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Pethick-Lawrence Papers Lawrence, Emmeline Pethick- (1867–1954), suffragette, wife of the 1st Baron Pethick-Lawrence Imagen Con objetos digitales
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Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Viceregal Lodge, Simla.—Describes his journey to Simla and the situation of the Lodge. Jinnah will not arrive till Saturday, so talks will not begin till Sunday. Sends his love for their anniversary of 12 May. Four of his colleagues have just celebrated birthdays.

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Transcript

Viceregal Lodge, Simla
May 1, 46.

My dear.

This is certainly a most wonderful place and I am glad I have not missed seeing it. This particular house is perched upon a hill in Simla (which is, by the way, all hills) & there is a panoramic view all round. But while at Fways the view extends for 2 or 3 miles, here it is 50, 100, & in some directions I should think 150 miles. There are snow mountains dividing us from Kashmir & snow mountains dividing us from Tibet. We are about 7000 feet up.

I dined with Jinnah last night & met his sister who is very like him—they both look very tall but tht is because they are thin with aquiline faces. In reality they are only 5’9” & 5’ 4”. Jinnah says he cant get here till Saturday & we shant begin our talks till Sunday, so we shall nt have very much to do the next 3 days.

We got up @ 5.30 this morning, breakfasted 6.15, started 7, left aerodrome at 7.30[,] reached Amballa at 8.30 & then came up here 94 miles in motor cars, the last 55 miles being a steady climb. Most of the cars broke down on the way. I came with the Viceroy. I smelt something like a leather clutch burning some time before we pulled up. The sun is quite hot up here but the air is cool & refreshing. There is a billiard table in the house & a putting golf course in the garden.

The house itself is much less grandiose than the one at Delhi; all the same I have a very large sitting room & another large bedroom & 2 verandahs with glorious views.

I dont know how long this letter will take to reach you but I expect is wont go off till tomorrow & then it will take a day to Delhi, so tht you wont get it much before our May 12. In spite of all the beauty here I do wish I was with you for our festival. You will have to have the salmon & the gooseberry tart with friends & waft a greeting to me as I shall to you my beloved. 45 years ago since the original May 12, & I love my darling more deeply than ever. Kiss all the flowers for me at Fourways. Give my love to May & Lydia & to the girls in London & to the folk at Peaslake.

Last Wednesday was Stafford Cripps birthday, yesterday was Turnbulls, & today Alexanders[,] & Sunday is the Viceroys {1}. But I am sticking to soft drinks which suit me better. I am still exceptionally well though I dont xpect to sleep as well at this height as I have done in Delhi. You know neither of us ever did when we were in Switzerland.

The political situation here moves slowly forward to a climax which I cant predict. I am afraid the Palestine Report will greatly upset the Moslems.

All my love
Boy

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There are a few characteristically abbreviated words, including ‘nt’ for ‘not’ and ‘xpect’ for ‘expect’.

{1} ‘& Sunday is the Viceroys’ was inserted slightly later.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

[Viceregal Lodge, Simla.]—Meetings with members of Congress and the Muslim League have begun. They will probably return to Delhi in about nine or ten days. Describes an excursion into the country and other activities. Refers to her letter in The Times.

(Letter-head of the Office of Cabinet Delegation at New Delhi, but evidently written at Simla.)

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Transcript

May 5 46

My dear.

Motor cars, rickshaws, ponies have brought the members of Congress & Muslim league to join us in discussion here, & one day I will tell you all the behind-the-scene details of the Alice-in-Wonderland’s croquet party which it involves. However the first day has gone off fairly well & if we are no nearer agreement at least we know more accurately where they all stand & wht we have to do about it.

I am still clinging to the hope tht I may be back for 26 May but it will be a near thing at best & it may well be tht I have to stay in India right on into June. We shall probably return to Delhi in about 9 or 10 days fm now. I expect you will hear all about it on the wireless. I went for a little walk from here a few minutes after the meeting dispersed & heard as I passed in a cottage a wireless report of it on the 6 o’c news.

We had a real holiday the first day after we got here & drove through Simla on the road when the milestone read 190 miles to Thibet! About 4 miles the other side of Simla we turned off the main road & then walked to a fascinating cottage facing the mountains & out on the lawn we had a picnic lunch. Walking back part of the way we encountered a troop of monkeys in the tree tops jumping from branch to branch. One, a young mother, had a baby tucked under one arm but jumped with the rest. Our bedroom windows are covered with wire netting so tht monkeys cant get in when the window is open, but I havent seen many in these grounds.

