Jack Dribbon's letter to Joseph Needham concerning his resignation as President of B.C.F.A.

BRITAIN-CHINA FRIENDSHIP ASSOCIATION

Head Office : 692, HOLLOWAY ROAD, LONDON, N.19 Telephone : ARChway 5057

PRESIDENT : DR. JOSEPH NEEDHAM, F.R.S.

Treasurer : Mr. H. BURGESS Chairman : Mr. STANLEY MAYNE Secretary : Mr. J. DRIBBON

Vice- Presidents

Mr. P. BELCHER, Lord BOYD ORR, Prof. E. H. S. BURHOP, Mr. G. V. CARVELL, Rev. G. B. CHAMBERS, Mr. T. S. CHEN, Mr. R. PALME DUTT, Prof. L. HAWKES, Mr. J. HERMAN, Dr. HEWLETT JOHNSON, Dr. H. JOULES, Prof. J. LAUWERYS, Mr. MILES MALLESON, Mr. A. MOFFAT, Mr. W. PAYNTER, Mr. N. W. PIRIE, Mr. D. N. PRITT, Sir HERBERT READ, Dr. A. WALEY

Joseph Needham.

3rd February 1965


Dear Joseph,

I have only just returned to the office after being away for a week with bronchial trouble. Hence the delay in acknowledging your letter. This arrived the morning after a Management Cttee. meeting and so can only express my personal feelings. The National Cttee. will be meeting soon and your letter will be put before them; I will write immediately after that meeting.

It is needless to say how much I regret your decision which I believe to be a very wrong one. A variety of reasons are responsible for the present situation and of course the “dispute” is one of them. But I am pretty well convinced that many used that dispute as an opportunity to have a go for other reasons.

From the ‘twenties I and many of those with whom I associate have taken not merely an interest in the struggles of the Chinese people, but an active part by speaking and lecturing in their defence. I remember the Japanese invasion and the burning of Chapei and well recollect the protest meetings at which I spoke. That sympathy and support proved not to be transitory as you must appreciate.

Your resignation did not come as a surprise to me as I gathered only a month ago this would happen when I had a conversation with some mutual friends. However, I am surprised at your reference to the C.P.. In our long association, and in our numerous personal conversations, you gave me no indication of your views: Had this been otherwise I am sure many of your doubts would have been easily cleared up. I am sorry you did not mention them.

I hope that your resignation will not interfere with our personal relationship and that I will be seeing you from time to time.

All good wishes to Dorothy.

Yours,

Jack Dribbon

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