Cast of Characters


Foreign Actors:

  • Girja Shakar Bajpai- Indian Agent-General to Washington
  • Winston Churchill- British Prime Minister
  • Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi
  • Lord Halifax (Edward Frederick Lindley Wood)- British ambassador to the United States
  • K.A.D. Naoroji- Deputy Director of the Government of India Supply Mission- possible actor in Pearson leak
  • Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Madame Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit– Sister of Jawaharlal Nehru and future ambassador to the United States, president of the UN General Assembly
  • Major Altaf Qadir- Third Secretary of the Indian Agent-General; possible actor in Pearson leak
  • Obaidur Rahman- Press Officer of the High Commission; possible actor in Pearson leak


  • Louis Fischer– Gandhi biographer
  • Chamal Lal- Hindustan Times correspondent; possible actor in Pearson leak
  • Drew PearsonWashington Post political columnist
  • Richard Walsh- Editor of Asia, head of John Day Publishing Co.


  • Pearl Buck- Author and honorary president of the League in 1944
  • K.C. Mahendra- Indian businessman, owner of a Bombay import-export company; owner of Castle Rock, a mansion on the Potomac in Falls Church, VA, and a regular Lobby event location; possible actor in the Pearson leak
  • Dr. Anup Singh- First editor of India Today, founding member of the National Commission for India’s Independence; claims involvement in Pearson leak
  • J.J. Singh– President of the India League of America
  • Walter White– Executive secretary of the NAACP


  • Emanuel Celler– Representative for New York
  • Happy Chandler- Democrat Senator from Kentucky
  • Clare Boothe Luce– Republican Representative for Connecticut


  • Adolph A. Berle- Assistant Secretary of State of Latin American affairs
  • Robert Crane- junior officer at the India Desk in the Division of Cultural Relations
  • Cordell Hull- Secretary of State
  • Colonel Louis Johnson- Personal representative to India for Roosevelt
  • Wallace Murray- Chief of the Division of Near East Affairs
  • William Phillips– Personal representative to India for Roosevelt
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Sumner Welles- Assistant Secretary of State

Supporting Characters:



Emanuel Celler (1888-1981)

Oil on canvas, Joseph Margulies, 1963, Collection of U.S. House of Representatives

  • Democratic Congressman from Brooklyn, New York from 1923-1972
  • supporter of Roosevelt New Deal policies
  • advocate for establishment of the state of Israel
  • chairman of the Judiciary Committee
  • co-author of Indian Immigration and Naturalization Bill, H.R. 3517 which was passed on June 27, 1946
  • key creator of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, 1964

Reference Sources

 American National Biography

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress


You Never Leave Brooklyn: The Autobiography of Emanuel Celler. New York: John Day Co., 1953.

Primary Sources

Papers: ca. 1924-1973. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.

William Phillips (1878-1968)

Phillips, 1922, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

  • Career diplomat stationed in England, China, the Netherlands, Canada
  • Assistant Secretary of State, 1917
  • Ambassador to Italy, 1936-1941
  • Director of the OSS in London in 1942 until appointed Roosevelt’s personal representative to India on October 31, 1942 until FDR accepted his resignation on March 17, 1945

Online Reference Sources

William Phillips, American National Biography

Primary Sources

Ventures in Diplomacy. Boston: Beacon Press, 1952.

Papers, Harvard University

  • Hess does not believe the Phillips papers add much substantial information (189)

Reminiscences of William Phillips: oral history, 1951, Columbia University.




Louis Fischer (1896-1970)


  • Foreign relations journalist (reported from Soviet Union for 14 years) who worked to promote Indian independence cause in the U.S.
  • Met extensively with Gandhi and later published a biography, The Life of Mahatma Gandhi (1950), which the Oscar-winning movie is based on

Primary Sources

The Great Challenge. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946.

  • Includes account of Fischer’s, May 1942 trip to India and his meetings with Nehru and Gandhi
  • “No one imagines that independence will solve all of the problems of India. It will create problems. Freedom merely opens the door to the solution of the problems” (135).

The Life of Mahatma Gandhi. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1950.

  • Ch. 38 “My Week with Gandhi”
  • Gandhi gave Fischer a letter to deliver to Roosevelt. Gandhi later asked if Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms: “include the freedom to be free?” (376)

Walter White (1893-1955)

Image Courtesy of the New Georgia Encyclopedia

  • Executive secretary of the NAACP from 1931-1955
  • Advocate of Indian Independence
  • Member of U.S. delegation to UN Conference in San Francisco, 1945

Online Reference Source:

Walter White, American National Biography


Janken, Kenneth Robert. White: The Biography of Walter White, Mr. NAACP. New York: The New Press, 2003.

  • “Before World War II the NAACP had exhibited only limited interest in the international dimensions of race.” (278)

Primary Sources

  • Papers located in the James Welldon Johnson Collection at Yale University
  • A Rising Wind. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Dorian and Company, Inc., 1945

White’s account of his information-gathering trip on the conditions of African-American soldiers in England, North Africa, the Middle East and Italy from January to March 1944.

