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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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Letters from Ben Bradley in India mainly to his brother Len

CP/IND/BRAD/01/03. Letters from Ben Bradley in India mainly to his brother Len Bradley, with correspondence of Len Bradley's regarding Ben Bradley's case. Issues covered include legal representation issues, President Elect Jawaharlal Nehru's comments on the evidence against Bradley, and discussion of family matters reported to Ben Bradley through letters from England.

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Further letters from Ben Bradley in India mainly to his brother Len

CP/IND/BRAD/01/04. Letters from Ben Bradley in India mainly to his brother Len Bradley, with letter to C.W. Bowerman MP, draft 'Appeal to the International Working Class for the Defence of the Meerut Case'. Issues discussed include restrictions on how many letters Ben Bradley was allowed to write and the financial cost of the Meerut trial to the Government.

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Letters from Ben Bradley in India mainly to his parents and brother

CP/IND/BRAD/01/05. Letters from Ben Bradley in India mainly to his parents and brother Len Bradley; also Reginald Bridgeman and the National Meerut Prisoners Defence Committee. These letters focus on issues such as requests for a trial by jury, Ben Bradley's comments on the trial, and attempts to get the Meerut trial debated in the House of Commons.

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Letters to Ben Bradley

CP/IND/BRAD/01/06. Correspondents include Percy Glading (several letters); Ellen Fairbrother; Muzaffar; Nancy Price, Catholic Crusade, Stoke-on-Trent; Alex Gossip, NAFTA; William Rust; Mary Knight, Manchester; B.S. Horniman, Herald; Jack Tanner; A.A. Purcell, Manchester and Salford Trades Council; Jack Ryan; Abdul Halim; Bill Segar; and various British and Indian trade union organisations.

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Summing up of cases for prosecution in conspiracy case

CP/IND/BRAD/01/07. Transcripts of summing-up of cases for prosecution in the conspiracy case, with manuscript notes of depositions in Bradley case. These items include detailed plans of specific events arranged to organise railway workers in India. The prosecution cases against Bradley, Spratt, Dange, Usmani, and Ahmad are included alongside those of seventeen other defendants with a Listing available in Img 56.

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Applications, orders, etc. during Meerut conspiracy case

CP/IND/BRAD/02/01. Includes petitions and enquiries of the accused to the Governor General and sessions judges, orders of the additional sessions judge and related papers; evidence given by H.N. Brailsford Nov. 1930 (handlist with papers).

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Papers of additional district magistrate in charge of Meerut conspiracy

CP/IND/BRAD/02/02. Includes applications and complaints from Bradley, Spratt and other defendants, court orders, list of defence witnesses, charge sheet and list of accused, etc. (handlist with papers).

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Loose papers found in the above.

CP/IND/BRAD/02/03. Mainly letters from Ben Bradley to his brother Len Bradley; also correspondence of Ben Bradley's father with William Wedgwood Benn, Secretary of State for India, letters from Percy Glading, Ernest Winterton and other supporters in Britain.

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Defence statement of Ben Bradley in Meerut conspiracy case

CP/IND/BRAD/02/04. Defence statement of Ben Bradley in Meerut conspiracy case June-July 1931. Commencing with a brief autobiographical description of his early life, Bradley's defence then deals more directly with the evidence before him. Bradley also discusses various Trades Unions' affiliations to the anti-imperialist cause and his beliefs in regard to the class struggle. There follows his description of the background to the textile workers' strike of 1928; he concludes with an attack on percieved political motives behind the trial.

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Defence papers re Meerut conspiracy case

CP/IND/BRAD/02/05. Includes 'suggestions in regard to defence' and notes on expulsion of Maslow from German Communist Party 1925, partly because of his behaviour in court. Further notes include the case against Ben Bradley, papers removed from his room, correspondence with magistrates, orders regarding the case, lists of books sent from Britain for defence purposes, brief for Bradley case, list of documents produced by prosecution, list of defence witnesses, etc. (full handlist with papers).

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