From 277 Rue Charles [unreadable word], Shanghai. The Japanese Consulate rang him up to say that he is certainly going on the 13th or 14th, which means that he will arrive in Hankow on the 24th. The puzzle is how to get there, get back, get to Wenchow, reach Hong Kong and be on the way to Burma by March 15th [George Robson] Osborn made the trip from Hankow to Shanghai in four days by boat and rail and perhaps he can hope to equal that record. If he was allowed to return to Shanghai by air everything would be possible, but these things are determined by military considerations. H B R is to visit the Consulate at 10 am tomorrow and will try to think up a number of questions before he goes. It would be a great relief to be in Rangoon by March 15th.
Somewhere the facts about Arnold's scholarship [to Cambridge University] must be on their way. All H B R knows is the barest information. The fact that he does not appear to be trying for anything else leads him to hope that the award is a good one. There is now only Peter to get to College for the picture to be complete.
Emily will have received the conference wire [see DDHb 9/40] before now. It was a rather nice idea of the delegates and showed how much they appreciated this visit. Virtually all will be home by now. Little time was wasted and it cost less money than previous conferences because of the unusual rate of exchange. [Walter James] Noble has cabled the news that the deficit in income is less than £12,000. On the other hand the budgeted expenditure was £12,000 more than for 1938 which makes for a total shortfall of £24,000. Everything depends on Autumn economies in England and overseas and on possible gains in the rate of exchange. H B R can envisage £20,000 of that [gain] disappearing. Considering the money used in China during the last six or nine months, the gain must have been very great indeed. H B R would like to see the debt wiped out - he hates it in either the public or personal sphere. Given the [international] situation, they could certainly do with having no debt at all. 'There are those who think a debt is good for business. Anyhow I only left Dodds[?] a debt of £1385 & am sorry for that. It need not have been'.
As he has said, a great deal rests on the speed of this journey to Hankow. It does look as if he will be flying most of the way home. If such proves to be the case he will certainly want five or six days rest in the country before getting back to work in London. He has suggested as much to [Walter James] Noble.
- Walter James Noble (1879-1962) was born at Darlington. He candidated for the Wesleyan ministry at the age of nineteen and sailed as a missionary to Ceylon in 1900. Noble served overseas for twenty-two years and then spent twenty-five years as a General Secretary of the Missionary Society. Noble was President of Conference in 1942. Source: Minutes of Conference 1962. .