Mostrando 19 resultados

Descripción archivística
Pethick-Lawrence Papers Morrison, Herbert Stanley (1888–1965) Baron Morrison of Lambeth, politician Imagen Con objetos digitales
Imprimir vista previa Ver :

Letter from S. D. Malaiperuman to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Indian Students’ Union and Hostel, 112 Gower Street, London, W.C.1.—Asks him to commend the work of the Indian Students’ Union to Herbert Morrison, who has been invited to be the chief guest at their annual dinner. Encloses a copy of his letter to Morrison (2/143).

Letter from Herbert Morrison to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

(Place of writing not indicated.)—Pethick-Lawrence’s views on double summer-time (see 2/318) will be borne in mind when the question is considered after the war. With regard to the bombing of Berlin (see 2/319), the policy remains to concentrate on military targets.

—————

Transcript

Personal

The Home Secretary
11th March, 1943.

My dear Pethick,

Thank you for your two letters of the 9th March about double summer-time and the bombing of Berlin.

I am grateful to you for letting me know your views as a countryman about double summer-time, and I can assure you that they will not be forgotten when the time comes to consider whether we should continue double summer-time after the war.

On the question of the bombing of Berlin, the policy still is, as far as I am aware, to concen-trate on military objectives, of which there are many in Berlin itself. It is not, of course, always easy to distinguish between military and non-military objectives, but I do not think it is our policy to indulge in the sort of indiscriminate bombing which it is pretty clear that the Germans have been going in for in their recent raids on this country. I do, however, appreciate your point, and I will certainly bear it in mind.

Yrs sincerely
Herbert Morrison

The Rt. Hon. F. W. Pethick-Lawrence, M.P.

Carbon copy of a letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Herbert Morrison

States his objections to double summer-time and to single summer-time in winter, and expresses the hope that these measures will not be continued after the war.

—————

Transcript

9th. March. 1943.

Dear Herbert,

I was glad to see that you said in the House that it was premature to make any statement with regard to the continuance of “Double Summer Time” after the war. I should like you to appreciate the feelings of a countryman with regard to both questions of “Double Summer Time” and the continuance of “Single Summer Time” through the Winter.

We get up about six o’clock every morning. That means under the present arrangements that we have been getting up in the dark for about five months and that those of us who breakfast about seven had to have it in the dark for about four months. Just as it will be getting light when we get up, down comes upon us “Double Summer Time” which means a further three weeks getting up in the dark.

“Single Summer Time” in the Winter also had the disadvantage that the frost is not off the ground until quite late in the morning, and neither garden nor field can be worked in the hours following on breakfast.

“Double Summer Time” means similarly, that at any rate in the month after it begins and the month before it ends, the fields and the garden are saturated with dew long after work on them should begin.

At the other end of the day there is of course more light, but we do not want to have the nicest working time of the day after supper in the evening and we do not want to have to go out and water the garden near the time when we go to bed, which is our first opportunity of so doing because up till then the sun is too powerful.

While the war is on we acquiesce in temporary changes which are we understand desired by industrialists, though many of them I am sure hate getting up in the dark as we do. But we hope the Home Office will refuse, after the war, to continue changes which are advocated partly by those late risers who never get up in the dark in any case, and who imagine that “Summer Time” and “Double Summer Time” add one extra to the hours of daylight.

Yours sincerely,
[blank]

Rt. Hon. Herbert Morrison, M.P.,
Secretary of State for Home Affairs.
Home Office, Whitehall,
S.W.1.

Carbon copy of a letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Herbert Morrison

Expresses his opposition to any change in policy that would lead to the bombing of residential districts in Berlin.

—————

Transcript

9th. March, 1943.

Dear Herbert,

Bombing of Berlin.

I am writing what are my own views but what to my knowledge represent the feelings of a number of other people with regard to the bombing of Berlin.

I am not squeamish about injuries inflicted on civilians. We have all got to take the risk and the Germans least of all people have any right to complain if their civilian women and children are visited by the same fate that they have inflicted on other nations.