  • At a London dinner party, White notes that none of the dinner guests made a connection between, “the American attitude toward Negroes whose skins were black or brown and the British attitude towards Indians whose skins were brown” (31).
  • “World War II has given to the Negro a sense of kinship with other colored–and also oppressed–peoples of the world” (144)
  • “If already planned race riots and lynchings of returning Negro soldiers “to teach them their place” are consummated, if Negro war workers are first fired, if India remains enslaved… World War III will be in the making before the last gun is fired in World War II” (154).
  • “Can the United States, Britain, and other ‘white’ nations any longer afford, in enlightened self-interest, racial superiority?” (154)
  • “The United States, Great Britain, France, and other Allied nations must choose without delay one of two courses–to revolutionize their racial concepts and practices, to abolish imperialism and grant full equality to all of its people, or else prepare for World War III” (154)
  • A Man Called White, The Autobiography of Walter White. New York: Viking Press, 1948.
  • Papers of the NAACP, Library of Congress

Drew Pearson (1897-1969)

Drew Pearson, 1954, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

  • wrote the popular syndicated political column, “Washington Merry-Go-Round,” for the Washington Post from the 1930s until 1969
  • on July 25, 1944, published a leaked letter written by William Phillips, criticizing the British stance on Indian Independence
  • held a weekly radio program from 1938-1955

Pearson, Washington Post, July 25, 1944




Reference Source

American National Biography, profile


Oliver Pilat, Drew Pearson: An Unauthorized Biography. New York: Harper’s Magazine Press, 1973.

Primary Sources

Papers, Lyndon B. Johnson Library, University of Texas, Austin.

Diaries, 1949-1959. Ed. Tyler Abell New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1974.

“Confessions of an S.O.B.,” Saturday Evening Post, November 3, 1956, pg. 23-25, 87-91, 94. (4 Part Series)

  • “The luck really began when I was able to publish, during the latter part of the war, the secret report written to Roosevelt by his special ambassador to India, William Phillips, recommending independence or dominion status for India.  Phillips reasoned that if India were given some inspiration to fight, she could raise enough troops to crack the Japanese from from Burma and the south, thereby saving many American lives. Thanks to a State Department official who wanted to see American lives saved, I was able to obtain and publish that report, together with some intercepted British cables, declaring that Ambassador Phillips, never again would be permitted in India. I think my publication hastened dominion status for India, but in any case it made the British see red” (88, 90).

State Department, in history

U.S. Department of State, Office of the Historian

Foreign Relations of the United States with India:

FRUS, 1941FRUS, 1942FRUS, 1943FRUS, 1944FRUS, 1945FRUS, 1946FRUS, 1947

Department of State, 1941, courtesy of University of Minnesota


Clare Boothe Luce (1903-1987)

  • Republican Representative for 4th District CT (1942-1946)

    Clare Boothe Luce, 1955, Collection of the US House of Representatives

  • writer for Life and Time, both published by husband Henry
  • sponsor of 1946 House bill to extend citizenship to Indians

Reference Sources

American National Biography profile

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress



Morris, Sylvia Jukes. Rage for Fame: The Ascent of Clare Boothe Luce. New York: Random House, 1997.

Primary Sources

Papers, 1930-1987. Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.

Clark Getts (1893– )

  • owner of Clark H. Getts, Inc., a “lecture and radio production bureau” who organized a lecture series for Mme. Pandit in 1945 as she made her way from New York City to San Francisco
  • In her memoir, Pandit describes Getts as “an amazing little man” who expected her to be bedazzled in colorful saris and jewels (The Scope of Happiness, 192)
  • “Clark was intelligent, sophisticated, and creative. His many interests included art, literature, current events, and history. Although his company was a small one, her was highly respected in the field” (Imperato, They Married Adventure: The Wandering Lives of Martin & Osa Johnson, 194).

Primary Sources

Papers, 1932-1980. American Heritage Center, The University of Wyoming.

Getts' introduction to Pandit lecture series


Pandit lecture tour program

Dickinsonians in India, WWII

Lt. Robert A. Walsh spent one year at Dickinson as a member of the class of 1941 before joining the Army Air Corps after Pearl Harbor. Beginning in March 1943, Walsh served in the India-China line. On May 15, 1943, his plane did not return from a flight between India and China and Walsh was declared missing in action.

In February 1943, First Lt. Theodore C. Stroose left Dickinson College during the last semester of his senior to enlist in the Army Air Corps. Strouse was stationed in the India-China theater, where he flew 41 missions in B-25 Bombers with the 10th Air Force. He was killed on July 11, 1945, while returning to a rest base in India.

First Lt. Theodore C. Strouse

Lt. Robert A. Walsh

The Dickinson Almunus published both students’ obituaries.