What the Papers Say: the Editorial Correspondence of C.P. Scott in the Guardian Archive.
At the beginning of April, I began cataloguing the editorial correspondence of C.P. Scott, a towering figure in the history of the Manchester Guardian. It is already clear that he held many of his correspondents in high regard, soliciting their opinion and requesting that they contribute articles for publication. Throughout the project, I will highlight interesting correspondence and correspondents, and it’s particularly exciting to find both at the same time.
My first highlight of the collection is Charles Freer Andrews. Andrews was a minister, and a campaigner for Indian Independence. He travelled to India as a missionary in 1904, and later made his home at Santiniketan, the ashram of Rabindranath Tagore. He acted as emissary, intermediary and advocate for Indian rights throughout the British Empire.
He was also a friend of Mahatma Gandhi, so close a friend that he features in the 1982 biopic of Gandhi, (played by Ian Charleson). Andrews was involved, with Gandhi, in the civil rights campaigns in South Africa and in India.
Andrews’ correspondence and the articles he wrote for the Manchester Guardian frequently relate, both politically and personally, to Gandhi and his work. He describes Gandhi’s release from prison in 1924 and subsequent illness, the influence of Gandhi in ensuring that protest marches remained non-violent, and his support of Gandhi’s campaign against untouchability and the non-cooperation movement.
There are 44 letters from and about Charles Freer Andrews in the C.P. Scott editor’s correspondence series, dated between 1922 and 1930.
Through their correspondence, we can see the cordial and active working relationship between Scott and Andrews, and articles by Andrews, written at Scott’s request, are regularly published in the Manchester Guardian. However, it is also clear that they do not always agree. In this letter to the Rev. L.B. Cholmondeley, who had written to the Manchester Guardian about his concern on the publication of Andrews’ articles, Scott comments that Andrews may be too influenced by native opinion regarding India.