Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Alan Bush

Letter No.: 
VWL1855
Dec 6 [?1943]

The White Gates,
Dorking.

Dear Dr Bush

I hope you know that I am sincerely anxious to help music in every possible way in these difficult times
But while such nonsense is allowed to appear as what I have ringed round in the enclosed  I do not see how I can support the organization which issues it  You must really know as well as I do that the ruling classes in England are the whole mass of the people who elect certain men to manage their government for them.  I am astonished that you should consent to the old fallacy that when the people elect persons you approve of they are ‘the people’ and when you do not approve they are ‘the ruling classes’.
In Russia and Germany where there really is a ruling class which governs people often against their will, though possibly for their good their1 might be a shadow of justification for such a sentence in this which I have marked.  But in any case you must really know as well as I do that music is an adventure of the soul and is the same for all whatever their opinions on worldly affairs, and I believe in giving such opportunity to all.
That you as a true musician and an intelligent man should permit such rubbish to appear under your aegis passes my understanding
Yours sincerely

R Vaughan Williams

P.S. Of course I know that I have the misfortune to be a democrat which is not fashionable now.


1.  sic.

Subjects:

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General notes: 

Date must be between 1940 and 1944, probably 1943, since VW refers to Germany’s ‘ruling class’ which did not look so secure by 1944.

Format: 
Letter
Original database number: 
431206