Gunn Papers: Box 2

  1. ‘Report on the Chong Kumdun Dam and the Shyok flood’, by J.P. Gunn, Executive Engineer. The text and the numerous diagrams are printed; there are many photographs. 29 pages of text.Note on the cover: ‘This paper is a technical one, issued for the information mainly of the Public Works Department, by the Punjab Government. The statements made, and the opinions expressed, are those of the writer, and are not necessarily those of the Punjab Government’.

    This document is undated, but appears to have been written in 1929, when, because of the danger of flooding in the Attock district, the Government of Punjab arranged to carry out surveys in the Attock neighbourhood and to despatch an expedition to investigate the glaciers of the Upper Shyok. Attock lies between Peshawar and Rawalpindi close to the Indus river in the northern part of the Punjab. The Shyok river is a tributary of the Indus, joining it many hundreds of miles upstream from Attock. The Upper Shyok flows to the north and east of Leh in the Himalayas in Kashmir.The expedition consisted of Gunn, Mr. Ludlow and two Indians. It left Srinigar on 22 May, reaching Leh on 6 June. After observations requiring a great deal of travelling in the Upper Shyok area, the party returned to Leh on 30 August and reached Srinagar on 14 September.

    This document is useful for water-engineers and possibly to geographers, but has nothing of political or social interest.

  2. ‘Background to the Indus water dispute’, by J.P. Gunn.This document consists of 15 large pages, typewritten with three printed diagrams and one printed map of Punjab canals and works.

    It begins with a description of the development of canals and irrigation in the area commanded by the rivers of the Indus system – the former provinces of the North West Frontier, Punjab, Sind and the neighbouring Indian States. However, with the partition of India the whole of the irrigation in the Punjab was upset, partly by mass migrations but largely by the location of the National Boundary which cut across the canal systems’. (p, 10)

    The paper then continues with an account of projected plans for adjusting and improving the water supply system, and the difficulties that arose from political reasons. The World Bank promised the loan of the necessary funds on condition that a fair allocation of the water was agreed to by both sides. But the Bank found many difficulties, ‘the most serious of all … that the plans put forward by the two sides (India and Pakistan) differ fundamentally in concept’.

    Eventually in 1954 the Bank put forward its own scheme which was accepted by India but not by Pakistan. There is an account of the work done by the two sides; (how far there was cooperation, or not, between the two sides is not clear to a layman; an engineer with a close knowledge of the geography of the area might have a clearer understanding). The World Bank put forward new proposals in the summer of 1957, which were not accepted; in February 1958 further proposals were under consideration when this document was being written. The paper closes with a final comment that the ‘success of the World Bank in confining the dispute to the conference table can surely be claimed as one of its major achievements’.

    This paper is not technical and can be understood by a layman, but a close knowledge of the geography of the Punjab and of the river systems is necessary for a clear understanding of its contents.

  3. Miscellaneous letters from Gunn to his mother and occasionally to his father, written from India and Mesopotamia between the years 1918 and 1929.

Gunn Papers: Box 1

Lent by W.A. Gunn

MS copy of diary kept by Mr. W.A. Gunn during his first trip up country in Burma where he was with T.D. Findlay & Co.