Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

This is a broad, catch-all category of works that fit best here and not elsewhere. If you haven't found it someplace else, you might want to look here.

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jun 23, 2019 1:43 am

Accountants and spies: The secret history of Deloitte’s espionage practice
by Eamon Javers @EAMONJAVERS
CNBC
Published Mon, Dec 19, 2016 10:59 AM EST Updated Tue, Dec 20 2016 8:35 AM EST

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


As 2016 comes to a close, the consulting firm Deloitte is busy hiring employees in the Washington area — listing a total of 392 jobs open in the region with “federal” in the job description.

According to its website, the firm is looking to hire a federal contracts manager, a federal cybersecurity consultant and is even advertising for military officers with top-secret government clearances.

What none of the people applying for those jobs know — and few of the people doing the hiring know, either — is the secret history of Deloitte’s robust federal practice.

It’s a story that goes back a decade, and has never before been told publicly. It involves several veteran CIA officers, an undercover mission and a huge haul of extremely valuable intelligence.
The saga shows just how intense the competition between major accounting firms is, and just how willing they can be to engage in tactics that don’t exactly mesh with their buttoned-down corporate image.

It’s a classic tale of corporate espionage.

Image
Premium: Corporate espionage elevator surveillance camera. Getty Images

Flash back 10 years. At the time, Deloitte was not the major player in federal consulting it is today. “Deloitte had fits and starts in trying to do the federal business,” recalls a former Deloitte partner who asked not to be named. “In ’05 and ’06, Deloitte was doing maybe $300 million a year in revenue and had maybe 1,000 people.” The former partner says the firm had a lofty internal goal of getting its federal business to the billion-dollar level. “They wanted to do an acquisition, but they weren’t sure which one.”

Then, in early 2007, a phone rang inside Deloitte. On the line was a source, passing on some valuable information. BearingPoint, the struggling consulting firm, had just called an emergency meeting. BearingPoint partners from around the world would be coming to a hastily scheduled session at the convention center in Orlando, Florida. The source didn’t know why the meeting was scheduled. It was a complete mystery. But Deloitte’s managers were prepared to go to unusual lengths to unravel it.

Deloitte had an internal team to call on in just such a moment. Although its name changed over time, the group was generally known as the competitive intelligence unit, and it was led by a trim former CIA officer with piercing eyes named Gordon “Gordy” Welch. His number two was John Shumadine, who had served as an economist for the CIA and, like his boss Welch, was an Army veteran. Shumadine, according to his LinkedIn profile, had served as a military intelligence analyst scrutinizing Iraqi Scud missiles and special-forces operations. Welch said he had been in leadership roles in the 82nd Airborne Division and served as an instructor at the Army’s Ranger school. Neither Welch nor Shumadine commented for this article.

No one interviewed for this article claimed that anyone at Deloitte did anything illegal.

Collectors and analysts

The two CIA officers oversaw a team at Deloitte that was divided into two main categories: collectors and analysts. Collectors uncovered information that could be valuable to Deloitte’s senior managers. Analysts poured through that information, combined it with other known facts and developed narratives about what they thought was going on behind the scenes in the offices of Deloitte’s clients and customers.

“Our job was to spy on Ernst & Young, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and some of the consulting competitors,” said a person who worked in the unit. “We were trying to steal their pricing models, how they determined discounts, and especially new product lines or service lines.” The team developed networks of ex-employees as sources and traveled to trade shows to gather information.

The competitive intelligence unit was part of a larger umbrella group called Deloitte Intelligence. That group included two related efforts. One was called “market intelligence” and focused on gathering details about companies that could be useful for its customers and could help Deloitte win new business. “Say Wal-Mart is our client and we want to sell more to them,” said a Deloitte veteran. “We would show them what Target was doing that they were not, and show them how we could help.”

The last piece of the team was known as “win/loss.” That group conducted after-action reports on efforts to win major accounts to determine what had gone right — or wrong — with each sales pitch.


As a result, the Deloitte Intelligence team was a mixture of former government spies and accounting industry veterans. People who had jumped out of helicopters worked alongside people who rarely even jumped out of their office chairs. By several accounts, there were tensions inside Deloitte about how far the intelligence team would be allowed to go, with some employees on the team pushing for a more aggressive approach and other forces inside Deloitte preaching restraint.

Despite their exotic backgrounds, the team was much like any other in corporate America: It had go-getters and malcontents, people who were on their way up the corporate ranks and others who were burning out and would soon leave the firm. It included at least three former CIA officers, a former Secret Service officer, a former IRS agent, an employee who wrote spy novels, and one who had a side business selling Kente cloth Polo shirts.

Called into action

Image
Former CIA officer John Kiriakou. Jacquelyn Martin | AP

When the call from the source came in, nearly all of them went into action.

They stood up a full time office at Deloitte’s offices in suburban Virginia, where managers and analysts could coordinate the operation. Deloitte officials also checked in with the firm’s general counsel to sort out what they would be legally permitted to do.

With the analysts in place, it came time to select the collectors — the actual on-the-ground agents who would book hotel rooms near BearingPoint’s meeting at the Orlando convention center and spend several days trying to figure out what was going on.

Two collectors were assigned the job. The first was a woman named Abby Vietor, a Deloitte employee who had earlier worked at a private investigative firm called Diligence LLC.

The second was a man who would later go on to significant fame and controversy: John Kiriakou, a Deloitte employee and former CIA case officer who had served in various capacities for the spy agency in Bahrain, Athens and at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Kiriakou had participated in the capture of the suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan, according to The New York Times. Later in 2007, Kiriakou would give a high-profile interview in which he disclosed that Abu Zubaydah had been water boarded and described the technique as torture. His account sparked controversy because it suggested that the water boarding had been brief and effective although later disclosures revealed the treatment had been much more extensive. In 2013, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison on a charge of passing classified information to the media.


But all that lay in the future. In early 2007, Kiriakou was simply a collector for Deloitte’s corporate intelligence unit
, and he was on his way to Orlando to try to piece together what the BearingPoint partners were up to. Vietor and Kiriakou declined to comment for this article.

You can’t believe what people will say

On the ground, the two Deloitte employees assessed the situation. BearingPoint was clearly in crisis mode, and the firm’s partners appeared in to be disarray. This offered an opportunity for the two collectors from Deloitte: At various points over the coming days, the two Deloitte employees walked in and out of the convention center and stationed themselves at a bar, picking up scraps of conversation from the distraught BearingPoint partners.

According to a person familiar with the operation, the two agents also spent a considerable amount of time in the men’s and women’s bathrooms — hiding out to avoid detection, and taking notes on conversations they overheard. “You can’t believe what people will say while they’re in there,” said a person who participated in the operation.

They were in regular communication with the team in Virginia, emailing snippets of gossip and information that they were picking up. At the Deloitte offices, analysts raced to their computers to check details, confirm facts or issue “taskings” to the Deloitte agents in the field to try to pin down specific details. “When the news came through that they had gotten some information, we stopped what we were doing and focused on it,” said a second person who participated in the operation. “This turned out to be a significant feat.”

That’s because the agents on the ground uncovered a valuable piece of intelligence. BearingPoint’s financial situation was dire. And as a result, the partners were considering selling the firm’s federal practice — a business that could be a perfect solution to Deloitte’s own problems in the federal space.

But how much was BearingPoint’s federal practice actually worth? That would depend on key details such as whom the firm’s clients were and how much those clients were paying every year.

Then Deloitte’s agents in the field made a breakthrough: They learned that senior BearingPoint officers were holding a break-out session, and they figured out the location for the high-level meeting. Deloitte’s team decided that any paperwork the BearingPoint managers left behind would be fair game for the agents to pick up — but only after several hours had passed, making it clear that the material had been officially abandoned.

The Deloitte operatives staked out the empty meeting space for hours after the BearingPoint executives left, pacing the halls. At one point, an operative shooed away a cleaning crew that was on its way into the space. Once they decided enough time had passed, they entered the room.

Hitting pay dirt

Inside, they hit pay dirt: The BearingPoint executives, perhaps distracted by the financial calamity facing their firm, had left behind notes and documents that the Deloitte operatives viewed as the key to unlocking the mystery of the value of the federal practice. “They left revenue projections, source intelligence,” said a person who participated in the operation. “It was like the holy grail of the BearingPoint business.”

The second person who participated in the operation said that the ground team also obtained breakdowns of the revenues generated by specific accounts.


The Deloitte collectors scooped up everything they could find, and headed out to a nearby Kinko’s to fax it directly to the analysts in Virginia, who could begin teasing out the full implications.

People involved in the operation say the intelligence gathered in Orlando gave Deloitte a leg up in understanding just how valuable BearingPoint’s federal business could be, despite the financial difficulty facing the overall firm.

A former partner who was not involved in the Orlando operation described the potential acquisition this way: “They had accounts that would have taken years for Deloitte to develop. Relationships at the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security and other institutions. It was a huge opportunity.”

It wasn’t until March 2009 that Deloitte was able to take advantage of that opportunity. That month, Deloitte announced it would buy BearingPoint’s North American public services unit for $350 million in cash as BearingPoint worked through a bankruptcy.

Jonathan Gandal, a spokesman for Deloitte, said the intelligence operation was not the deciding factor in the purchase of the BearingPoint unit. “Deloitte and other potential bidders received open access and comprehensive information from the court in the BearingPoint bankruptcy proceedings,” Gandal told CNBC. “And that was the basis for our decision-making.”

Despite the success of the operation in Orlando, people familiar with Deloitte’s intelligence team say the unit was wound down over the following years, its employees leaving for other firms and other careers. Only a small number are still employed at Deloitte.

One person who participated in the operation said there was a reason why the odd mixture of accountants and CIA veterans worked for as long as it did inside Deloitte: excitement and money.

“Every accountant I met wished he was a CIA guy,” the person said. “And every CIA guy I met wanted to make what an accountant makes.”


At least for awhile, they both got what they wanted.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 28774
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:59 am

Americans for Democratic Action
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/22/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Americans for Democratic Action
Formation January 3, 1947; 72 years ago
Headquarters Washington D.C., U.S.
Membership
65,000 members
President
Art Haywood
Website http://www.adaction.org

Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) is a liberal American political organization advocating progressive policies. ADA works for social and economic justice through lobbying, grassroots organizing, research, and supporting progressive candidates.

History

Formation


The ADA grew out of a predecessor group, the Union for Democratic Action (UDA). The UDA was formed by former members of the Socialist Party of America and Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies as well as labor union leaders, liberal politicians, theologians, and others who were opposed to the pacifism adopted by most left-wing political organizations in the late 1930s and early 1940s.[1][2] It supported a strongly interventionist, internationalist foreign policy and a pro-union, liberal domestic policy. It was strongly anti-communist as well.[2][3] It undertook a major effort to support left-wing Democratic members of Congress in 1946, but this effort was an overwhelming failure.[3][4][5]

James Isaac Loeb (later an ambassador and diplomat in the John F. Kennedy administration), the UDA's executive director, advocated disbanding the UDA and forming a new, more broadly based, mass-membership organization.[6][7] The ADA was formed on January 3, 1947, and the UDA shuttered.[4][7][8][9]

Among ADA's founding members were leading anti-communist liberals from academic, political, and labor circles, including theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Eleanor Roosevelt, labor organizer Walter Reuther, civil rights lawyer Joseph Rauh, and Hubert Humphrey. Its founders hoped to solidify a progressive, pragmatic, noncommunist “vital center” in mainstream politics, embodying Schlesinger's concept formulated in his 1949 book The Vital Center.[10]

Action

On April 3, 1948, ADA declared its decision to support a Democratic Party ticket of General Dwight D. Eisenhower and Supreme Court Judge William O. Douglas over incumbent U.S. President Harry S. Truman. Leveraging Truman's lack of popular support, the ADA succeeded in pushing Truman leftward on issues such as civil rights.[10] It also led a full-scale attack on Progressive Party candidate and former US vice president Henry A. Wallace because of his opposition to the Marshall Plan and support for appeasement of the Soviet Union. The ADA portrayed Wallace and his supporters as dupes of the Communist Party.[10] Adolf A. Berle Jr. and Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr. expressed their belief that Eisenhower would accept the nomination.[11]

After November 2, 1948, ADA supported Truman after his victory.[9]

Though strongly anti-communist, unlike other contemporary liberal groups like the Progressive Citizens of America (PCA), which supported cooperation with the Soviet Union, the ADA was still subject to significant McCarthyist scrutiny. The plight of the ADA during that period prompted Eleanor Roosevelt to accept a position as honorary chair of the organization in 1953, and in doing so, put Senator McCarthy in a position in which he would have had to "call her a communist as well" to continue his inquiries into the activities of the group. Because of her actions, many ADA leaders credited her with "saving" the organization.[12]

In the early 1960s, ADA's influence peaked when a number of its key members (e.g. James Loeb, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.) were picked to join the administration of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.[13] While active in liberal causes ranging from civil rights to Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society reforms, by the mid-1960s the ADA's influence was on the wane.[10] It was badly split over the Vietnam War: initially supporting Johnson's war policy, the ADA had come to oppose the war by early 1968.[10] It endorsed founder Hubert Humphrey's presidential candidacy that year, but with “barely concealed ambivalence”.[10] After Richard Nixon's victory, the ADA was pushed to the political margins,[10] overshadowed by more centrist groups like the Trilateral Commission and Coalition for a Democratic Majority.

Leadership

Founders


Founding, prominent members included:

• Joseph Alsop[14]
• Stewart Alsop[14][15]
• Chester Bowles[16]
• Marquis Childs[15]
• David Dubinsky[15]
• Elmer Davis[15]
• John Kenneth Galbraith[14][17]
• Leon Henderson[16][15]
• Hubert Humphrey[14][16][15]
• James I. Loeb[15]
• Reinhold Niebuhr[14][17][15]
• Joseph P. Lash
• Joseph L. Rauh, Jr.[14]
• Walter Reuther[17][15]
• Eleanor Roosevelt[14][16][17][15]
• Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr.[15]
• Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.[14]
• John H. Sengstacke[14][18][19]
• James Wechsler[15]
• Walter White[15]
• Wilson W. Wyatt[16]

In April 1948 at New York state convention, ADA elected the following new officers: Jonathan Bingham of Scarborough as chairman with vice chairmen Dr. William Lehman of Syracuse, Benjamin Mc:Laurin of New York City, Howard Linsay of New York City, Jack Rubenstein (Textile Workers Union, CIO), and Charles Zimmerman (International Ladies' Garment Workers Union).[11]

Chairs and presidents

Since 1947, ADA's organization leaders include:[17]

• 1947-1948: Wilson Wyatt
• 1948-1949: Leon Henderson
• 1949-1950: Senator Hubert Humphrey
• 1950-1953: Francis Biddle
• 1954-1955: Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. and James E. Doyle (co-chairs)
• 1955-1957: Joseph L. Rauh, Jr.
• 1957-1959: Robert R. Nathan
• 1959-1962: Samuel H. Beer
• 1961-1964: Paul Seabury
• 1962-1965: John P. Roche
• 1965-1967: Rep. Don Edwards
• 1967-1969: John Kenneth Galbraith
• 1970-1971: Joseph Duffey
• 1971-1973: Rep. Allard K. Lowenstein
• 1974-1976: Rep. Donald M. Fraser
• 1976-1978: Senator George McGovern
• 1978-1981: Rep. Patsy T. Mink
• 1981-1984: Rep. Robert F. Drinan, S.J.
• 1984-1986: Rep. Barney Frank
• 1986-1989: Rep. Ted Weiss
• 1989-1991: Rep. Charles B. Rangel
• 1991-1993: Senator Paul D. Wellstone
• 1993-1995: Rep. John Lewis
• 1995-1998: Jack Sheinkman
• 1998-2000: Rep. Jim Jontz
• 2000-2008: Rep. Jim McDermott
• 2008-2010: Richard Parker
• 2010-2016: Rep. Lynn Woolsey
• 2017-2018: State Senator Daylin Leach
• 2018-Present: State Senator Art Haywood