Nevertheless, I personally only support the bombing of German cities provided the main intention is the destruction of military objectives, construing the term pretty widely to include not merely munition works, but railway depots and centres of communication generally. If a few civilians get killed accidentally when aiming at targets of military importance, I am not going to be squeamish about it.

But I do not believe in bombing residential districts as such. For one thing I regard it as a waste of good bombs. I do not attach value to the notion that it weakens morale. It might do so with a cowardly nation. But there is no reason to suppose that the Germans, though they have many grievous faults, are cowards. Our own experience teaches us that bombing stiffens our resistance and makes us more determined to fight on to the bitter end.

If then the arguments for and against bombing civilians are roughly equal, it seems to me to be better to avoid doing so in view of the fact that so doing will make reconstruction after the war more difficult.

In writing the above, I am not suggesting that we have changed our bombing policy from attacking military objectives to attacking civilians. It may be that our policy remains as before. I do not know, but if so, I am writing lest a change should be contemplated and you will no doubt give such weight as you think proper to my point of view.

Yours sincerely,
[blank]

Rt. Hon. Herbert Morrison, M.p.†,
Secretary of State for Home Affairs.
House of Commons, S.W.1.

—————

† Sic.

Carbon copy of a letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Herbert Morrison

States his objections to recent alterations in black-out regulations. Recommends measures to be taken after the war in connection with the black-out, single summer-time in winter, and double summer-time.

—————

Transcript

22nd. August. 1944.

My dear Herbert,

I accepted without protest but without enthusiasm your decision to prolong double summer time this year, recognising that you are in a position to judge better than anyone else where the balance of wishes lies.

But for the life of me I cant† see why it was necessary to rob us of the extra quarter of an hour non-black-out at each end of the day so long as double summer time lasts. It could not have been of the least use to the Germans to have a few minutes of twinkling lights in the dusk of evening or semi-twilight before dawn, and the alteration has been a nuisance to people who get up early. However this is a very small matter which cannot be reversed now and before it can arise again we all hope the European war will be over.

The purpose of this letter is to direct your attention to three matters which will arise when Ger-many gives in.

(1) The Black-out. Though there are many cranks, I cannot imagine that there are any black-out fans who will want to continue black-out on account of the war with Japan. Therefore I take it for granted that the black-out will be lifted. The point I want to make is that you should have arrangements made to announce this, and to get the Local Authorities to lift the black-out in the streets, the very day that the armistice (or whatever form the capitulation of Germany takes) is declared. There will probably be demonstrations all over the United Kingdom that very night (which may well be in the winter) and, if the black-out is still on, deaths and injuries are very likely to arise.

(2) Single summer time in winter. There are of course some people who habitually breakfast at 9 o’clock who regard a shift of hours as a net gain of an hours† daylight in the day. But for the rest of the peopulation† who get up to go to work, summer time in winter simply transfers an hour of dark in the evening to the morning and in reality means that they never see their homes in day-light, except on Saturday afternoon and Sunday, for some five or six months in the year. It seems to me that, if people want this rearrangement of the day, the right way would be to alter business hours generally and not to play about with the clock. In any case I suggest to you that it is a mat-ter for Parliament and not for the exercise of your war-time powers (when the German war is over).

(3) Double summer time. I am a firm believer in single summer time in the summer for as along a period as the House of Commons decides. As to double-summer-time I recognise that a good many people like it while many others do not. I suggest to you that when the German war is over this too is a matter on which only Parliament (assisted no doubt by the Government) is really competent to come to a decision.

I trust that the Parliamentary recess has meant some relaxation if not a holiday for you.

Sincerely yours,
[blank]

Rt. Hon. Herbert Morrison, M.P.,
Home Secretary and Minister for Home Security,
Home Office,
Whitehall,
S.W.1.

—————

† Sic.

Carbon copy of a letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Herbert Morrison

Urges that the Labour Party should make some advance before the election towards equal pay for women, and explains his motives for doing so.

—————

Transcript

24th. March, 1949.

