I saw Cripps on Wednesday, the first time I had actually spoken to him. Rather well impressed. He was more approachable and easy-going than I had expected, and quite ready to answer questions. Though aged 53 some of his movements are almost boyish. On the other hand he has decidedly a red nose. [I saw him in one of the reception rooms, or whatever they are called, off the House of Lords. Some interesting old prints on the walls, coronets on the chairs and on the ashtrays, but everything with the vaguely decayed look that all Parliamentary institutions now have. A string of non-descript people waiting to see Cripps. As I waited trying to talk to his secretary, a phrase I always remember on these occasions came into my mind – “shivering in ante-rooms”. In eighteenth-century biographies you always read about people waiting on their patrons and “shivering in anterooms”. It is one of those ready made phrases like “leave no stone unturned”, and yet how true it is as soon as you get anywhere near politics, o even the more expensive kinds of journalism.]
Cripps considers that Bose is definitely in German territory. He says it is known that he got out through Afghanistan. I asked him what he thought of Bose, whom he used to know well, and he described him as “a thoroughly bad egg”. I said there seemed little doubt that he is subjectively pro-Fascist. Cripps: “He’s pro-Subhas. That is all he really cares about. He will do anything that he thinks will help his career along”.
I am not certain, on the evidence of Bose’s broadcasts, that this is so. I said I thought very few Indians were reliably anti-Fascist. Cripps disagreed so far as the younger generation go. He said the young Communists and left wing Socialists are wholeheartedly anti-Fascist and have a western conception of Socialism and internationalism. Let’s hope it’s so.