Voting records

ADA ranks legislators, identifies key policy issues, and tracks how members of Congress vote on these issues. The annual ADA Voting Record gives each member a Liberal Quotient (LQ) rating from 0, meaning complete disagreement with ADA policies, to 100, meaning complete agreement with ADA policies. A score of 0 is considered conservative and a score 100 is considered liberal. The LQ is obtained by evaluating an elected official's votes on 20 key foreign and domestic social and economic issues chosen by the ADA's Legislative Committee. Each vote given a score of either 5 or 0 points, depending on whether the individual voted with or against the ADA's position, respectively. Absent voters are also given a score of 0 for the vote.[20]

References

1. Zuckerman, The Wine of Violence: An Anthology on Anti-Semitism, 1947, p. 220; Parmet, The Master of Seventh Avenue: David Dubinsky and the American Labor Movement, 2005, p. 214, ISBN 0-8147-6711-7; Boyle, The UAW and the Heyday of American Liberalism, 1945-1968, 1998, p. 49, ISBN 0-8014-8538-X; Brown, Niebuhr and His Age: Reinhold Niebuhr's Prophetic Role and Legacy, 2002, p. 102, ISBN 1563383756; Ceplair, "The Film Industry's Battle Against Left-Wing Influences, From the Russian Revolution to the Blacklist," Film History, 2008, 400-401; Libros, Hard Core Liberals: A Sociological Analysis of the Philadelphia Americans for Democratic Action, 1975, p. 13, ISBN 0870731483.
2. Brock, Americans for Democratic Action: Its Role in National Politics, 1962, p. 49.
3. Powers, Not Without Honor: The History of American Anticommunism, 1998, p. 200-201, ISBN 0-300-07470-0.
4. Davis, The Civil Rights Movement, 2000, p. 27, ISBN 0-631-22043-7.
5. Halpern, UAW Politics in the Cold War Era, 1988, p. 138-139, ISBN 0887066712.
6. Beinart, The Good Fight: Why Liberals—and Only Liberals—Can Win the War on Terror and Make America Great Again, 2007, p. 4, ISBN 9780522853834.
7. Libros, Hard Core Liberals: A Sociological Analysis of the Philadelphia Americans for Democratic Action, 1975, p. 22, ISBN 0870731483.
8. Hamby, "The Liberals, Truman, and the FDR as Symbol and Myth," The Journal of American History, March 1970; Heale, American Anticommunism: Combating the Enemy Within, 1830-1970, 1990, p. 140, ISBN 0-8018-4050-3
9. "Teachings of Eleanor Roosevelt: Americans for Democratic Action". Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project. Retrieved July 19,2017.
10. Mark L. Kleinman, “Americans for Democratic Action”, in The Oxford Companion to United States History, ed. Paul S. Boyer (Oxford/NY: Oxford UP, 2001), 34.
11. "Democrats Urged to Run Eisenhower". New York Times. April 4, 1948. p. 45. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
12. George Washington University. "Americans for Democratic Action". Retrieved April 29, 2015.
13. "Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)". Encyclopedia Britannica. July 20, 1998. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
14. "Americans for Democratic Action (ADA)". World History. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
15. Schlesinger Jr., Arthur M. (2002). A Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950. Houghton Miffline. p. 457. ISBN 978-0618219254. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
16. Lindley, Ernest (January 6, 1947). "Rejecting The Reds: Regrouping Of Progressives". Washington Post. p. 5. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
17. "ADA History". Americans for Democratic Action. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
18. Von Eschen, Penny M. (1997). Race Against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 1937–1957. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801482922. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
19. Lucks, Daniel S. (March 19, 2014). Selma to Saigon: The Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813145099. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
20. Americans for Democratic Action. "Voting Records". Retrieved April 29, 2015.

External links

• Americans for Democratic Action
• Americans for Democratic Action records, 1932–1999
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 28774
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:12 am

William Dufty
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/22/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image

William Dufty
Born William Francis Dufty
February 2, 1916
near Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
Died June 28, 2002 (aged 86)
Birmingham, Michigan, U.S.
Occupation Writer, musician, activist
Spouse(s) Maely Bartholomew
(m. 19??; div. 19??)
Gloria Swanson
(m. 1976; died 1983)
Children Bevan Dufty

William Francis Dufty (February 2, 1916 – June 28, 2002) was an American writer, musician, and activist.

Dufty was a supporter of trade unionism. "Dufty was an organizer for the United Auto Workers, wrote speeches for former UAW President Walter Reuther, edited Michigan Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) News and handled publicity for Americans for Democratic Action."[1]

Biography

Dufty was born near Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Youth

Dufty produced some autobiographical notes in the first chapter, "It is necessary to be personal", of his book Sugar Blues (1975):

We spent our summers at Crystal Lake until I was twelve or thirteen. By that time I was making $75 a week in the wintertime season – an undreamed of fortune in those days – as a prodigal jazz pianist on the radio...The day my voice began to change was the beginning of the end of my radio career. If my voice didn’t sound childlike any more, there was nothing remarkable about the way I played the piano.[2]:14


College

In the twenties I had been so rich I never carried a cent on me. In the thirties – mooching my way through college holding a job or two on the side – I was so poor I put every cent on my back where it would show…I took to collegiate journalism as a kind of lark. There I discovered that the cigarette companies virtually subsidized the university paper with their advertising.[2]:17


After suffering through two years of college,[3] I finally dropped out. It took daring in those days to dream of facing life without a degree. But I could sniff another war in the offing...I was drafted in 1942…[2]:18

Army

In due course my body was shipped overseas. Bound for Britain, I trotted around the top deck of the blacked out S.S. Mauretania with a carbine on by shoulder and a heavy Army greatcoat soaked with Atlantic spray. Two hours on, two hours off. By the time we docked in Liverpool, I had a lovely case of walking pneumonia.[2]:19

Eventually, I was packed off by train to Glasgow, by ship to Algiers, then by truck to Oran in the Mediterranean. Three weeks in the desert and I was as good as new...After the landings in southern France, I was packed off to join the First French Army: Arabs, Senegalese, Goums, Sihks, Vietnamese, with French officers and noncoms. We lived off the land, no fancy rations and luxuries. Some brought along pots and pans, ducks and geese, sheep and goats, wives and mistresses...We lived on horsemeat, rabbit, squirrel, dark French peasant bread, and whatever else could be scrounged. Winter in the Vosges mountains was brutal and endless, yet I never had a cold or a sniffle.[2]:20


New York

After the war he moved to New York and began a newspaper career. His columns and exposés for the New York Post drew acclaim, including one that charged that the FBI bungled cases under J. Edgar Hoover's leadership. He was awarded the George Polk Award for an exposé on immigrants.[4]

Dufty had one son, Bevan Dufty, with first wife Maely Bartholomew, who had arrived in New York City during World War II after losing most of her family in the Nazi concentration camps. She settled near Harlem where she met her best friend and Bevan's godmother, Billie Holiday. They later divorced and Maely raised Bevan as a single mother.

Dufty took Billie Holiday's oral history and wrote Lady Sings the Blues ("[5] Billie Holiday with William Dufty") in 1956, which in turn was made into a 1972 movie starring Diana Ross in the title role.[6]

Macrobiotic diet

Dufty credits the death of John F. Kennedy and an article by Tom Wolfe in New York Magazine with starting him on the way to good health. The article described a condition, sanpaku, as a morbid symptom that precedes death, according to Nyoiti Sakurazawa. After obtaining some literature from the Ohsawa Foundation in New York, and following its strict regime of vegetables and rice, Dufty transformed his body and mind. He lost weight and became "calm, cool, collected, precise, and unrattled". He became an advocate of macrobiotics, met Sakurazawa, and prepared the manuscript of You Are All Sanpaku for publication with Felix Morrow in 1965.[7]

Dufty practiced and promoted macrobiotic nutrition, advocating a low-fat, high-fiber diet of whole grains, vegetables, sea vegetables, nuts and seeds, combined in accordance with the principles of yin and yang, said to optimize digestion by attention to nature.

Dufty had struggled with the symptoms of hypoglycemia and had sought the help of physicians. Describing the frustrating search similarly pursued by Dr. Steven Gyland,[8] Dufty wrote,[2]:89

If you've ever gone through this kind of medical rigmarole, as I and millions of others have, one ends up a little bitter, with a sense of mission.


In the 1960s, he met Gloria Swanson, a nutrition enthusiast who convinced him that white sugar was unsafe. Dufty undertook a program of research of the impact that sugar has had, and wrote Sugar Blues in 1975.

He became good friends with Japanese artist Yoko Ono and her husband, musician and former Beatle, John Lennon. When John and Yoko visited Singapore, they wrote to Swanson and Dufty. As Hunter Davies, editor of The John Lennon Letters explains,

[Swanson] was strongly against sugar, as a curse of society; her husband had written a book called Sugar Blues, which John Lennon bought lots of copies of, giving them out to friends.[9]


Marriage and death

Image

Dufty and Swanson were married, she for the sixth time, he for the second time, in 1976. He helped her write her autobiography, Swanson on Swanson in 1981.[10]

After Swanson's death in 1983, he returned to his home state, Michigan, settling in Metro Detroit. From there he continued to lecture, write newspaper and magazine articles and teach macrobiotics to a new generation. Dufty died at age 86 on June 28, 2002, at his home in Birmingham, Michigan.[11]

Books

• 1956: Lady Sings the Blues, Billie Holiday with William Dufty
• 1958: My Father- My Son, by Edward G. Robinson Jr. with William Dufty, via Hathi Trust
• 1965: You Are All Sanpaku, Sakurazawa Nyoiti with William Dufty
• 1966: Spoiled Priest: the Autobiography of an Ex-Priest, Gabriel Longo, University Books, Loan from Internet Archive
• 1969: Mannequin My Life as a Model, Carolyn Kenmore, Bartholomew House Press
• 1975: Sugar Blues
• 1980: Swanson on Swanson, Gloria Swanson, Random House

Notes

1. Stephen Michael Shearer (2012) Gloria Swanson: The Ultimate Star", page 374, ISBN 9781250013668
2. Wm. Dufty (1975) Sugar Blues
3. Wayne State University
4. 1955 George Polk Award winners, link from Long Island University
5. book cover
6. Hamlin, Jesse (August 24, 2010). "Billie Holiday's bio, 'Lady Sings the Blues,' may be full of half-truths, but it gets at jazz great's core". San Francisco Chronicle.
7. W. Dufty (1965) Introduction to You Are All Sanpaku, pp 9–58
8. Stephen Gyland (1953) "Possibly Neurogenic Hypoglycemia", Journal of the American Medical Association 152: 1184, § "Queries and Minor Notes", July 18
9. Hunter Davies (2012) The John Lennon Letters, page 310, Little, Brown and Company ISBN 978-0-316-20080-6
10. Obituary: William Dufty from The Daily Telegraph
11. Myrna Oliver, William Dufty obituary, Los Angeles Times, July 4, 2002.

References

• Hubert B. Herring (April 16, 2002) Sweet taste of beating sugar habit, The New York Times.
• Harris M. Lentz III (2003) Obituaries in the Performing Arts 2002, page 88, McFarland and Company.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 28774
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jun 23, 2019 3:16 am

Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/22/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Image
Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland

Christoph Wilhelm Friedrich Hufeland (12 August 1762, Langensalza – 25 August 1836, Berlin) was a German physician. He is famous as the most eminent practical physician of his time in Germany and as the author of numerous works displaying extensive reading and a cultivated critical faculty.

Biography

Hufeland was born at Langensalza, Saxony (now Thuringia) and educated at Weimar, where his father held the office of court physician to the grand duchess. In 1780 he entered the University of Jena, and in the following year went on to Göttingen, where in 1783 he graduated in medicine.

After assisting his father for some years at Weimar, he was called in 1793 to the chair of medicine at Jena, receiving at the same time the positions of court physician and professor of Pathology at Weimar. In 1798 Frederick William III of Prussia granted him the position director of the medical college and generally of state medical affairs at the Charité, in Berlin. He filled the chair of pathology and therapeutics in the University of Berlin, founded in 1809, and in 1810 became councillor of state. In 1823, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

In time he became as famous as Goethe, Herder, Schiller, and Wieland in his homeland.

Hufeland was a close friend of Samuel Hahnemann and published his original writings in his journal in 1796.[1] He also "joined the Illuminati order at this time, having been introduced to freemasonry in Göttingen in 1783."[2] He also seems to have professed an interest in Chinese Alchemy and methods of extending longevity.[3]

The most widely known of his many writings is the treatise entitled Makrobiotik oder Die Kunst, das menschliche Leben zu verlängern (1796), which was translated into many languages, including in Serbian by Dr. Jovan Stejić in Vienna in 1828. Of his practical works, the System of Practical Medicine (System der praktischen Heilkunde, 1818-1828) is the most elaborate. From 1795 to 1835 he published a Journal der praktischen Arznei und Wundarzneikunde. His autobiography was published in 1863.

Image
Grave of Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland in the Dorotheenstadt cemetery in Berlin

Naturopathy

Hufeland was an early supporter of naturopathic medicine who posited the existence of a vitalistic "life force", which he believed could be maintained through behavioral and dietary practices.[1][4][5] Hufeland was influenced by Hippocrates and promoted what he termed "natural therapeutics" (naturtherapeutik).[1][6] He supported the use of homeopathy.[1]

The term "macrobiotics" was used by Hufeland in his book Macrobiotics: The Art of Prolonging Life, that was translated into English in 1797.[7][8][9] The book endorsed a program for good health and prolonging life. Hufeland recommended a vegetarian diet.[6][10] Goethe and his wife took interest in the book.[6] His German disciplines gave his dieting and health ideas the name of the Hufelandist movement.[11][12]

George Ohsawa, founder of the macrobiotic diet was influenced by Hufeland.[13]

Bibliography

Works


• Enchiridion medicum oder Anleitung zur medizinischen Praxis: Vermächtniß einer Fünfzigjährigen Erfahrung. Sechste Auflage. Jonas Verlagsbuchhandlung. Berlin,
• Medizinischer Nutzen der elektrischen Kraft beim Scheintod, Verlag Rockstuhl, Bad Langensalza, 1. Reprintauflage 1783/2008, ISBN 978-3-938997-37-6
• Vollständige Darstellung der medicinischen Kräfte und des Gebrauchs der salzsauren Schwererde . Rottmann, Berlin 1794 Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
• Die Kunst, das menschliche Leben zu verlängern . (Volume1/2) Haas, Wien 1798 Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
• Armen-Pharmakopöe, entworfen für Berlin nebst der Nachricht von der daselbst errichteten Krankenanstalt für Arme in ihren Wohnungen . Realschulbuchhandlung, Berlin 3. Aufl. 1818 Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
• Conspectus Materiae medicae secundum Ordines naturales in Usum Auditorium . Dümmler, Berolini Editio altera aucta 1820 Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
• Armen-Pharmakopöe . Reimer, Berlin 4. Aufl. 1825 Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
• Armen-Pharmakopöe : Zugleich eine Auswahl bewährter Arzneimittel und Arzneiformeln . Reimer, Berlin 7.Aufl. 1832 Digital edition by the University and State Library Düsseldorf
• Makrobiotik oder Die Kunst das menschliche Leben zu verlängern, Stuttgart: A.F. Macklot, 1826.
• Aphorismen und Denksprüche, Verlag Rockstuhl, Bad Langensalza, 1. Reprintauflage 1910/2009, ISBN 978-3-86777-066-8
• Bibliothek der practischen Heilkunde Veröffentlicht in der academischen Buchhandlung, 1802. Notizen: v. 6 Digitised on Google Books
• Hufeland's Art of Prolonging Life, edited by William James Erasmus Wilson, 1854.

