Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Frank Merrick

Letter No.: 
VWL2523
October 27th 1952.

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,
Dorking.

Dear Merrick1

Your letter puts me in a difficulty. I throughly2 mistrust these so-called “Peace” movements. I know that your “Peace” organisation is run by honest and single-minded people: (indeed in early days I think I joined it myself) but I think there is a great danger that you are too simple minded and will become dupes of the nefarious designs of the kremlinists. On the other hand I cannot well refuse to allow any statement of mine in favour of peace to be used by you. But I must insist that it take the following form and have nothing else added, unless indeed the OUP. insist of having it put down that it is used by their permission, which I hope they will not do.
The form must be as follows:- and nothing else3

      (R. Vaughan Williams)

It seems to me that a much simpler solution to the problem would be to use either the Bach B Minor Mass or the plainsong for your quotation. This would obviate all difficulties about permissions etc.
I am sending a copy of this letter to the O.U.P.4
Yrs

R. Vaughan Williams


1. Pianist, composer and teacher. He and VW had been colleagues at the Royal College of Music for many years.
2. sic. ‘Thouroughly’ in hand-written copy by UVW in Oxford University Press file 840.
3. ‘More’ in hand-written copy by UVW in Oxford University Press file 840. 'and nothing else' inserted in original in the hand of VW.
4. Alan Frank of OUP had written to VW saying that the Musicians Organisation for Peace had asked if they could reproduce a fragment of Dona Nobis Pacem, Collected Works 1936/5, from either the manuscript or the printed score, on their annual Christmas card for 1952. Oxford University Press were not keen but would assent if VW agreed to the proposal.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add MS 71700, f.81
General notes: 

Copy in OUP file in the hand of UW (except for music and signature, in the hand of VW).

Format: 
Letter
Citation: 
Cobbe 593
Original database number: 
521027