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PAPERS REGARDING INDIA

Papers Regarding India

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Papers Regarding India

The development of Trade Unionism is a key theme in these items as they explore the formation of the All India Trades Union Federation followed by the conflict between this organisation and the All Indian Trades Union Congress. These developments are accompanied by contemporary press coverage of the ongoing dispute between mill owners and mill workers; the strikes themselves mainly preceding the Trade Disputes Bill which is also covered by press cuttings in this selection. The Communists found support amongst the Students' Unions of Cawnpore and Bombay; while the reports from the Federation of Indian Students Societies are rather less conclusive on this front.

The press cuttings relating to the fight for self-governance in India reveal three core parties embroiled in this dispute. The Unity and Self-Rule campaign headed by Mahatma Ghandi, though much maligned in the press of the day, sought national unity and democratic rule; the pro-colonialist side is most visible through the sentiments expressed in opposition to the other campaigns through the media of the day; as the Self-Governance and Separatist movement, aided by the sentiments which fuelled the Bombay Riots that caused 12,000 deaths, called for the self-rule of a wholly Muslim state composed of those parts of India with the greatest concentration of Muslims.

The media campaigns for Socialism and for Communism incorporate papers, journals and statements dedicated to espousing workers' rights. From media coverage of the Meerut trial to copies of Karl Marx's article on India, the AITUC's representation to Nehru, and Bradley's apparent decision to defend Communism in court rather than himself, many of the methods used to get the message across are included here. Bradley's final years and legacy are revealed through his research, from his tour of China in order to report on working conditions and Co-Operatives there to his manuscript notes on the history of Amalgamated Engineers Union.

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Letters from prison mainly to his wife Joy but with one letter to Reginald Bridgeman

CP/IND/BRAD/07/03. Letters to his wife discuss subjects including the release of prisoners, such as himself, whose skills might be useful at a time of war. His arrest having occurred in May 1940 and his release occurring in August of that year.

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Cuttings from Indian press

CP/IND/BRAD/07/04. Cuttings from the Indian press. These cuttings focus on the 3 separate arguments in relation to releasing India from British rule: The pro self-governance side who wished to see a united and self-governing India, led by Mahatma Ghandi; the self-governing separatist movement calling for majority-Muslim areas to be made into a separate territory to be self-governed by Muslims, led by Mohammed Ali Jinnah; and the pro-colonialists, in support of the Viceroy. These items also include some critiques of the alleged bias of the press against the first two parties.

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Manuscript notes on history of Amalgamated Engineering Union

CP/IND/BRAD/07/05. These notes commence with references to the first legislation considered to be relevant to Trades' Union's formation, the Combination Act of 1799, then continue through to the end of the Second World War in 1945. The notes outline a number of events that took place during this time, including formation, Labour party affiliation, amalgamation, and the admittance of the first female members.

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Transcript diary of visit to China on AEU delegation

CP/IND/BRAD/07/06. The two major focal points for Ben Bradley's notes are the Socialist movements and events already existing in China and the statistics on state provision of services for workers. Bradley's qualitative evaluation of China's working conditions includes attending a May Day demonstration, visiting a co-operative farm, meeting with a number of Chinese trade union delegates, details of attempts to address unemployment in China, and noting details of how Chinese trades unions are structured. Bradley's quantative evaluation is concerned with turn-out at the demonstration, statistics on co-operative farms' employment rates and profits, statistics covering union membership numbers, wage increases, state-sponsored housing provision, school provision, rest home provision, and factory output. This research was conducted as he completed a journey of 4,537 miles through China.

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Papers from his final years and regarding his death, funeral and the Ben Bradley Memorial Fund

CP/IND/BRAD/07/07. Papers from his final years and regarding his death, funeral and the Ben Bradley Memorial Endowment Fund, circa 1955-1957. Correspondents with Ben Bradley include Alan Winnington; papers also include a report by the General Secretary of the Federation of Indian Students Societies at its council Apr. 1956; inventory of Bradley's books, pamphlets and documents on India; his transcript notes on India, and correspondence of Wal Hannington regarding the memorial fund.

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Papers re. the Ben Bradley Memorial Endowment Fund: mainly correspondence with supporters

CP/IND/BRAD/07/08. Supporters include: R. Palme Dutt, Idris Cox; Ted Brake; John Gollan; Amalgamated Engineering Union branches and other sympathetic trade unions. This item also includes duplicated minutes, accounts, etc. of the fund.

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Rosa Glading deposit.

CP/IND/BRAD/07/09. Papers deposited by Rosa Glading, principally copy of Bradley's statement in the Meerut conspiracy case, with correspondence about the papers, dating from 1969. The principal focus of these papers is the presentation of the case for national and international Trade Unionism as a stepping-stone in the journey toward the 'Dictatorship of the Proletariat'. Many parts of this statement describe problems facing workers in India, or other areas of worker discord, before positing the Trade Union movement, revolution through the Trade Union movement and lastly the revolution itself as the solution.

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