Dear Herbert,

I see that the programme for the next general election is in draft and I write to you as a tactician to urge that either the Labour Government before the election or that the Labour Party in its programme should make some positive advance (even if only some small factual step) towards equal pay.

And please do not write off my suggestion as “Pethick’s King Charles Head” or worse still as “Pethick acting under pressure from his wife”. (She never seeks to influence my political actions and has not suggested that I should press this upon you or anyone else).

It is quite true that I believe the thing to be right. But I also believe very strongly that it is expedient. I have seen the havoc wrought on the Liberal party in days gone by when it refused to put its principles into practice with regard to women and attributed the agitation to a few cranks and intellectuals.

Of course I know the financial difficulties. But I see and thinking women see that the said financial difficulties have not prevented many increases in men’s wages where they unjustly lagged behind the wages of other men similarly employed; and they think (rightly in my opinion) that what is sauce for the gander should also be sauce for the goose.

Anyhow many of them are getting hot and bothered about it and their influence will count when the time comes unless something is done. Even if it only be that enthusiastic labour supporters are turned luke warm it will be a serious loss to our party.

It will be a disaster if we allow conservatives and liberals to steel† a march on us in this matter.

Ever yours sincerely,
[blank]

Rt. Hon. Herbert Morrison, M.P.,
Lord President of the Council,
Privy Council Office,
Gt. George Street and Whitehall,
S.W.1.

—————

† Sic.

Carbon copy of a letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Maude Royden

Gives an account of the foundation and activities of the Relief Committee for the Victims of German Fascism (see 3/174), and refers to measures taken by the Labour Party in response to the dominant influence of the Committee’s Communist members.

—————

Transcript

31st. October, 1934.

Dear Dr. Royden,

In reply to the letter received from Miss Dobson this morning I will do my best to enable you to come to a decision with regard to the German Relief Committee for the Victims of Fascism by telling you all I know about the organisation.

When the German atrocities began the British Labour Party among others took a considerable interest in the matter and disbursed funds for the assistance of proletarian sufferers in Germany. There were at the same time other bodies of Jews—and others—who raised funds for similar purposes.

But it was felt by a number of people, including those in the left wing of the Labour movement, that not enough was being done and that there was need for a non-party organisation in this country which would pursue a more active policy of assistance including financial relief to those suffering from Hitlerism in Germany. Prominent among these were Ellen Wilkinson and Lord Marley. The G.R.C.V.F. was accordingly promoted and meetings were got up and speakers were secured from all political parties, the idea being that as persons of all classes in Germany were being ill-treated there was a common case for protest and funds here, rather than to create separate organisations within each party to relieve their own particular adherents.

Among others, quite naturally, the Communists took part in considerable numbers because prominent among the sufferers in Germany were members of the Communist party. Now Communists are in many ways very difficult people to work with. In the first place some of them deliberately use every opportunity of combined effort to proselytise their colleagues and to undermine the influence of the parties from which the combined membership is drawn. But in addition the whole Communist party suffers from the kind of mentality which also prevails in high Conservative quarters in this country, namely, a complete inability to believe that their† can be any faith of value except their own; and accordingly without neccessarily† unfair motives they introduce their own shibboleths on every occasion. So that when a Communist speaker speaks on a non-party platform he does not hesitate to preach the whole milk of the word.

Among other activities of the G.R.C.V.F. was propaganda on behalf of the prisoners in the Reichstag Fire Trial and as this particular work grew in importance the Dimitroff Committee was founded as a kind of sub-committee of the original body.

