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Roosevelt, Franklin Delano (1882–1945) President of the United States of America
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Letter from 'Jack' [François Ceccaldi] to 'Flaminica' [Lady Frazer]

54 Cours Napoléon, Ajaccio, Corse – Welcomes the news [of the new book?]; she is going to the country, and he is too, though Catherine [Giamarchi, a niece] is renovating the outside stairs; they are without farmers, the Italian family they had for 8 years having left in the panic and returned to Livorno, having been paid 2,000 lire by the Fascists; another turned back, having been pursued by Catherine's maid, and has decided to stay despite the promises of glory and wealth of his miserable homeland; she has been providential for the 'Rameau d’or' and despite her illness 'Australasia'; he is still proofing his cartography of Corsica, is waiting for the return of some maps as it turns out those in his collection don’t appear in the Nationale or the Institut de Géographie; thinks they will have a good time in Newcastle, he admires England, and will be thinking of her on the 28th when "Australasia" comes out; praises [Franklin] Roosevelt for being the voice of reason; has been rereading Xenophon and Socrates and Simonides, and believes they should be given 'aux Fuhrers et aux Duci de nos jours'; thanks her for the 'Times'.

Letter from Janet Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Garden Corner, West Road, Cambridge. - Thanks Bessie for the congratulations on her C.H. [Companion of Honour]; also felt 'most honoured' by Bob's letter to George; pleased that her name will not change and she will stay 'plain Mrs G.M.T.'. The family do seem to be 'scooping things up recently, including Humphry's adorable bride', who is due to arrive with him in London tomorrow. They are coming to Cambridge on Tuesday, and Janet is holding a tea party for her: enclosure about it originally enclosed; wishes Bessie could be there. Otherwise the young couple will have to 'make a pilgrimage' to see her at the Shiffolds sometime this year, though she thinks they mean to go to Germany in November: Humphry feels he should spend almost a year living there 'and really soak in Goethe and the language'; she hopes 'Mr Hitler will keep quiet'. Janet much enjoyed their time in the US, even in New York, where she got the Parks Commissioner to send her round 'all the wonderful playgrounds & swimming pools' they have built using 'Roosevelt's Relief money'; made her 'pine for a Roosevelt touch here'. Notes in a postscript that her health was good in the US. with 'no violent heat-waves'; [her eczema] is 'threatening' again now but she is coping.

Letter from Sir Francis Low to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

‘The Times of India’, 4 Albemarle Street, London, W.1.—Defends his view of Jinnah’s rôle in the partition of India. Is convinced that Congress was largely responsible for alienating him.

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Transcript

The Times of India, London Branch:
4 Albemarle Street, London, W.1

Dear Lord Pethick Lawrence,

I was very interested to have your letter of October 13th. When I wrote to you I was thinking more of the narrower question of the splitting of the Punjab, referred to by Sir Henry Craik, than to the larger issue of the partition of India. Both form part of the same picture and it may be that in some respects Jinnah was only one factor in the circumstances which brought about partition. But he was a very important factor and his attitude, following the introduction of the new Constitution in 1937, was decisive. Every time the British Government faced the question of Indian political advancement, Jinnah demanded Pakistan and thus blocked agreement. You know more about what happened during the visit of the Cabinet Mission, but in Volume IV of the account of the Second World War entitled “The Hinge of Fate”, Churchill records that at the time of the Cripps Mission his Cabinet considered a plan to declare India a Dominion after the war. He was then faced with a note from Mr. Jinnah declaring that if any constitutional move was intended the Pakistan scheme must be accepted, a statement which was backed up by Sir Firoz Khan Noon, then a member of the Government of India. There is no doubt that Churchill was deeply impressed by these notes and sent them to President Roosevelt in justification of his attitude.

