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Letter from Miss E. Tritton to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

British-Asian and Overseas Socialist Fellowship, Transport House, Smith Square, London, S.W.1.—Asks him to address a meeting of the Fellowship, at which Jayaprakesh Narayan will be the chief speaker.

(Signed for the International Department, Labour Party.)

Letter from Ian S. Campbell to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

British-Asian and Overseas Socialist Fellowship, Transport House, Smith Square, London, S.W.1.—Thanks him for addressing a meeting of the Fellowship at short notice. The meeting was a success, despite the absence of Jayaprakesh Narayan.

(Signed as Secretary.)

Letter from S. C. Kakati to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Congress House, Gauhati.—Invites him to contribute an article to a souvenir to be published in connection with the next session of the Indian National Congress.

(Letter-head of the Reception Committee, Indian National Congress, Sixty-third Session (Assam) 1958, Gauhati. Signed as Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee, Reception Committee.)

Letter from Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

India House.—The flu prevented her from conveying personally to the Pethick-Lawrences her brother (Nehru)’s invitation to India, but he will probably mention the matter himself when he comes to London in a few days’ time. Suggests arrangements for a meeting at India House.

Letter from Richard Pankhurst to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

P.O. Box 1896, Addis Ababa.—His mother’s death came without warning, while her mind was still full of plans. He will publish the issues of the Ethiopia Observer already in hand, and then close it. Invites Pethick-Lawrence to contribute to a memorial issue. His mother will be buried with the victims of the Graziani massacre.

Letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

‘The Labour Record and Review’, 19 St Bride Street, London, E.C.—Was sorry to leave her this morning with so many worries. Has spoken with Roscoe, the lawyer, and is about to see Joseph Edwards of the Reformer’s Year Book. Draws her attention to an article in the Independent Review.

Text of an article by Lord Pethick-Lawrence, entitled ‘The Changing East’

Reviews the changes that have taken place since he attended the Indian National Congress at Gauhati in 1926, and reflects on the current problems facing India.

(Carbon copy of a typed original. The article was written for a Souvenir published in connection with the 63rd Indian National Congress. See 2/102–3.)

—————

Transcript

THE CHANGING EAST.
By Rt Hon Lord Pethick-Lawrence

In 1926 I attended the meeting of the Indian National Congress in Gauhati. I am most interested therefore to learn that it is being held there again this year.

What changes have taken place in the 31 intervening years! Then, Congress was still fighting an uphill battle for independence. Now, India ranks among the great nations of the world. Then the self-governing members of the Commonwealth consisted solely of peoples of European extraction. Now it includes peoples of Asia and Africa.

When I was a boy, India used to be spoken of as part of the “Unchanging East”. No one says that today. Everyone can see that India is changing very fast.

One of the reasons why I have come to India now in my 86th year is to try to find out how India is responding to the claims of the new age. During the few weeks that I have been here I have kept my eyes and ears open and I have learnt a great deal about your problems. I realise how great they are in number and intensity. Here are just a few of them:— Education, language, caste and custom, races, power, employment, population, finance, riches and poverty, social welfare, democratic institutions, international relationships.

I have stayed long enough to realise what a colossal task you have to tackle. But it has been much too short for me to come to any well-balanced conclusion as to the degree of your success. Indeed I doubt whether anyone even with far better knowledge than I is yet in a position to measure your all-round progress. In my view another ten or fifteen years will have to elapse before this can be done.

What I can tell you is that your efforts are being watched with the deepest and most friendly interest by the people of my country and by other members of the Commonwealth.

We want so much that you should succeed magnificently. We want so much that your people should increase their standard of life and their stature. We want to see India playing a noble part in the world.

May this Congress at Gauhati bring nearer these high ends!

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