After this had held one or two meetings I was asked to become Chairman, and after consulting with some of the leading spirits of the R.C.V.G.F. I consented to do so on condition that I entirely reformed the Dimitroff Committee. In fact I gave it an entirely new start and you will remember that I made a fresh appeal to create it and that you and Henry Nevinson kindly gave me your names to do so. The result was highly gratifying and we got a really representative body of men and women as Vice-Presidents taken from all walks of life and all parties, and the Communist element in it was reduced to quite small dimensions. I decided however to retain the name of the Dimitroff Committee taking over in this way the kudos of the old sub-committee. After I had formed this I was just in time to prevent the Communist members of the Dimitroff Committee issuing in its name a manifesto of a largely Communist character: and in loyalty to our Vice-Presidents I have continued to act upon strictly non-party lines. The relationship between the Dimitroff Committee and the R.C.V.G.F. is therefore now entirely different from what it was at the beginning. The R.C.V.G.F. has continued to do some quite useful work but there is no doubt that it is at the present time partially dominated by Communist people and I believe that its foreign associations are almost wholly Communist.

Meanwhile the Labour Party which has suffered terribly in the past through the underhand methods of the Communists in trying to seduce Labour members from their allegiance by forming pretended non-party organisations, have found it necessary to impose restrictions upon its members in this direction. This I believe to be quite sound. At the same time in my opinion it should be in every case a question of fact. I do not think that the Labour Party ought to prohibit its members from taking part in bona fide non-party or all party organisations, but it is entitled to prohibit them from taking part in organisations which profess to be as above but are in fact Communist bodies acting in disguise.

So far the Labour Party has expressed no criticism of the Dimitroff Committee: but after hearing what was to be said in favour of the R.C.V.G.F. the Executive came to the conclusion that it was largely permeated by Communist influence and that it should be put on the “index”. There was a debate at Southport this year and after hearing Lord Marley and Herbert Morrison the Conference decided by an overwhelming majority to support the Executive. I personally, voted against this decision, but I confess that I think there was a good deal to be said for the majority case.

The result of this decision will be that all Labour candidates and others prominently associated with the Labour Party will have to withdraw from active association with the R.C.V.G.F. otherwise they would be disqualified from their candidature. The consequence of this will be that the R.C.V.G.F. will become even more Communist than it is at present.

The R.C.V.G.F. undoubtedly contains a number of earnest men and women whose main concern is the alleviation of distress in Germany. On the other hand it is difficult to judge how far in the future with a more distinctly Communist bias they will devote themselves mainly to relief or to promoting the interests of a Communist revolution in Germany.

For my own part, the decision of Southport means that I shall have to draw the Dimitroff Committee still further away from R.C.V.G.F., and unfortunately one cannot rely implicitly on their definite promises. Only recently I was invited to co-operate in a meeting which I was told was to be run by individuals and found on closer investigation that it was definitely a R.C.V.G.F. meeting.

If I were in your place I should be guided in the first instance by my relationship to the Labour Party whatever that may be: and in the second place I should be inclined to get some of their more recent literature and perhaps send someone to one of their next meetings with a view to finding out the trend of their present activities. You will then be in a position perhaps to answer the question which I have postulated two paragraphs back.

There is also the further point as to what other assistance one can give to the unhappy sufferers in Germany, if the R.C.V.G.F. is ruled out. The Labour Party is I believe doing something—I do not know how much—through the Matteotti Fund. The Friends are doing a great deal through their Germany Emergency Committee: there is the organisation for dealing with German refugees which I believe is run by Mrs. Norman Bentwich: there is also the Academic Assistance Council, and finally there is the Dimitroff Committee.

I have just heard this morning from Mr. Pritt that he has been successful in finding an English lawyer to go out to Germany for the Thaelman case and the Dimitroff Committee have promised to find £50 for this purpose.

I think I have now covered all the ground and hope that I have been of some assistance to you in making up your own mind. It is certainly a very difficult decision.

I heard the other day that you are going to India shortly to take part in a Women’s Conference. I am quite sure that it will be a most interesting journey and you have my very best wishes.

Yours sincerely,
[blank]

P.S. The letter which you signed last week with regard to German prisoners had quite a good Press and appeared at any rate in “The Manchester Guardian”, “The Herald”, “The Scotsman”, “The New Statesman”, and “The Spectator”.

Dr. A. Maude Royden,
24, Rosslyn Hill,
Hampstead, N.W.3.

—————

† Sic.
(Carbon copy of a typed original.)