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Wednesday, 9 June 2010

1942 - March

March. No more petrol. Mr Potter missing. Apoplexy desirable in high army posts. Plan for India's future.

Tuesday, March 10th
              Still in bed with sciatica and not much improved. Bad spasms of pain. Have had two injections, which have made it worse.

Thursday, March 12th      
              Tirpitz, sister ship of Bismarck, found off Trondheim and attacked by naval aircraft. Apparently returned to Norwegian base. On Tuesday government published information about Japanese outrages in Hong Kong – rape, murder and torture. Everyone full of fear at what may be happening in Singapore.
              All ordinary petrol to be cut off at end of June and for May and June together shall only get 5 gallons. I remember the first rationing in 1939 and how I went down to Worthing to see Con on the last day of free purchase and got the tank filled in Worthing till it overflowed. Those were the days!
              Wonder how M and I shall manage with no car. Wish I was in better shape for bicycling.

Saturday, March 14th
              Official news of naval action fought north of Java by British, Dutch, American and Australian cruisers and destroyers. The battle went on for a day and a night, and the following day most of the allied fleet had been sunk by numerically superior Japanese. At Tokyo about ten days ago reported a cruiser of Exeter class sunk but hope it is not the Exeter. I had just completed and addressed an answer to Potter’s letter and was about to give it to Miss Hunter to post when she told me of the Japanese story. I took the letter from her hand, then changing my mind gave it back to her and asked her to post it. Afraid my letter was written to some one already dead.

Wednesday, March 18th
        Excellent article in Times by Sir William Beveridge saying that we are handicapped by attempt to run industry by peacetime methods of wage negotiation on labour side and management that must look to shareholders and peacetime position after the war. Must get away from the idea of buying output by high wages often greatly out of relation to conditions in the forces. What we want is not more wage increases but a better spirit, a dynamic (in present jargon), the kind of thing that animated the tank factories in turning out tanks for Russia.
              I wish could write more fully in Diary, but awfully tedious and difficult writing in bed. I completed a month (in bed) to-day – and worse than I was when I started into bargain.

Friday, March 20th
              Daily Mirror put on the mat for saying that high blood pressure, heart disease and apoplexy desirable in higher posts in Army! Also published cartoon implying that oil companies making money out of scarcity caused by shipping losses. A debate on freedom of the press.
              Reading Gospels in bed and listening to classical music on M’s wireless.

Sunday, March 29th
              Day of Prayer, always an ill omen! King broadcast last night, but pauses so long that could not listen to him and turned off. Princess Elizabeth confirmed yesterday, so that may have put him off.
              Raid on St Nazaire by mixed force. Claimed by Germans to be a failure. No communique from our side yet.
              It was sufficiently warm to-day for visitors to have tea in the flat roof outside bedroom – Hilary Daniels, Margaret Sheehan, Wilk, Grandma and Nora. However it was not a success as far as I was concerned as I was unable to see them.

Monday, March 30th
              Raid on St Nazaire seems to have been a success, though impossible to get off all the demolition and landing parties. Germans very rattled as they fired on and sank one of their own AA ships. An old American destroyer filled with explosives was pushed against the lock gates and then blown with a time fuse.
              India plan out this morning. Dominion status with right to secede after war… A courageous, generous and enlightened act of statesmanship; the only pity is it did not come sooner. Hope the hand of friendship has not been held out too late, but don’t think so.

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