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Letter from Godfrey Nicholson to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

House of Commons.—Comments on an enclosure (a copy of 5/61?), observing, with regard to Father Joseph and Gandhi, that ‘self-annihilation may lead to a frame of mind in which not only one’s own sufferings appear insignificant and unimportant, but also the sufferings of others’.

Copy of a letter from Jawaharlal Nehru to Sir Stafford Cripps

Anand Bharnan, Allahabad.—Acknowledges Cripps's wish see India free, but emphasises the difficulties on both sides and the powerlessness of individuals to control the situation.

(Carbon copy of a typed transcript.)

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Transcript

COPY
VERY CONFIDENTIAL

Anand Bharnan, | Allahabad.
Dec. 3, 1945

My dear Stafford,

Your letter of the 20th Nov. reached me three days ago. I think I have some realisation of your wish to see India free, also of your difficulties. I do not underrate these difficulties. Many things that have been said and done during the past few years have hurt me and a dull pain endures, but at no time did I doubt that you had the cause of India at heart. It is seven years since I was in England and vast changes must have taken place there during these years. I think I have some conception of them also. But I often wonder if our friends in England, and those who are not our friends, have any realisation of what has happened in India, of the changes that have taken place here, and of the passion that lies behind India’s demand for independence. People have grown desperate and it is no easy matter to hold them in check. We have our difficulties also. On both sides, whatever our personal feelings in the matter, we become the agents of powerful forces which we may influence somewhat but cannot control. Individuals count of course but the reality is impersonal, the resultant of a chain of action.

We do not want anything untoward to happen till the elections are over and your Government has had a fair chance to take the next steps. We shall do our utmost to avoid conflict and to restrain the hotheads. But if even then there appears to be delay or what appears to be prevarication, then it is beyond our power or anyone else’s power to control the situation. You must remember that existing conditions in India are a grave and constant irritation and provocation.

Forgive me if I do not paint an easy picture. I do not want to delude you. Having spent a good part of my life in this business, I am tired of conflict and long to do something more worth while. But the fates have so far been against this.

I can have faith in an individual but not in a machine, and it appears that the machine counts in the long run. It is your presence in the British Govt. that gives me some hope. No one else then means much to me so far as India is concerned.

Yours,
(Sgd.) JAMAHARLAL†

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Marked at the head ‘3148’.

† Sic.

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

Suggests that Frank Turnbull should be with them when they meet at Chequers, and that Maurice Gwyer should be Pethick-Lawrence’s legal adviser while he is in India. Intends to ask Short to come with him, instead of Moore, whom he would like to see re-employed in India.

Letter from Viscount Wavell to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Is sorry to be leaving India with the work unfinished, but is optimistic about the country’s future. Cabinet meetings are usually amicable, though he should prefer to deal with Liaquat rather than Jinnah.

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Transcript

The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
March 1. 1947.

My dear Pethick-Lawrence

Many thanks for your letter of February 21. I much appreciate what you say.

I am sorry to be leaving India with the work unfinished, but if HMG feel that a younger man and fresher mind can do it better, it was for them to decide.

It is difficult to see how things will go, on the whole I think India will pull through all right. There are a lot of able and sensible men, it is force of character that is so often lacking. Perhaps they will develop it when we go, but they will have to get their young men in the Universities under discipline, as a start.

It is curious how amicably things usually go in the Cabinet. I have formed a very high opinion of Liaquats† common sense and character, I wish I had had to deal with him instead of Jinnah.

I am afraid you have had a very trying winter at home, I hope that you and Lady Pethick-Lawrence have managed to keep well and reasonably warm.

Yours sincerely
Wavell

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† Sic.

Letter from Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

India House.—Pethick-Lawrence’s message has been forwarded to her brother (Nehru). Indians have been heartened to realise that many people in Britain did not support the actions of their Government in the Middle East. She thinks her brother has made it clear that India would not wish to leave the Commonwealth. Invites him to lunch for a quiet talk.

Draft of a letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to V. K. Krishna Menon

Expresses his opposition to the actions of the British Government in the Middle East. Has advised Nehru that he values the presence of India in the Commonwealth and hopes that Menon will support this view.

(Headed ‘Rough draft of what I have written to Krishna Menon in New York.’)

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 ‘Lloyd George and other Prime Ministers’ for the General Overseas Service.

(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 —— to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The British Broadcasting Corporation, Broadcasting House, London, W.1.—Invites him (retrospectively) to prepare and deliver, on stated terms, a revised insert for the programme on Lloyd George in the series ‘British Prime Ministers since 1900’ (cf. 5/123a).

(A printed form, with details typed in. Signed p.p. the Talks Booking Manager (the name is indistinct, but is probably Ronald Boswell). The recording referred to was made on 11 Feb.)

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 talk on Liaquat Ali Khan for the series ‘Asian Portrait Sketches’ on the ‘London Calling Asia’ Service.

