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Graham Stewart argued that "under his guidance, the confused and complicated patchwork of local government was entirely rationalised by with a commanding sweep which - put to a different goal - would have been the envy of any totalitarian planner. Chamberlain often came into conflict with Churchill over economic issues. Despite the problem of low Government revenues Churchill was determined not to increase personal taxes.

The standard rate of income tax was reduced from four shillings and sixpence to four shillings in the pound. In a letter to James Gascoyne-Cecil , 4th Marquess of Salisbury, the leader of the House of Lords , he argued that "the rich, whether idle or not, are already taxed in this country to the very highest point compatible with the accumulation of capital for further production. Churchill's social conservatism was also apparent during discussions within the Government over changes to unemployment insurance.

The scheme that the Liberal government had introduced in had collapsed after the war because of large-scale structural unemployment, particularly among trades that were not covered by the scheme. A benefit the dole was first introduced for unemployed ex-servicemen, later extended to others and then made subject to a means test in Churchill thought that far too many people were drawing the "dole".

Winston Churchill spoke in the House of Commons of the "growing up of a habit of qualifying for unemployment relief" and the need for an enquiry. He suggested that when the legislation to pay for the dole expired in , rather than reduce the benefit, as most of his colleagues wanted to do, they should abolish it altogether.

Churchill said: "It is profoundly injurious to the state that this system should continue; it is demoralising to the whole working class population The Government might make some donations to charities but money would only be given to "deserving cases" and that "by proceeding on the present lines we are rotting the youth of the country and rupturing the mainsprings of its energies".

Churchill attempted to get his ideas supported by Stanley Baldwin , the prime minister: "I am thinking less about saving the exchequer than about saving the moral fibre of our working classes. Despite his progressive views, Chamberlain did not always create the right impression in the House of Commons.

Another member of the Cabinet, Oliver Stanley , who shared his progressive political views, complained about the way he dealt with members of the Labour Party. He wrote in his diary: "Stanley begged me to remember that I was addressing a meeting of gentlemen. I always gave him the impression, he said, when I spoke in the House of Commons, that I looked on the Labour Party as dirt. Chamberlain also urged caution in the build-up to the General Strike.

He pointed out in his diary: "My own view was that a stoppage of such magnitude and accompanied by such bitterness would inflict incalculable and irreparable damage on the country; that this was not an occasion when such damage could be accepted as a necessary evil Winston Churchill , along with Frederick Smith , Lord Birkenhead, were members of the government who saw the strike as "an enemy to be destroyed.

Thomas Jones attempted to develop a plan that would bring the dispute to an end. Churchill was furious and said that the government should reject a negotiated settlement. Jones described Churchill as a "cataract of boiling eloquence" and told him that "we are at war" and the battle should continue until the government won. John C. Davidson , the chairman of the Conservative Party , commented that Churchill was "the sort of man whom, if I wanted a mountain to be moved, I should send for at one.

I think, however, that I should not consult him after he had moved the mountain if I wanted to know where to put it. After the defeat of the miners Churchill urged the passing of anti-trade union legislation. As the bill emerged, its principal clauses stiffened the law against intimidation, inverted the process of the political levy by laying the weight on "contracting in", forbade local authorities to force trade unionism on their employees, and civil servants to affiliate themselves with a political party, defined and prohibited a general strike.

Chamberlain argued against these measures, which he thought merely aimed at popularity, and thought that the government should be more conciliatory and more constructive. This act made all sympathetic strikes illegal, ensured the trade union members had to voluntarily 'contract in' to pay the political levy to the Labour Party , forbade Civil Service unions to affiliate to the TUC, and made mass picketing illegal.

Taylor has pointed out: "The attack on Labour party finance came ill from the Conservatives who depended on secret donations from rich men. The legislation defined all sympathetic strikes as illegal, confining the right to strike to "the trade or industry in which the strikers are engaged". The funds of any union engaging in an illegal strike was liable in respect of civil damages.

It also limited the right to picket, in terms so vague that almost any form of picketing might be liable to prosecution. As Julian Symons has pointed out: "More than any other single measure, the Trade Disputes Act caused hatred of Baldwin and his Government among organized trade unionists. Chamberlain became concerned about the growth of unemployment and suggested that the government needed to provide state help for certain industries.