Since Thursday {1} I have been very busy but I have arranged to get some walks & some games of golf. There are shots over walls & all sorts of hazards which the Viceroy & his one-armed son {2} negotiate to perfection; & nearly every night I play a game of billiards on a rather ancient table with uncertain balls & rather crooked cues. Sometimes the whole company looks on. It is the Viceroys birthday today & I proposed his health.

I have had 2 letters from you full of good things {3}. I had missed your excellent letter in th Times {4}. You shd have received my letter about Kashmir {5} the day after your second one was written.

We had a thunderstorm on Friday afternoon & evening all over the ranges & ranges of hills that ring this place. It was really very wonderful & brought down the air temperature to a moderately wam English summer day.

All my love to my own darling & if 12th May hasnt actually passed when you get this my special love for tht.

Just Your own
Little Boy

I am very well & sleeping well.

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The address printed on the writing-paper is ‘Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi’, but the letter was clearly written at Simla. There are a number of characteristically abbreviated words, including ‘tht’ for ‘that’.

{1} 2nd.

{2} Archibald, later the 2nd Earl.

{3} These letters have not survived.

{4} The reference is to a letter published in The Times on 25 April (p. 5), appealing for donations to provide personnel to assist in famine relief in India. The letter was subscribed by Lady Pethick-Lawrence, Elizabeth M. Cadbury, T. Edmund Harvey, Lord Lindsay of Birker, and Carl Heath, and contributions were to be sent to the Friends Service Council.

{5} PETH 6/162, dated 19–24 April.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Viceregal Lodge, Simla.—The talks may be over by the time she receives this letter, but that will not be the end of the mission. Last night he attended a cocktail party given by service officers on leave. Discusses his usual recreations and the local scenery.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Reflects on the colourfulness of Indian life. The mission are awaiting the results of their statement, and he has made his broadcast and addressed the press.—(Later.) Jinnah threatens not to answer for three or four weeks, but others have made encouraging signs.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
May 18. 46

My own very dear Beloved.

I have had to say to myself tht it is no good letting my heart or my head be obsessed with the idea tht I want to be home for 26th May. I came out here to do a certain job & I have just got to stay till it’s finished; & that’s that. As soon as it is finished I shall come home as fast as I can, you may be sure, to be with my old love again, & the day I come back & see you whatever it be according to the calendar will be our 26th May—our 45th anniversary!

I am so delighted to hear in your letters of how full your days have been with pleasurable activity. It is music in my ears; for I do so love to know tht you are enjoying yourself.

As for me my life here is full of colour & experience. Colour on the physical plane. The powerful sun, the flaming trees, the flashing birds, the darting chipmunks & lizards. The trees are red (Gold Mahar), gold (Cassia Sistilla) & apple-blossom tinted (Cassia Nodosa). Colourful personalities Gandhi, Nehru, Jinnah, Wavell[,] to say nothing of people like Meliscent Shepherd, Mrs Naidu, Agatha Harrison & our own delegations & the secretaries.

So far in all the “changing vicissitudes of this mortal life” I have been upheld to keep my balance & my health. I eat well, digest well, sleep well & remain unfretted, remembering as Maud {1} said in Kashmir tht it is nt I that am doing it but He.

So my beloved I am patient & I am sure you will be also to await the day of our recession when it comes in His good will. I do not think it will be so very long before the work is finished here but it is still quite impossible to say.

Our D-day has come & gone, & we are awaiting its result. Our message {2} has not so far evoked any violent antagonism. I have made my broadcast {3}[,] addressed my press conference, met individual editors & so far it has been sunny weather. All this may be dashed at any minute but let us at any rate bask in the sunshine while it lasts!

Evening. As I anticipated, some clouds have darkened the sun & Jinnah threatens not to give us an answer for 3 or 4 weeks! {4} I really don’t know what to make of it. But there are still many encouraging signs. Brailsford, Sapru & many others have sent us delightfully enthusiastic congratulations. At the moment it looks as if Congress will come in. I see Lord Samuel spoke some very kind words about me in the H of Lords on Thursday May 16. I hope you got a copy.

And so my darling, my true heart, my beloved, my dear Wife I send you my love & blessing for May 26.

Your very own loving Boy.

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There are a number of characteristically abbreviated words, including ‘tht’ for ‘that’.

{1} Maud Coote.

{2} The statement by the Cabinet Delegation and the Viceroy, published on the 16th. See Transfer of Power, vol. vii, No. 303.

{3} Transfer of Power, vol., vii, No. 303.

{4} See Transfer of Power, vol., vii, No. 322. The word ‘weeks’ is underlined three times.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Will think of her on the 26th. Was delighted to hear of her activities (see 8/69). He expects to have to wait a fortnight while Jinnah consults his people. Describes his daily routine.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
May 23. 46.

