[ROOTES, William Ed., 1st Baron Rootes (1894-1964). Motor vehicle manufacturer.]Email about this entry
Group of 26 Typewritten Letters Signed & Autograph Letters Signed to Rootes from various correspondents, in all 14 pages 4to, 11 pages 8vo and 1 page folio, 1935-1964, where dated. The letters divide into two subjects: Rootes's generous provision of cars to visitors both in England and in other countries, and recognition of his tireless efforts to expand trade abroad.
Rootes was a valued member of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (the industry's trade association) and exerted great energy and influence in expanding the trade prospects of the British motor industry. As part of these efforts, his Western Hemisphere Trade and Industrial Mission to the Caribbean, which he distributed to his fellow industrialists forms the subject of many of these letters.
Correspondents include Sir Patrick Hennessy (Chairman of the Ford Motor Company), Sir Roland Theodore Symonette (1898-1980, Bahamian politician), Duncan Sandys, Sir Kenneth Blackburne (1907-1980, first govenor-general of Jamaica), James Orr (private secretary to the Duke of Edinburgh), the Marquess of Lansdowne, Sir William Black (Chairman & Chief Executive of Leyland Motor Corporation), Duke of Hamilton (WWII squadron leader and Keeper of Holyroodhouse), the Crown Prince of Jahore, Admiral Sir John Eccles (Commander-in-Chief Homes Fleet), three presidents of the Board of Trade: Sir Stafford Cripps, the Hon Peter Thorneycroft and Sir David Eccles, the Earl of Cromer, Hugh Foot (Baron Caradon, colonial administrator and governor-general of Jamaica) and Richard Dimbleby.
'... on our arrival at Melbourne and later at Sydney I was informed that instructions had most kindly been sent from London to your Agents in both these cities to place a car at our disposal during our brief visits there ...The Earl of Cromer, 1952.
'... Now that I am restored to health after the tremendous hospitality of Helsinki I write to say how much I have appreciated the loan of your Humber Pullman. ...Admiral Eccles, 1957.
'... Finally, on our last day in London I sat in despair in our Chelsea house with all the family ready to go to the station and at least fifty pieces of baggage, with apparently no vehicle obtainable in the whole of London. I tried many car hire firms without success ... but just when I was giving up hope I decided to try your hire service and within ten minutes two most efficient drivers and two excellent limousines were ready at our house ...'Hugh Foot, 1957.
A few of the letters also contain copies of Rootes's answers. The following is an example, written from the Waldorf Astoria in New York:
'... There is much happening here that gives one confidence in the United Kingdom's future if only we are prepared really to work; and a great deal that leads a simple commercial man such as myself to believe we are on a better wicket than one might think, and certainly in a stronger position to bargain with this country than most people realise.(1945).
£185 [No: 26585]
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