Autograph Letter Signed ('Geoffrey L. Blau') to Beresford-Hope, giving his views (as a British official military interpreter) on the Russian threat to British India.

Geoffrey L. Blau [or Blan?], of the Intelligence Branch, Division of the Chief of the Staff, Government of India, Simla [Khud Cottage; Beresford-Hope; Imperial Russia; British Military Intelligence]
Publication details: 
28 September 1908; Khud Cottage, Simla, on letterhead of the Chief of the Staff.
SKU: 8272

12mo, 8 pp. On two bifoliums, both with red oval British governmental letterhead of the 'CHIEF OF THE STAFF'. Text clear and complete. Good on lightly-aged paper. Blau reports that he is now 'fortunately well and returned to my right mind' after 'pretty bad times last autumn and winter - especially when on board ship'. He has 'mended steadily since rejoining in December' and has 'been in Simla since May doing Russian again, and am my own man once more'. He is sending Beresford-Hope a copy of 'a production [...] frankly alarmist and purely military' - 'an article on the defence of India, thrown into a novel form', and would like his opinion of it. While Blau realises 'the improbability of an immediate collision with Russia', the 'point' he is 'after is that, unless we now set our military house in order, we shall have a very poor time of it, if the political conditions change & Russia finds it worth her while to attack, or to threaten, India.' The article was '[o]riginally written for a military magazine', but 'has been declared too "dangerous" to be published'. It is however being printed 'for confidential circulation at Headquarters'. 'From this I think it may be safely concluded that it is a pretty good shot at the opinions held by K [Kitchener?] and Company as regards the military conditions and that it suggests the course of Russian action which would be most inconvenient to us'. He asks Beresford-Hope for information 'about the recovery of Russian finances and her aims in the Far East'. 'Everyone at home seems too busy considering what day the Germans are going to take London, to think about anyone else - the Russians are, however, always with us on the Indian frontier'. The 'unrest' in India 'is quieting down a little, but Minnto is merely Morely's phenograph [sic]'. Blau has 'just been appointed an "official" Russian interpreter' and will be 'a captain in July next'. He mentions his salary increase and plans. He hopes that, 'after my last year's smash up', Beresford-Hope has not 'given me up permanently as a friend and correspondent'. Asks whether 'the liaison of last summer is ancient history' and Boothby is 'sticking to the Foreign Office'. There is apparently no surviving information on Blau or his work, and this item provides a valuable insight into the workings of British Military Intelligence towards the end of the period of 'the Great Game'. The recipient was presumably a relation of the Conservative M.P. Alexander Beresford-Hope.