My own very Beloved.

This letter will arrive long after May 26 1946 has come & gone but I shall be thinking of my darling & wafting her messages of love. I was so delighted to hear of your lovely day with Chris on May 12 & with Dorothy on May 13. I am glad tht you had a gooseberry tart & I am nt at all jealous because we have our mangoes our bananas & our lichees. I hope I shall be back before the last of the asparagus is finished but even if it is what will it matter if I am with my darling again.

It looks at the moment as if I should have to sit here for the next fortnight waiting for Jinnah to consult his folk {2} (see a cartoon I have sent to Esther). It is a bit outrageous but these people can’t be hurried & if only it works out all right in the end what is a mere fortnight in the life of a nation?

We have been blessed with comparatively cool weather; & a morning walk between 7 & 7.30 & again a breakfast on fruit out of doors are a very pleasant way of beginning the day. Then again a swim in the pool between 6.30 & 7 PM & a walk home afterwards form a nice conclusion.

I could go out to dinner & functions nearly every day but xcept for Auckinleck’s & a tête-a-tête will the Viceroy I have thought it better to decline them all. Often I have work to do in the evening. Blessed one my heart is yours & I love you ever so much. I am very well.

Just your very very own
Laddie Boy

You will I think like to see the enclosed dear letters from the girls. Put them away in the envelope in which you are keeping mine.

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There are a number of characteristically abbreviated words, including ‘tht’ for ‘that’.

{1} i.e. his Working Committee and the Council of the All-India Muslim League.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Sends a loving greeting for the 26th. Reports briefly on the mission and the political situation. He has ordered an aeroplane for 10 June, but may not be able to leave then.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
May 26. 46

Oh My Dear.

May 26 Sunday. Our May 26. I love you. You are my very darling. You are I am sure thinking of me as I am of you.

Our political barometer continues to go up & down. At the present moment after a severe depression it has appreciably risen.

Cripps is in hospital but is improving & hopes to be out in a few days & back at work a few days later. Alexander has gone off to the South on an Admiralty mission {1}. Jinnah is still at Simla & his Muslim League doesnt meet till June 3. The Congress have adjourned & departed.

So I & the Viceroy are left alone. I think there will be plenty to do & time to get some rest. I played Alexander at billiards last night[,] gave him 100 in 250 & beat him by 24.

I have told them to have an aeroplane standing by by June 10 but I am afraid tht† doesnt mean I shall get off by then. Still the time is coming when I shall have to say to the parties not “tht my patience is exhausted” but “time Gentlemen please”. It may be the only way to get them to decide anything. See the amusing extract from a pro-Congres† paper. And perhaps I shall add “We are going now forward with summoning the Constituent Assembly” & see what happens.

Darling once more
All my love
Boy

Please go on writing to me until I definitely start for home.

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{1} He had gone to Ceylon to inspect the fleet. See Transfer of Power, vol. vii, no. 386.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Is looking forward to going home. Cripps is recovering gradually, and Isobel is coming out to take him home by ship. Refers to the delay in negotiations. He took some colleagues for a drive on Sunday.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
May 28. 46.

My beloved.

I have had 2 letters from you today {1} & 3 from Esther & as I have had a fair amount of leisure I have been able thoroughly to enjoy them. I am so glad tht you feel just as I do about my coming home. The job comes first, second, third & all the time. But when it is done—so far as it can be done—all my mind & heart will be in coming home & seeing you again.

I am sorry to be missing an English spring, but I am delighted to know tht you are enjoying it to the full. After all I enjoy all the seasons in their turn & perhaps I shall be back before all the wild roses in the path are over & I did see some in Simla. All the flowers are gone here, but the trees are still in blossom, & the Bougainvillea seems to last on indefinitely.

Cripps is back with us—better but with a long way to go yet. Isobel is coming out to take him home on shipboard. We have booked passage for them on June 16 from Bombay and hope tht will see the job done.

These people here keep on keeping us waiting in turn & then are inclined to grumble at us for the delay. I suppose we must remember tht we have been keeping them waiting in a sense for the last 50 years! I think on the whole we make progress though sometimes there is a great slip backwards which seems to retrace the forward steps of many days. Through it all I do not forget tht we can only do our best with the parts tht are given to us, it is the Great Dramatist who decided whether the play is to have a happy ending.

I took Turnbull & 2 others out for a short drive on Sunday afternoon starting at 4.30. We got out 3 times to see sights & though it was terribly hot it made a pleasant break in the daily routine specially for Turnbull who works incessantly.

