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Letter from Sir Francis Low to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

‘The Times of India’, 4 Albemarle Street, London, W.1.—Responsibility for the partition of India does not lie with the British Government, as implied by Sir Henry Craik at yesterday’s meeting of the East India Association, but with Jinnah.

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Transcript

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

9th Oct. 1953

The Rt. Hon. Lord Pethick-Lawrence,
11, Old Square,
Lincoln’s Inn,
London. W.C.2.

Dear Lord Pethick-Lawrence,

Had Sir Henry Craik not been moving the vote of thanks at yesterday’s meeting I would have liked to comment on one of his remarks. He said that the Partition of India ruined the life-work of people like himself who had been connected with the Punjab, of which he was at one time Governor. He inferred that the British Government were in some way responsible for this, either by agreeing to the Partition of India or by leaving India too soon. But, as I know well, the Partition of the Punjab was due not to the British Government but to Mr. Jinnah. Nobody believed more in the unity of the Punjab than its former Prime Minister, Sir Sikandar Hyat Khan, who I daresay you know. When Sikandar used to come to Bombay to attend meetings of the Council of the Muslim League he used to tell me—with the object of enlisting my willing help—that he would make a determined stand against Jinnah’s “nonsense” of splitting the Punjab. But he never did. Nobody could stand up to Jinnah, and I gather that at each meeting he completely dominated Sikandar and others of like mind and made mincemeat of their arguments. The breaking up of the unity of the Punjab, which made it so great a province, was a great tragedy, but the real author of that tragedy was, as I have said, not the British Government, but Jinnah. And Jinnah was embittered beyond all hope of conciliation by the Congress refusal to form coalition governments in the provinces in 1937 by taking in the provincial cabinets a representative or representatives of the Muslim League. I shall never forget the bitterness with which he said to me after that decision: “This is the finish. Since we cannot obtain justice in India we must form our own state”.

In closing may I congratulate you on the clear way in which you put the British Government’s case.

Yours sincerely,
Francis Low
(Sir Francis Low)

Letter from Sir Frank Brown to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

East India Association, Westminster Chambers, 3 Victoria Street, London, S.W.1.—Accepts Pethick-Lawrence’s offer to address the Association on constitutional de-velopments in India in the post-war period (see 1/242).

Letter from Sir Frank Brown to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

East India Association, Westminster Chambers, 3 Victoria Street, London, S.W.1.—Invites him and Lady Pethick-Lawrence to a party to express best wishes to Sir Frederick and Lady Burrows and Sir Archibald and Lady Nye on their departure for India.

Letter from Constance D. Leslie to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

British Broadcasting Corporation, Broadcasting House, London, W.1.—His request will be considered, but it is unlikely that a Week’s Good Cause appeal could be recommended for the development fund (of the East and West Friendship Council).

(Signed as Secretary, Central Appeals Advisory Committee.)

Letter from Maurice Cole to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

East and West Friendship Council, 101 Gower Street, London, W.C.1.—Expresses sympathy on the Council’s behalf (on the death of Lady Pethick-Lawrence). Agatha Harrison has commended Pethick-Lawrence’s tribute.

Letter from Maurice Cole to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

East and West Friendship Council, ‘as from’ Annandale, Northend Road, London, N.W.11.—Explains what Pethick-Lawrence’s responsibilities would be, should he agree to become the Council’s President.

(Signed as Secretary.)

Extracts from letters from Rajkumari Amrit Kaur to Carl Heath and Agatha Harrison

(To Carl Heath:) Gandhi is distressed by the proposed division of India, but is determined to make the operation as free from bitterness as possible.

(To Agatha Harrison:) Gandhi has not been able to persuade Jinnah to discuss the question of frontiers with the Congress Ministry, in order to avoid a referendum. He may go to Kashmir. ‘Otherwise Bihar and Noakhali hold his heart and mind.’

(Carbon copy of typed extracts.)

Letter from the Earl of Dundee to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Treasury Chambers.—The National Assistance Board advise that it would be difficult to ascertain whether the Pensions (Increase) Bill applies to any civil servants in receipt of national assistance, but Dundee supposes the number must be very small.

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