Stanley Baldwin agreed and according to an entry in Chamberlain's diary: "Last night I dined alone with the P. He could not help feeling that if we had protected steel, we should not now be faced with the problem of , unemployable miners.

But he did not know how the Chancellor would take such a proposal. In January , 1,, people in Britain were out of work. Churchill was widely blamed for the poor state of the economy. However, he refused to take action to reduce the problem. He told Maxwell Aitken , Lord Beaverbrook, that unemployment was not a political issue for the Conservatives: "Unemployment was confined to certain areas, which would go against the Government anyhow, but it was not sufficiently spread to have a universal damaging influence all over the country.

Churchill resisted attempts by his colleagues who suggested he took action to reduce unemployment. In his opinion the British economic position was sound and that there was "a more contented people and a better standard of living for the wage earners than at any other time in our own history". He thought the Government should not allow itself to be "disparaged abroad and demoralised at home" by the unemployment figures". This was because they did not represent genuine unemployment,only "a special culture developed by the post-war extensions of the original Unemployment Insurance Act.

Baldwin was urged to take measures that would protect the depressed iron and steel industry. Baldwin ruled this out owing to the pledge against protection which had been made at the election. Agriculture was in an even worse condition, and here again the government could offer little assistance without reopening the dangerous tariff issue. Baldwin was considered to be a popular prime minister and he fully expected to win the general election that was to take place on 30th May, He won his seat easily but there was an overall anti-government swing.

However, the bias of the system worked in Labour's favour, and in the House of Commons the party won seats, the Conservatives and the Liberals The Conservatives lost seats and became for the first time a smaller parliamentary party than Labour. Neville Chamberlain wrote in his diary that he blamed Stanley Baldwin , the Prime Minister, and Winston Churchill , the Chancellor of the Exchequer for not spending enough money to reduce unemployment. We are out and Ramsay MacDonald has formed his second Cabinet I thought perhaps the general respect and affection with which he Baldwin is regarded would have overborne everything else, but it was not so.

Chamberlain thought it a good idea that Ramsay MacDonald should form a minority government. It is merely the present discontents showing themselves in a desire for change Socialists themselves have not a clear majority… what has happened is perhaps the best thing for the country that could have occurred. MacDonald's game is clear enough. Keep very moderate, and quite suspicions and fears for two years.

Then say to the proletariat, if we have not been able to do all you like, that is because we have not had a majority. Here is a budget which really offers you a good taste of the millennium, and all the expense of the rich. I think it quite possible that he may succeed. In that case we are out for 7 years, and if then we come back I shall be 67 if I were alive, and I daresay politics will have ceased to interest me.

Other leading figures in the party thought that Chamberlain should replace Baldwin as leader. Crozier has argued: "Baldwin's temperament and style were not suited to opposition, and Chamberlain himself was forced to alert him to the discontent at his lack of drive.

The two main press barons, Lord Rothermere and Lord Beaverbrook , joined forces in an attempt to remove Baldwin as leader. According to one source: "Rothermere's feelings amounted to hatred. He had backed Baldwin strongly in , and his subsequent disenchantment was thought to be connected with Baldwin's unaccountable failure to reward him with an earldom and his son Esmond, an MP, with a post in the government. By Rothermere, a man of pessimistic temperament, had come to believe that with the socialists in power the world was nearing its end; and Baldwin was doing nothing to save it.

He was especially disturbed by the independence movement in India, to which he thought both the government and Baldwin were almost criminally indulgent. Rothermere and Beaverbrook wanted Neville Chamberlain to replace Baldwin. They entered into negotiations with Chamberlain who expressed concerns about the long-term consequences of this attack on the Conservative Party.

He was especially worried about the cartoons by David Low , that were appearing in the Evening Standard. Chamberlain argued that before a deal could be arranged: "Beaverbrook must call off his attacks on Baldwin and the Party, cease to include offensive cartoons and paragraphs in the Evening Standard , and stop inviting Conservatives to direct subscriptions to him in order that they might be used to run candidates against official Conservatives.

