1936 - 1937 Mission Diary

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

February 15th, Monday.

see photographs below

It was a satisfactory morning. The Regent has gained greatly in confidence, poise, and also in physical health, during the last six months, and is now much more outspoken than before. He spoke freely of the dangers and difficulties of the present situation but trusted with our help they might be averted. He said how much he had appreciated our cinema performances and our help in supplying him with wireless and a camera, hoped that Gould was not leaving Lhasa for long, was very pleased that Gould would be going on to Delhi, desired that his greetings should be conveyed to the Viceroy, and again referred to his desire to visit India when the situation permits. The interview with the Kashag was equally cordial. As it was a farewell visit it was not an occasion for the serious discussion of business and it was noticeable that Ringang, who had been present as official interpreter at all formal meetings with the Kashag, was absent. Enquiries were however made on the subject of diplomatic support of the Tibetan protest against the despatch of Chinese troops and officials with the Tashi Lama.

But the person who let himself go most was the Prime Minister. Where as one had been apt to regard him as shy and diffident, on this occasion he was outspoken and even demonstratively friendly. He covered much the same ground which had been traversed by the Regent, and expressed particular satisfaction - as also had the Regent and the Kashag - at the fact that, after Gould's departure, the Mission would continue. After returning from paying these calls the whole of the rest of the day until after dark was taken up with receiving visitors, who came loaded with presents in return for those which Gould and others had given on first arrival. The Prime Minister sent a special present for the Viceroy.

In the evening we went to Ringang's for what proved to be a combination of an old school dinner - Kyipup and Mondo being present - and an intimate family party. It had been necessary to postpone the acceptance of hospitality from Ringang until the last, otherwise every official of his rank would have felt that he must extend hospitality, and we should have had to accept it, whereas the number of long Tibetan lunches and dinners which any average man can digest within a certain period of time is limited. Ringang's ancestral house, which he says is now falling down and must be rebuilt, is one of the oldest in Lhasa, and we all agreed that we had seen no more beautiful room in Lhasa than the one in which we were entertained. When the house is rebuilt, it will be on a slightly different site, rather farther back from the road, in order to avoid the evil influences of a, CHORTEN, or STUPA, which has been built just to the East - the worst possible direction - of the present house. The party, to which we contributed the last of our crackers and balloons, went with a swing from the start, and so continued up to a very late hour – quite young children being still lively when it was well past midnight.

Author: Hugh Richardson [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 XIV p.7

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