There may be something in what your Indian financier friend said to you after August 15, 1947, but my strong conviction—based on experience—is that the Congress was largely responsible for alienating Jinnah. They refused to take Jinnah and the Pakistan idea seriously. At the time of the famous Calcutta Unity Conference in the twenties, when Jinnah was still a Congressman at heart, they could have achieved an agreement with him on terms which would have preserved the unity of the country. From a logical point of view the Congress leaders, as I know, had justification for their attitude, but logic sometimes makes bad politics. I have no doubt British Governments in the past sometimes found Hindu-Moslem animosity very convenient, but on the need to preserve Indian unity there was always insistence, and I know that Viceroys like Halifax and Linlithgow were very strong on that point both in public and in private. I also know that many of my Indian friends took that same view as the Indian financier whom you quote, and one cannot say that it is entirely baseless. But I still feel that the main fault rested with the Congress mishandling of Jinnah, especially in the days when he was still a Congress supporter.

One or two people whom I met in the Club after your address, including Lord Hailey, agreed with me that you put up a very good case.

Yours sincerely,
Francis Low
(Sir Francis Low)

Letter from Sir Stafford Cripps to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

3 Elm Court, Temple, E.C.4.—The course recommended by Pethick-Lawrence (see 5/46) would be the best one for the present capitalist Government to adopt if they want capitalism to stagger on as long as possible. But it is increasingly important for the Labour Party to be frankly socialist and not to think of returning to an era of expanding capitalism.

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Transcript

3 Elm Court, Temple, E.C.4
July 14th 1933

Dear Pethick,

Thanks for your letter and the enclosure {1}. I think it probably sets out the best course to be adopted by the present capitalist Government if they want capitalism to stagger on as long as possible. My own view increasingly is that it should be given the ‘coup de grace’ at the earliest possible moment, and I do not think that a Socialist policy would really have any relation to what Roosevelt is doing in America except in a rather vague way in the earlier stages.

I think it is becoming increasingly important for the Labour Party to be quite frankly socialist and not to think of getting back to an era of expanding capitalism, which I am convinced is inherently impossible, and any way is undesirable.

Yours ever
Stafford

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{1} Apparently a cutting referring to policies adopted by Roosevelt in America.

Letter from Marius Bewley to James Smith

[Excelsior Springs, Missouri?]—Is depressed by the moral tone of America and more than ever convinced of the necessity of political activity. Expresses his low opinion of Roosevelt and Willkie, and encloses a photograph and a cutting to illustrate his feelings. Leavis and Cuttle sent him letters of recommendation, but most of the vacancies had been filled by the time he applied. Has ‘half a promise’ of a job at Vassar next year. Louisiana University, one of the places he applied to, is said to have become ‘nothing but a foot ball factory’. Has resumed his plan to study for the priesthood and has been encouraged by some good elements in the American Church, such as the «Catholic Worker» group in New York. Is considering three alternatives: the Paulists, the Benedictines at St Anselm’s Priory in Washington DC, and the secular priesthood in Minnesota. Intends to prepare himself for a period in ten or fifteen years’ time when he expects that intelligent literary activity will have ceased to perform any function in America and the only useful function will be of a political nature. In an American college he would only ‘succumb’, but he might be of some use as a priest. Is grieved at Smith’s ‘emotional and spiritual crisis’ and is glad he is no longer seeking Father John [Reeves]’s advice. Asks him to tell the Franciscans of his plans. Expects his books to arrive next week. Advises him not to be upset by Christopher Dawson [see 1/85]. Will have the «Catholic Worker» sent to him.

Letter from Sir Charles Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Glad to get Bob's Homeric hymn [to Demeter, in this year's "From the Shiffolds"], and would like to know 'more about its preservation and whether it has anything to do with the Homeric poems'; asks how many hymns there are. As usual, much admires the 'grand simplicity' of Bob's rendering. Bob will have heard that [Andrew] Baird has died, in three days of an illness which 'culminated in a brain haemorrhage of the sort that Franklin Roosevelt died of'. He was very rarely ill, so they were 'surprised at the tragedy'; he was a 'grand and trusty fellow' and is a 'lamentable loss to [Charles] and to all the countryside'. Has to find a new forester, a new head gardener, and a new parson for Cambo all at the same time.