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

Office of the Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi.—Expresses, on the eve of his departure from India, his admiration and gratitude for Pethick-Lawrence’s conduct as leader of the Mission.

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Transcript

Office of Cabinet Delegation, The Viceroy’s House, New Delhi
29. 6. 46

My Dearest Pethick,

I just feel that I could not leave India without expressing to you as the leader of our Mission the intense admiration and gratitude that I feel for all you have done.

It has not always been easy in this intemperate climate to hold together the team but your courtesy, fairness and deep sincerity have overcome any obstacles that there might have been. Our common affection to you has been a binding force for the whole of our team.

In the conduct of our negotiations you have made a wise mixture of caution with enthusiasm for the cause of Indian independence and a determination not to let your patience become exhausted, even though you yourself were feeling physically exhausted.

It has been a tremendous privilege and joy to me to be associated with you in this historic enterprise and I believe that you can be satisfied with the contribution that you have made to World History.

Though it is true that the results are those of the team it is to you that the major share of the credit must justly be given. Your unremitting labours, the high trust in which the Indian leaders held you and your convincing sincerity have created an atmosphere of trust amongst the Indian people different to anything known from the earliest times of British occupation.

The superficial and partisan attempts to discredit your work are not I am convinced reflecting anything but the anger of disappointed politicians.

Our “home life” here in Willingdon Crescent, a most important factor in our work, has been happy and restful because of the knowledge of the “Father of our party”.

We have all learnt to love our leader with unrestrained affection and I regard it as the highest privilege that I should have been allowed to serve under and with you during these last 3½ months.

May God Bless and keep you to see the fulfilment of your labours

Stafford

Telegram from Viscount Wavell to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

New Delhi.—It is reported in the Indian press that Pethick-Lawrence is about to retire, to be replaced by Cripps. He trusts this is not true, as the appointment of Cripps would destroy any hope of securing the co-operation of the Muslim League. If Pethick-Lawrence is indeed retiring, he would prefer that Alexander should succeed him.

Letter from Jawaharlal Nehru to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

External Affairs Department, New Delhi.—Thanks him for his letter. He fully realises the difficulties they face, but hopes they will be overcome. The present atmosphere of suspicion will have to pass as new problems arise and people’s minds are diverted from old issues to living problems.

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Personal

New Delhi
27. 7. 46

My dear Lord Pethick Lawrence,

I am grateful to you for your letter and the good wishes you have sent. I fully realise the difficulties facing us but I have every hope that we shall be able to overcome them. For the present the burden is heavy and the air is full of suspicion of each other. This will have to pass as new problems come up before us and people’s minds are diverted from old and stale issues to these living problems.

With all good wishes,

Yours sincerely
Jawarharlal Nehru

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Letter-head of the External Affairs Department, India.

Letter from Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit to Lady Pethick-Lawrence

C/o John Day Company, 40 East 49th Street, New York 17.—Congratulates her on her husband’s appointment as Secretary of State for India and on his elevation to the peerage. Many Indians hope that a more enlightened policy will now prevail. Intends to visit England on her return from the United States. Has been in hos-pital and is still convalescing.

Circular letter issued by T. S. Kanwar

High Commission of India.—Asks whether his correspondent has found the periodical Kashmir useful.

(Signed for the Public Relations Officer. The return address is Information Service of India, India House, etc.)

Letter from V. K. Krishna Menon to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, 3 East 64th Street, New York.—Agrees with his views regarding the actions of the British Government in the Middle East, and shares his concern for Indo-British relations. Discusses the current situation in Egypt.

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Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations,
3 East 64th Street, New York 21, N.Y.

17 November 1956

My dear Lord Pethwick† Lawrence,

Thank you for your letter. It was kind of you to have written to me. I had no doubt at all about your position or indeed of any responsible sane person in England! I share your apprehensions about Indo-British relations. There is much pressure in India in regard to this but I think and hope we will behave with a sense of maturity and proportion. I have fear, however, that if the U.K. pursues its predatory policy and finds a pretext for waging more war or pursuing expansionism perhaps using the Russian menace as an excuse we shall have serious difficulty.

The situation in regard to Egypt is anything but satisfactory. The reports we have of atrocities and the nature of the campaign waged there are shocking. It is inconceivable to us that in the present age that† British or their Commanders would behave in this way. I understand that Mr Gaitskell has been sent some information from independent sources by eye witnesses. As you probably know, journalists are not allowed into this area and our report, which I do not wish to be quoted, is that some of them have been arrested and detained for short periods. These are European journalists.

However, in regard to British policy, there is appreciation in India that the U.K. is very divided on this matter, and while there was much regret in the initial position of the Labour Party in August, there is understanding now that this is a fanatical approach to a difficult problem by the present Government and leaders. The next phase of this, if it is not renewal of war, would be an attempt to use the present crisis and the fact that the Middle East affairs† is before the United Nations, to attain through the U.N. and the U.S. the control of the Suez Canal under the guise of international organization. This issue of course is part of the general problem of internationalisation of waterways to which we all subscribe.

