill, Bombay
11th September ’46.

Dear Lord Pethick-Lawrence,

Thank you for your letter of August 16. I regret the delay as I was so rushed and pressed with other matters that I could not help putting off my reply to you.

As regards the first point—the breach of faith on your part, you say, that, perhaps some day we may be able to clear up. But since the 25th of June so many other things have taken place, which are of much worse character with far-reaching consequences and we have been stabbed in the back. However, as yours is only a purely personal letter and not a political one, I will confine myself entirely to the second point: that you never intended to show any discourtesy to me in the course of the interview at the Viceroy’s House on the late afternoon of June 25.

Believe me that although I had felt at the moment and was rather hurt at the behaviour of your colleagues and yourself, with perhaps one exception i.e. Mr. Alexander at the interview, but, a few days before his departure, when he came to see me and conveyed to me on behalf of your colleagues and yourself that they never intended to be discourteous to me, I asked him to convey to you and the others that as far as I was concerned the matter was closed and I expressed the hope that it would not affect us so far as our personal relations were concerned. I assure you that whatever may happen, or has happened, believe me, I shall never allow the element of personal rancour or bitterness to influence me in the slightest degree in handling the issues at stake in India which affect millions of people. I have never allowed any personal feelings to influence me in the past and I bear no ill-will towards anyone and entirely receiprocate† that our personal relationships would remain friendly.

Yours sincerely,
M. A. Jinnah

Lord Pethick-Lawrence,
11, Old Square,
Lincoln’s Inn,
LONDON W.C.2.

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At the head of the sheet is written in pencil, ‘These letters not to be published, by expressed wish of late Lord Pethick-Lawrence. | Esther E Knowles, 1st May 1962.’ Alongside is written, probably by Vera Brittain, ‘noted’.

{1} i.e. the formation of an interim government.

† Sic.

Draft of a letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Jawaharlal Nehru

Sends good wishes on the occasion of India’s independence. The arrangements fall short of what he should have liked to see, but are far better than he once dared hope for. Is sorry he was unable to stay the full course (as Secretary of State), but is pleased by the appointments of Mountbatten and Mrs Naidu.

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Transcript

Copy

Aug 26. 47

My dear Nehru,

I h waited until now to write to you to send you my heartfelt good wishes, for though you are probably none the less busy, at least the excitement of the transition is over & you will be able to settle down to your stupendous task.

I imagine that you & I are in pretty close agreement about what has taken place. To me the solution falls far short of what I should have liked to see & yet it is far better than at one time I dared to hope. Looking back over the little more than two years tht have elapsed since I was directly association with Indian affairs I feel profoundly thankful tht such great changes have been peacefully accomplished & tht you have the opportunity for which your life has so well prepared you for directing the destiny of so large a part of the human race.

I was sorry not to be able to stay the full course myself. You know the American who said “in our country the trees are so tall tht it takes two men to see them, one looks as far up as he can & the other sees from there to the top” I went as far as I could & my successor saw to the end. And I think the same was true of the viceroyalty. I feel that in sending you Mountbatten we sent you one of the very best statesmen & I gather tht you & your colleagues have felt this too by the honour you have conferred on him in making him to be your first Governor General.

I was delighted tht you made our dear Mrs Naidu a temporary Governor. With her great heart & her sense of humour I am sure she will justify your appointment.

I shall write to Gaubliger {1} on his birthday.

With all my good wishes
I remain

Ever Sincerely Yours
[blank]

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In spite of the heading, this appears to be a draft rather than a copy. The shortened words, e.g. ‘h’ for ‘have’, are in the MS.

{1} Reading uncertain.

Letter from Viscount Mills to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Gwydyr House, Whitehall, London, S.W.1.—As he explained during the debate (in the Lords), his statement about the increase of British investments in India did not cover the use by India of her sterling balances, but was intended rather as an example of the increase in assistance provided to less-developed countries by means of Government loans.

