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Three letters, from/to/about respectively Silvio Corio, the Italian anarchist
who was the long-term partner of Sylvia Pankhurst (see blog post here,
September 2010), and one to their son Richard Pankhurst about his Conscientious
Objector (CO) Tribunal, when he was appealing against conscription for National
Thanks to the Sparrows
Nest collective for making these generally available.
1. Letter: editor
of the Syndicalist Workers Federation
paper Direct Action to Richard
25a Amberley Road., London, W.9
November 5th, 1952
Very many thanks for
sending us the material on your C.O. tribunal.After discussion, we decided that publication in the form of a letter
from yourself might well have the effect of prejudicing your appeal, and that
it would be better to put it in the form of an article. We hope this will be o.k.
Hoping you will keep us informed
of developments, and that your appeal will be successful.
Every good wish, Yours fraternally,
[copy unsigned] for editorial
for image of original at Sparrows Nest website as above:RON00668
“... the procedure
of appearing before a Local or Appellate tribunal could be a harrowing business
for the one objector among every six hundred recruits.” – Trevor Royle,
National Service: The Best Years of Their Lives, p.46. (Paperback 2011; first published 2002,).
According to the
National Archives website most National Service records, including those for
appeals tribunals, have been destroyed
2.Letter from Silvio Corio to the Syndicalist
Workers Federation (SWF) about their forthcoming Conference, 1953, with
mention of Richard Pankhurst.
headed paper: New Times and Ethiopia News
(Weekly). Editor: E. Sylvia Pankhurst
Oct. 8 ‘53
thanks for notification of Conference.If you could favour me with the date when it will effectively be held I
should be grateful. I will attend – if permitted – merely as an observer. And –
if you have no objection –I will take
with me Richard. He is very interested in the Labour Movement of today. Before
long his book on Wm. Thompson will be published by Messrs. Watts & Co. It
should have appeared already but these people are so slow. He is now teaching
Economics for the W.E.A. at Woolwich, thanks to his Ph.D. degree. He wants to
know, at first hand, the opinions of English workers of today. A few days ago I
had a letter from Alan Smith quite favourable to your work. You know him of
reference for image of original at Sparrows Nest website:RON01896
The New Times and Ethiopia News was an anti-fascist and anti-imperialist paper
run by Silvio
Corio and Sylvia Pankhurst, originally in response to Mussolini’s attack on Ethiopia.