I am personally very apprehensive for all that goes on and whether it will be in regard to the Middle East or Hungary events can drift to a situation of world war.

On the topic that you have kindly written to me, namely, Indo-British relations, there is at present no danger of precipitate action. But I can envisage a situation where nothing else becomes possible say in the case of Britain being involved in a prolonged war.

Kind regards

Yours ever
Krishna

Lord Pethwick† Lawrence,
11 Old Square,
London, W.C.2. England.

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Marked by a secretary, ‘Let P-L ack: receipt of this letter on his Xmas card to Menon. 22/11/56.’

† Sic.

Letter from Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

India House.—Accepts an invitation to the unveiling of a memorial to Christabel Pankhurst. Agrees to write a letter regarding her feelings and those of many Indian women towards Christabel Pankhurst’s work, but points out that Indian women derived their impetus to progress not from their British sisters but from the freedom struggle under Gandhi.

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 for a radio programme called ‘Music and People’ on the ‘London Calling Asia’ Service.

(A printed form, with details typed in. Signed p.p. Ronald Boswell, Talks Booking Manager.)

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

In the train from Ogden to San Francisco.—Has parted from Alden and met Annie (his sister). Describes his crossing of the Pacific and visits to Yosemite, Salt Lake City, and Yellowstone Park.

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In the train from Ogden to San Francisco
Oct 3. 98

My dear Tante.

We are coming back from the Yellowstone Park, & at last after all this delay I start to write you a letter.

The great meeting took place at Salt Lake City & seemed to me the most natural thing in the world; Annie was brisk & shining & had enjoyed her voyage across with her triple escort, I had parted from Alden only a few hours before at Ogden.

I don’t know how far I shall write an encyclical of all my doings in the States, but in any case as I seem to have got rather behindhand, you will probably like to hear something in advance.

A capital voyage across with a day’s stop at Honolulu brought us to San Francisco where we only remained long enough to get a squint around & then went down to the Yosemite. After a day and a half’s coaching we arrived smothered in dust, & spent our time in the valley climbing up to different points of observation. The valley is tremendous with its great slabs of rock, & must look even finer when there is water flowing over the different falls. From Yosemite to Wawona & the giant trees, then back to San Francisco & away to meet Annie at Salt Lake.

There we viewed the Mormon tabernacle & were shown the various points of interest, bathed in the sulphur springs, & floated in the dense waters of the lake. The city is splendidly laid out with streets 150 feet broad & shady avenue trees; & you can ride your wheel on the sidewalk whenever the road is bad!

The week we have had in the Yellowstone has been very jolly; If Japan is pretty, & Yosemite is grand the Yellowstone park is handsome & the geysers are captivating—the memory of Old Faithful is quite that of a departed friend. Perhaps 70 miles in a coach in driving snow is not the happiest method of spending a day; still we did get to Monida, the railway station, whence we returned to Ogden & now I am on my way to the west coast once more.

To the 5 hours which the train started late it has added 2½ more, owing to the buffet car becoming somewhat damaged; it has been quite an excitement watching the broken part being repaired; the loss of time will only mean that we spend to-night in the train instead of at the Palace Hotel.

Many thanks for all the letters received at San Francisco; I sent Sir E.L a scrawl from Yosemite, & Dora a letter from the train, & now this tardy recognition of your own. Somehow with a biweekly mail one does not make it so imperative to get a letter off! I expect Annie & I shall look up the Cohens shortly after our arrival, & then after a few days in S.F go down to Del Monte & Los Angeles & then slowly work our way across[.] We have not quite made [up] our minds about staing the States over Xmas but of course if we do, we shall gladly accept Dr Collyer’s invitation; in any case we will send him a line in a few days’ time.

c/o T Cook & Son. New York will probably be the best address for letters for either of us all the time we are over here.

With love to all

Your affectionate Neffe
Fredk W Lawrence

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Edwin Lawrence

Calcutta.—Congratulates him on his baronetcy. Describes his stay at Muzaffarpur, and refers to his plans to observe the eclipse.

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Address c/o Thos Cook & Son
Bombay

Calcutta
Jany 5 98

My dear Uncle.

Hurrah! Just received your telegram & sent off mine. Bravo! Delightful news! I am ashamed to say I had not seen anything of it until I found your wire awaiting me here. I won’t try & put into words the sentiment all must feel, how well it is merited.

In your telegram as it reached me were the words “wire health” so in my reply I have said “excellent health”. I hope this doesn’t mean Harry has got one of his depressed fits on.

In point of fact I am particularly well & the climate at this time of year is delightful, just like an English September at its best, only the sun is rather hotter in the middle of the day.

