MALCOLM MUGGERIDGE

(LETTERS TO GARETH FROM MUGGERIDGE - APRIL & SEPTEMBER 1933)

Chalet de la Colline,

Rossinieres,

Vaud,

Switzerland. 

April 17th 1933. 

Dear Gareth Jones, 

                        Thank you for your letter. I am glad you liked the M.G. articles. They were villainously cut. Duranty is, of course, a plain crook, though an amusing little man in his way. I broke finally with the M.G. [Manchester Guardian] over the Metrovick affair [6 British Vickers engineers arrested and put on show trial in 1933 in Moscow]. 

                        With all due respect to your divine L.G.  [Lloyd George] (whom as you know, I admire) it seems to me that the Liberal mind has now lost what qualities it once had Ė that is, a certain superficial integrity, and a capacity, in the last resort, to abandon its own pre-conceptions in the face of plain facts. Take, for instance, the Gladstone-Gordon affair. When the unfortunate Gordon was actually besieged in Khartoum, the Pious Incorruptible had to admit that the Mahdi was a brigand as well as a patriot, and that the British Government was under an obligation to do something about the matter. In the twilight of Liberalism, a man like the editor of the M.G. cannot even go that far. When Gordonís throat is actually being cut, he still bleats Ė ďWe must still keep our heads; we mustnít get excited; we must be conciliatoryĒ and so on. As I wrote (in effect) to Crozier Ė ď You donít want to know what is going on in Russia, and you donít want your readers to know either; if the Metrovick people  had been Jews or Negroes, your righteous indignation would have been unbounded. Youíd have published photographs of their lacerated backsides. They being just Englishmen, you refuse to publish the truth about their treatment or the general facts which make that truth significant, - and this when the M.G. is packed with stories of what the Nazis are doing to the Jews and the Poles to Ukranian [sic] and Silesian minorities.Ē 

                        Iím writing as much as I can. Thereís an article coming out in the next number of the FORTNIGHTLY; and Iíve sent three articles to the WEEK-END REVIEW  which may or may not be used. Also, I sent an article to the TIMES about the position of foreign journalists in Russia. It hasnít come back, so they may have used it. By the way Iíd be grateful if youíd look for it, and let me have a cutting if it has, or does, appear. I donít see the TIMES here. Also, it appears that the M.G. refused permission to the Ukranian [sic] Bureau to republish my articles as a pamphlet, so theyíve asked me to write a 3,000 word pamphlet for them. Iíd very much like to see your articles on the agricultural situation before I do this because it would strengthen the thing for me to be able to quote someone else. Would you send them to me, or any sort of rough draft of them, from which I could quote? If you send me a cutting of Durantyís piece, Iíll gladly write to the NEW YORK TIMES a letter of protest. Iím afraid I shanít be in England for some time because Iíve got to get on with a book. And Iím hard up. When I am in England, however, Iíll be delighted to come to Cardiff and lecture. 

                        Yours 

 

                        Malcolm Muggeridge [signed]


Finally, in late September in reply to a letter of thanks to Gareth, Muggeridge states unequivocally that Duranty 'writes what they [the Soviets] tell him to':

 

 

League of Nations

International Labour Office

Geneve 

 

As from:            Pension de la Palge,

                        Quai Eaux Vivas 62,

                        Geneva.

 

September 29th 1933.

 

Dear Gareth Jones, 

                                    Thank you for your letter, and for the Durranty [sic - Duranty] cutting. He  just writes what they tell him to. At the same time, since his message refers to the new harvest I canít challenge him on first hand knowledge. That is to say, I know and you know that his description of things in the Caucasus is untrue; but he can always retort, ď You havenít seen and I have.Ē 

                                    One idea I had, however. If I could get hold of specimens of his messages during, say, the last year, I believe I could write an amusing article on Durranty as a foreign correspondent that a paper like TRUTH might publish, and that might do some good. Iíd want about fifteen to twenty specimens spread over the year; even going back earlier. Do you happen to have, or know how I might get hold of, such specimens of his messages. 

                                    Bryn has been staying here, and I find him charming as ever. 

Yours,

 

 Malcolm Muggeridge


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