I have a sort of idea it is May’s birthday some time about now. If so give her my special love.

Darling I am,
Your very own
Boy.

Give my love to Madeleine & congratulate her from me on her success. Dont let her overdo you.

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The abbreviation ‘tht’ for ‘that’ occurs a few times.

{1} PETH 8/70 and 8/71?

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—(30th.) Is conscious of his need for perseverance and patience. Affairs may reach a climax during the weekend of 8–11 June.—(31st.) Has had a delightful talk with Sudhir Ghosh.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
May 30–31

My dear.

Your spiritual support means a great deal to me in these days when I have to call on all my spiritual reserves in order “neither to fail nor falter nor repent” {1}. I find it is not enough to have patience, I have also to have ungrudging goodwill to those who try my patience & at the back of all to retain tht reliance on the wise purpose of the Designer of all things. And so I pray tht courage, endurance & wisdom may continue to be vouchsafed to me, & tht all my works may be “begun continued & ended in Him” {2}.
I miss the counsel of Stafford Cripps terribly but he is now out of hospital & in a day or two I may be able to trouble him with some of the conundrums which confront me morning noon & night. For though I have faith in the Divine purpose & cling to it I never lose sight of the adage “God helps those who help themselves”.

It looks as if we might reach a climax in our affairs over the week-end June 8–11 but it may well be tht it is postponed. We have to get agreement on lots of things & a failure to get it on any once of them may mean a break down & a break up with consequences which humanly speaking are pretty serious. The hope is tht common sense may assert itself at alst, & I have by no means abandoned it.

The weather is rather trying, {3} with maxima between 100º & 108º & minima between 80º & 85º. Fortunately we have plenty of fruit & vegetables. I continue to sleep nearly the whole night through.

Albert Alexander is due back from his jaunt to Ceylon, tomorrow.

Friday. After writing the above I had a swim & went home. After a talk with Stafford who is much better Sudhir Ghosh came to see [me]—a young man of 29 who acts as “Mercury” to Gandhi. This time he did not bring me any message from G as he has himself been in hospital & Gandhi is away. But we had a delightful talk. I have seen him many times before & am very fond of him. I hope he will be one of India’s leading statesmen in years to come. He gave me great cheer & hope, and this morning I am feeling in very good spirits.

Ever your own loving Boy.

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The abbreviation ‘tht’ for ‘that’ occurs a few times.

{1} A slight misquotation from Shelley’s Prometheus Unbound, Act IV. The original line has ‘change’ in place of ‘fail’.

{2} The words ‘begun, continued, and ended in thee’ occur in the prayer beginning ‘Go before us, O Lord, in all our doings’ in the Book of Common Prayer, which is one of the prayers said at the beginning of each day in the House of Commons.

{3} Comma substituted for a full stop.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—The crisis of the mission is expected in about six days. Discusses possible dates for their return, with reference to Lady Pethick-Lawrence’s holiday. Denies the rumour that he intends to retire.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 4 46

My dear.

I wrote you a long letter yesterday mainly about philosophy so here is another less high-fallutin!

Our climacteric (crisis) is expected in about 6 days. We may get full agreement. We may get rejection by both parties. We may get any one of various gradations between the two.

In either of the first two cases the Cabinet Mission propose to start for home almost at once probably on or about Saty June 15—arriving say on Tuesday June 18. In the event of indecisiveness we may be several days later but hope to get off not later than June 19 arriving 22nd. But this hope may be disappointed, & if so we have just go to do what is necessary.

If I can get home 18th or at latest 22nd, tht should fit in with your trip to I o W for I expect I shall have to be in London on 24th & have a great deal to do tht week (even if I am able to take a few days holiday later).

If I arrive on June 24 no doubt you will be postponing going to I o W for a day or two. If I am not due for several days after June 24 you had better go to I o W on 24th. Of course I could come to I o W to join you. But if you decide to meet me (which if you yourself wish it would be a joy to me) you could come up for 2 days from I o W & go back. Finally if my arrival is not until July you could carry on until then in I o W.

I expect to arrive by sea-plane at Poole harbour (beyond Bournemouth).
It is still all speculation about our chances of success.

They have been printing stories here of my intention to retire {1}, but I have said nothing whatever to justify this; I think it originates with “The News of the World” London.

We are still to be able to use the swimming bath. This is a reprieve as it is one of our few recreations, & the temperature yesterday was 109.

I keep very well & send you my dear love. I think you wanted all the enclosures back. I have written to Moira Gibson (McDermott) {2} re birth of daughter.

All my love
Boy.

Stafford Cripps thanks you for your good wishes & reciprocates them.

