16 AUGUST 1930, Page 16

[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR]

Sur,—I have read your message to India and cordially and unhesitatingly reciprocate it. I do hope and trust that you will see to it that the spirit of the message is unhesitatingly lived up to. India wanted Britain's best and surely many of us who have put years of devoted service to the State know that Britain's best are not bad best, judged by all • standards of values. But I unhesitatingly say that Britain stinted to send her best, and in India to-day there is complete lack of faith in British statesmanship, honour and integrity. Britain has ceased to inspire. For. this the bungling of your politicians and the conduct of such types as you have cared to staff the " services " with are mainly responsible. Your agents in the bulk here—either through inherent bad education or twist in morals caused through an irresponsible and autocratic exercise of power—have drawn deep the picture of a dark Britain—a Britain very different from the Britain of our dreams. You have set up a system which thwarts truth, crushes self-respect, smothers growth —it develops the Indian into a sycophant, and the Briton into a bully. It sterilizes the humanity he both and does:

lasting damage to the cause of civilization and progress. Through all the babble of insolence and interests that you hear you have to hold firm to the principles laid down by the best of your own thinkers. Can you do it ? Therein lies the only cure. Fear can never be the basis of permanent human relationship—its inevitable reaction is hatred. Love and mutual sympathy and regard alone are the bedrocks on which permanent human relationship can be based. Organized snobbery may fool the smaller world it lives in, but cannot fool the bigger world that lives outside. An attitude of good will, sympathy (not condescending patronage) and justice needs to be restored and an unhesitating grasp of the fundamentals of that attitude can alone save the position. It is up to you to see if this is possible. Britain loves her freedoni—dare she deny it to a country which has been associated with her for all these long years and face the judgment of history ? Not even the Simon Commission's analysis can obscure the judgment of posterity.

There are millions to-day who would like to be within the Empire (be proud of being His Majesty's subjects and owe allegiance to the house of a great Queen), but certainly on conditions other than those that now exist—on terms of common fellowship, absolute equality and sincere good will. Is not good will of the people of India worth more than anything—look at it from whatever point of view you will— commerce, administration, existence of the Empire and so forth, quite apart from ethics and morals ? Is the civiliza- tion, is the culture, is the spiritual growth of England so poor as to fret at conceding those terms specially for the great return of India's trust, friendship and gratitude ? I am not sure if Britain realizes that it is she who is on her trial to-day and not India. We out in India have trusted in Him and are convinced that our claim is just and will have His help.

Thanking you ever so much again and wishing you every success in your endeavour to guide your country aright to scrap the unbearable barrier of bitterness and ill will.—