Studies

• Helmut Busse: Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland, Blaeschke Verlag, St. Michael, Austria, 1982
• Klaus Pfeifer: Medizin der Goethezeit - Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland und die Heilkunst des 18. Jahrhunderts, Verlag Böhlau, Cologne, 2000, ISBN 978-3-412-13199-9
• Günther Hufeland: Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762-1836), Verlag Rockstuhl, Bad Langensalza, 2002, ISBN 978-3-936030-79-2
• Wolfgang U. Eckart: Geschichte der Medizin, Heidelberg 2005

Notes

1. Mehdipour, Parvin. (2017). Cancer Genetics and Psychotherapy. Springer. p. 942. ISBN 978-3-319-64548-3
2. Christoph Wilhelm Friedrich Hufeland (1762-1836)
3. G J Gruman, A History of Ideas about Prolongation of Life,Springer Publishing, 2005, p.158
4. Raso, Jack. (1993). Mystical Diets: Paranormal, Spiritual, and Occult Nutrition Practices. Prometheus Books. p. 30. ISBN 0-87975-761-2
5. Wellmon, Chad. (2010). Becoming Human: Romantic Anthropology and the Embodiment of Freedom. Pennsylvania State University. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-271-03734-9
6. Weinrich, Harald. (2008). On Borrowed Time: The Art and Economy of Living with Deadlines. University of Chicago Press. pp. 30-33. ISBN 978-0-226-88601-5
7. Kushi et al. (2001). The Macrobiotic Diet in Cancer. The Journal of Nutrition 131 (11): 3056S–3064S.
8. Heelas, Paul. (2008). Spiritualities of Life: New Age Romanticism and Consumptive Capitalism. Wiley. p. 43. ISBN 978-1405139380
9. Bergdolt, Klaus. (2008). Wellbeing: A Cultural History of Healthy Living. Polity Press. pp. 253-254. ISBN 978-07456-2913-1
10. Williams, Howard. (1883). The Ethics of Diet: A Catena of Authorities Deprecatory of the Practice of Flesh-Eating. London: F. Pitman. p. 184.
11. Freeman, Joseph T. (1979). Aging: Its History and Literature. Human Science Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-0877052517
12. Boyle, Joan M; Morriss, James E. (1987). The Mirror of Time: Images of Aging and Dying. Greenwood Press. p. 108. ISBN 978-0313255977
13. Friedhelm Kirchfeld, Wade Boyle. (1994). Nature Doctors: Pioneers in Naturopathic Medicine. Medicina Biológica. p. 7. ISBN 0-9623518-5-7

References

• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hufeland, Christoph Wilhelm" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 856.

External links

• Works by C. W. Hufeland at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland at Internet Archive
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 28774
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:07 am

1: The Suicide Club: The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi -- EXCERPT
by Andrew Whitehead
© Andrew Whitehead 2019

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


1: The Suicide Club

Freda Houlston's childhood was suffused with a sense of absence and loss. She was happy, cared for and loved. The household was, if not at all prosperous, then comfortable. She liked its semi-rural location on what was then the outskirts of Derby in the East Midlands. But she missed her Dad. When she was five, her father, Frank, went to war. He never came back. He ended up serving in the Machine Gun Corps, where the rate of attrition was exceptionally high. Frank Houlston was killed on active service in the spring of 1918 and is buried in one of the war cemeteries in northern France where so many of his generation lie.

Freda had only the haziest recollections of her father -- what she called flash memories of seeing him digging in the garden, or playing with her in the sitting room; she both could and couldn't remember him. The family photo collection has a fine portrait of Frank Houlston in military uniform. This can't be too long before his death as his cap bears the crossed-machine guns badge of the Corps. Alongside the posed childhood photos of Freda and her younger brother, there's a particularly striking family shot, professionally taken, of Nellie in a long black dress, probably in mourning. Freda is wearing an elaborate white summer dress, a large ribbon in her hair, and is reading a book; her brother, perched on a plinth, is in a sailor's suit. There are no photos of Freda with her father.

'This death shadowed my whole childhood,' Freda reminisced many years later. She came to regard the concept of fatherhood as 'somehow very sacred'. As a girl, she found the annual Poppy Day memorials for the war dead harrowing because they would 'open the wound again and again, so that I almost fainted many times at school when this service was being held.' [1] Frank Houlston's name is inscribed on the war memorial in the grounds of St Peter's parish church in Littleover. He worshipped there and was a 'staunch' member of the congregation. His death turned his wife against religion. Nellie Houlston was left a widow while still in her twenties, with two young children to bring up. She stopped going to church and abandoned any belief in the God that she believed had abandoned her. But in deference to what she knew would have been her husband's wishes, she sent her children to church and to Sunday School. The void that the absence of her father created pushed Freda towards what was the defining aspect of her life, a restless personal quest which culminated almost fifty years later in her ordination as a Buddhist nun. And her childhood involvement in the parish church offered her an initial glimpse of the spiritual -- of saints' lives, valour and suffering, and the power of prayer and meditation.

Freda recalled that her childhood home had on the wall a large copy of the popular painting by the Victorian-era artist, W.F. Yeames, harking back to the English Civil War of the 1640s: 'And when did you last see your father?' In the canvas a young boy from an imaginary Royalist family is being questioned by a panel of soldiers from Cromwell's army. The viewer's sympathy rests with the upright young child, faced by the enemies of his absent father, and troubled about competing loyalties to family and to truth. Freda remembered being taught the boy's supposed response to his interrogators: 'I saw him last night in my dream.' The choice of living room artwork might seem insensitive but was clearly an attempt to honour a missing father.

Freda's mother's rejection of religion was more striking because she met her husband at church. They were both at that time Methodists, and married at the Primitive Methodists' Bourne Chapel in Derby, now demolished but then a spacious and imposing place of worship. Freda's paternal grandparents were members of the congregation there. Primitive Methodism was an austere and unadorned form of non-conformist religious practice which appealed particularly to the respectable and aspiring working class. It preached discipline and thrift and encouraged a radical outlook on life. It was the faith into which Freda was born, and some at least of her social and political attitudes must have been imbibed from this tradition which challenged both political deference and social injustice.

The Houlston family was part of an artisan tradition -- skilled workers who sometimes ran their own distinctly modest businesses -- which stretched back to before the large engineering, rail and printing plants that came to define Derby's economy. Freda's grandfather John Houlston -- a determined teetotaller who lived until almost eighty -- was a watchmaker and jeweller. He was both craftsman and shopkeeper, repairing and selling watches. Freda believed that he had been a migrant from continental Europe -- though the census records suggest, more prosaically, that he was born in Birmingham. In the audio recordings Freda made when in her sixties, she suggested that both her parents' families had their origins in, or links to, Europe: to Germany, France, perhaps Italy. She suggested the family name may have been a corruption of Holstein, a region in northern Germany. It's as if she was fashioning a narrative of border crossings which helped to set the scene for her own repeated crossing of boundaries -- geographic, racial, religious.

A photograph still in the family shows John Houlston with workman's apron, jacket and cloth cap at the door of his premises in King Street, a short walk from the centre of Derby. By his side, conspicuously smartly dressed and ill-at-ease in front of the camera, is a boy of perhaps nine or ten. This is Frank, Freda's father; the picture appears to date from the 1890s. The shop is strikingly basic: the watches are displayed not in a shop window but what is little more than a front parlour window of an ordinary terraced house; the cramped signboard above the window bears the shopkeeper's surname and nothing more. 'It was a tiny place, a little jeweller's and watchmaker's shop, as attractive to us' -- Freda commented, looking back on her childhood -- 'as the Old Curiosity Shop.' [2]

Frank and his brother both followed in their father's footsteps, earning a livelihood as watch repairers and jewellers. Frank was twenty-four when he married Nellie Harrison, the daughter of a local coal merchant. She was still a teenager and described on the marriage certificate as a photographer. Frank seems initially to have set up a shop in a mining village outside Nottingham, but it didn't fare well and he moved back to Derby and established a watch and jeweller's business on Monk Street. This was an altogether grander shop than his father's. While John had worn working clothes to be photographed at the shop doorway, Frank posed in tie and waistcoat; his name was painted on the glass; the windows were well stocked. This gave every impression of being the shop-front of a substantial business. In social terms, the Houlston family appeared to be making its way. Frank was renting the shop, but in the census returns he insisted on recording that he was an employer as well as a shopkeeper and craftsman. By the time Freda was born -- on 5th February 1911 -- Frank and Nellie had moved to a bigger shop a few doors away at 28 Monk Street. This offered better accommodation for a young family in a sharply angled corner property with an unconventional layout. It was two houses as one, with two front doors on different streets, a double shop-front and living space above.

Freda Marie Houlston was born at home in that 'tiny shop in the heart of old Derby', as she remembered it. It's still there, now a tanning salon looking out on the barren vista of a car park and dual carriageway which have cut Monk Street in two. The far section of Monk Street and adjoining terraces have survived largely unscathed in what is now, and was then, a working-class locality. The corner shops and pubs, the back alleys, the workshop yards, are all still evident, if some way from flourishing. Walking those streets is the closest you can get to communing with the Derby into which Freda was born. By the time her brother Jack came along the following year, the family had moved to Littleover, a neat Derby suburb -- and another step up in the world. During the First World War, they were living on Wade Avenue, in a home distinctly grander than the city centre terraced streets. It was also a safer place to live during the war. There was just one Zeppelin bombing raid on Derby which caused casualties, but the rail and engineering works were obvious potential targets, and Freda had distant childhood memories of hearing a wartime bomb drop on the city. By the time they moved, Frank had also changed his religious allegiance from Methodism to the Church of England -- whether this was convenience, or religious conviction or a sense that the established church was better suited to his rising social status is unclear.

Frank Houlston didn't enlist immediately but was called up towards the end of 1916. He served initially in the locally-recruited Sherwood Foresters and later as a private in the Machine Gun Corps. When the war started, each infantry battalion had a couple of machine gun teams attached to it. The sickening slaughter on the Western Front persuaded the British army that they needed to deploy machine guns in larger units and with more expert soldiers. The Corps was established in October 1915 and gained a reputation for heroism -- the guns were often placed well in advance of the front line -- and for heavy casualties. So heavy that the Corps became known as the Suicide Club. Of the 170,500 officers and men who served in the Corps during the war, more than 12,000 were killed and another 50,000 wounded. Frank died on 14th April 1918 and is buried along with almost a thousand other combatants at the Aire Communal Cemetery neat St Omer. He left behind children aged seven and five.

War had brought a profound rupture to the Houlston family. Frank's enlistment and death prompted his widow, reluctantly, to take a more active role in the business and her mother was brought in to help look after the children. Eventually Freda's uncle took on the Monk Street shop -- it remained in family ownership for another half-a-century. Still more unsettling for Freda and Jack, two years after her husband's death, Nellie Houlston married again. The Swan family were neighbours in Wade Avenue. Frank Swan, a railway clerk, lived with three older unmarried sisters. He was in his mid-thirties and clearly cossetted and set in his ways. 'It was not a marriage of two young lovers,' Freda commented. 'Only when he saw my mother as a young widow with two children did it occur to him that it would perhaps be a good idea for him [to marry] and somehow the marriage was arranged.' [3] Freda described her stepfather as good natured and affectionate, but he seems not to have been much involved in her and her brother's upbringing and was preoccupied with country walks and amateur opera and dramatics. Nellie took her new husband's name; her children did not.

There were no children of Nellie's second marriage. And the family's upwards social mobility continued -- eased, it seems, by family money. Nellie took up golf, with notable success, getting to and from the course by motorbike -- which in the inter-war years must have marked her out as daring. That independence of spirit was passed on to her daughter, who also at one point in her life travelled to work in Delhi on a scooter. The family eventually moved to a newly-built detached house on one of Derby's most desirable streets, Keats Avenue in Mickleover. The big attraction for Nellie, who took a particular interest in the design of the house, was its location -- overlooking the golf course.

For Freda, Wade Avenue was the childhood home which stayed in her memories. Unlikely as it seems now, she says that Littleover provided a country childhood. She remembered the laburnum, lilac and pear trees in the garden, and the rural walks with her brother over to Mickleover. Her mother was a good cook and inventive seamstress, and she and her brother felt well looked after. 'I was dressed up in white needlework dresses threaded with blue ribbons,' she related; 'one of her accomplishments was that she was an extremely clever tailor in a domestic setting and especially good at making clothes for small children.'
These memories -- recorded at the close of her life, when she was at peace spiritually -- may be a little rose tinted. But alongside the devastation at the loss of her father, she clearly had happy recollections of home, family and locality. The only other big cloud over her childhood was a bout of diptheria which she was fortunate to survive.

At school, Freda shone brightly. She went to a small fee-paying school, Hargrave House, then on to Derby's leading girls' school, Parkfields Cedars, and in this small pond -- there were fewer than five hundred pupils -- she excelled. The school magazine is a roll call of Freda's achievements. She routinely was joint winner of her form prize; she contributed poems and articles; she won a municipal prize for an essay on health; she was one of three girls who got honours in her School Certificate exams; she was on the committee responsible for the magazine; she was an additional prefect; and in her final year at school, she was head prefect.

She loved the school, which she described as 'in an old colonial building, whitewashed, and it had two cedar trees outside just above the tennis courts.' (It no longer survives -- burnt down in an arson attack.) The teachers were kind and dedicated, and her French teacher in particular was nurturing and encouraging. She played golf occasionally and learned ballroom dancing, but she was above all a studious pupil. Every year, a handful of girls from Parkfields Cedars went on to university, but admissions to Oxford and Cambridge were rare. Freda hadn't intended to apply. She was persuaded by a school friend to keep her company in studying for and sitting the Oxford entrance exams. Freda was called for interview; her friend wasn't. She didn't get a place, but was told that if she spent some time in France she had a good chance of being admitted to study modern languages the following year.

It would have been no small matter for a seventeen-year-old schoolgirl to live abroad without any family at hand, but Freda's mother was supportive, and Freda herself showed the courage and initiative evident throughout her life. With the help of a pen friend, she managed to get a place, at no cost, at a high school in the cathedral city of Reims. It was close enough to the First World War battlefields to be able to visit her father's grave, 'overgrown with cat mint and Dorothy Perkins roses'. [4] She stayed with her friend's family and for a while in a boarders' hostel, and in spite of being homesick and deciding that her love of the French language didn't extend to its spoken form ('I couldn't stand the noise, the sound of French voices'), the confidence and experience she gained served its purpose; she secured admission to Oxford at the second attempt. Indeed, she left Parkfields Cedars with a clarion call of academic distinction: a state scholarship, a county major scholarship in which she was placed third in the county as well as a place at Oxford -- awards which bore prestige and more importantly ensured that Freda had sufficient money to take up the place she had secured. Two Oxford women's colleges competed for her favour. She 'has been offered admission to Somerville College, and an exhibition [minor scholarship] at St Hugh's College,' reported the Derby Daily Telegraph. 'She has chosen the latter.' [5]

There are only a few straws from Freda's school-going years which point to her later involvement in politics. In February 1929, she spoke on behalf of France at a model assembly of the League of Nations held at Derby Central Hall. Parkfields Cedars had a flourishing school branch of the League of Nations Union, an organisation which often proved to be a stepping stone towards the organised left. What she saw of deprivation in the poorer parts of the city left its mark on her. 'I can still remember the days when children in our slums in Derby used to run around with bare feet because they had no shoes,' she recalled almost half-a-century later. 'Incredibly undernourished babies used to be seen in the hands of utterly incompetent mothers.' [6]

Her spiritual interests were more evident. She was confirmed at St Peter's -- though she had no great liking for the minister there, nicknamed Brown Owl because of his hooked nose and spectacles. She read Anglo-Catholic literature as well as lives of the saints and enjoyed taking Holy Communion: 'a direct communication, a sense of awe in the face of the divine.' Many years later, she recalled to her fellow Buddhist Sheila Fugard that she visited a local Anglican church for solitary contemplation -- often St Peter's, but perhaps also on occasions the more timeworn St Edmund's at Allestree or maybe the elegant All Saints in the heart of the city which had gained cathedral status in 1927. [7] 'The only thing I could think of was to get away into the church when no one was there, when it was quiet,' she told a radio interviewer several decades later. 'So I tipped away from home in the early morning before school hours, and during the last two years at school I used to sit in church at home and just wait. There was a prayer in my heart certainly.' [8] But she was repelled by the humdrum life of the local parish church in Littleover with its 'obsession with church fetes and meetings and services and an utter lack of understanding of anything connected with the spiritual life in its deeper sense ... I realised that Brown Owl's sermons and all the things that went on in the church had just no meaning for me at all.' By the time she headed to Oxford she regarded herself as a free thinker -- not in the sense of rejecting religious faith, but simply that she would not be pigeonholed into a particular religion or denomination.