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The abbreviation ‘tht’ for ‘that’ occurs twice.

{1} Underlined three times.

{2} Spelling uncertain.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—It is very hot. He has allowed the probable date of their departure to leak out in order to help the parties take definite decisions. A possible date for election to the constituent assembly is being canvassed in some provinces.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 6. 46

My dear.

It is certainly very hot. 112º maximum in the day is bad enough but 93º minimum in the night is worse, in spite of air conditioning & fan. Last night, almost for the first time, I was a little rest-less & about 4 o’c I went into my bathroom & got into a bath of wht does duty for cold water (a few degrees below blood heat) & lay down in it. I dozed off & dreamt tht you & I were driving down from Mascot to Dorking Station in a horse-drawn fly of Bucklands. We agreed tht at our age (our present age) there was something to be said for this placid method of progression. This pleasant little dream so soothed me tht when I got back into bed I slept peacefully till I was called for at 6.30.

I have no fresh news to give you about our plans. I have purposely allowed our intention of leaving about June 15 to leak out as I think it may help the parties to take definite decisions. A possible date for election to the Constituent Assembly is being canvassed in some of the provinces, & no objected has been xpressed. By the time you receive this letter which can hardly be before Tuesday 11th, you may be able to glean from the papers the likely course of events. As soon as anything specific has been decided no doubt the India Office will learn it & will communicate with Esther.

Apart from being homesick I confess to being a little weary but I can certainly stick it another 10 days or fortnight or even a little longer if really necessary. But my feeling is tht there is no real advantage to be gained by being willing to prolong our stay beyond a certain point & I still hope to be able to get off on 15th, & I am making all my preliminary preparations on this assumption.

My dear I love you so & I long to be with you again.

Your own loving
Boy.

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This letter includes the abbreviated forms ‘tht’ for ‘that’, ‘wht’ for ‘what’, and ‘xpressed’ for ‘expressed’.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—The weather is cooler. The Muslim League have accepted the plan for constitution-making, and Congress may do so, but there may be a dispute about the interim Government. Discusses their date of departure and related arrangements.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Decisions are expected soon. Hopes she has enjoyed Madeleine Doty’s visit.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 11. 46.

Oh My dear.

We struggle on. We are at the last main fence but whether we get over it or fall at it I cant say. It is touch & go. Other difficulties are not all swept away but if we surmount this one they ought not to defeat us.

I expect decisions fairly soon. It is even possible though unlikely tht I might still start home on 15th. It is more likely tht I may be able to get off round about 18th. But as you & I have agreed the work comes first.

I had my ears syringed yesterday. It did me a lot of good in many ways. Incidentally I can hear much better. I was beginning to wonder whether I was becoming a little deaf.

If Madeleine is still with you when you get this give her my love & every good wish for her wonderful enterprise {1}. I hope you have enjoyed her visit & her vivid personality & tht you are not tired.

If I have to stay much longer the monsoon will burst before I leave.

I love you so very much & I do so long to be with you.

Your own loving
Boy.

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The abbreviation ‘tht’ for ‘that’ occurs three times.

{1} Madeleine Doty instituted this year a Geneva Junior Year Abroad programme at Smith College, a private college for women in Massachusetts.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—The situation is critical. Discusses the attitudes of the various parties. Is dining with a Dutch collector of Indian folk-songs (Arnold Bake).

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 12 (evening). 1946.

Oh my darling.

I will write you just as I would talk to you if you were sitting close by me in the room. The situation is very critical. And this afternoon it looked for a while as if a decision would almost certainly be reached in some 36 hours & could scarcely be other than a rejection. For a moment I had a sensation of relief. As one who has kept for a long while a weary vigil at the bedside of a beloved sick relative & there are signs that the end is approaching. And then came the reaction as I thought of the terrible time ahead if the calamity in fact materialised. And so I stifled back my desire for personal escape & thanked God tht while there was life there was still hope. And it may be - - - but can it - - & will it - -? Can we in very truth claw back victory out of the mouths of the hounds of defeat? It may mean abandoning my hope of getting back before the end of June. It may mean failing in the end after it all. But as in the poem John X Merriman gave us.

“Great is the facile conqueror
But he who unhorsed
And covered oer with blood & sweat
Fights on - - is greater yet” {1}

[I think there are some words missing.] {2}

Everyone takes the situation differently. Alexander is frankly angry but will I think play the game by his colleagues even at great personal inconvenience. Cripps refuses to be discouraged. He has postponed his passage home. The Viceroy is the soldier fighting gallantly a rearguard action. Gandhi in his own peculiar way is at the moment fighting three quarters on our side. Several others desperately want a peaceful settlement, and with them are many of the general public. But there are many reckless men & women who eagerly hope for a break down & a return to revolutionary activities. And there are many who blame every one but themselves & reserve their choicest epithets of abuse for the Mission.

