Taj Mahal Hotel, Bombay
9th Nov, 1929
Since you joined the Asian tribe of wandering mendicants with your bottomless begging bowl it has become somewhat difficult to locate your movements without close reference to your itinerary. However I hope that you will receive safely and with the minimum delay the letter which is of an urgent and may I add, as far as practicable with your correspondence, of a private nature. May I also request that on receipt of it you will kindly send me a wire, indicating your assent or dissent, confirmed by a line in writing at the earliest possible moment.
Last evening I was discussing once again with Mr. Jinnah the now all absorbing topic of the Round Table and the pros and cons of such matters as amnesty to political prisoners, the personnel of the Indian delegation, and the desirable date of the Conference. Mr. Jinnah once more reiterated that he believes that on these specific points the Viceroy would be most willing to confer with you and meet you as far as lay within his power. *Of course on the hypothesis that the delegation is satisfactory you could be willing to go to the Conference. But the only question that troubled Mr. Jinnah was how to establish a point of contact between you two. I suggested the simple and natural expedient of your being invited by Lord Irwin to come and discuss the things with him. Mr. Jinnah expressed serious doubts as to whether I was correct in assuming that you would respond to such an invitation whereupon I undertook to ascertain your view at once and should you assent he would put himself in touch with the Viceroy and try to arrange for a very small informal conference between His Excellency, yourself, Pandit Motilal, himself, and one or two responsible representative men like Sir Tejbahadur Sapru and others you might name of equal standing who should be included in that private and informal small conference to discuss the specific points.
I am of course writing to you on the assumption that all the circumstances carefully considered in the light of the debate in the Parliament, you would still keep the door open in the hope of arriving at some satisfactory adjustment enabling the Congress to participate in the proposed Conference. I know that you have always the patience to attempt to the last moment all proper and reasonable methods of preliminary discussion, argument, consultation, persuasion before you finally abandon your task and close the door. The door in my opinion should not be too hastily closed. The occasion and the implications are too important.
I am not sure if I shall be able to undertake another long journey so soon after Delhi and I may not, unless it be absolutely necessary, get to Allahabad for the Working Committee on the 16th. You know the very precarious condition of my health at present. But if you think my presence will in anyway be helpful please mention in your wire that you want me at Allahabad. I am a good soldier and I will come.
Much love from your affectionate
The sentence I have interpolated after "lay within his power" on the 3rd page is of course on the hypothesis that the declaration is satisfactory and that you would be willing to attend the conference.
From: S N 15567