'The story of my childhood' -- Freda recalled with perhaps more candour than she intended -- 'is really the story of building up whatever talents I had to the stage of being able to enter Oxford University, which was a highly competitive thing.' She looked back on Derby as a prelude to her life. Once she had headed out to university, Freda's links with her home city became slender. Her mother was of course a continuing reference point. Both mother and stepfather came to her wedding at Oxford, in spite of any reservations they may have harboured about a Punjabi son-in-law. Nellie went out to Lahore to visit, and to see her oldest grandchild, Ranga. But once Freda had settled in India it was thirteen years before she took the long journey back to England, bringing her one-year-old son, Kabir, with her. Freda was not at hand to visit her mother in her old age -- she died in 1966, four years after her husband -- and felt some guilt at her absence.

Jack didn't share his sister's academic ability and chose a very different path in life. 'We are all rather in a turmoil at home at present -- my brother has just joined the Navy!' Freda wrote in September 1931 to her Oxford friend Olive Chandler. 'He did it on his own -- and never told any of us until he was all through but for the final medical exam. Dad was rather incensed -- but Mother managed to calm him down ... She says next November, when we are both away, doesn't bear thinking about. But there was no sense, anyhow, keeping him in Derby where trade is so bad, and there was no prospect of being able to keep himself for years to come.' [9] Jack was coming up to nineteen. He managed to disguise that he was colour blind, passed the medical examination and spent more than twenty years in the navy, attaining the rank of Chief Petty Officer. Freda and Jack had been close as children, but saw little of each other as adults -- he missed her wedding because he was at sea and although he travelled widely he seems not to have come out to India to visit. The close-knit Derby family which had endured the shared grief of Frank Houlston's death dispersed and the skeins of affinity, though real, became stretched.

_______________

Notes:

1. The Suicide Club


1. 'Birth and School', audio recording made by Freda Bedi c1976, Bedi Family Archive (BFA)

2. 'Birth and School', BFA

3. 'Birth and School', BFA

4 'Oxford', audio recording made by Freda Bedi c1976, BFA

5. Derby Daily Telegraph, 18 December 1928

6. 'Oxford', BFA

7. Sheila Fugard, Lady of Realisation: A Spiritual Memoir, Bloomington, Indiana, 2012, p32

8. Audio recording of Freda Bedi's interview on the radio programme 'Frontiers of Consciousness', San Mateo, California, April 1974, BFA

9. Freda Houlston to Olive Chandler, 11 September 1931, BFA
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 28774
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:08 am

Part 1 of 2

2: The Gates of the World. The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi -- EXCERPT
by Andrew Whitehead
© Andrew Whitehead 2019

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


2: The Gates of the World

'It was a very quiet little student that came up to St Hugh's College and wore the long exhibitioner's gown to lectures,' Freda Houlston recalled, but for a 'provincial girl ... it was really the opening of the gates of the world.' [1] If there was a timidity about Freda when she enrolled at Oxford, it had been banished by the time she emerged from her years as a student. Her horizons broadened immeasurably and she gained greatly in confidence. Freda made life-long friends at Oxford, engaged in politics for the first time, became absorbed in India and its claim to independence, and within days of finishing her final exams, was married in the city's registry office to a fellow student. It was a romance which broke rules and crossed boundaries and conventions. At the close of her Oxford years, rather than returning to Derby, she headed out with her Indian husband to Berlin, and from there to Lahore, the capital of the still undivided Indian province of Punjab. Oxford was the last chapter of her life in England, and of her English identity. From here on, she was Indian.

Freda arrived at Oxford in the autumn of 1929. Her college was, like her school, all girls -- all the Oxford colleges at that time were single sex. Women's colleges had been established from 1879 but women had been able to receive degrees only as recently as 1920. Women students were outnumbered and marginalised, sometimes described patronisingly as 'undergraduettes' and in colleges which tended to be on the fringes of the university district. St Hugh's was the outlier. It's a little over half-a-mile north of the Bodleian Library, but 'Oxford undergraduates cocooned in city-centre colleges generally consider it to be situated somewhere in the vicinity of Dundee.' [2] The college was modern by Oxford standards. It had been established in the 1880s with a handful of students and began moving to its present location off Banbury Road in 1913. It would have still felt new at the time Freda matriculated. St Hugh's was also small, cosy even, at that time admitting fewer than sixty undergraduates a year. And it was 'not so snotty' as other women's colleges and cheaper too, making it 'the college of choice for those who could only just afford to come to Oxford.' [3]

At St Hugh's, Freda promptly became firm friends with two other young women who had also just arrived at the college, both of whom attained considerable fame. Olive Shapley, from a radical and Unitarian middle-class home in south London, went on to be a pioneering broadcaster and presenter of BBC radio's Woman's Hour'; 'a great human,' Freda recalled, 'whose tremendous spirit and humanity and whose love of art endeared her to me.' Barbara Betts, who became better known as Barbara Castle, was born in Chesterfield, not far from Derby, and brought up in the textile city of Bradford in West Yorkshire. Her family were socialists and she went on to be the most prominent British woman politician of her time, a formidable Labour cabinet minister who took on portfolios including employment and industrial relations. Barbara 'brought with her the flavour of the north of England that I was brought up in,' said Freda. All three engaged in left-wing politics while at Oxford, though in different fashion and degree -- but the strongest bond between them was that they stood out from the conventional, public school-educated girls who then constituted a large part of the college intake. Although the women's colleges were not quite as upper crust as the men's, it was still a forbidding atmosphere for middle-class youngsters from the provinces. 'Many grammar school girls recall feeling like outsiders at St Hugh's,' according to a historian of the college. 'They lacked the manners, conventions and sense of entitlement exhibited by a small but influential group of students from the top public schools.' [4]

All these friendships stood the test of time and of Freda's personal and spiritual journeys. Forty years after their Oxford days, Barbara Castle entertained her old friend to lunch at Westminster. 'She sailed into the House of Commons dining room in her flowing Buddhist robe, serenely indifferent to the covert stares at her shaven head.' [5] Olive Shapley took her two sons with her to visit Freda at a monastery in Sikkim. There were other St Hugh's friendships that persisted over the decades. Pam Bourne was in the next room to Freda at college, and gained renown as an ocean-going sailor -- she later moved to South Africa, and Freda met her again when visiting the country as a Buddhist nun. Olive Chandler was, said Freda, 'my good conscience' -- they wrote to each other over almost half-a-century, and it was Olive, a civil servant, who wrote her obituary for the college magazine. Freda certainly had the gift of making and keeping friends.

She had another gift, her good looks -- tall and slim, her fair hair often done up in twin buns over the ears, with a round and innocent-looking face and blue-grey eyes. 'She was strikingly beautiful,' Olive Shapley recalled, 'and was sometimes referred to by the other undergraduates as "the Mona Lisa".' [6] Barbara Castle also found Freda to be 'strikingly attractive' while adding that she 'was not as light-hearted as Olive and I were, alternating between bursts of gaiety and moods of deep and almost sombre seriousness.' [7] Freda was not a natural rebel in the way that Olive and Barbara were, but she too chafed at the restrictions endured by St Hugh's students which were, even by the standards of the day, petty and onerous- - especially when it came to men. 'There was not much to distinguish the social life of women undergraduates at that time from that of the pupils of the genteel boarding schools which a lot of them had just left,' Olive Shapley commented waspishly -- she said that 'chaperone rules' meant that the only way a St Hugh's student could meet a man alone was to have tea very publicly in a tea shop.

A walk in a park, a punting expedition, a ride in a car or a meal in a restaurant were all regarded as highly suspect activities, and heavily penalised. You could go to a men's college for afternoon tea, but only in pairs. You could entertain a gentleman yourself for tea in your room, but also of course with a college friend there. For this you also had to drag your bed out into the corridor, a task which often required the help of your male guest and was guaranteed to cause hilarity if not acute embarrassment! [8]


All three women on occasions flouted the rules, though only Freda -- probably the least habitual transgressor -- got into serious trouble as a result.

'I think what first attracted Olive and Freda to me when I arrived at St Hugh's was my campaign for sexual enlightenment,' Barbara Castle recorded with customary mischief. Her own and fellow students' knowledge of what was coyly termed the facts-of-life was limited. By Barbara's own account, she organised a whip round in the students' common room, raising the six shillings to send off for a book entitled Planned Parenthood. 'Explicit and illustrated with diagrams, it became one of the most thumbed books in the college, but the revelations did not immediately precipitate me into a life of sin. My knowledge of sex remained second-hand.' [9] One of Barbara Castle's biographers has suggested that in her first few terms at Oxford, her passions may have been directed (probably in a fairly chaste manner) towards other women, Freda among them. [10] Crushes of this sort were not unusual. Castle included in her autobiography a rather grainy photograph of her and Freda in a punt on the river at Oxford, reclining and gazing into each other's eyes -- as much a pose as a statement of attachment but an indication of their closeness all the same. Olive Shapley got a little more of the action. She visited Barbara in the summer and discretely spent the night with Barbara's brother. The following day she travelled on the train to London with Barbara. 'Somewhere just before Stockport I suddenly thought, "I am no longer a virgin!" Barbara leaned across the railway carriage, tapped my knee and said, "And you can take that silly smile off your face."' [11]

As a fresher, Freda was determined to make the most of Oxford. She became her year's representative on The Imp, the college magazine, and both wrote for it and featured in it --

When Socrates bore / Down upon F--- H---,
She vanquished him clean / With 'what quite do you mean?'


-- a snatch of student doggerel which suggests that her college contemporaries found her both bold and questioning. [12] 'I joined just about every society one could imagine, from the League of Nations society to the ornithological club,' she recalled. 'I listened to Bach in the college chapels; I went to Holy Communion; I went to Manchester College, a Unitarian college; I listened to Tagore; and to Dr Radhakrishnan when he first came with his magnificent lectures on Eastern philosophy.' [13]

Through the League of Nations, where the influence of the Milner Group was very great, the RIIA was able to extend its intellectual influence into countries outside the Commonwealth. This was done, for example, through the Intellectual Cooperation Organization of the League of Nations. This Organization consisted of two chief parts: (a) The International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, an advisory body; and (b) The International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation, an executive organ of the Committee, with headquarters in Paris. ... Its director was always a Frenchman, but its deputy director and guiding spirit was Alfred Zimmern from 1926 to 1930. ....

It is interesting to note that from 1931 to 1939 the Indian representative on the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation was Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. In 1931 he was George V Professor of Philosophy at Calcutta University. His subsequent career is interesting. He was knighted in 1931, became Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford in 1936, and became a Fellow of All Souls in 1944.

Beginning in 1928 at Berlin, Professor Zimmern organized annual round-table discussion meetings under the auspices of the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation. These were called the International Studies Conferences and devoted themselves to an effort to obtain different national points of view on international problems.


-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley


These recordings made towards the end of her life also demonstrate another legacy of her college years: if she ever had a Derby accent then, by accident or design, it disappeared; her precise and clipped voice bore an Oxford cadence. The same can be said of Olive Shapley -- a manicured Oxford accent with no echo at all of south London. Only Barbara Castle retained a regional accent, perhaps because she reaped a political dividend from it.

Both Freda's close friends at St Hugh's remembered her as having a spiritual aspect. Olive Shapley described her as 'a romantic and an Anglo-Catholic and very interested in religion; I can remember her reading the lives of the saints and the mystics.' [14] She also had a telling memory of an early encounter of all three women:

During the first walk that the three of us took together in the University Parks, we were passing some poplars and Freda said. 'How lovely they are without their leaves. The boughs look like the hair of some Botticelli angel.' Barbara stopped dead in her tracks, looked at her and said, 'My God, what a damnably silly thing to say. I hope you're not going to go on like this all the time!' [15]


But the spiritual and the aesthetic was not the defining aspect of Freda's time at Oxford. By her own account, she regarded herself as a seeker but no longer a Christian. She never returned to the religion of her birth. As a student, she was more absorbed by politics and above all by India and the man who introduced her to the country and its cause.

Freda relished the camaraderie of college life. We talked endlessly, mainly between nine and midnight over large cups of cocoa or Bourneville made in the College pantries. Everything from socialism to Karl Marx, Proust, D.H. Lawrence, the family, to the new fields of Birth Control and travel were the subjects of conversation.' [16] Initially, she worked hard -- the 'first year was one of study,' she recounted. But her enthusiasm for the course waned. 'Suddenly, I couldn't be bothered ... I could speak French fluently already. I wanted to learn other languages, to understand the world.' She was also concerned about what a modern languages degree would point her towards: 'It was the flash of understanding which showed me French could only lead me to becoming a teacher or lecturer. And I passionately did not want to go back into the world of childhood that being a teacher meant.' She was closing in on what she did wish to pursue as a career. 'My eyes were on journalism, writing [and] interpreting that incredible international adult world that poured into magazine and newspaper.' She even met the editor of the Derby Daily Telegraph who promised her an opening once she had her degree, but she never went back to her home city. She did eventually carve out a reputation as a journalist, and demonstrated curiosity and social concern as well as the ability to communicate, but only after several years in the line of work she had been so keen to avoid: teaching and lecturing.

Freda followed her friend Barbara Castle's example and switched from French to Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), also known at that time as 'Modern Greats'. It may have been more congenial but she didn't shine academically. Freda's tutors' reports paint a picture of a diligent student, but one who found the transition from being the outstanding pupil in a small secondary school to the more exacting environment of Oxford rather daunting. There were a few positive remarks about her work, particularly in her optional subject of international relations. Some dons commented on her accomplished writing style, and one found her essays 'always stimulating and intelligent'. The chorus of misgivings, however, swelled towards the end of her university career: 'Still rather weak and slow'; 'has hardly found her feet in the subject'; 'still finding difficulty in marshalling her facts'; and most woundingly, 'she has great difficulty recognising the relevant parts of an argument'. Freda emerged from St Hugh's with third-class honours, not quite as damning a statement of mediocrity then as it would be now, but clearly not the degree she hoped for. Neither Barbara nor Olive fared any better; all three women got thirds. [17]

The only substantial published account that Freda has left of the University, written during her last year for the Calcutta Review, pointed to what must have been a personal grievance, the disparity between wealthy and entitled students and those with much more limited resources.
'The undergraduate of little or no money of his own has entered into the preserves of the rich and fortunate. Quite a considerable number of the men now -- even a larger portion of the women (about 75%) who have stiffer competition for entrance -- are students only because of State, School or College scholarships. There is bound to be a change of outlook: a more practical view of education.' She made clear that such a practical perspective needed to take account of the increasingly threatening international situation and the political and economic turbulence at home:

Oxford -- any university -- is a community of young people, not a beehive of book students. The Oxford of today which refuses to be lured by the calm of mellow buildings is going to be of far greater use to the future than the scholastically inclined students of the past. When Gandhi fasts in India, when Manchuria is a scene of conflict, when disarmament is having a hard struggle to survive, and the unemployed, reaching alarming proportion, march footsore and hungry into the town -- is it any wonder that the 'dreaming spires' are of minor importance? The problems facing the world today are so great that there is little time for dreaming even in Oxford. [18]


This was not simply an observation; it was the quiet declaration of a personal agenda.

Freda relished Oxford's internationalism, reflected above all in the students who gathered in the home of Alfred Zimmern, the University's first professor of international relations who played a part in the founding of the League of Nations (and also, though Freda doesn't mention this, an active supporter of the Labour Party). 'A Pole argues with a German -- Madame Zimmern who gathers the circle together is herself a Frenchwoman. Indians talk with Americans, a Chinese butts in, an English girl and an Italian pick up the thread of conversation ... A Chinese educationalist, a Jugo-Slav, and a Pole are among the latest speakers. Everyone criticises, suggests, tries to understand and appreciate. The informal circle round the fireplace is never still.' The gates of the world had not simply opened for Freda; she had ventured through enthusiastically. By the time she wrote this account, she had embarked on a relationship which also crossed boundaries -- of religion, race and nationality -- and which was to change her life utterly.