My only really cool hours are when I am in the Viceroys specially air-cooled study & when I am in the swimming pool or my private bath. I get a short walk at 7 AM & another at 7 PM & occasionally I play billiards. Otherwise I just work & negotiate & discuss & read the papers & days a week. But I pray tht I do so to the glory of God.

I have had many dear letters from you but I do not think there has been anything especial tht required an answer. It is an intense satisfaction to me tht you keep well.

Jan 13 {2} Miss Shepherd has gone south to the marriage of her sister. Before she left she told me of a Dutch man & his wife who have spent years collecting Indian folk songs {4}. They are coming to see me after dinner to night. We had quite a heavy shower of rain last night but the real monsoon is not expected for another ten days or so.

My dear love to you, blessed & beloved

Your own Boy

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The abbreviation ‘tht’ for ‘that’ occurs a few times.

{1} The reference is to the last stanza of William Watson’s poem ‘In Laleham Churchyard (August 18, 1890)’, which runs as follows:

‘Great is the facile conqueror;
Yet haply he, who wounded sore,
Breathless, unhorsed, all covered o’er
With blood and sweat,
Sinks foiled, but fighting evermore,—
Is greater yet.’

{2} The square brackets are original.

{3} The date is in the margin.

{4} Arnold and Corrie Bake.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Urges her not to postpone her holiday. Gives an account of his meeting with the folk-song collector.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 14. 46

My dear

I have just had a letter from you dated June 11 {1} in which you speak of possibly putting off your trip to Isle of Wight so as not to miss my homecoming. I hope you will not do this because it is still quite uncertain as to when I shall be able to get away. And you really need not be worried if when it comes to it you have to keep your room in I o W waiting for a day or two. I think you & I are entitled to a little personal life (even if we are keeping others out of a room for a day or two) after all that we have gone through.

As far as I can see the earliest likely date for me to get away is the middle of next week & I may be here for another fortnight. You ought to know for certain about a week before I am actually due to arrive. Our political barometer here continues to go up & down.

I had a most interesting evening last night. A Dutchman who has been collecting Indian folk songs came & sang a great many to me. Mrs Naidu was there. The songs were weird but fascinating. He ended up with our English one “Bold Fisherman”.

All my love
Boy.

I kiss you dear Sweetheart! I am very well.

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{1} PETH 8/80.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Discusses her arrangements in connection with his return home. ‘A stupid little mistake of ours is causing us endless trouble and may even wreck the whole scheme.’

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 15. 46.

My dear.

I have just had two delightful & interesting letters from you written on June 7 & 12 {1}. Is it nt wonderful how quickly they come?

Of course I shall look forward intensely to your meeting me on arrival in London. When tht will be I still do nt at all know.

When I got your letter yesterday & wrote off to you in a hurry I had got the impression you meant to put off your trip to I W without waiting to learn my dates. But I gather from yours of 12th tht you have now got my explanatory letter & use your judgment with regard to I W along the lines I suggested. Of course I am quite confident you will make a wise decision & am only sorry my plans may make a change in yours necessary.

At the moment it seems scarcely likely tht I shall be home much if at all before the end of June, but I live in hope.

A stupid little mistake of ours in causing us endless trouble & may even wreck the whole scheme. You know how particularly annoying such things are. But even tht hasn’t got me down, & really when you come to think of it it is really rather wonderful tht we havent made more mis-takes, isn’t it?

The enclosed cartoon will amuse you. Show it to others. {2}

My dear I love you so very much.

Boy.

I am hoping to play billiards tonight with Alexander.

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This letter includes the abbreviated forms ‘tht’ for ‘that’ and ‘nt’ for ‘not’.
{1} PETH 8/78 and 8/81.
{2} Followed by ‘I am sending a duplicate to Esther.’, struck through.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—The mission’s statement has been published. Discusses the likely date of his return home. Has discussed his theory of the equilibrium of good and evil with an Indian Christian.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 17. 46

Dearest

With publication of our statement of yesterday the political barometer has risen somewhat but at any moment may go down again.

If, mirabile dictu, we were to get unqualified agreement by both parties we might be wending our way home by the time this letter reaches you & if so you will have been already told by the I B O. If you have not so heard you must take it either tht they are still haggling about it or tht one or other of the parties has turned either the long term or the short term scheme definitely down.

I hope tht in any case we may not have to stay here many days longer. But if necessary we may have to do so.

