1936 - 1937 Mission Diary

The official diary of the Gould mission to Lhasa sent by the British government. Read more about the mission diary.

13th September, Sunday, Lhasa.

Gould was again a great deal better today and received the Kashag when the three Shapes came for their first business talk. They propounded to Gould the three first questions they want to discuss. The first two put forward were military in view of Neame's early departure and the third concerned the. Tashi Lama. After a short discussion an adjournment was made to our big dining room where Neame, Richardson and Norbhu and the three Shapes assembled for business.

It might be mentioned that the three Shapes arrived an hour late because the Potala clock on which all Lhasa revolves, seems to have jumped back suddenly.

Neame did not commence his military discussion until 12-30 P.M. This continued with an hour off for lunch until 5-30 P.M. For although the Shapes were extremely attentive, quick in the "uptake", and eager to absorb as many. Suggestions as possible, the process of inter interpreting is slow and irksome, and every thing had to be written down by Bhondong Shape in Tibetan and then read out again as a cheek. In fact it might be described as a tiring day.

However the Shapes expressed great gratitude for all the advice, and appeared desirous of carrying out all suggest-ed reforms. Of course they have to refer everything to the Regent and Prime Minister. But both Bhondong and Tendong Shapes are able men with experience of affairs, and they both expressed the opinion to Neame that all the military suggestions were feasible, but might take a certain time to carry out.

The Shapes had expressed a desire to discuss the methods of financing any military reforms, and were informed that they would have to refer this question to the Political Officer later.

The day's discussion was undoubtedly very useful and it is to be hoped may bear fruit.

Author: Philip Neame [see handwritten annotations in Diary by Hugh Richardson in MS. Or. Richardson 2, Bodleian Libary, Department of Oriental Collections, University of Oxford]

Page Reference: Pt VI p.1

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