(Letter-head of the Paymaster General.)

Letter from Lord Boothby to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

1 Eaton Square, [London].—Explains why he considers the amount of international monetary reserves inadequate, and suggests remedies.

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Transcript

1 Eaton Square.
March 20, 1961.

Dear Pethick,

Thank you for your letter.

I am sorry my debate {1} had to be postponed until March 28, but the Government rightly wanted it taken as a separate subject.

My point is that the amount of international monetary reserves are inadequate to support the ever-growing volume of production and trade in the free world; with the result that the two great international currencies, the dollar and sterling, are under alternate but continuous pressure.

After the war it was assumed—by all except Keynes—that we could rely upon increased gold production and continued growth in holdings of dollars and pounds sterling. This has proved a false assumption. The total amount of funds capable of international movement is now very large indeed, compared to our reserves and IMF drawing rights. And it is this vulnerability that has caused us to adopt what has been described as the “Stop-and-go” policy of recent years, with disastrous effects upon our own economic growth and productivity.

The truth is that the price paid at Bretton Woods for fixed exchanges was supposed to be adequate international monetary reserves; and, owing to the rejection of Keynes’s scheme for the creation of international money in the form of “Bancor”, the necessary reserves were not in fact provided. The monetary system of the free world is therefore obsolete.

Various remedies have been propounded, and I shall touch on some of them.

A rise in the price of gold (now pegged at a wholly artificial level) is obviously one. But it would not be permanent; and I think that at present it is politically impossible.

It is, however, not insuperably difficult to devise means of creating more international liquidity and of converting present holdings of national reserve currencies—sterling and dollars—into holdings of reserves with international backing.

The culmination of a radical revision of the international monetary system should, in my view, be the transformation of the International Monetary Fund into an international central bank, the deposits of which would be an international currency on the lines of Keynes’s “Bancor”. This could be achieved in successive stages; but would ultimately require a revision of the Bretton Woods Charter. The main objective is a reorganisation of the international financial system designed to facilitate economic growth, and to remove the constant threat to balances of payment caused by the movement of “hot” money.

I therefore intend to ask for an international economic conference to consider the whole problem. And I am encouraged by the fact that the Radcliffe Committee saw “great merit in the proposal for a transformation of the I.M.F. into an international central bank”; and that President Kennedy said in his Inaugural Address, “We must now, in co-operation with other lending countries, begin to consider ways in which the international monetary institutions—especially the International Monetary Fund—can be strengthened and more effectively utilised, both in furnishing needed increases in reserves, and in providing the flexibility required to support a healthy and growing world economy”.

I do not know how many speakers there will be. But Derick Amory, Robbins and Bob Brand are certainties. Walter Monckton will be there. And I am hoping to persuade Cyril Radcliffe to do his duty!
It should be an interesting debate on a topic which, in my belief, is of major importance—perhaps the most important of all.

Yours ever,
Bob B.

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Letter-head of the House of Lords. At the head have been written ‘File.’ and ‘620’.

{1} A debate on ‘International Liquidity in the Free World’. See Parliamentary Debates (Hansard): House of Lords, vol. ccxxx, pp. 51–107.

Letter from —— to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The British Broadcasting Corporation, Broadcasting House, London, W.1.—Invites him to prepare and deliver, on stated terms, a radio talk on Mahatma Gandhi for the General Overseas Service.

(A printed form, with details typed in. Signed p.p. Ronald Boswell, Talks Booking Manager.)

Letter from —— to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The British Broadcasting Corporation, Broadcastinh House, London, W.1.—Invites him (retrospectively) to prepare and deliver, on stated terms, a radio talk on H. H. Asquith for the series ‘British Prime Ministers since 1900’ (cf. 5/123a–b, 5/124a).

(A printed form, with details typed in. Signed p.p. the Talks Booking Manager (the name is indistinct, but is probably Ronald Boswell).)