Poor Albert (Alexander), who incidentally has been slightly indisposed, especially wanted to be back on 23rd but his chance of doing so seems rather slender at the moment if he is to stay here to see the job through.
It is getting damp & sticky & the monsoon may break before we leave. The swimming pool is full of hot water & it is not easy to swim in it.

I went for a walk with Amrit Kaur this morning before breakfast. She talked shop most of the time but said at the end tht she didn’t see why I should not be able to get off home quite soon—which seemed to me encouraging both on public & private grounds.

I was pleased to know tht you seem to have entered on a period of better weather.

I met an Indian yesterday & talked to him about my idea of the equilibrium of good & evil. He said he had not heard it put like tht before. But he said he was a Christian. {1}

Dear love & kisses to my darling
Boy.

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The abbreviation ‘tht’ for ‘that’ occurs a few times.

{1} This paragraph is written in the left-hand margin; the succeeding words are in the right. It is unclear which was written first.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Is unlikely to return to England before she goes to the Isle of Wight. Gandhi is being awkward, but the Congress High Command is resisting his suggestion that the interim scheme should be rejected.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 19. 46.

My dear One.

I am afraid it is quite clear by now tht I shall not be home before you go to I W. I may be able to get off by the middle of next week or it may be the end of the month.

At the moment Gandhi is being very awkward. He suffers from high blood pressure & when he gets an idea he cant let go of it even if it goes contrary to wht he has been urging up to the day before. He prefers theoretical perfection as he sees it & is not really interested in the practical considerations of Governt which involve mutual accommodation. At the moment, almost for the first time in its history the Congress High Command {1} having been converted by him to sup-port our interim scheme are refusing to “right about face” at his suggestion & wreck it. Whether they will stand firm on this remains to be seen. But Nehru has chosen this moment to go to Kashmir about some internal trouble & may get himself into trouble there. In any case he is likely to be away for 2 or 3 days. It is Alice’s croquet party all over again. But we still remain hopeful.

The weather here is both hot & humid. The monsoon is expected soon. It looks like rain to-day.

I do so hope tht you will enjoy I W & that your holiday will not be spoilt by my non-arrival. You may be sure I will come as soon as even I can. Give my dear love to Tom. And for yourself old darling arms round tight.

Your very own
Boy.

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This letter includes the abbreviated forms ‘tht’ for ‘that’ and ‘wht’ for ‘what’.

{1} ‘The term “High Command” refers to the members of the Working Committee, the Con-gress president, and the general secretaries of the Congress appointed by the president.’ Marcus F. Franda, ‘The Organizational Development of India’s Congress Party’, Pacific Affairs, xxxv (1962). 249 n.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—The political barometer is low, but, whatever happens, he does not believe the mission’s work will have been in vain.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 20. 46

My dear

Whatever happens (& the political barometer is standing pretty low at the moment) these people are not going to get me down. Neither am I going to admit tht the Mission has been a failure or tht our work has been in vain. If these people just wont take the opportunities we hold out to them with both hands they won’t & tht is an end to it. But the goodwill we have shown will live on & bear fruit even if they curse us by bell book & candle when the time comes for us to depart.

Of course while there is life there is hope and it is certainly not all over yet, but I write this letter so tht you may know how I am feeling if the worst comes to the worst, & in case it is demon-strably so when you get this letter.
Whichever way things go it is still quite uncertain when I am likely to start for home but I think it most improbable tht I shall be back before the end of June.

The heat is very oppressive—hot & humid—& the monsoon is expected to break shortly.

I do so hope you will have good weather & a lovely time in I o W. Please give my love to all there & remember me to the Perrimans {1}.

My darling I do love you so much & my heart aches to be with you again.

Ever your own
Boy.

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The abbreviation ‘tht’ for ‘that’ occurs a few times.

{1} Reading uncertain.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Is sorry she has cancelled her visit to the Isle of Wight. The political situation and the date of his return are still uncertain. He spoke to Field Marshall Montgomery while he was at Delhi.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 21. 46

My own dear Heart.

I am distressed to receive a letter from EK today dated June 17 telling me tht you have can-celled your trip to I W, & to realise from yours of 16th tht you are doing so because you are expecting me home in a day or two from now. The fact is tht with these unaccountable people I cant tell in the very least when I shall be leaving for home. It may be at the end of next week, it may be well into July. I nearly sent you a telegram to-day urging you not to cancel but I realised you had taken your decision—no doubt so as not to have the uncertainty hanging over you—& any advice now would only disconcert you. So my darling I accept your decision, I wish I was able to take better advantage of it, but I know you would not wish me to hurry an hour if it involves any danger of making a favourable result less likely.

