September. Richard Burton in Henry V. Russia's intentions. Donald Heath, Bryan Rowlands. Harrod on Keynes.
Sunday, Sept 2nd
Set up a new record for timetable making by completing in in one day – with new numbering and lettering of forms, too!
Monday, Sept 3rd
This enabled me to start off to Stratford with Hilary and Judith about 1.30. We stopped at Woodstock for a breather and made tea on the high ground near Long Compton. Wood was scarce and poor and the fire refused to go so there was much blowing before the kettle could be persuaded to boil. By this time the rain which was threatening had begun, so we had to retire to the cramped quarters of the car. Arrived at Stratford about 5.30. and looked into New Place Garden. Nora had booked dinner in the theatre, but the room was extremely hot and we ran into a big dinner party, which rather disrupted the service. I preferred the Old Vic Henry V I saw in the spring. We started back about 10.30 in a gale and driving rain; we reached home about 1.30, which was good going;
[Richard Burton as the King. Judith Keyser, class contemporary at Long Dene School, was my girl friend at the time.]
Saturday, Sept 8th
Hilary’s 15th birthday. We gave him money for maps and a new saddlebag. Ken, Rita and three children, Pauline, John and Robert, arrived for lunch. “A funny lot” as Hilary put it. Rather boring for him, but sawed logs to keep our spirits up.
Sunday, Sept 9th
Visitors left at tea time. Sawed more logs and Nora sold one puppy for 6 guineas.
Saturday, Sept 9th
On Downs with Hilary, walked to Blewbury for lunch and back to tea to car. Fine at first but started to rain as we were making tea. What a summer! One of the wettest for years. What a climate!
Wednesday, Sept 19th
Read an article by Colin Clarke foretelling inflation on the scale of France in 1926. Wondered if I ought to turn my money into a caravan, a diamond ring or a grand piano!
Sunday, Sept 23rd
Interesting article in Listener on Russia. Speaker thinks the dictatorship needs a cold war in order to keep itself in power. Only by building up picture of hostility of the West can it justify its measures to the Russian people.
North Atlantic Council has been meeting in Ottawa. There are two points of view – Eisenhower’s and Gaitskell’s. The latter thinks as above. We are in a long period of tension rather than immediate Russian aggression. Perhaps however we shall face a crisis in 1952. American rearmament is getting into the mass production stage, French and British is gathering momentum. Russia cannot prolong its expansionist policy after 1953 or 1954 at latest. Meanwhile they have three courses: 1) preventive war, of which there is no sign. 2) they can refrain from war but accept an armaments race. 3) they can recognize they have overplayed their hand, and accept a settlement by giving up their postwar conquests in Europe. During the next 12 months they will have to make up their minds. Eisenhower argues that with a burst of speed the danger may pass by next summer, i.e., it is possible to eliminate the Russian danger in West if we go all out. American can go all out and not go bust; we by going all out risk our economic future.
“In 1951 we pray, in 1952 we hope, in 1953 we’ve made it – if we’re still here by that time! Faith, hope and parity.” Quotation from office of Eisenhower’s H.Q.
Tuesday, Sept 25th
Yesterday had Donald Heath to tea. He is doing venereaology! Patients come in evening to hospital and known by numbers. Great secrecy observed, but he went back on same train with them. Often wondered whether those who go on train knew what a complement it had on board! To start surgery on return under Bryan Rowlands, my first head boy here.
Reading a searing novel by Grahame Greene, The End of the Affair – too many coincidences between Mary and me. Shows an uncanny knowledge of how frustration and difficulty can produce irritations which can turn love to hate. Both very moved by reading it and Mary reduced to tears.
Wednesday, Sept 26th
Edward VIII’s book, A King’s Story out. One revealing detail. When he was in the toils, the only contribution Neville Chamberlain made was that if the question was not settled it would be bad for Christmas trade. This man with the mentality of a Birmingham clerk later became prime minister of this still great country!
Started Keynes’ biography by Roy Harrod. What a gifted man. Not above making money, left a fortune gained in speculation on foreign exchanges. As bursar of King’s, Cambridge, turned £30,000 into £300,000.
News this week that Molly has at last got a farm, Holly Bush, Longhope, half way between Gloucester and Ross; 40 acres, £5,000, with house, but water by gravitation, an unconnected bath in scullery and outside w.c. Sent a greetings telegram – Long Hope, last hope!
Sunday, Sept 30th
Went to over to Aunt’s. Nora took the last unsold puppy, which diverted Aunt somewhat from the account of her companion Rusby’s misfortunes. Had been removed to chronics’ ward at hospital. Took Aunt to tea at luxury hotel on St Alban’s road. This was my most expensive tea, 10/6 for the three of us.
Harrod on Keynes: His logic, his fluency, his gaiety, these were admirable qualities, but it was not these that propelled him on his voyage, with ceaseless labours, to discover amid the confusion of the 20th century the means for a happier way of life. He had within him a flame of goodness exceeding that granted to most mortals. A soul thus endowed is indomitable..... It cannot be placated by maxims of expediency. For Keynes the supreme enemy was the abuse of power for unworthy or irrelevant or trivial motives, to frustrate an opportunity to improve the lost of man.