From Hankow. Personal matters are discussed.
The young men put on a good show for them on New Years Eve and then he read Emily's beautiful Christmas card to them and assisted with one of the turns.
Yesterday he went for the afternoon and evening to Mrs Chapman's. They had a good walk out by the aerodrome and saw many dragons for the authorities are trying to get January 1st recognised as the New Year. On the way Mrs Coundell said that Jack Watson had gone to Kuling but would not allow his wife to accompany him. When H B R asked why not, it became clear that his refusal had been 'for tbe best of reasons' - ie that Mrs Watson is pregnant.
The [unreadable family name] have been transferred to Mukden. He has enclosed their card.
He has had a rather abrupt letter from the [Mission House] Officers' meeting this week based on a misunderstanding. He thinks that when they receive his reply they will be sorry - the retirement of [Charles William] Andrews has been a great loss. Meanwhile [William Alexander] Grist is not too bad. There is however a tendency to move towards unreasonable centralisation, which will not do anybody any good. They have made an awful mess of the China budget - as far as he can tell, all that Emily is entitled to, apart from lodging, is £104.10.0 per quarter. Their figures are swollen and he is in correspondence with them on the matter. They will not take advice based on experience, hence the problems.
He needs her to think about and advise him on another matter as follows; The Mission House has asked him to be a delegate to the Ecumenical Conference at Atlanta, Georgia, United States, in October on his way home for furlough. They have made a mistake in his furlough dates, but anyway, these are the things that occur to him.
- 1. He shall not decide until he hears from Emily. She will probably have to see Grist and ask him to add her comments to the next Mission House cable.
- 2. In China, [Herman Stanley] Dixon and Dr [Ralph] Bolton leave the country in July and [H. W. Kenneth] Sandy will follow in October. If H B R goes also, it would be hard on [James John] Heady.
- 3. She is aware what [Edgar Wesley] Thompson has in mind regarding H B R eventual appointment to the Mission House. He feels that they should be taking this a little more seriously in their 'personal calculations'.
- 4. It is all a question of what the future is to be. After all the trouble she has had in settling into a new home, he hopes that they will not have to move on too quickly.
- 5. On a personal note, he would rather attend the 1932 Conference in England, than go to America.
- 6. If he ends up returning to China, it does not matter if he comes home a little earlier, which would probably be better than later. If he does get appointed to the Mission House, it will not matter at all.
- 7. If he were to take a circuit at home, it would still be better to stay in China during 1931 and get home, in say, February or March 1932. He could then ask for an extended furlough and take a circuit in 1933.
- 8. The more he reflects on it, the more likely a return to China seems. But how can he live without Emily for a prolonged period?
- 9. He needs a cable by the end of January, after which he will take the decision. He will write in full to Grist and H B R may ask him to speak to Emily about it.
- 10. He feels that it would be better for the district in China, if he stayed until 1932. It could also be better for the district in England if he took the earlier date home.
David Allan has got a good job in the Shanghai Municipal Health department. Perhaps his family will think more kindly of H B R in time.
A telegram has just arrived allowing work on the Hodge [Hospital] reconstruction - work to start immediately.