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III: STUDENT LIFE: 1924–1932

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  17 May 2019


Although I had never been unhappy and in fact enjoyed my public school, the transition from public school to university was altogether delightful. There is a psychological uplift about being treated by adults as an equal instead of an inferior, as a rational being instead of a child, which no-one can understand who has not experienced it. I felt for the first time like a mature person, who could be persuaded by argument but not ordered about like a domestic pet. As my main interests at Eton had been history and philosophy, I decided to take my degree in what was then the new school of Modern Greats. This included the trinity of history, philosophy and economics, and covered much the same ground as is covered now by PPE. My tutor was Humphrey Sumner, who took what was thought to be the brightest of the new intake of undergraduates. No-one could have given a stronger visual impression of dedication to the true and the beautiful than Humphrey Sumner. His glowing eyes and parchment complexion suggested a reincarnation of Savonarola. To complete the picture he wore a flowing black cloak and a broad brimmed black hat. When you went in for a tutorial he was puffing his pipe and working indefatigably on an obscure period of Russian history. I saw him once again after I left Oxford. He descended on me one afternoon at Magdalene, Cambridge, and asked to be taken around the College and the Pepys Library. I did so with trepidation as I knew he would expect the expertise of a professional guide. I lost touch with him before he became Warden of All Souls, the crown of a great academic career.

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137 Philosophy, Politics, and Economics.

138 B. Humphrey Sumner (1893–1951), fellow of Balliol College and later warden of All Souls, 1945–1951.

139 A.D. Lindsay (1879–1952), later Baron Lindsay of Birker, academic philosopher and master of Balliol College, 1924–1949.

140 Charles Morris (1898–1990), later Baron Morris of Granmere, philosopher; later vice-chancellor of the University of Leeds.

141 John Macmurray (1891–1976), philosopher who held academic positions in Oxford, London and Edinburgh.

142 R.H. Tawney (1880–1962), Fabian intellectual and Professor of Economic History at the London School of Economics.

143 Sir Dingle Foot, QC (1905–1978), Labour MP and solicitor general, 1964–1967.

144 Who gave his estate to the National Trust. Sir Richard Acland, 15th baronet (1906–1990), Liberal and then Labour MP.

145 Douglas Cole and his wife, Margaret, members of the Labour club, Syndicatists and lecturers on economics. G.D.H. Cole (1889–1959), Fabian and political theorist at Oxford University.

146 Dame Margaret Cole (1893–1980), Fabian, local government politician and co-author with her husband of mystery novels among other writings.

147 Roger Wilson, my best friend and later professor of education at Birmingham.

148 Robert Henriques (1905–1967), novelist.

149 Evan Durbin, best friend of Hugh Gaitskell, died young in tragic accident. Evan Durbin (1906–1948), economist at the London School of Economics and Labour politician and MP.

150 Hugh Gaitskell (1906–1964), Labour MP; chancellor of the exchequer 1950–1951; and leader of the Labour Party (and opposition), 1955–1963.

151 Frank Lee, scholar from Ruskin, became Mayor of Northampton.

152 As opposed to the courtesy title Viscount Ennismore.

153 Statement in Daily Mail, April 27 1925, about my politics and membership of Fabian Society, which ended my life at Balliol when my father refused to pay university fees.

154 Edward R. Pease (1857–1955), founding member of the Fabian Society and trustee of the London School of Economics.

155 George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), Irish playwright and Fabian.

156 Sidney Webb, later Baron Passfield (1859–1947), intellectual and Labour minister, served in various ministerial posts including secretary of state for the colonies, 1929–1931.

157 Freeman Freeman-Thomas (1866–1941), later 1st marquess of Willingdon, Liberal politician and colonial administrator; governor general of Canada, 1926–1931, and viceroy of India, 1931–1936.

158 A.B. Ramsey, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge and former Lower Master at Eton, who offered me a place at Magdalene.

159 A.L. Rowse (1903–1997), historian and literary academic, fellow of All Souls, Oxford.

160 Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792–1822), poet. His expulsion from Oxford in 1811 was the result of his part in an anonymous pamphlet The Necessity of Atheism printed the same year.

161 A.D. Lindsay – A Biography [published in 1971].

162 Jean Jaures, French socialist leader and orator. [Assassinated in 1914.]

163 Charles Addison (1869–1951), later 1st Viscount Addison, Labour politician and minister including serving as leader of the House of Lords for the entire Attlee administration, 1945–1951, and secretary of state for dominion affairs, 1945–1947.

164 Clement R. Attlee (1883–1967), later 1st Earl Attlee, Labour prime minister, 1945–1951, and leader of the Labour Party, 1935–1955.

165 Professor Gilbert Murray, professor of Greek and enthusiast for League of Nations. Gilbert Murray (1866–1957), classical scholar and translator at Glasgow and then Oxford.

166 International Labour Organization, established in 1919 and based in Geneva.

167 Dame Rachel Crowdy (1884–1964), social reformer and nurse during First World War, head of the Social Questions and Opium Traffic Section at the League of Nations.