Curtis and his friends stayed in Canada for four months. Then Curtis returned to South Africa for the closing session of the Transvaal Legislative Council, of which he was a member. He there drafted a memorandum on the whole question of imperial relations, and, on the day that the Union of South Africa came into existence, he sailed to New Zealand to set up study groups to examine the question. These groups became the Round Table Groups of New Zealand. (2)

The memorandum was printed with blank sheets for written comments opposite the text. Each student was to note his criticisms on these blank pages. Then they were to meet in their study groups to discuss these comments, in the hope of being able to draw up joint reports, or at least majority and minority reports, on their conclusions. These reports were to be sent to Curtis, who was to compile a comprehensive report on the whole imperial problem. This comprehensive report would then be submitted to the groups in the same fashion and the resulting comments used as a basis for a final report.

Five study groups of this type were set up in New Zealand, and then five more in Australia. (3) The decision was made to do the same thing in Canada and in England, and this was done by Curtis, Kerr, and apparently Dove during 1910.


-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley


Baba Pyare Lal Bedi was the love of Freda's life. The romance was strengthened by the common causes they championed and their intellectual collaboration, but it was above all a love story. There is nothing to suggest that Freda had any other boyfriend. Her own account of how she met her husband is both poetic and charming. It may well be not so much as she remembered it as how she wanted their relationship to be remembered. 'My destiny was to go to India,' she confided. 'How it happened that I married an Indian, how it happened that I began to meet Indians, I really don't know. They were just part of the Oxford scene.'

The Foreign Office in its topmost ranks was held by the Cecil Bloc, with Balfour as Secretary of State (1916-1919), followed by Curzon (1919-1924).... In Washington, Balfour had as deputy chairman to the mission R. H. Brand. In London, as we have seen, Robert Cecil was Parliamentary Under Secretary and later Assistant Secretary. In the Political Intelligence Department, Alfred Zimmern was the chief figure.

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley


The Political Intelligence Department (1918–1920) was a department of the British Foreign Office created towards the end of World War I. It was created on 11 March 1918 by Permanent Under-Secretary Lord Hardinge. It gathered political, economic, and military conditions in both allied and enemy countries and prepared reports for the cabinet, the Foreign Office, and other departments. The director of the department was William Tyrrell, with James Headlam-Morley serving as assistant director. Most of the staff were drawn from the Department of Information's Intelligence Bureau, including historians Arnold Toynbee, Lewis Namier, and Alfred Zimmern.

-- Political Intelligence Department (1918–1920), by Wikipedia


In the recordings made in her son's home in Calcutta the year before she died, Freda spoke lyrically about how she first met B.P.L. Bedi, outside one of the University's main lecture halls:

I was always known for being a little late. But one morning -- for some reason known only to the cosmos -- I was twenty minutes early. And that morning too, for some reason, B.P.L. was also twenty minutes early. And I thought to myself, well, I think I'd better say good morning to him or say something inconsequential because, after all, he'll think that I'm snubbing him because he's an Indian student and I shouldn't do that. So I said 'good morning' and made some remark about the day's news -- and he said 'good morning' and also made some remark or said yes or no or something like that. And that was all. [19]


Bedi realised that he had been boorish, and to make amends he sent Freda a note asking her to tea in his college room.

I was quite surprised to receive the invitation. And college rules were such in those days that I had to take with me a chaperone -- you were not allowed to go alone to the room of the men students . . .. But we found him warm and interesting, a very interesting mind, and of course knowing each other over a cup of tea made us friendly and we used to meet at the Majlis, the Indian club, and we used to meet at lectures and so on, so I got to know him quite well.


After a while, they started sharing a simple lunch in Bedi's room. He was at this time a vegetarian, and they would eat fruit and bread or whatever he cooked up on his stove.

We became very good friends, very good companions, and slowly I didn't bring with me any chaperone; I used to go to his room without a chaperone. Now this was done by practically all the students in the university because this chaperone rule was obviously nonsense, and people just didn't take chaperones. But in my case, because I was a white English student and he was a brown Indian student, the gatekeeper of the college reported against us, that I was going to his room without a chaperone. And I had to suffer the indignity of being sent down from Oxford for a week or two at the end of term. Nothing very serious but it brought me up against the question of racial discrimination.


This first-hand experience of racism was a defining moment. She could either back off, and accept that this was a border better not traversed, or she could make a point of challenging the prejudice she encountered.

St Hugh's college records for 1932 confirm that Freda was disciplined, though with no details of her alleged offence. 'Miss Houlston had been rusticated for the last week of the Hilary [spring] term for a breach of University and College discipline,' the Tutorial Committee recorded; 'this had been reported to the Derbyshire Education Committee.' The punishment was not severe but it must have been deeply humiliating. Rather than derailing the relationship, Freda recalled that it strengthened the bond between them. 'It was really the suffering that I had to undergo, going down early, and that he had to undergo, realising that he'd been the cause of it, that brought us closer together.' Barbara Castle set down her own account of how Freda and Baba became a couple. 'They decided to write a book together ... and most afternoons she went openly to his room in Hertford [College] to work on it with him. An officious porter reported them. She had committed a heinous offence and was rusticated [suspended] ... as a punishment. But she was a girl of spirit and was not going to be brow-beaten. On her return she resumed her visits to Bedi, in the digs outside college to which he had been moved, only this time she decided to give the disciplinarians their money's worth and started an affair with him.' [20]

The greater interruption to Freda's studies at Oxford was caused by a collapse in her health. College records show that she 'went down due to illness' in March 1931 (that's before she met Bedi) -- though it's not clear for how long. The recollection of her friends is that she later had to take time out from her studies as a direct consequence of her relationship with Bedi, or more particularly the disapproving reaction that ensued. 'Her mother, her friends and her college were all opposed to the match,' Olive Shapley wrote. 'She became ill and had a nervous breakdown, and was later admitted to a mental hospital. Barbara and I, still flouting the bigotries of the period, stuck by Freda and did all we could to see her through her illness.' [21] Often in her life, Freda took the road less travelled -- indeed there was almost a contrariness about her -- but it was at a considerable personal cost.

B.P.L. Bedi was a Sikh, though he didn't wear a turban, and two years older than Freda. He was handsome and well-built, jovial and outgoing. He had been all-India champion at throwing the hammer and a wrestler, and he continued to be a sportsman at Oxford. Bedi was, by his own account, from a well-off, feudal-style family and bore the distinction of being a direct descendant of the religion's first guru. His home village of Dera Baba Nanak, on the banks of the river Ravi and now just yards on India's side of the international boundary that Partition drove through Punjab, has a particularly honoured place in the annals of Sikhism. His father, who had died in his mid-thirties a few years before his younger son went to study overseas, was a magistrate and had land in the village. Bedi studied at Government College, Lahore, and while not then particularly active in politics, he read Gandhi's newspaper Young India regularly and absorbed the increased nationalist and anti-British sentiment evident at that time. After getting a degree in Punjab, Bedi enrolled at Hertford College, Oxford, in October 1931 to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He was following in the footsteps of his older brother in preparing for the hugely competitive Indian Civil Service exams. While his brother was successful, B.P.L. quickly decided that he had no intention of becoming part of India's administrative elite, a decision which disappointed his family and marked a decisive break with the bulk of India's England-returned establishment.

By the time Freda reached St Hugh's, there were approaching 2,000 Indian students in Britain -- but only forty-two were at Oxford. 'There were very few of them,' Olive Shapley remarked, and 'mostly rich.' [22] In spite of the modest numbers, Indian students were prominent, not least in the elite Oxford Union debating society, at this time a male preserve. Dosoo Karaka, a Parsee from Bombay, was elected the first Indian president of the Oxford Union in November 1933. Indian students may have been largely from their country's elite, but they were not immune from discrimination. Karaka made his career in journalism, and in what he called his first newspaper article of any consequence, he wrote that 'even Oxford is not free from the Colour Bar. No doubt there is a generation of Englishmen now "up" at Oxford which realises the unfairness of such prejudices. Yet there are still some among them, brought up in the old school of thought, who cannot regard their fellow-undergraduates from among the coloured races as their equals. Somehow they are instinctively aware of colour in a man.' [23]
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 28774
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:08 am

Part 2 of 2

The temper of Indian politics in the early 1930s, and the three unsuccessful Round Table conferences in London intended to shape India's constitutional future, kept news of and from India on the front pages. Gandhi attended one of these conferences to argue for responsible government, but the other two were boycotted by the Indian National Congress, the main nationalist party. Indian nationalism and the means of achieving that ambition was one of the burning issues of the day. Among those on the left, there was a great deal of sympathy for India's goal of self-rule and disquiet about the manner in which Britain governed and policed its Empire. Indian students -- Bedi among them -- often came to Britain with little more than vague sympathy with the independence movement, and while studying became determined nationalists and sometimes were also won over to a form of internationalism, communism. Those British students they mixed with often shared these political allegiances.

The Majlis, established in 1896, was the main forum for Indian students at Oxford. It was not overtly political, to the extent of being at times bewilderingly naive. In January 1934, the Oxford Mail ran an eye-catching headline: 'FASCISM NO SOLUTION TO INDIAN PROBLEM -- Oxford Majlis' Decision in Debate With Fascists'. [24] There were other complaints of a lack of nationalist resolve. A student at left-leaning Ruskin College, Terence McCarthy, attended the Majlis's annual dinner at the Randolph Hotel in 1932 and was surprised to discover that a former viceroy of India was the chief guest. He was even more shocked when the peer broke Majlis convention by proposing a toast to the King-Emperor. 'Communist and Nationalist Indians rose to pledge loyalty. Despite all their revolutionary talk, they lacked the guts to brave the eye of Imperial England's hireling. I, a British worker, alone remained seated.' [25]

The Majlis had a chequered existence, with frequent complaints of lack of activity, paucity of membership and close-to-unmanageable debts. It staggered on from one crisis to another. What is the good of the Oxford Majlis?' one Indian student asked aloud in 1931. 'Most members are dissatisfied with it most of the time.' [26] Nevertheless, Dosoo Karaka, at one time president of the Majlis, insisted that it exercised considerable influence.

The little rectory of St Aldate's in Pembroke Street where it meets every Sunday provides an opportunity for the sixty or seventy Indians who come from various parts of that great continent, and who are scattered all over the university, to keep in touch with each other and with the latest developments in India, which the daily newspapers do not fully or accurately report. It is primarily a social body ... Although its membership is restricted to Indians it does not close its doors to others. In fact, its meetings are always attended by outsiders, who come as guests of the members of the club to get something of the Indian environment. [27]


Among the well-wishers and the curious was a regular contingent from St Hugh's. Barbara Castle recounted that Freda 'used to come with us occasionally to meetings of the Majlis, the mock parliament where Indian undergraduates threw themselves into rowdy and often disorderly debates.' [28] That's where bonds of affinity between Freda and her boyfriend developed. Freda's sense of social justice was outraged by the manner in which Indian nationalism was suppressed, and her sense of the spiritual was intrigued by the culture and philosophy of the East.

The majority of Indian students at the University felt compelled to be part of the organization and take part in these political debates, even if they were intending to take up positions sympathetic to the British in India such as in the Indian Civil Service.

-- Oxford Majlis, by The Open University


Freda wasn't the only one of the group to fall in love with an Indian fellow student. Olive Shapley, in her remarkably candid memoirs, recounted that her 'first real lover was a Muslim':

He was about seven years older than me and had already taken a degree somewhere in India. He was a lovely gentle man and he knew a great deal about life and love and politics. Later on he spent some years in prison for his beliefs. The eastern people put a great value on love making. I thought I was very lucky to be initiated by somebody like that ... but I did not think of marrying him. [29]


Olive didn't name her lover -- but provided enough clues to allow for a confident identification. Sajjad 'Banney' Zaheer was at that time a student at New College -- he graduated in 1931 with a third-class degree in history. He went on to become a renowned Urdu writer and a founder of India's Progressive Writers' Association; he was also a communist of long standing. They went their own ways after Oxford but kept in touch -- Olive's son recalls accompanying his mother to visit Zaheer and his family in Delhi. [30] Zaheer and Bedi knew each other well, and Olive's adventurous romance may have emboldened Freda -- and indeed her boyfriend -- in turning a friendship into a more intimate relationship.

Olive Shapley mentioned that her Indian lover 'pointed the way' for her in politics -- in the direction of communism. While Barbara became a stalwart of the Labour Club, which was itself not immune to Soviet sympathisers, Olive devoted herself energetically to Oxford's newly established, communist-aligned October Club -- indeed, a student newspaper passed comment on her zeal in selling the Daily Worker. [31] Freda also came along to their weekly gatherings, though she was not as determined in her pursuit of communism as either Olive or indeed Bedi. All the same, when her relationship with Bedi became public, it was described as an October Club romance. 'We had meetings and other events,' Olive Shapley recalled of her days as a student communist, 'read a lot of Marx and Engels and discussed them endlessly.... [We] were anti-empire, which was a radical stance at that time.' Olive's involvement in student communism left what she called 'an enduring blot on the secret files.' Decades later, she was still 'visited regularly by a gentleman from MI5 who quizzed me about my activities over a pot of tea. This did not really worry me and I always looked forward to his visits. It was one of the few occasions that I ever got news of my old friends.' [32]

The vigilance, albeit belated, of the British security service provides a window on the membership and activities of the October Club. Cambridge student communism in the 1930s spawned a celebrated cluster of Soviet agents at the heart of the British establishment. When this became apparent twenty years later with the defection to Moscow of two senior figures in British intelligence, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, MI5 became alarmed about how little they knew about Oxford communists at that time. They resolved to find out-and were assiduous in approaching one-time members of the October Club who might be happy to share information about their former comrades. They were fortunate that the club's founder -- an American, Frank Strauss Meyer -- had recanted of his student communism and was happy to cooperate. [33] And still more valuable for MI5, another onetime member of the October Club, Francois Lafitte, divulged the names of all the Oxford student communists he could recall. Freda and Bedi were both on the list -- 'Seemed to me both to be close fellow-travellers. They married and went to Lahore ... ' -- and so too was Sajjad Zaheer, a 'very capable Indian and close friend of Olive Shapley.' [34]

Meyer and others established the October Club at the close of 1931, as a left-wing breakaway from the Labour Club. 'We decided to organize the October Club quite on our own, with the idea of using it to attract those interested in Communism and forming a guiding group inside it,' Meyer told MI5. 'At the beginning we had considerable contempt for the official Communist Party' -- a suspicion which was reciprocated. The Communist Party of Great Britain was at the time a small, workerist and distinctly sectarian force of a few thousand members. [35] By the spring of 1932, the October Club's core of ten or twelve activists had joined the party, and after its first year of activity that number had doubled and the club's membership was in the hundreds. In its early months, the October Club achieved attention with a string of big name speakers, one of whom, H.G. Wells, was subject to barracking for being critical of Moscow. Escapades such as singing the communist anthem 'The Internationale' at an Armistice Day service to honour the war dead and street fights with fascist students earned the club a certain notoriety. The political atmosphere at the time was highly charged, and the Oxford Union's resounding endorsement in February 1933 of a motion 'that this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country' caught global attention; the Daily Express lamented that 'the woozy-minded Communists, the practical jokers, and the sexual indeterminates of Oxford have scored a great success with the publicity that has followed this victory.' In the wake of that controversy, a book on Young Oxford and War was rushed out, edited by V.K. Krishna Menon and with contributions from students of various political loyalties. Dick Freeman, a founder of the October Club, wrote about the radicalisation of Oxford students, and the emotional and political impact of the reception and support given in October 1932 to unemployed hunger marchers from the north -- for many students the first direct experience of the poverty and misery of those without work. [36] The October Club made a political impact out of all proportion to its numbers. Michael Foot, an Oxford student (and a Liberal) at the time and later a leader of the Labour Party, commended it as 'the most lively and enthusiastic club in Oxford.' [37]

Freda, along with many October Club stalwarts, had started out as a member of the Labour Club and then gravitated towards the breakaway group. 'The idealism of our generation was the idealism of helping the underprivileged,' she recalled. 'If the Labour Club to which I belonged ... had any meaning, it was showing that we cared if people hadn't got enough food when they took the government dole, and we did care if the hunger marchers went all the way from Reading to London, we cared if there were children in the slums with no shoes and that children hadn't got enough food.' Her years in Oxford, she said, were 'radical years ... we used to attend all the clubs like the Labour Club and later on the more extreme October Club ... The whole atmosphere was electric with social demands and social change. We were, as it were, the Depression generation.' [38] Both Freda and Bedi attended the socialist G.D.H. Cole's lectures and Harold Laski's seminars on Marx and -- in a joint activity which served to demonstrate both their intellectual and personal compatibility -- they scoured the British Library to track down Marx's journalism about India.