And indeed I am not very sanguine. But the political barometer here goes so up & down tht I really don’t know from day to day wht the final result will be.

As I have not very much to do while I am waiting for the parties, who are once more like the implements in Alice’s croquet party constantly getting up & going away, I have borrowed a copy of Ludwig’s Life of Bethoven† & have started reading it. It takes one into an entirely different world, & relieves the mind. But the weather is so hot & humid tht I constantly drop off to sleep while reading it.

You have probably seen that Field Marshall Montgomery has been here. I had a long private talk with him the other day. I have of course also met Auchinleck. There was a picture in our paper to day of the 3 Field Marshalls (M, A & Wavell) walking together in the Viceregal grounds.

Cripps took lunch today with us in th sitting room for the first time since his illness.

I am very well. I am delighted to know tht you are. My dear blessed & beloved. In deep longing to see you

Your own
Boy.

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This letter includes the abbreviated forms ‘tht’ for ‘that’, ‘th’ for ‘the’, and ‘wht’ for ‘what’.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Congress will probably reject the plans for an interim Government, though it is doubtful what they will do about the constituent assembly. The date of his departure is likely to be deferred again. Lady Cripps has been recalled to England because her daughter is ill.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 24. 46

My dearly Beloved.

I have your letter of June 19 {1} before me as I write. It is indeed for both of us a trial of pa-tience. These people talk & deliberate with a sense of all eternity in front of them. Their promise of a decision are postponed from day to day & the chance of a satisfactory one ebbs & ebbs. It is now as certain as anything can be in this uncertain land tht Congress will reject the plans for an interim Governt. What they will do about the Constituent Assembly is at the moment of writing still in doubt. But my hopes are not very high. Some time I will tell you much about it. But people start coming to interview us at 7 AM, & the last doesnt leave much before midnight. And nothing whatever comes of it! And the heat is stifling.

In my last letter to EK I told her tht I expected to be leaving here on Thursday or Friday. But delays & delays & delays make this now unlikely. Nevertheless I still hope to get away within a few days from now. But it may be again a case of hope deferred.

Lady Cripps having been called out here to a sick husband is being recalled to a still more sick daughter. So her case is far far worse than ours. I am terribly sorry for her.

I am glad tht Doty continues to go from triumph to triumph. It is good tht life contains these days of exuberant satisfaction.

I kiss you my beloved. I love you & adore you.

Your very own
Boy.

You may care to see the enclosed from Lord Halifax to whom I wrote about his OM. Keep it among my letters to you.

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The abbreviation ‘tht’ for ‘that’ occurs a few times.

{1} PETH 8/85.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Congress has rejected the plan for an interim Government but accepted a long-term plan for constitution-making. They plan to leave on Friday.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 25. 46

My darling.

Congress today turned down the plan for interim Govt but accepted a long-term plan for Constitution Making.

The result though nt as good as at one time seemed possible is a considerable achievement for which I am profoundly thankful.

Our present idea is to start from here on Friday & if tht is adhered to we should be in London on Monday Afternoon July 1. In tht case this will probably be the last letter tht I shall write to you before I start.

If it all works out as I have said, my joy at the prospect of seeing you again is overwhelming.

Kisses & love

From your very own
Boy.

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This letter includes the abbreviated forms ‘tht’ for ‘that’ and ‘nt’ for ‘not’.

Letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—They are now leaving on Saturday. It may be that the failure of the mission will pave the way to future success.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
June 25. 46

My own very dearly Beloved.

You will have learnt tht we are starting on Saturday {1} & are due home on Tuesday evening. So I am chancing this one more letter. Your little boy is longing to be with you. He has nearly reached the limit of human endurance.

I cannot assess how far we have succeeded & how far we have failed. I am afraid that humanly speaking the failure (in spite of first appearances) greatly exceeds the success. But that may prove too pessimistic a forecast.
The great trouble in this unhappy country is suspicion & if anybody does not get all he wants he or his press rush into torrents of abuse & vilification which exceed all limits. And this in turn produces counterblasts of fury. And the still small voice of reason & moderation is unheard in the babble of conflicting clamour.

It may be that in the mercy of God what looks like failure may pave the road to success & tht a nation like an invitual† can rise on “stepping stones of their dead selves to higher things”—I dont think I have got the quotation right.

I have made some charming friends—in particular Ragagopalacharier†, who has written me a most affectionate letter to say good bye.

God bless my beloved.
Your own Boy.

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The abbreviation ‘tht’ for ‘that’ occurs a few times.

{1} 29th.

† Sic.

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