168 English philosopher, John Stuart Mill; On Liberty was first published in 1859.

169 Sargant Florence; economics don and my first tutor at Cambridge. Philip Sargant Florence.

170 Cambridge economist, Alfred Marshall; Principles of Economics was first published in 1890.

171 I.A. Richards, taught English Literature and my tutor for the subject.

172 Franz Schubert composed this in 1817.

173 Composed in 1816.

174 Sir Hugh Allen (1869–1946), musician and academic at Oxford and the Royal College of Music.

175 F.M. Cornford (1874–1943), classics scholar at Cambridge.

176 Frances Cornford (1886–1960), poet.

177 Rupert Brooke (1887–1915), poet and soldier.

178 Died 1936.

179 J.B.S. Haldane (1892–1964), scientist and socialist.

180 Later Sir Albert Seward (1863–1941), master of Downing College, 1915–1936, and vice-chancellor of Cambridge, 1924–1926.

181 Arthur Ponsonby (1871–1946), later 1st Baron Ponsonby of Shulbrede, Liberal and then Labour politician; Labour leader in the House of Lords, 1931–1935.

182 Ramsay MacDonald (1866–1937), Labour prime minister, 1924, 1929–1939; leader of the Labour Party, 1922–1931.

183 I appeared on Order paper of Cambridge Union (debating society) as Mr W F Hare, Proposer of Motion, with Mr A J. Cooke, Secretary of the Miners Federation of Great Britain, as seconder. This was last straw for my father who banished me from home.

184 1924–1931.

185 Selwyn Lloyd (1904–1978), later Lord Selwyn-Lloyd, Conservative MP who served as foreign secretary, 1955–1960, and chancellor of the exchequer, 1960–1962; speaker of the House of Commons, 1971–1976.

186 Anthony Eden (1897–1977), later 1st earl of Avon, Conservative prime minister, 1955–1957.

187 Gilbert Harding (1907–1960), broadcaster and journalist.

188 Professor Jack Bellerby, Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge and lecturer on economics, who founded a Friendly Society called ‘The Neighbours’. A secular saint, who among other activities published a symposium on factory farming for the Association for the Advancement of Science. He financed the publication of my booklet on ‘The Values of Life’.

189 Bertrand Russell. His essay on ‘A Free Man's Worship’ opened my eyes to a new philosophy of life. Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), later 3rd Earl Russell, philosopher, writer and activist. A Free Man's Worship first appeared in 1903.

190 Russell mentions in a letter to Donnelly that he had had a letter from Joseph Conrad ‘praising’ the Free Man's Worship ‘in about the strongest terms in which writing can be praised’.

191 John Boyd Orr (1880–1971), later Baron Boyd-Orr, public health specialist and first director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

192 Sir Robert Newman, 4th baronet (1871–1945), later Baron Mamhead, Conservative and later an Independent MP.

193 François-Alphonse Forel (1841–1912). He was Swiss.

194 Cambridge academic philosophers, G.E. Moore, C.D. Broad and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

195 Victor Basch (c.1863–1944), Sorbonne academic and expert on aesthetics, executed in 1944.

196 Johann Peter Eckermann's conversations with the scholar and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, edited by Eckermann in the mid 19th century.

197 Lord William Cecil (1863–1936), bishop of Exeter, 1916–1936.

198 Sir W. Leslie Farrer (1900–1984).

199 Later Queen Alexandra.

200 It might give a false impression if I did not add that my mother had some money of her own inherited from her father.

201 Ivan Turgenev (1818–1883), novelist.

202 Bernard Bosanquet (1848–1923), philosopher and writer.

203 Philosophical and aesthetic term coined by German philosopher Robert Vischer in the late 19th century usually translated into English as aesthetic empathy.

204 Benedetto Croce (1886–1952), philosopher and politician.

205 Hilda Diana Oakeley (1867–1950), philosopher and academic.

206 Published as A Critical History of Modern Aesthetics in 1933 and reissued in 2016.

207 Published in 1920.

208 Eleanor Rathbone (1872–1946), social reform campaigner and Independent MP.

209 Revised edition of my book published by Teachers’ College Press, Columbia University, New York (1967): Modern Aesthetics: an historical introduction.

210 Originally formed in 1898 to defend Alfred Dreyfus.

211 Sir Herbert Read (1893–1968), art critic, historian and writer.

212 W.G. Constable (1887–1976), art historian who in addition to being director of the Courtauld Institute, 1932–1936, held positions such as Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge and curator of the Boston Museum of Art.

213 Distinguished Service Order.

214 Military Cross.

215 My apprenticeship to parliament was through London local government. I was elected in 1937 as one of the two members for East Lewisham forming part of the Labour majority. The Municipal Reform Party had been in power for 27 years before the 1934 election (when Labour were elected) and their main objective had been to keep down the rates as ‘economy had always been their watchword’. At the end of the three years after 1934, the Labour Party led by Herbert Morrison were able to go to the electorate with a record of achievement more striking than anything that had been attempted for many years past, but with a rise in the rates of 1s and 2d. Nevertheless, in 1937 the electorate again preferred Labour, when they were sent back to finish the job.