856R. Archibald Sinclair to Harrod, 15 October 1938 [a]

Replies to 851 and 852 R, the exchange continues at 857 R. On the opportunity of an electoral pact, Sinclair agrees with Harrod on principle but differs in regard to method. He stresses that in a co-operation between a big and a small party, the initiative to promote it is to come from the first, while it is difficult for the latter to take it without losing face. In spite of this, the Liberal Party has tried in the past to promote such common platforms with the Labour Party, but every approach has been rebuffed. [1] Among other examples, Sinclair draws Harrod's attention to the fact that since May he has appealed for unity between the forces opposed to aggressive dictatorship (he refers to an article in the News Chronicle [2] ). This is again occurring at Oxford, where the Liberal candidate's offer to withdraw in favour of Lindsay was turned down by the Labour Party. [3] Sinclair therefore concludes that pressure should be exerted on the Labour Party, rather than on the Liberal Party.

  1. 1. A similar point was raised by H. F. Scott-Stokes, to whom Harrod had sent his Liberal-Labour article ("Appeal for Liberal-Labour Agreement at Oxford", 1938:20 , press item 28 ): Scott-Stokes pointed out that previous attempts to organize Liberal-Labour pacts have failed because of Labour's intransigence (letter to Harrod, 12 October 1938, in HP VI-515).

    2. "Sir A. Sinclair Welcomes Unity. Liberals are Ready to Co-operate", News Chronicle, 21 May 1938, pp. 1 and 15.

    3. See letter 854 from Dalton of 13 October, [jump to page] . The Labour Party, however, eventually changed its mind: see Dalton's letter 861 of 25 October.

    1. a. From Dalnawillan, Altnabreac, Caithness # , five pages TLS, in HP VI-507. Marked "Personal".

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