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MEERUT PRISONERS PAPERS

Meerut Prisoners Papers

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Meerut Prisoners Papers

The correspondence of Ben Bradley during the trial combines the personal with the political. Bradley's main correspondents are his brother Len and his parents. The personal aspect consists of reports on the health and well-being of Bradley and his family. Legal matters discussed include difficulties with obtaining legal representation, how to raise public awareness of the case, financial pressures, and Bradley's personal comments on the trial.

Transcripts and records of case proceedings include transcript summaries of the case for the prosecution. The judge's summary includes a reference to the fact that the term 'conspiracy' does not exist in Indian law at the time of the trial; the trial itself being held to decide if the defendants had participated in a conspiracy to deprive the King of his sovereignty in India. These items include legal applications and petitions under various procedures, alongside charge sheets and depositions. Manuscript notes are also included alongside records of the judgement.

Items focussing on defence statements and funds combine preparatory notes, book requests and final versions of defence statements with records relating to how the defence campaign was funded. This selection of documents features two key works by Ben Bradley: his manuscript essay titled 'The Meerut Trial and its Relationship to the Working Class Movement in India' and Bradley's printed evidence on conditions in the Indian textile industry as presented to a public committee in Bombay. A transcript bibliography from the latter 1920's then serves as a guide to the direction of scholarly research into communist theory at the time.

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Transcript notes of summing up by M. I. Kemp of prosecution case

CP/IND/BRAD/03/01. Transcript notes of summing up by M. I. Kemp of prosecution case in Meerut conspiracy trial June 1932. In this item the Judge mentions the fact that the term 'conspiracy' does not (at the time of the trial) exist in Indian law [see Img 003]. He also draws attention to a letter allegedly calling for a military revolution. The legal point upon which the Judge says the case is to be decided is: whether the accused sought to break the law by conspiring to cause a revolution and deprive the King of his sovereignty. The summing-up itself consists of 359 pages of narrative, the delivery of which commenced on 16th June 1932 and concluded on the 14th July that year, it was delivered over the course of 24 days in court.

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Printed judgement in Meerut conspiracy trial of Additional Sessions (volume 1).

CP/IND/BRAD/03/02. The printed judgement in the Meerut conspiracy trial of Additional Sessions Judge R. L. Yorke January 1933 (volume 1) is preceded by a short history of the 'India - National Movement' from 1906 to 1952. The judgement itself commences with a list of 31 people accused of conspiring to 'deprive the King Emperor of the Sovereignty of British India' and details as to how the case came to trial. This item then discusses the case on its merits as a whole.

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Printed judgement in Meerut conspiracy trial of Additional Sessions (volume 2).

CP/IND/BRAD/03/03. The printed judgement in the Meerut conspiracy trial of Additional Sessions Judge R. L. Yorke January 1933 (volume 2). This resource discusses each defendant's case individually before concluding with a judgement on the level of guilt possessed by each of the accused (other than the 3 acquitted and the 1 who died in prison before sentencing).

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Correspondence of Meerut conspiracy case Central Defence Committee

CP/IND/BRAD/03/04. The correspondence of Meerut conspiracy case Central Defence Committee contains a list of defence witnesses (handlist with papers). Other contents include an itemised list of loose papers in folder CP/IND/BRAD/03/05, and some press cuttings regarding issues such as the observation of Christmas and controversy surrounding 'red letters' allegedly discussing plans to assassinate Government officials.

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Loose papers found in the above

CP/IND/BRAD/03/05. Commencing with the June 1934 edition of 'Indian Forum', a journal exploring 'The Agrarian Question in India', 'The British in India', and the question of Nehru's motivations. These items also include a copy of correspondence with William Wedgwood Benn, Secretary of State for India; alongside the National Meerut Prisoners Defence Committee press statements.

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Correspondence regarding Meerut case

CP/IND/BRAD/03/06. Correspondence with W.H. Thompson, solicitor, London. Subjects discussed include discussion of the right to trial by jury, books and documents ordered by Thompson and Bradley, hunger strikes, and harrassment of the defence team in India.

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Meerut Communist Conspiracy Case Defence and Appeal Funds

CP/IND/BRAD/03/07. Meerut Communist Conspiracy Case Defence Fund and Meerut Prisoners Appeal Fund balance sheets and accounts from February 1st 1930 to September 15th 1933.

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Manuscript notes and tables on Meerut conspiracy

CP/IND/BRAD/04/01. Manuscript notes and tables on the Meerut conspiracy trial, a listing of witnesses, defence arguments, and other such details. These notes commence with a detailed 'note' on 'the Length of the Trial' and events occuring during the trial's duration which had an affect on the length of the trial itself. Other items include tables of how long witnesses and defendants took to present their statements and a table of key dates in the course of the trial.

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Papers found in the above including Ben Bradley's Manuscript essay

CP/IND/BRAD/04/02. Loose papers found in the above, including Ben Bradley's Manuscript essay 'The Meerut Trial and its relationship to the Working Class Movement in India' and letters to Bradley 1934; with other miscellaneous papers.

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Cuttings, newsletters and papers of the Prisoners Release Committee

CP/IND/BRAD/04/03. Cuttings, newsletters, circulars and papers, mainly of the Meerut Prisoners Release Committee of the League Against Imperialism, British section. Papers include transcript financial statements and minutes, copy, correspondence, pamphlets and draft pamphlets.

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