Many years later Sajjad Zaheer argued, with a touch of self-importance, that Indian students were the seed corn of the student communist movement at Oxford. 'I must record this,' he stated, 'that at Oxford, during this period, the first communists in the whole university were Indians -- one or two others and myself.' He and B.P.L. Bedi reflected a trend among privileged Indians who came to study in Britain and became so attracted to communism that it shaped their lives. For Bedi, the October Club was the induction to an involvement with communism which stretched over twenty years. Minoo Masani, another Indian from an elite background who was on the periphery of the communist movement when a student in England, declared that it was not an accident that the 'aristocracy' of the Indian Communist Party came in large part 'from the class of people whose parents could afford an expensive foreign education.' [39]

Bedi was prone to bragging and placed himself in retrospect more at the centre of events than he appeared to his contemporaries. He was not among the most high profile Oxford communists, and perhaps lacked the discipline and intellectual drive which marked out the most effective student political organisers. But he had one very valuable trait at a time of political turbulence, when rival groups often sought to disrupt each other's meetings -- his physique:

So then, as a University tough, my duty used to be to stand at the gate so that any persons coming to break up [the meeting] would know that I was standing at the gate. . .. This reputation had been spread. Thus my place became just at the gate, listening inside, and watching what was happening while somebody was addressing the meetings. [40]


When the playwright George Bernard Shaw came to address the October Club, Sajjad Zaheer recalled, there were fears of an attempt to stop him speaking. 'So we decided to defend that meeting and among the chief defenders of the meeting was my dear friend, B.P.L. Bedi, who was at that time physically the strongest man at Oxford.' [41]

The only fundamental and possible Socialism is the socialization of the selective breeding of Man: in other terms, of human evolution. We must eliminate the Yahoo, or his vote will wreck the commonwealth....

That may mean that we must establish a State Department of Evolution, with a seat in the Cabinet for its chief, and a revenue to defray the cost of direct State experiments, and provide inducements to private persons to achieve successful results. It may mean a private society or a chartered company for the improvement of human live stock. But for the present it is far more likely to mean a blatant repudiation of such proposals as indecent and immoral, with, nevertheless, a general secret pushing of the human will in the repudiated direction; so that all sorts of institutions and public authorities will under some pretext or other feel their way furtively towards the Superman. Mr. Graham Wallas has already ventured to suggest, as Chairman of the School Management Committee of the London School Board, that the accepted policy of the Sterilization of the Schoolmistress, however administratively convenient, is open to criticism from the national stock-breeding point of view; and this is as good an example as any of the way in which the drift towards the Superman may operate in spite of all our hypocrisies....

Even a joint stock human stud farm (piously disguised as a reformed Foundling Hospital or something of that sort) might well, under proper inspection and regulation, produce better results than our present reliance on promiscuous marriage. It may be objected that when an ordinary contractor produces stores for sale to the Government, and the Government rejects them as not up to the required standard, the condemned goods are either sold for what they will fetch or else scrapped: that is, treated as waste material; whereas if the goods consisted of human beings, all that could be done would be to let them loose or send them to the nearest workhouse. But there is nothing new in private enterprise throwing its human refuse on the cheap labor market and the workhouse; and the refuse of the new industry would presumably be better bred than the staple product of ordinary poverty....

It will have to be handled by statesmen with character enough to tell our democracy and plutocracy that statecraft does not consist in flattering their follies or applying their suburban standards of propriety to the affairs of four continents. The matter must be taken up either by the State or by some organization strong enough to impose respect upon the State....

Let those who think the whole conception of intelligent breeding absurd and scandalous ask themselves why George IV was not allowed to choose his own wife whilst any tinker could marry whom he pleased? Simply because it did not matter a rap politically whom the tinker married, whereas it mattered very much whom the king married. The way in which all considerations of the king’s personal rights, of the claims of the heart, of the sanctity of the marriage oath, and of romantic morality crumpled up before this political need shews how negligible all these apparently irresistible prejudices are when they come into conflict with the demand for quality in our rulers. We learn the same lesson from the case of the soldier, whose marriage, when it is permitted at all, is despotically controlled with a view solely to military efficiency....

On the other hand a sense of the social importance of the tinker’s marriage has been steadily growing. We have made a public matter of his wife’s health in the month after her confinement. We have taken the minds of his children out of his hands and put them into those of our State schoolmaster. We shall presently make their bodily nourishment independent of him. But they are still riff-raff; and to hand the country over to riff-raff is national suicide, since riff-raff can neither govern nor will let anyone else govern except the highest bidder of bread and circuses. There is no public enthusiast alive of twenty years’ practical democratic experience who believes in the political adequacy of the electorate or of the bodies it elects. The overthrow of the aristocrat has created the necessity for the Superman. Englishmen hate Liberty and Equality too much to understand them. But every Englishman loves and desires a pedigree....

A conference on the subject is the next step needed. It will be attended by men and women who, no longer believing that they can live for ever, are seeking for some immortal work into which they can build the best of themselves before their refuse is thrown into that arch dust destructor, the cremation furnace.

-- Man and Superman, by George Bernard Shaw


Over time, Bedi's commitment to Marxism deepened to something more than simply muscular:

I became more and more drawn to it, not in just a vague leftist form, but Marxism as a way of life and a philosophy. . .. As I delved deeply into it, naturally I was drawn into friendships with people who had similar convictions .... I almost became a Lenin idolator and I had no hesitation whatsoever in getting a very big picture of his and just plopping it in my room and hanging it up. [42]


Bedi became convinced that India would not become free without a more assertive and militant approach than Gandhi and the Congress leadership were willing to countenance. His repudiation of Gandhi's advocacy of civil disobedience and non-violence also brought an end to his vegetarianism.

That didn't stop Bedi and others venerating Gandhi when he visited Oxford while attending the Round Table Conference. 'Yes, we had him over at Oxford,' Bedi recalled many years later, probably speaking of Gandhi's address to the Oxford Majlis in October 1931. 'My heart was so overflowing with love and devotion that I just got out from the crowd and went low and touched his feet. Now, it was this demonstration ... done by an Indian student and that too a communist student which absolutely shocked the hall ... Though our paths differed our ideology did not stand in our way of adoring him.' [43]

Freda also heard Gandhi speak and admired his single-minded -- if idiosyncratic -- pursuit of India's independence. Together with Bedi, she set up the Gandhi Study Group, from which stemmed one of their most ambitious publishing ventures, though Bedi recalled that there was also a personal agenda. 'The first thing which Freda and myself decided ... was that we must do something which would draw us closer. So, we founded the Gandhi group in order to examine and expound the teachings of Gandhi.' The name was also chosen, he added, because it was safe and less likely to attract the attention of the university authorities. The speakers it attracted were not so safe, and included Shapurji Saklatvala, a Bombay-born Parsee who for much of the 1920s was the Communist MP for Battersea, as well as Muhammad Ali Jinnah, later the founding father of Pakistan. Along with the October Club, this Gandhi Group affiliated to the communist-led Federation of Student Societies -- though several of Gandhi's followers in Oxford resented this left-wing act of appropriation. 'They regretted we had called it the Gandhi group but it was founded only to criticise Gandhiji from the communist angle.' [44]


Faction-fighting and name-calling was intense amid the loose network of groups which recruited among the Indian student community and equally tiny nationalist-inclined diaspora. 'The multiplicity of organisations in London devoted to propaganda for Indian freedom has been a source of endless confusion to the comparatively small colony of Indian residents and students,' one commentator complained. [45] The most substantial journal and the one that caused most concern to the British authorities was Bharat, the word increasingly used by nationalists for India. Initially published by the Oxford Majlis, by early 1931 Sajjad Zaheer had become the editor of the journal, which was viewed by the British authorities as 'definitely revolutionary and communistic and ... likely to have an unwholesome effect upon the minds of any Indian Students who may happen to get hold of it.' [46] The other main nationalist publication in Britain was United India, published by an oddball figure, G.S. Dara. His tone was anti-communist but sympathetic to both the Indian National Congress and to Britain's Independent Labour Party, which was to the left of the Labour Party and had a greater focus on colonial issues. Bedi wrote a brief, and hot-blooded, article for United India to mark India's 'independence day' in 1932 (Congress had made a largely rhetorical declaration of independence on 26th January 1930). He thundered against 'the insolent alien Government' ruling India and offered homage to 'those men, women and children who fell under the British bullet, bayonet and baton; while fighting non violently for the freedom of our dear Motherland.' [47]

The following issue of United India was described as 'the Oxford number' with brief pieces by twenty-six students, including prominent political figures such as Tony Greenwood and Michael Foot and at least ten Indian students. Freda Houlston was also among the contributors. This appears to have been her first published article about India. It was very brief and insubstantial but confirmed her increasing identification with Indian nationalism. She praised the 'conviction and courage' of Indian women activists -- including a young Calcutta woman who had fired five shots at the British governor of Bengal -- and likened them to Mrs Pankhurst and the suffragettes. [48] Olive Shapley was also among the contributors, with a distinctly more militant attitude towards women's activism -- reflecting the class-against-class outlook then dominant in the communist movement and its disdain for achieving piecemeal reforms:

If the woman's movement in India is to be used to prop-up the capitalist system for a few more years before its inevitable collapse, then purdah and child-marriage would be lesser evils. The women of Russia did not achieve their emancipation through the media of welfare centres, baby clinics, and women's institutes, and it is greatly to be hoped that the women of India will not be deceived by these sops to their awakening consciousness. [49]


B.P.L. Bedi wrote about India's 'determined youth' -- 'the youth recognises no via media; it is either freedom or death.' Sajjad Zaheer also contributed, and the two moving forces in the October Club, Frank Meyer and Dick Freeman, sent in a paragraph of revolutionary agitprop which while of little merit as political analysis offers a telling reflection of the political mood among student militants:

Imperialism is as much of a curse for the British working class as for India. We further believe that the interests of the British workers and the Indian masses are identical -- and just as the British worker has to fight against treacherous leaders ... so the Indian worker has to fight its Ghandi [sic], its Jawaharlal [Nehru] and its Bose. It is just as essential for India's revolutionary youth to get rid of its worthless nationalist illusions, as it is for England to eradicate the 'Rule Britannia' mentality.


The paragraph concluded, predictably, with the slogan: Workers of the World Unite' -- which jarred with Bedi's style of signing off with the words 'Bande Mataram', the tide of the hymn to the motherland which had become the anthem of Indian nationalism.

In the summer of 1932, perhaps while recuperating from her ill health, Freda travelled in northern Germany. She wrote articles for the Derby Evening Telegraph about German family life and about the merits of German men, their cheerfulness, domesticity and love of order. [50] If this was also an interlude to allow both Freda and Bedi to consider whether they were certain about marrying, it didn't disturb their intentions.

I remember him saying to me at that time: 'I've nothing to offer you because I'm only just a member of the Indian national movement, a follower of Gandhi, and for all I know you might have to wait for me outside jail walls. I've really nothing to offer you -- except my love and this companionship that I feel we have.' And to me it seemed the only thing -- I never thought about it twice. I just said: 'Yes, well whatever it is, let's share it together.' And that's how we became engaged.


She now had the 'traumatic' task of telling her mother. That day, she recalled, she had to go to the dentist but was so tense that the tooth couldn't be taken out. 'So I went back home with the tooth still in -- and the thought now I must tell my mother. And at that time I remember she was washing the dishes -- in Derbyshire we call it washing the pots -- at the sink in the kitchen, and I told her that I had decided to marry B.P.L. She was very quiet and then she said: Well, I trust you and your judgement and I know you wouldn't marry a bad man, and you do as you wish, but I'm only sorry that you'll leave England.' [51]

Freda is being less than candid about her family's response to the relationship. She would not have been so anxious about breaking the news if she expected her mother to receive it tolerably well. She was losing a daughter. Freda never had any doubt that marrying Bedi meant making a life in India. In middle-class Derby, the idea of a daughter marrying out of her race, religion and nationality was at that time almost unthinkable and vanishingly rare. Freda's eldest child believes there was a threat to disinherit Freda -- and indeed she didn't inherit her mother's house (though as a Buddhist nun she had little need of it). But however great the anguish, a lasting breach was avoided and in the Easter holidays, Bedi came up to Derby and met his wife-to-be's brother and mother -- and judging by photographic evidence, succeeded in allaying their fears.

_______________

Notes:

2. The Gates of the World


1. 'Oxford' audio recording made by Freda Bedi c1976, Bedi Family Archive (BFA)

2. Tim Richardson, Oxford College Gardens, London, 2015, p 236.

3. Laura Schwartz, A Serious Endeavour: Gender, Education and Community at St Hugh's, 1886-2011, London, 2011, pp 147-153

4. Schwartz, A Serious Endeavour, p 156

5. Barbara Castle, Fighting All the Way, London, 1992, p 48

6. Olive Shapley, Broadcasting a Life: the Autobiography of Olive Shapley, London, 1996, p 25

7. Castle, Fighting All the Way, pp 46-7

8. Shapley, Broadcasting a Life, p 23

9. Castle, Fighting All the Way, p 49. There were twenty shillings to the Pound, so six shillings would be the equivalent of £0.30. Olive Shapley also recounts this episode and recalls that Barbara tested her friends on the book 'which was delightfully typical of her' -- Broadcasting a Life, pp 26-7

10. Anne Perkins, Red Queen: The Authorised Biography of Barbara Castle, London, 2003, pp 21-2

11. Shapley, Broadcasting a Life, p 24

12. The Imp, March 1930, St Hugh's College archive

13. 'Oxford' audio recording, BFA

14. Shapley, Broadcasting a Life, pp 29, 25

15. Shapley, Broadcasting a Life, pp 25-6

16. Freda Bedi handwritten notes apparently in preparation for making audio recordings about her life story, BFA

17. I am particularly grateful to Amanda Ingram, the archivist at St Hugh's College, for sending me copies of Freda's tutors' reports. In later life, Freda herself blamed her disappointing degree on an interruption in her studies occasioned by ill health, though she took some comfort that Nehru also got a third class honours degree. She wrote to her son Kabir, who faced a similar break in his college career: 'It isn't easy to get a good Division when you drop a year -- rather like the kettle going off the boil. It happened in my case too: only I got a Royal Third as Panditji put it. (He also got the same!!)'

18. Freda Houlston, 'The Reality of Oxford', Calcutta Review, 1933, pp 95- 99. Established in 1844, the Calcutta Review was one of India's most venerated periodicals and between the wars it was an influential platform for Indian nationalism.

19. 'Oxford' audio recording, BFA

20. Castle, Fighting All the Way, p 47

21. Shapley, Broadcasting a Life, p 26. Her account is echoed -- though without the reference to a mental hospital -- in Castle, Fighting All the Way, p 47

22. Sumita Mukherjee, Nationalism, Education and Migrant Identities: The England -- returned, Abingdon, 2010, pp 22-26. Shapley, Broadcasting a Life, p 26. Olive Shapley could have added that the Indian students at Oxford were overwhelmingly men -- Freda appears not to have had any Indian student contemporaries at St Hugh's.

23. D.F. Karaka, All My Yesterdays, Bombay, 1944, pp 8-9. The article appeared in the left-wing Daily Herald in 1934.

24. Oxford Mail, 22 January 1934

25. United India, June 1932

26. Bharat, January 1931

27. D.F. Karaka, The Pulse of Oxford, London, 1933, pp 35-36

28. Castle, Fighting All the Way, p 47

29. Shapley, Broadcasting a Life, p 26

30. It is likely that Olive Shapley was in some measure a model for one of the characters in Zaheer's fiction. A Night in London is a novella, first published in Urdu in 1938 though written some years earlier, about Indian student life in London (where Zaheer studied law after his Oxford years). One of the most intriguing characters is Sheila Green, an intelligent and cultured Englishwoman with a fascination for India who falls in love with an Indian student to be forsaken by him for India and its national cause. Sajjad Zaheer, A Night in London, translated by Bilal Hashmi, Noida, 2011. This volume also includes a note by Carlo Coppola about Zaheer, and a translation of part of Zaheer's memoirs.

