Item 70 - Draft of a letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Clement Attlee

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PETH/5/70

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Draft of a letter from Lord Pethick-Lawrence to Clement Attlee

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  • 6 Sept. 1946 (Creation)

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India Office.—Denies having said anything to justify the rumour mentioned in the attached telegram (see 5/71). As the Cabinet Mission was not as successful as they had hoped, he has decided to continue as Secretary of State.

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India Office, Whitehall
Sept 6. 46.

My dear Clem,

The enclosed telegram has come this morning from the Viceroy and I think it my duty to send it across to you at once.

I have never said anything to anybody even in private which would justify the rumours to which the Viceroy refers.

You will appreciate tht the burden I hav to bear is a very heavy one & had the Mission to India been as successful as at one time it appeared to be and is still thought by many people to have been I might have approached you with a view to your relieving me of it at a time most convenient to yourself & HMG. As things have turned out less favourably & we are faced with exceedingly grave issues it seems to me tht it would be running away for me to propose to leave the ship at this critical juncture & tht so long as I can stand up to the strain & you wish me to stay I ought to continue at my post.

If however you yourself should take a different view you will find no unwillingness on my part to being replaced by a younger man. If that were so I feel there is great force in what the Viceroy says in the other part of his telegram.

I am keeping the appointment you have made for me at 12 o’c today but I wished you to read this letter first

Yours sincerely
Pethick

—————

The shortened words, e.g. ‘tht’ and ‘hav’, are in the MS.

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