(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.—Has been advised that he has agreed to give an interview for the BBC television programme ‘First Hand: Suffragettes’, and encloses a contract (5/127b).

Letter from George Booth to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

The British Broadcasting Corporation, Bush House, Strand, London, W.C.2.—Encloses 5/134b, and discusses arrangements for recording the talk at Bush House and delivering the tapes to the High Commissioner’s Office for transmission to India.

Letter from Amal Home to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Akashvani (A.I.R.) Headquarters, Akashvani Bhavan, Parliament Street, New Delhi.—Asks him to record his recollections of Rabindranath Tagore, as a contribution to a series of talks planned by All India Radio to commemorate the centenary of Tagore’s birth.

(Signed as Chief Producer, Tagore Centenary Programmes, All India Radio. Sent in the first place to the BBC, then forwarded to Pethick-Lawrence with 5/134a.)

Letter from ‘E. B.’ to ‘Bully’ (probably F. W. Lawrence), including sketches by ‘Multy’

Log Cottage, Hindhead.—Acknowledges the receipt of ‘Bully’s’ letter. Discusses arrangements for meeting next Saturday, and refers to the visit of some factory girls.

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Transcript

Log Cottage | Hindhead
8. Aug. 87.

Dear Bully,

Was it not an odd co-incidence? I had just finished that nice little letter to you when yours came yesterday. After deliberation, I decided that it should go, so that you might be the better able to gauge the revolution of feeling that took place in our ’earts on reading your scrummy (that’s Multy’s) invitation for next Saturday. I have not time to-day to enlarge upon the subject, but Multy has some good sketches which she is doing to enclose in this with a few joint appropriate remarks.

Likewise also is it an odd co-incidence that the day on which we are to have the honour of being presented to les nôtres, our two Mums & the Dad (that sounds rather naughty, & you so young too!) will be staying here & are hoping to see the author of the blouse. Don’t be alarmed they are good sort of folk and ripe for fun at any time.

Our factory girls were a great joke, they stayed from Saturday till Tuesday & thought iverry-think real ’ansim, strite they did. Was the blot that you made in describing your night in the boys’ camp done intentionally and were we to imagine it walking off the paper? Three more of Multys sketches represent what we imagine your feelings to have been on that occasion.

[There follow three pencil sketches of facial expressions, the first apparently asleep, captioned ‘In for the 9 hours’; the second apparently waking and yawning, captioned merely with a blot; and the third screwed up, captioned ‘—!’]

You will come then won’t you (to lunch if possible) next Saturday? though it be through hail, snow, ice thunder, lightning fire, water or sunshine & we will follow thee withersoever thou goest and eat and drink with thee.

Don’t get too legal or too mathematical or too economical, mais restez toujours l’incomparable Bully de nos amies

E. B.

[On a separate sheet are eight more sketches of facial expressions, captioned as follows:]
I July 26th No letter from Bully for a week!
II Aug: 2nd Still silence
III Aug: 7th A.M. Bully chucked!
IV Aug: 7th p.m. Letter!
V E. “My Mother will be here on the 14th!”
VI B. “My Mother will be here on the 14th too!”
VII Both. Phewwww! . . . .
VIII Never mind—BULLY’S COMING –!–

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Edith Jane Lawrence

Trinity College, Cambridge.—Discusses the privileges to which he is entitled as a Fellow. Refers to his recent examinations, and to a map he is preparing for an economic lecture.

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Transcript

Trin. Coll. Camb.
Oct 15. 97

My dear Tante.

I am now a full blown duly admitted fellow with power to walk on the grass, to come in and out at any time of the day or night, to make use of the fellows’ gardens and to dine at the high table, not to mention all the other sundry & minor priveleges† which fall to my lot! It seems funny to have got all these things at last after wondering for 6 years whether they would ever be mine. Perhaps the walking upon the grass though the most trivial is yet the most realisable portion of the performance, & though it is not considered etiquette for junior fellows to make much use of this privelege† (!) yet somehow it is the one thing which in the undergraduate mind is inseparably connected with the possession of a fellowship.

In your original kind letter of congratulation you suggested a rest, I have arrived at that stage now, but when I received yours I was just at the commencement of a very stiff piece of grind. Tuesday I had 6 hours of heavy exam & after this was over had to do several hours of looking up of work for Wednesday. And Wednesday after spending most of the day being examined & in looking up for the exam, I spent a large part of the night in making a map which was required at once in order that it might be reproduced before my Economic Lecture Nov 5. So you will see that the obtaining of a fellowship has not made me lazy.

I am fairly sanguine about the result of my law exam, but the preparation running together with so much other work has been very difficult, & the papers were tricky & their method of marking is peculiar

The stonemasons opposite are still at work on the buildings.

I suppose a formal acceptance for Nov 10 is unnecessary; at present I have not thought of anyone to ask; but then I have not thought very hard, & if I subsequently think of someone I will let you know. It should be a v. jolly affair. I should like to come some day this month, but have not made my plans as yet, & will write in a few days again.

I have a sea of correspondence.