31. Isis, 1 June 1932

32. Shapley, Broadcasting a Life, pp 28-9

33. Geoff Andrews, The Shadow Man: At the Heart of the Cambridge Spy Circle, London, 2015, pp 36-41. Security service papers relating to Frank Strauss Meyer, KV2/3501, National Archive.

34. Francois Lafitte papers, US72: box 37, Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham. Lafitte's remarkable list of more than eighty names of fellow Oxford student communists and other documents and subsequent correspondence with MI5 are not available in the National Archive but are included in his personal papers. I am very grateful to Nicholas Deakin for permission to consult this normally 'closed' part of the Lafitte papers. Lafitte muddled many of the names of his former comrades. Freda Houlston is recorded as 'Freda Corbett' -- the name of a right-wing Labour politician of the time -- but there's no doubt which Freda he meant. Similarly, Zaheer's first name is given as 'Mumtaz' rather than Sajjad. The other Indian communist mentioned is Gopal Kumaramangalam.

35. The Communist Party did, however, set up a student network, and from the mid-1930s -- when international communism moved into its Popular Front period and abandoned sectarianism -- was conspicuously successful in attracting student adherents, particularly at Oxford, Cambridge, the London School of Economics and University College, London.

36. V.K. Krishna Menon (ed.), Young Oxford and War, London, [1934], pp 82-3.

37 Michael Foot, 'Oxford and Politics', Cherwell, 14 October 1933.

38. 'Oxford' audio recording, BFA

39. M.R. Masani, The Communist Party of India: A Short History, New York, 1954, p 47.

40. B.P.L. Bedi interview transcript, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), f31

41. A.G. Noorani, 'A Versatile Communist', Frontline (Chennai), 10 August 2012 -- an article consisting of extracts from an oral history interview with Sajjad Zaheer held at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in Delhi.

42. B.P.L. Bedi interview transcript, NMML, f52

43. B.P.L. Bedi interview transcript, NMML, f39

44. B.P.L. Bedi interview transcript, NMML, f285

45. Ganga Das, 'Indian Politics in London', Hindustan, December 1933.

46. India Office Records L/PJ/12/252, ff5-6. This file includes the only copy of Bharat located, for January 1931. It was subtitled 'A Journal of Indian students abroad', and consisted of 48 well produced pages with a striking graphic on the cover. This was superseded in 1932 by New Bharat: Voice of India's Revolt! which the authorities considered banning from India because of its determinedly rebellious language. It later changed name once more to Indian Front -- several copies of which survive -- while remaining explicitly communist in outlook.

47. B.P.L. Bedi, 'The Nation's Response', United India, January-February 1932

48. Freda Houlston, Women in the Limelight', United India, March 1932

49. Olive Shapley, Women in India', United India, March 1932.

50 Derby Evening Telegraph, 24 August 1932, 19 July 1932.

51. 'Berlin to Punjab 1934-39' audio recording made by Freda Bedi c1976, BFA
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 28774
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Jun 23, 2019 8:31 am

Ann Randolph, Writer, Performer, Teacher
by AnnRandolph.com
Accessed: 6/23/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Ann is an award-winning writer and performer. Her current solo show, Inappropriate in All the Right Ways, has been described by The Huffington Post as "a show like no other.” After taking the audience on an audacious, disastrous and glorious ride, Ann invites audience members to take the stage for an unforgettable evening.

Her show, Loveland, played for two years straight in San Francisco where it won the SF Weekly Award for Best Solo Show and garnered the SF Bay Critic’s Award for Best Original Script. Loveland also played to sold out audiences in LA and won the LA Weekly award for Best Solo Show. After the show, audience members would wait in the lobby to share with her their experiences of loss and grief, themes touched on in the show with absurdity and candor. In response, Ann created a unique theatrical experience at the Arena Stage in Washington, DC where she held a post-show interactive writing workshop on grief and loss.

Ann's solo show, Squeeze Box, was produced by Mel Brooks and Anne Bancroft and enjoyed a successful off-Broadway run before touring the United States and headlining at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Squeeze Box garnered both the Los Angeles Ovation Award and the LA Weekly Award for Best Solo Show.

Image

Her other solo works include Down Home, Shelter, and Miss America for which she won the LA Weekly Award for Best Solo Performer. A favorite spoken word artist, Ann is a Moth StorySLAM winner and has been a regular on LA’s long running spoken word series including Tasty Words, SPARK and Gorgeous Stories. Her personal essays and interviews have been featured on NPR, PBS and the BBC.

As a sketch artist, Ann has performed her original material in countless comedy shows including the Groundlings, Bob’s Office Party, the Rudy Casoni Show, and the Midnight Show alongside fellow comedians Will Ferrell, Kat Williams, Cheri Oteri, Maria Bamford, Drew Hastings, Mo Collins, Thomas Lennon and Ben Garant (creators of Reno 911). A member of the WGA, she has written scripts for Gullane Pictures, Lifetime TV, Brooksfilms, PAX, Klasky Csupo in addition to writing the series pilot for If the Show Fits, Wear It with renowned rapper, Master P.

She is a nationally recognized educator and keynote speaker, performing at universities and conferences. Her widely popular Write Your Life workshops are offered in cities across the United States.
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 28774
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:36 pm

Philip Toynbee
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 6/25/19

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


20 September 1980

PHILIP TOYNBEE, writer, observes in his journal:

"Sudden wild nostalgia for my earliest, cloudiest Communist days; the pamphlet John Cornford sent me at Rugby, a black silhouette of Lenin with arm outstretched against a field of deep maroon; the Parton St bookshop; my first meeting of the October Club at Oxford... How clearly it all comes back to me now, those passionate longings for brotherhood with the whole world and the conviction that my own emancipation, freedom, growth were directly dependent on working for that glorious fraternity. What wild and confident happiness! Never for a moment have I felt this kind of ecstasy from any of my religious aspirations. Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive - however false the dawn."

-- Days Like These, by Ian Irvine


Image

Philip Toynbee
Born
Theodore Philip Toynbee
25 June 1916
Oxford, England, UK
Died
15 June 1981 (aged 64)
St Briavels, Gloucestershire, England, UK
Occupation
Writer, columnist
Children
Polly Toynbee
Parent(s)
Arnold J. Toynbee

Theodore Philip Toynbee (25 June 1916 – 15 June 1981) was a British writer and communist. He wrote experimental novels, and distinctive verse novels, one of which was an epic called Pantaloon, a work in several volumes, only some of which are published. He also wrote memoirs of the 1930s, and reviews and literary criticism, the latter mainly via his employment with The Observer newspaper.


Life

He was born in Oxford; his father was the historian Arnold J. Toynbee, and his maternal grandfather was Gilbert Murray. He was educated at Rugby School, where he became rebellious, reacting against the public school system. Inspired by the example of Esmond Romilly, later a friend, he ran away, returned shortly and was expelled.<[1] He later wrote a memoir of Romilly, and Jasper Ridley (1913–1944), entitled Friends Apart. Through Romilly, Toynbee met Jessica Mitford, who became a close friend after Esmond died in WWII. He was also influenced by bookshop owner and would-be encourager of the young radical element, David Archer, whom he met through David Gascoyne.

At Christ Church, Oxford in the late 1930s he became the first communist president of the Oxford Union
, at the height of its apparent success and social acceptability. He visited Spain at the end of 1936, at the start of the Spanish Civil War, in a student delegation. He was said to have been beaten up by Mosley's Blackshirts at a fascist meeting.[2] In 1938–39 he edited the Birmingham Town Crier.

He married twice: in 1939, to Anne Powell and in 1950, Sally Smith. In the early 1940s Philip and Anne lived a bohemian life in London's Fitzrovia, and Philip was drinking heavily. At that time they knew Lucian Freud, Donald Maclean and Robert Kee, Henrietta Moraes and others from David Tennant's Gargoyle Club in Soho. Toynbee was later to be found, with Benedict Nicolson, in the Wednesday Club consisting of raffish male writers, artists and journalists.[3] In 1945 they moved to the Isle of Wight, for a fresh start. They had two children, the second being Mary Louisa, better known as the journalist Polly Toynbee. Anne later married Richard Wollheim shortly after divorcing Philip in 1950.[4] As a foreign correspondent with The Observer, Philip then traveled to Tel Aviv, where he met Sally, who was a secretary for the American Embassy there.

During the 1950s he continued to work for The Observer, and was one of the more prominent intellectual figures in British life (perhaps to be compared with Edmund Wilson in the United States, for example). In an article written for The Observer in 1961, he notoriously proclaimed the irrelevancy of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings, just prior to its paperback publication in America and subsequent cultural phenomenon:

"There was a time when the Hobbit fantasies of Professor Tolkien were being taken very seriously indeed by a great many distinguished literary figures. Mr. Auden is even reported to have claimed that these books were as good as War and Peace; Edwin Muir and many others were almost equally enthusiastic. I had a sense that one side or the other must be mad, for it seemed to me that these books were dull, ill-written, whimsical and childish. And for me this had a reassuring outcome, for most of his more ardent supporters were soon beginning to sell out their shares in Professor Tolkien, and today those books have passed into a merciful oblivion."[5]


In the early to mid-1970s, Toynbee underwent a personal crisis, slowly entering into a period of deep depression. He had become increasingly concerned about ecological matters and this, along with his own ideological temperament, took him into the controversial decision to initiate a self-sufficient farming community. His family and friends thought this decision to be close to insane, considering as they did his privacy and routine-loving nature. The community quickly became a commune when Toynbee, Sally and their youngest daughter moved out, into a large cottage nearby. Nonetheless Toynbee and Sally continued to have a great deal of contact with the communards, and along with both spouses' active alcoholism, it frequently caused considerable tension in their marriage.

Toynbee's depression was sometimes immobilising and prevented him from enjoying his day-to-day life and work, and the regularity of his book reviews was sometimes interrupted as he struggled with the depression and the treatment he insisted on receiving for it – against the advice of his GP and consultant – namely, ECT (Electroconvulsive therapy). He finally got the go-ahead for the treatment, which he received in Bristol in the summer of 1977.

The two books which followed the ECT consisted of the journal writings which Toynbee decided to edit and send off for publication. These largely revolved around his search for some kind of spiritual meaning. It could be said that this arose out of his wish to find some purpose for the deep misery of his worst depression. He was strongly urged to stop drinking alcohol and occasionally managed short periods of abstinence. Yet he never really wanted long-term abstinence enough to make any real success of this. He was as a whole capable of great self-discipline, but needed to want his objectives with intense singular-mindedness in order to achieve them.[citation needed]

The two journal books were entitled Part of a Journey (covering 1977 to 1979) and End of a Journey (1979 to 1981). They were very well thought of by a number of readers, some of whom were already interested in matters spiritual, self-searching and vaguely Christian. For them and others, his best writing style shone throughout those pages, with its ready humility and gentle self-mockery.

He died at his home in St Briavels, Gloucestershire, with most of his family (he had five children altogether) at his bedside.

Toynbee genealogy

The Toynbees have been prominent in British intellectual society for several generations (note that this diagram is not a comprehensive Toynbee family tree):

Image

Joseph Toynbee
Pioneering otolaryngologist

Harriet Holmes

Arnold Toynbee
Economic historian

Harry Valpy Toynbee

Gilbert Murray
Classicist and public intellectual

Lady Mary Howard

Arnold J. Toynbee
Universal historian

Rosalind Murray
1890-1967

Antony Harry Toynbee
1914-39

Philip Toynbee
Writer and journalist

Anne Powell

Lawrence Toynbee
b. 1922

Josephine Toynbee

Polly Toynbee
Journalist

Works

• The Savage Days (1937)
• A school in private (1941)
• The Barricades (1943)
• Tea with Mrs. Goodman (1947) (U.S. edition title: Prothalamium: A Cycle of the Holy Graal)
• The Garden to the Sea (1953)
• Friends Apart, A Memoir of Esmond Romilly & Jasper Ridley in the Thirties (1954) re-published in (1980)
• The Fearful Choice: a debate on nuclear policy (1958)
• Pantaloon or the Valediction (1961) verse novel
• Underdogs: Anguish and Anxiety, Eighteen Men and Women Write Their Own Case-Histories (1962) editor
• Comparing Notes: A Dialogue Across a Generation (1963) with Arnold J. Toynbee
• Thanatos, a Modern Symposium at which Nine Characters Argue at Quarles (1963) with Maurice Richardson
• Two Brothers: the fifth day of the Valediction of Pantaloon (1964) Pantaloon verse novel
• A Learned City: the sixth day of the valediction of pantaloon (1966) Pantaloon verse novel
• Views from a Lake: the seventh day of the Valediction of Pantaloon (1968) Pantaloon verse novel
• Age of the Spirit: Religion as Experience (1973)
• Distant Drum: Reflections on the Spanish Civil War (1976) editor
• Part of a Journey: An Autobiographical Journal, 1977-79 (1981)
• End of a Journey An Autobiographical Journal 1979-81 (1982)
• Towards the Holy Spirit: A Tract for the Times (1982)

Notes

1. Boadilla by Esmond Romilly, The Clapton Press, London, 2018 ISBN 978-1999654306
2. Pakenham, Frank.Born to Believe. Cape, 1953, p.83
3. Claire Harman "BOOK REVIEW: Ten years of lunching: 'In the Fifties' by Peter Vansittart", Independent on Sunday, 18 June 1995
4. Emma Tennant Obituary: Anne Wollheim, The Guardian, 27 November 2004
5. Fuller, Edmund. The Lord Of The Hobbits: J.R.R. Tolkien, originally printed in Books With Men Behind Them (Fuller, Random House, 1962), and reprinted in Tolkien And The Critics: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord Of The Rings (ed. Neil D. Isaacs and Rose A. Zimbardo, Notre Dame Press, 1968).

