Item 6 - Letter from Walter Nash to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

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Letter from Walter Nash to Lord Pethick-Lawrence


  • 13 June 1955 (Creation)

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Office of the Leader of the Opposition, House of Representatives, Wellington, New Zealand.—Commends Pethick-Lawrence’s book Fate Has Been Kind, and asks about the present state of the British Labour movement.



Office of the Leader of the Opposition,
House of Representatives,
Wellington, N.Z.
13 June 1955

The Right Hon. Lord Pethick-Lawrence, P.C.,
House of Lords,

Dear Pethick-Lawrence,

May I send this note to say that whilst many years have passed since you wrote the book “Fate Has Been Kind”, two of the readers have been good enough to send to me a copy of the book with instructions that I should specially examine your reference to finance on page 123 {1}, but for myself I have read the whole of the text and enjoyed the historical references, the description of the splendid fight that you and your late wife and the Pankhursts put up to enable womankind to exercise the franchise.

Unfortunately the memory of the public is very short and it is generally dulled with prosperity, else you with your colleagues in Britain would still be in the Government. Despite the set-back of the recent election {2}, I am hoping that the work of the Labour movement will be continued by some of our younger people with the same fervour and determination as characterized yourself and others in the earlier years. Personally, I believe from a material point of view the last half century has shown a greater proportionate progress than any other similar period about which I have been privileged to read in history.

I am anxious to obtain as full a description as I can of the present position in our own movement in Britain and if you could refer me to any source that would enable me to know the position regarding Bevan, Gaitskell, Clem Attlee, Herbert Morrison and any other personalities on whose judgment we could place reliance, I would be happy.

Again, congratulations on the delightful text of your book, and with kind personal regards,

I am,
Yours sincerely
W Nash


{1} The passage in question concerns Pethick-Lawrence’s examination before a Parliamentary Select Committee on Finance in April 1920, when he expressed his support for a capital levy.

{2} The election of 26 May 1955 was won by the Conservative Party.

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This description was created by A. C. Green in 2020.




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