Letter from Dorothy E. Knight to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The British Broadcasting Corporation, Television Centre, Wood Lane, London, W.12.—Invites him to prepare and deliver, on stated terms, a talk for the television programme ‘First Hand: Suffragettes’.

(A printed form, with details typed in. Signed p.p. Holland Bennett, Television Booking Manager. Sent with 5/127a.)

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Edith Jane Lawrence

Calcutta.—Was delighted to hear of his uncle Edwin’s baronetcy. Has decided to go to Sahdol to view the eclipse. Refers to his activities at Calcutta.

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Transcript

Calcutta
c/o Thos Cook & Son
Bombay
Jany 12 98

My dear Tante

It was ripping news to hear of Uncle Edwin’s getting his baronetcy. I was tremendously delighted.

Ever so many thanks for all your good wishes for Xmas, Birthday & New Year. Letters get a good bit delayed in coming to me but if you send them to Cook’s at Bombay I shall get them very much sooner.

I have only just settled to go to Sahdol for the eclipse; it is a small place somewhere near Jubbulpore; if you have a map of India showing the railways you will find it on the line from Katni to Bilaspore. Campbell is going there with the Astronomer from Madras {1}; & I fancy Christie & Dr Common are to be there also. But by the time you have got this letter, the eclipse will be a thing of the past, and you will know how far the observations of it have been successful.

I have been generally “sloping” round in Calcutta. Last week I went to the State Ball, yesterday I went to an evening party at Government House, & to-morrow I am going to see the ceremony of Investiture; the natives are very resplendent in their jewels, & their costumes are interesting. I have also been to the Botanical Gardens where the trees are very fine; one Banyon tree has a circumference of 926 feet at its crown! You know it puts down fresh trunks in different places.

One way and another I have a fair number of friends here & I go out to dine with them some evenings.

I have been to see Mozoomdar whom you may possibly remember as a leader of the Bramah Somaj; & on Sunday afternoon I am going to meet a number of their people and talk a bit about Cambridge. Then on Monday I leave for Sahdol, & after the eclipse go back for a few days to Mozuffapore, then to Darjiling to see Mt Everest, then Benares, Delhi, Agra & down to South Canara, back to Madras, & so to Colombo some time in April & from there to Australia!

This afternoon I am going “slumming” with a member of the Oxford Mission.

With love to all & kisses to Dora

Ever your affte Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence

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{1} Charles Michie Smith.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Edith Jane Durning-Lawrence

Bombay.—Sends part of an ‘encyclical’, and responds to her news of family members and neighbours. The plague at Bombay presents no danger to Europeans.

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Transcript

Bombay.
Feb 23. 98

My dear Tante

I am sending you with this the conclusion of my second encyclical {1} which gives all my movements up to date so that there is very little to add.

I think it is a capital plan of yours taking the name of Durning-Lawrence, and I, for one, thoroughly approve. (Not that my lordly approval was in the least required!)

I am glad you think Harry getting on a bit but one is always so afraid that it is only a case of up & down; from a letter which I have from him this week I understand that he is now at Cannes & is going on to Nice.

You seem to have been losing several Ascot neighbours Sir R Mead &, old Dean Liddell; it was strange that he should have died so shortly after Lewis Carroll; I think you used to say Alice in Wonderland was written for one of the Dean’s children.

Out at Fatehpur Sikri I met 2 Cambridge men, brothers, of the name of Reckitt {2}; I did not know them before, but I understand the elder is MP of N. Lincolnshire & knows Uncle E a little bit.

You will probably have seen that Bombay is somewhat stricken with plague just now, but there is not the smallest danger for Europeans. Even among those brought into close contact with plague stricken people it is exceedingly rarely that anyone is affected at all.

With best love to all, hoping Uncle E is in great form in the House.

Ever Your affte Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} PETH 5/30b, probably pp. 91–106.

{2} Harold James and Philip Bealby Reckitt. The former was the MP.

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