861. E. H. J. N. Dalton to Harrod , 25 October 1938 [a]
[Follows on from 854 ]
The House of Commons #
25 October 1938
Private and personal
I saw Crossman last week and he added something to my knowledge of the misunderstandings, particularly of the attitude of Gordon Walker and the Oxford City Labour Party.  However, that is past and I hope Lindsay's campaign is going well, though it would be unwise, for various reasons, for me, as a member of our Elections Sub-Committee, to come out openly in his support. I explained this to Crossman but am glad to know that several of my Parliamentary colleagues are going to speak.
By all means try, after this is over, what you can do with Conservative dissidents. But--and this is particularly private--certain explorations which have already been made are disappointing.  The brutal tyranny of the Tory caucus far outdoes any of our efforts from Transport House! In all this business we can only go a step at a time.
Yours very sincerely,
P.S. I saw Lindsay on Sunday.
Transport House at first supported a Labour candidature. But after receiving reports of the division in the local section, the Labour Party decided to leave the matter in the hands of the Oxford section, which decided 48 votes to 12 that Gordon Walker should withdraw (A. S. Knight, "The Oxford City By-election: Appeasement and the Popular Front", Travelyan Thesis (mimeograph Ts, 15 pages, copy in HP VI-525, pp. 5-7).
2. Dalton may be referring to a meeting he had with Duncan-Sandys on 18 October 1938, which he mentioned in his diary (Dalton I 19(68)):
Emphasised that I was not able to be very encouraging to particular projects for united action but encouraged him, if he felt inclined, to come and have another talk with me later on. We both agreed that it would be undesirable to let people know that we were meeting.
On Harrod's attempts to involve dissident conservatives into an electoral pact see note 1 to press item 30 .
- a. TLS with autograph addition ad corrections, one page, in HP IV/253-268/2.© British Library of Political and Economic Science, Archives Division , London.
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