Very many thanks for all your greetings for Xmas birthday and the New Year; I expect I shall get your special Xmas card in a few days; letters take some time because they go across to Madras first & then come nearly back again & up here, you will see from the heading of this letter that it will be better for them to be forwarded on direct from Bombay when they arrive.

I have written Dora a letter in answer to hers {1}, you will see from that that I have been spending 10 days with W. S. Adie at Mozuffapore which is about 200 miles from here, and to get there one has to cross the Ganges in a steamer. Mozuffapore is quite a large station (some 50 to a hundred Europeans) and I played lawn tennis, racquets & billiards & watched Adie playing polo nearly every day. Then on Xmas day we went to dine with the Collector (head magistrate) and on the Monday following we had a jolly little dance there. Altogether I got to know nearly all the people there & I shall probably go up again 23rd–28th inst when the special Mozuffapore week is on. The station is the centre of indigo planting, & I went over & spent 2 nights with an old Cambridge man who runs a factory. There is nothing going on now, as the indigo is not sown till March, but I saw over the factory, & looked at the fields—all as smooth as a billiard table—& learnt something about the curious sort of life the planter leads. The coolie who works in the fields gets something less than a penny a day.

Everyone here has a servant who looks after things; I have just got one at Cooks, and I have gone with him through all my clothes (I have left my big trunk behind with Campbell); he speaks English which is a blessing & I hope he will prove fairly honest. They are very serviceable when one is travelling, but if one lived very long in this country I am afraid they would make one lazy, as they take off one’s boots for one etc, they also wait at table wherever one is.

Tante asks from where I am going to see the eclipse; to tell the truth I don’t really know, possibly it will be from Buxar where the Bengal Astronomers are going, possibly a little further South where I think Christie & Dr Common are.

I have presented my letters of introduction to the Viceroy & his secretary, & I am going to the Ball to-morrow night, & to an Evening Party next week, & I shall probably see most of Calcutta there.

One more hurrah for yourself, love to Tante (I thought I would wait to write to her till later) & renewed kisses to Dora,

Your affectionate Nephew
Fredk W Lawrence

I have endorsed & returned chq to Sharpe

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{1} This has not survived.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

Oriental Hotel, Kobe, Japan.—Describes his arrival and activities in Japan, and encloses part of his sixth ‘encyclical’.

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Transcript

Oriental Hotel | Kobe
Aug 3. 98

My dear Ellen

Here you see us actually arrived in Japan, having had a day at Nagasaki & a day here; so far we have found the Japanese a pleasing little people.

I forget whether I told you I had arranged to have a guide here, as in this way we should be able to do more in the time at our disposal; F. Takagaki met us this morning on the Belgic & seems a very pleasant man.

I enclose you part of my 6th encyclical; {1} the first 4 pages have gone to Lady D.L. & the rest of the encyc shall follow in due course; the part you have not begins with an account of the voyage up from Brisbane & takes you as far as Townsville where we are supposed to be on page 205.

We expect to get to Yokohama via Kiyoto in about 10 days, & then we go off to Tokio.

There will probably be no mail from here for another 2 or 3 weeks.

Glad to hear of plans as to 26 & look forward to meeting Annie.

With love to all

Your affte Brother
Fredk W Lawrence.

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{1} PETH 5/30f, pp. 205–20.

Letter from F. W. Lawrence to Ellen Lawrence

In the train from San Francisco to Salt Lake City.—Sends part of an ‘encyclical’. Refers to letters received from home and to his visit to Yosemite, and asks about Ellen’s own travels.

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In the train | Frisco to Salt Lake
Sept 20 98

My dear Lel

Knowing your interest in Japan I meant to have sent to you the first portion of my encyclical on the subject, but as I forgot to do so, I send you this part along now, {1} & hope you may get some amusement from it; I don’t anticipate there will be a great deal to follow.

Perhaps when you see this letter you may expect to hear that I have met Annie, but if you do “I guess” you will be disappointed, for she does not get to Salt Lake till after the mail has gone out.

I found a great many letters awaiting me when I got to Frisco[,] among them those from Mama & Carry from Pontresina, also one from Harry & a little later I received yours; many thanks for all of them which I enjoyed reading very much, if Harry is with you please tell him, I will write to him soon.

Our passage across the Pacific ended very pleasantly, as it had been most of the way across; & Percy & I soon made up our minds to go down to the Yosemite almost at once. So after spending 3 days in San Francisco & had a delightful though somewhat dusty time. {2}

The Yosemite valley is grand where Japan is pretty & the great trees are stupendous.

I gather from your letter that by this time you will be just about returning to England; I hope your jolly time continued to the end.

The accident to the Hopkinsons was very sad, I trust it did not make any of your party nervous about your smaller excursions

With love to all

Your affte Bro
Fredk W Lawrence

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{1} Part of PETH 5/30f.

{2} The grammar of this sentence is a little confused.

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