References

• Faces of Philip; a memoir of Philip Toynbee (1984) Jessica Mitford
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 28774
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:13 pm

From student 'red' to right-wing warmonger
by Randompottins.blogspot.com
April 20, 2011

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


The vigilance, albeit belated, of the British security service provides a window on the membership and activities of the October Club. Cambridge student communism in the 1930s spawned a celebrated cluster of Soviet agents at the heart of the British establishment. When this became apparent twenty years later with the defection to Moscow of two senior figures in British intelligence, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, MI5 became alarmed about how little they knew about Oxford communists at that time. They resolved to find out -- and were assiduous in approaching one-time members of the October Club who might be happy to share information about their former comrades. They were fortunate that the club's founder -- an American, Frank Strauss Meyer -- had recanted of his student communism and was happy to cooperate. [33] And still more valuable for MI5, another onetime member of the October Club, Francois Lafitte, divulged the names of all the Oxford student communists he could recall. Freda and Bedi were both on the list -- 'Seemed to me both to be close fellow-travellers. They married and went to Lahore ... ' -- and so too was Sajjad Zaheer, a 'very capable Indian and close friend of Olive Shapley.' [34]

Meyer and others established the October Club at the close of 1931, as a left-wing breakaway from the Labour Club. 'We decided to organize the October Club quite on our own, with the idea of using it to attract those interested in Communism and forming a guiding group inside it,' Meyer told MI5. 'At the beginning we had considerable contempt for the official Communist Party' -- a suspicion which was reciprocated. The Communist Party of Great Britain was at the time a small, workerist and distinctly sectarian force of a few thousand members. [35] By the spring of 1932, the October Club's core of ten or twelve activists had joined the party, and after its first year of activity that number had doubled and the club's membership was in the hundreds. In its early months, the October Club achieved attention with a string of big name speakers, one of whom, H.G. Wells, was subject to barracking for being critical of Moscow. Escapades such as singing the communist anthem 'The Internationale' at an Armistice Day service to honour the war dead and street fights with fascist students earned the club a certain notoriety. The political atmosphere at the time was highly charged, and the Oxford Union's resounding endorsement in February 1933 of a motion 'that this House will in no circumstances fight for its King and Country' caught global attention; the Daily Express lamented that 'the woozy-minded Communists, the practical jokers, and the sexual indeterminates of Oxford have scored a great success with the publicity that has followed this victory.' In the wake of that controversy, a book on Young Oxford and War was rushed out, edited by V.K. Krishna Menon and with contributions from students of various political loyalties. Dick Freeman, a founder of the October Club, wrote about the radicalisation of Oxford students, and the emotional and political impact of the reception and support given in October 1932 to unemployed hunger marchers from the north -- for many students the first direct experience of the poverty and misery of those without work. [36] The October Club made a political impact out of all proportion to its numbers. Michael Foot, an Oxford student (and a Liberal) at the time and later a leader of the Labour Party, commended it as 'the most lively and enthusiastic club in Oxford.' [37]

Freda, along with many October Club stalwarts, had started out as a member of the Labour Club and then gravitated towards the breakaway group. 'The idealism of our generation was the idealism of helping the underprivileged,' she recalled. 'If the Labour Club to which I belonged ... had any meaning, it was showing that we cared if people hadn't got enough food when they took the government dole, and we did care if the hunger marchers went all the way from Reading to London, we cared if there were children in the slums with no shoes and that children hadn't got enough food.' Her years in Oxford, she said, were 'radical years ... we used to attend all the clubs like the Labour Club and later on the more extreme October Club ... The whole atmosphere was electric with social demands and social change. We were, as it were, the Depression generation.' [38] Both Freda and Bedi attended the socialist G.D.H. Cole's lectures and Harold Laski's seminars on Marx and -- in a joint activity which served to demonstrate both their intellectual and personal compatibility -- they scoured the British Library to track down Marx's journalism about India.

-- 2: The Gates of the World. The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi -- EXCERPT, by Andrew Whitehead


The rise of the student left at Cambridge was part of a wider shift among the student generation. At University College London (UCL), the Gower Socialist Society was formed in autumn 1931. A Marxist society was set up at the LSE [London School of Economics], which would later involve Peter Floud, Michael Straight and briefly John Cornford, before the latter two went up to Trinity College. In Oxford, at the end of 1931, Frank Strauss Meyer, a wealthy American postgraduate and Dick Freeman set up the October Club, inspired by the Soviet revolution and without any official help from the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). The October Club for a while matched the activities of the Cambridge communists. Its founding objective was: ‘the study of communism in its world, social, economic and cultural aspects.’ [21]

Meyer had previously been an active member of the Oxford Labour Club and had set up a ‘Marxist study group; after becoming impatient with the Labour Party and the left.’ Freeman was a friend of the left Labour intelligectual John Strachey and had ‘worked on a collective farm in Russia the summer before, coming back full of enthusiasm.’ Meyer explained that he and Freeman (and others they nominated) would have ‘complete control over its policies and activities.’ Through their contact with the CPGB leaders they initially used the Party as a vehicle for organizing speakers and Meyer claimed that Emile Burns, the Party’s head of propaganda, ‘was taken aback by the whole thing and didn’t know quite what to do about it.’ [22]

The major breakthrough in bringing together the different communist student organizations took place at [James] Klugmann’s house in Hampstead during the Easter vacation in 1932, when his parents were away. The meeting followed a circular from Harry Pollitt, the Communist Party’s general secretary, which – almost certainly acting on Comintern instructions – encouraged the formation of student cells. Klugmann, Kitty and Maurice Cornforth set up the meeting in discussion with the Party leadership at King Street. Present at this meeting were representatives from the communist cells and societies of Cambridge, UCL, the LSE and the October Club, as well as Clemens Palme Dutt from the Party leadership, and Dave Springhall, who had recently been at the International Lenin School in Moscow and had just been elected to the Party’s Central Committee. [23] Springhall, a tough-talking organizer, would later be convicted for espionage and expelled from the Party. At this time he was a rising influence in the leadership, with a special interest in cultivating Comintern links and along with Clemens Palme Dutt would be one of Klugmann’s main contacts at King Street while he was at Cambridge. The meeting established a National Student Bureau – with Meyer its first secretary – and identified the need for a stronger communist strategy in the universities in order to win leading positions, bring in outside speakers and dominate existing left and labour associations. This strategy quickly paid off, with more cells, members and a growing communist presence beyond the three largest centres (Cambridge, Oxford and the LSE) to include 12 more universities in Britain. They also set up their own newspaper the Student Vanguard, which replaced the Outpost (a Cambridge communist paper), and was edited by Meyer, Guest and Cornforth.

This strategy strengthened communist presence in the colleges as a rival to Labour student associations
, culminating in the disaffiliation of the CUSS and other bodies from the University Labour Federal (ULF) and the creation of the Federation of Student Societies the following year. For all present at the Lancaster Road meeting, the message was clear: they were joining an international political organization with roots in the October Revolution which drew its inspiration from the Soviet Union. No one present at the meeting would have been in any doubt that the Party had close underground links with Moscow, though these were regarded as official and authorized by the Party. [24]

Despite his now firm communist convictions, Klugman was not yet an open communist. In fact he did not officially join the Party until the following year. Like Donald Maclean, his decision not to join earlier was partly the result of familial pressure; to varying degrees, they both lived in the shadow of their fathers. Maclean had endured growing tensions with his father, who had served as a minister in what his son saw as Ramsay MacDonald’s ‘traitorous’ National Government. Despite this, Maclean felt unable to join the Communist Party until his father’s death in June 1932. Klugmann’s father was not a government minister but a respected businessman and free trader. Klugmann had experienced many arguments at home about his and his sister’s political views. Only after his father’s death on Easter Saturday, 26 Marc 1932, did he feel sufficiently liberated to make the full commitment that his politics were now demanding.

***

James Klugmann was on the way to becoming an open communist, as he would remain for the rest of his life. It was not unusual to take part in communist activity prior to officially joining the Party. Much of the work of the Student Bureau, like that of the Party as a whole, operated in clandestine ways; according to Frank Strauss Meyer, it communicated on a ‘strictly conspiratorial basis,’ involving ‘mail drops, coded references to individuals’ and secretly maintaining its HQ in a private apartment, with records held in code. [1] This is not surprising. Communists had until recently regularly been imprisoned for perceived subversive activities in the General Strike or agitation among servicemen. The Hampstead meeting had an immediate effect in Oxford just weeks later when a group of ten leading communist students joined the CPGB, and attendances at October Club meetings grew rapidly, resulting in an estimated rise from around 150 to 300 by the end of 1932. Oxford communists would soon be strengthened by the arrival of Bernard Floud and Philip Toynbee, who would go on to be leading officers. According to Meyer, by the end of its first year the October Club had around 25 actual Communist Party members and links to various other left-wing associations. Meyer went down from Oxford in June 1932 to take up a research position with the social anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski at the LSE, where he continued his communist activities, leaving Freeman in charge of the October Club. [2]

Meyer found that the LSE suited his political activities, and his role as secretary of the CPGB’s Student Bureau enabled him to coordinate political activities, leading the LSE communist ‘unit’ into – in his words – ‘a powerful organization which eventually controlled most of the student activities of the School and was able to achieve my election as President.’ [3] The expansion of communist influence in university colleges and the work of the Student Bureau led to more united work, supported by the growth of radical student literature. The Student Vanguard newspaper offered a forum for discussion of communist activities across the country, with the tone of the new journal reflecting the rapidly changing political atmosphere. It proclaimed, ‘The Student Vanguard makes no pretence at impartiality. It is written by students who are convinced that conditions in every section of social existence are more and more facing a radical alteration in society.’ [4]

Much urgency was given to opposing war, following the League of Nations’ inability to prevent Japan’s invasion of the Chinese region of Manchuria and the rise of fascism and militarism during 1933. At the Oxford Union in February, the motion ‘This House will in no circumstances fight for king and country’ was passed with a large majority, an unprecedented development described by Winston Churchill a few days later as ‘shameless and squalid,’ and the subject of virulent attacks on communists and pacifists by the conservative press. In fact, the procrastination of the League of Nations had weakened the pacifist case for many on the left, a growing number of whom were now looking towards the Soviet Union for an alternative. Maurice Dobb’s visits there had informed his politics. At the Cambridge Union in May 1932, in a debate which revived the union from its ‘smug contentment’ and ‘air of aggressive Victorian prosperity,’ [5] Dobb spoke in favour of the motion ‘That this House sees more hope in Moscow than Detroit.’ He spoke enthusiastically of the increase in literacy, the Five Year Plan and the yearly increase in production, contrasting it with the millions of unemployed in America, gangsterism and the consequences of capitalist crisis. According to the reviewers, it was ‘an outstanding speech, […] the most interesting and competent speech that the house has heard for a long time.’ [6] The motion was passed by 62 votes to 36 and contributed to growing confidence amongst students on the left. One of the speakers against was George Kitson Clark, Klugmann’s personal tutor. Despite the difference in their political views, Kitson Clark was to remain an important friend to Klugmann, offering support and advice on his academic career and future plans, and they would spend early evenings together discussing world affairs. Kitson Clark argued, no doubt with some difficulty given the depression and rising unemployment, that the worker was ‘better protected’ in England than in Russia. [7]

-- The Shadow Man: At the Heart of the Cambridge Spy Circle, by Geoff Andrews


TAKING its title from Meyer's column in the right-wing National Review, this book deals with his part in the making of American Conservatism.

NEWLY-released documents from MI5 reveal the security apparatus' concern about writer Cyril Connolly, harmonica player Larry Adler, who had come to this country to get away from McCarthyism, and the popular scientist and TV broadcaster Dr. Jacob Bronowski -- described as "a communist in all but name" in one early report.

Another person in their sights, perhaps less surprisingly, though less well known this side of the water, was Frank Strauss Meyer. Described by one Oxford University communist contemporary as 'The founder of the student Communist Party movement in the UK', Meyer, originally from Newark, New Jersey, was formerly a Princeton alumnus, though he found that American institution snobbish and antisemitic.

He arrived in the UK in August 1928 and enlisted at Balliol College, Oxford, in October 1929. On graduating he transferred to the London School of Economics (LSE) to read for a PhD, but as the National Archive blurb notes, he was "expelled from the LSE in March 1934 for selling copies of the 'Student Vanguard', a left-wing student newspaper he founded, and was subsequently deported in June 1934".

This is only part of the story, though it is interesting to note that at that supposed bastion of radicalism, while Sir William Beveridge was director and the Fabian 'Marxist' Harold Laski (who went on to help found the Left Book Club in 1937) was teaching politics, the Communist Party was banned from using meeting rooms, and Meyer could be expelled for selling his papers.

But there was a particular item in that paper that caused upset. It said that overseas students at British universities, particularly from "the colonies", were the subject of spying and reports about their political activities, and alleged that at LSE this job had been entrusted to a former Indian police inspector among the staff. Though it did not name names, his identity would not have been too difficult to guess.

Mind you, both the Iraqi Communist Party and the semi-Trotskyist Lanka Sama Samaja Party in Ceylon (Sri Lanka to be) owed their foundation in the 1930s at least partly to LSE graduates.

During his time in the UK Frank Meyer was founder and first President of the 'October Club',
a committee member of the Oxford University Labour Club, and President of the Marxist Society and Students Union at LSE. It is said that John Cornford, who did much to establish student communism at Cambridge in the 1930s, was a protégé of his. Cornford was killed in action in Spain in December 1936, having just turned 21.

Frank Meyer, from his return to the USA in 1934 until 1945, remained active in student-related communist affairs. But turning against the authoritarianism of the Soviet Union, he was to become like the former CP-USA leader Jay Lovestone and the ex-Trotskyist James Burnham, a bitter enemy of communism, ready to support other kinds of authoritarianism, albeit in the name of libertarianism. He appeared as a witness before the Subversive Activities Control Board in 1952. In 1961, Meyer published The Moulding of Communists: The Training of the Communist Cadre in which he expounded the view that the communist movement was unlike any movement seen before.

In his review of the book, Murray Rothbard observed:

"Frank S. Meyer is by far the most intelligent, as well as the most libertarian-inclined, of all the National Review stable of editors and staff. …. But tragically, Meyer is also of the war-mongering crew of intellectuals on the Right, perhaps the most frankly and apocalyptically war-mongering of them all…. Meyer's libertarian inclinations are fatally warped by his all-consuming desire to incarcerate and incinerate all Communists, wherever they may be. Meyer is, therefore, an interesting example in microcosm of the swamping of any libertarian instincts on the current Right-wing by an all pervading passion for the Great Crusade to exterminate Communists everywhere."


Though the Hitler-Stalin Pact before the war had fuelled James Burnham and Max Schachtman's argument that they were confronting authoritarianism, and hence that American democracy was a lesser evil, the Cold War right would lend its support, in the name of "freedom", to any corrupt regime, colonial power or brutal dictator, so long as they appeared to protect American interests and stand up to the unprecedented evil that was totalitarian "communism".

Influenced by writings such as Friedrich A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom, Meyer shifted his allegiance between 1945 and 1952, from non-Communist left through Democrat and finally to Republican. Hayek, an Austrian who had joined LSE staff a couple of years before Stern was expelled, was an early exponent of the doctrinaire "free enterprise" views we have come to know as Thatcherism. He condemned the British Liberal Party for being prepared to form part of a Lib-Lab government under Callaghan. Ronald Reagan claimed him as a major source of ideas.

For the American Right, Frank S. Meyer is known less for his youthful escapade at LSE than as a pioneer thinker, who tried to bring together the opposites of conservative belief in order, often religious, and individualist libertarianism. This was "Fusionism". In his 1962 essay "The Twisted Tree of Liberty," Meyer asserted a "common source in the ethos of Western civilization," which included conservative and libertarian thought, caused the political discourse which created "the fusion that is contemporary American conservatism."

Every capitalist wants to impose order, on his own business and then if ambitious, on a whole industry, and in time of crisis at least, upon a world economy, while all the time resenting any "bureaucratic" interference with his own freedom. Similar contradictions can be seen between states, and among spokespersons for governments. But at an intellectual level, Meyer could advocate a symbiosis, conservatives and monetarists who admired Milton Friedman (who opposed the existence of the Federal Reserve) and supporters of Alan Greenspan (who has become head of it). Neo-conservatives like Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz saw the light.

In the late 1960s Meyer did take up a fight against one Republican president, albeit a dead one, whom other Americans regardless of party might have treated as sacrosanct. In a debate over the role of Abraham Lincoln with conservative Harry V. Jaffa. Meyer argued that Lincoln's abuses of civil liberties and expansion of government power should make him anathema to conservatives, while Jaffa defended Lincoln as a continuation of the Founding Fathers.

Lincoln had after all to wage a war against the backward Southern plantocracy, who would not listen to reasoned appeals, and were only interested in staying in power and keeping America backward. This also required discipline on his own side, before the States could be united, free farmers and labour expand, and the slaves be freed from slavery. This could be an embarrassing piece of history to explain away when telling other people not to follow what America did, but only do what its leaders say.

All the same, though against the draft, the libertarian Meyer was in favour of war on China to free its people to do as they are told by America, and of a 'preventive' first use of nuclear weapons.

Here in Britain we might observe how some former Lefts and Tory Rights have been able to meet on the "libertarian" bridge, though so far the travel direction only seems to be one way . And interestingly it was Frank S. Meyer who first used the expression "There is no such thing as society" which Mrs.Thatcher thought such a clever epigram.

On his death bed, apparently, Meyer the libertarian made his peace with absolute authority, and converted to Catholicism. By then I suppose he had not much use for his freedom and thought he might need forgiveness.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news ... il2011.htm

http://www.conservativeforum.org/EssaysForm.asp?ID=6270

http://delong.typepad.com/egregious_mod ... on-fr.html

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/200 ... ed_stories

http://www.lewrockwell.com/mcmaken/mcmaken69.html
admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 28774
Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 5:21 am

PreviousNext

Return to Articles & Essays

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests