The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998 Page: 216
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
respectful of their older companions' opinions, had that attractive if
momentarily disconcerting American habit of not being shy to venture
their own opinions. A very welcome change, Greene may have felt,
from the studied world-weariness of many of the women he knew. 'You
know," brooded Greene, "what we ought to do is found an Anglo-Texan
That sounded like a splendid idea to Sutro and the two men toasted
this new manifestation of the "special relationship" between Great
Britain and the United States with another round of Black Velvets.
Unlike most ideas hatched over drinks, however, this one got acted
upon, and had unintended, unforeseen, and immediate results....
A letter from Sutro and Greene appeared in the London Times of
August 22, 1953:
Sir,-May we beg the courtesy of your columns to announce the formation of
the Anglo-Texan Society? The society has the general object of establishing cul-
tural and social links between this country and the state of Texas which occupies
a special historical position not only in relation to the United States but also in
relation to Great Britain. It is hoped, when funds permit, to establish special
premises in London for welcoming visitors from Texas and-if our ambitions
are realized-of providing them with a hospitality equal to that which Texas tra-
ditionally has given to English visitors. Those interested are asked to communi-
cate with the undersigned at 1 Montague Square, London W1.
We are, Sir, yours, &c.,
GRAHAM GREENE, President
JOHN SUTRO, Vice President
Neither signatory actually saw the published letter. Greene went off
that day on assignment from the Sunday Times to report on the Mau Mau
rebellion in Kenya, and Sutro was with his wife on holiday in France. In
a 984 Spectator article, Sutro recalled:
Hardly had we arrived in Paris when the telephone rang. It was a London news
agency intrigued by the letter and wanting to know more about the project.
Taken by surprise I answered as coherently as possible. On our return to
London I found over 6o letters awaiting me, some from very eminent people
including Sir Hartley Shawcross KC, MP, Attorney-General, Sir Alfred Bossom
MP, Mr. Samuel Guinness the banker, and many others, all warmly approving
the plan and wishing to join. Nothing could stop the Anglo-Texan Society from
going from strength to strength. Clearly Graham's name on our letter had
caused the furore. I had no choice but to pursue as the Society had somehow
launched itself of its own volition."
s Sherry, The Life of Graham Greene, II, 457-458.
S Sutro, "Greene's Jests," 16-17.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 101, July 1997 - April, 1998, periodical, 1998; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117155/m1/268/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.