Your affte Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence

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† Sic.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Lady Durning-Lawrence

In the train from Madras to Tuticorin.—Explains his views on titles of honour, and encloses part of an ‘encyclical’. Refers to his stay at Madras, where Michie Smith showed him the results of the eclipse work.

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Transcript

Train from Madras to Tuticorin
April 27. 98

My dear Tante.

I have been meaning to write to you for a long time to answer your letter of March 3, but somehow I have always had something to write to the Vunculus about, on business, & so have waited till now.

There is only one point in your letter to which I want to refer; you say you had feared I shared my sister’s prejudices on the subject of title. No: I have always believed very strongly that a title is one of the few recognitions of desert which a grateful nation can bestow. What I am somewhat opposed to is hereditary title, though I am always prepared to admit that it is not without its advantages. Personally however I am very glad that none ever fell to my lot.

The sheet of my encyclical which I enclose tells the tale of my stay at Nellore, altogether I had a very jolly time there, & some of my equestrian experiences were great fun. I think I had a glimpse of the feeling of those who have said that they wanted to spend their life in the saddle & die at last by breaking their neck at a fall, a sentiment which I never understood at all before,—& one which even now I have no intention of attempting to put into practice!

I had a very pleasant two days in Madras, & saw most of the people I had met before. Michie Smith was very kind to me, & showed me all his instruments & the results of the eclipse work, he also gave me some prints of the corona taken by our instrument, one of which I have sent home to Mother. It was exposed 4 seconds very nearly at the commencement of totality. You will see, looking round the edge of the sun, one very bright point, this is a prominence, & should be set to the left hand; the approach of the moon was from the bottom right hand corner, & you will notice that though it has covered the whole body of the sun proper, yet there is a white rim in left hand top, the portion of the solar atmosphere not yet covered. The corona shows extended some way.

I also have a group of the Madras party which I will send home later. A miscellaneous collection of photos has also gone home, mostly representing different places out here, but there are one or two of Cambridge which Booty gave me.

M. Smith has a very large compound, & by joining with his neighbours, he has made one of the best golf links I have seen out here. I played Monday morning with him & 2 of his friends all of whom were rather good; fortunately I played up & did not make a fool of myself. That is really the great thing at golf, that the better people you play with, the better you play: you see while you learn by watching their good strokes, their play does not in any way interfere with yours.

I am now journeying steadily South, & am in lower latitudes than I have been before, I expect to reach Tuticorin this afternoon & then I go on board a boat which should land me in Colombo to-morrow morning. As I shall have a day or two to spare in Ceylon, I shall run up country, to Kandy & shall try & get a glimpse of J. Parkin who has just come out; he is a Trinity man of my year, & tried for a fellowship last October.

I hope to send a word to some one before I sail; after that as I shall not send a wire from Australia, you will not hear from me for some weeks. But I daresay that will not be much of an affliction after this train-written scrawl. I enclose a slip for E.L

With love to all

Your affectionate Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Theodora Lawrence

In the train from San Francisco to Salt Lake City.—Is on the way to meet Annie. Describes his train, promises to give her some stamps, and hopes she is enjoying Wales.

(With an envelope.)

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In the train from San Francisco to Salt Lake City
Sept 20 1898

My dear Dora

I am writing you a letter from the train, as I am going along to meet Cousin Annie at Salt Lake City; & as the train jogs about a good deal, some of my words are not quite straight, but run about all over the place. “I guess” you will think Salt Lake City a very funny name for a place; it is a City that was built close to a very salt lake, so salt that no fish can live in it at all. And it is such a fine train, quite different from most of our trains in England. Instead of each carriage being divided up into little compartments, it is open all the way along; & while the train is moving you can walk all the way down the carriage, & even step from one carriage on to the next. If you have ever been in a Pullman Car you will understand something of what I mean. Then one of the carriages is a dining room & when our time for meals come† round we walk along to that. The seats of the carriage in which we sit can be made into beds, so that we sleep here at night I got into the train yesterday evening at ½ past 6, & I shall be in the train all day to-day, & shall not get to Salt Lake City till 7 o’clock to-morrow morning. I daresay you will think that a very long time, but the man who is travelling with me will go on in the train all day to-morrow, all that night, then another day & another night before he gets to Chicago; 3 days & 4 nights in the train!

I was very pleased to receive your letter from Ascot written soon after the big Bank Holiday; when it got to San Francisco I was still travelling about in Japan, & after that I was 17 days on a boat crossing the Pacific Ocean. When I get back to England I will show you the album of stamps which I collected when I was at school; & I have a few there, & a few which I have been setting aside since I started travelling, which I shall be able to give you for your book.

I hope you & Miss Berry have been having a jolly time in Wales; I wonder whether you will be still there when this reaches you. If you are, show this letter to Mrs Jones & ask her whether you are like what I used to be.

Best wishes to everyone, & looking forward to seeing you all again.

Your affectionate Cousin
Fredk W Lawrence

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