Item 123 - Letter from Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy to R. C. Trevelyan

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TRER/6/123

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Letter from Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy to R. C. Trevelyan

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  • 28 July 1937 (Creation)

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21, Theatre Road, Calcutta. - Has received the air-mail post card. dated 19 July, which Trevelyan sent to an old address. Had thought that his poems should be printed one per page as it is a small collection, but since Trevelyan writes that continuous printing would save four or five pounds, will leave it up to his judgment and S. M. [Sturge Moore]'s advice. The job he was hoping to get [see 6/121] is to be given to an Englishman; a 'quite uneducated' Durham man, with Methodist training, the special education minister here, has been sent to England to find a candidate. If Trevelyan is surprised that after popular government the English are being employed in greater numbers, it is because each minister wants his regime to be a success and 'in spite of nationalist avowals feels in his heart of hearts that no Indian is really efficient'. Wonders if those who proposed the Act had this 'Machiavellian purpose in view'; it will come as a surprise to those like [Clifford] Allen who really want gradual transfer of administration to Indian hands. So Trevelyan need not hurry with the publishing of the book: any time in autumn will do. Suggests a revision to the first poem in the China Sea series, in case this can be made without expense and inconvenience. Was touched by [A.E.] Coppard's remembering lines he had written twenty-two years ago: he quotes from a poem printed in the "Oxford Anthology 1915" and another, which Suhrawardy had totally forgotten, in the "Palatine Review"; this was an 'ephemeral venture', edited by Aldous Huxley, intended for the poetry group of his time at Oxford. Has found a 'faded copy' and is sending Trevelyan the poem for inclusion if he sees fit. Is not in good health; after four years he has not managed to 'identify [himself] with the country' and remains an 'alien'. His chances of coming to Europe in autumn are remote, as his father does not like leaving 'his house, his servants, his masseurs'.

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