“The Government are now told the truth and they quite like it”

General Callwell reported on the latest changes at the top, with a new sense of realism facing the Government – and absolutely everyone hoping to get rid of Lord Kitchener despite his popularity with the general public.

26 Campden House Chambers
Campden Hill, W

12th November 1915

My dear Ralph,

You are in the thick of things at Mudros. We cannot yet quite make out whether old man K proposes to evacuate Gallipoli or not altogether, but the PM is a fairly downy cove too and I think that we shall get the great man’s intentions out of him. Unless the decision is evacuation there will be a turn-up in the Government as a good many of them were very angry at Monro’s recommendation to clear out not being accepted after he had been sent out with a free hand. By latest news we have frightened the French as to their position up the Vardar valley with the possibility of the Greeks turning nasty and they are inclined to come back out of that, which will be a good thing.

The new plan of a War Council of reasonable dimensions with the sailor-0mean and us properly represented is a great step in advance and the General Staff gets quite a good look in and is listened to. The Government are now told the truth and they quite like it. Archie Murray deserves great credit for pulling things together. I have now got in Bird as Sub-Director in charge of MOI, which takes a lot of work off my hands. Buckley going off with K has been a great nuisance to me as he was my right hand man in many things, but one rubs along somehow and I suppose he will turn up again some time.

We have no idea whether K will return to the War Office. Nobody in it wishes to see him back and I do not think that anybody in the Government does either – even such mighty opposites as “Lulu” and Lloyd George are agreed upon that point. But the Public have implicit belief in him and he may prove a little difficult to definitely shelve.

I hope that you are keeping very fit and are finding adequate outlet for your inexhaustible energy.

Yours ever
Chas E Callwell

Meanwhile Ralph’s proposals for books to be sent from Scotland to the Dardanelles was bearing enthusiastic fruit.

Colonel James Smith Park wrote to Ralph:

20 Park Terrace
Glasgow, 12th November 1915

My dear Glyn

I have your letter of 27th ultimo and am glad to hear you are getting on alright. I have given a perusal of your letter to Mrs Cowan Lees and have passed on your request to Harcourt Kitchin.
I understand Kirkland, who is acting as secretary to the committee which is looking after “lights and literature”, is advising you fully regarding what we are doing. We got into touch with Lady Hamilton who arranged to take our packages out with hers, which was satisfactory to us, as we understand that the parcels which have been sent out through her organisation are the only ones that have been obtaining prompt delivery.

I am very busy here with one thing and another, our latest job is canvassing for Lord Derby’s recruiting scheme. My personal experience of canvassing has been that men who are willing to go are not medically fit and the men who are medically fit are not willing to go.

There are rumours of an early forcing of the Dardanelles which I hope may prove true but most people are now in a very sceptical frame of mind.

My own feeling is that we are trying for too many men for the army, consistent with our work re munitions & export trade – we cannot supply on a full scale both men, munitions & money.

Yours truly
J Smith Park

The first three of our motor launches were shipped a fortnight ago – the other four are awaiting shipment.

We are likely to send out a number more.

Letters to Ralph Glyn (D/EGL/C24; C31/39)

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