Chamberlain remained loyal to Baldwin and refused to undermine his leader. He wrote in his diary: "The question of leadership is again growing acute… I am getting letters and communications from all over the country… I cannot see my way out. I am the only person who might bring about Stanley Baldwin's retirement, but I cannot act when my action might put me in his place. However, Peter Neville , the author of Neville Chamberlain , has argued that there is evidence that Chamberlain spread information amongst fellow members of the Cabinet that undermined Baldwin: "Chamberlain's behaviour during the leadership crisis was not as disinterested as he subsequently maintained.

This in itself was not particularly shocking. Politicians are ambitious, and Neville Chamberlain would in have attained a position which neither his father nor his half-brother had ever achieved - leadership of the Conservative Party. In July, , the George May Committee produced the two trade unionists refused to sign the document its report that presented a picture of Great Britain on the verge of financial disaster.

As David W. Howell has pointed out: "A committee majority of actuaries, accountants, and bankers produced a report urging drastic economies; Latham and Pugh wrote a minority report that largely reflected the thinking of the TUC and its research department.

An equitable solution should include taxation of holders of fixed-interest securities who had benefited from the fall in prices. The May Report had been intended to be used as a weapon to use against those Labour MPs calling for increased public expenditure. What it did in fact was to create abroad a belief in the insolvency of Britain and in the insecurity of the British currency, and thus to start a run on sterling, vast amounts of which were held by foreigners who had exchanged their own currencies for it in the belief that it was "as good as gold".

This foreign-owned sterling was now exchanged into gold or dollars and soon began to threaten the stability of the pound. Philip Snowden , the Chancellor of the Exchequer, presented his recommendations to the Cabinet on 20th August. Most members of the Cabinet rejected the idea of the proposed cut in unemployment benefit and the meeting ended without any decisions being made. Clement Attlee , who was a supporter of John Maynard Keynes , condemned Snowden for his "misplaced fidelity to laissez-faire economics".

Arthur Henderson argued that rather do what the bankers wanted, Labour should had over responsibility to the Conservatives and Liberals and leave office as a united party. Chamberlain argued against the increase in taxation and called for further cuts in unemployment benefit. Chamberlain wrote about the meeting in his diary: "I opened first and intimated: 1 that if these were the final proposals… we should turn them out immediately the House met: 2 that before then we anticipated that the financial crash must come: 3 that we considered that it was the P.

He would remain P. Taylor has argued: "The other eleven were presumably ready to go along with MacDonald. Six of these had a middle-class or upper-class background; of the minority only one Addison Clearly the government could not go on. Nine members were too many to lose. Herbert Samuel later recorded that he told the king that MacDonald should be maintained in office "in view of the fact that the necessary economies would prove most unpalatable to the working class".

He added that MacDonald was "the ruling class's ideal candidate for imposing a balanced budget at the expense of the working class. Later that day Ramsay MacDonald returned to the palace and told the King that he had the Cabinet's resignation in his pocket. Chamberlain was successful in "impaling Labour on a series of ever more difficult hooks of financial policy, forcing Snowden to adopt the large-scale fiscal reforms demanded by the Conservatives and the City, whilst preventing a rise in the level of direct taxation, which would disproportionately affect the rich, the natural constituency".

This enabled the Conservatives to promote the image that it was a Labour prime minister who was punishing the unemployment and to deflect unpalatable accusations that an "upper class" government was foisting "economies" on the most vulnerable sectors of society. The General Election was held on 27th October, The Labour Party polled The only significant concentration of Labour victories occurred in South Wales where eleven seats were retained, many by large majorities.

Chamberlain was appointed as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. He continued with Snowden's austerity-minded measures and in his first budget speech he argued: "Nothing could be more harmful to the ultimate material recovery of this country or to its present moral fibre… hard work, strict economy, firm courage, unfailing patience, these are the qualifications that are required of us, and with them we shall not fail.

Chamberlain was convinced that he needed to balance the budget. He therefore took the controversial decision to protect the home market by introducing tariff duties on foreign goods. This measure was opposed by several members of the Cabinet. His ideas were positive and clearcut; he was tenacious in pursuit of them Courteous and agreeable in manner, Chamberlain was willing to listen to arguments with a friendly spirit - but a closed mind.

Chamberlain's tariff were put before the House of Commons on 4th February , the day which he called "the great day of my life". This was because his father, Joseph Chamberlain , had failed to get this measure accepted by Parliament. To emphasize the point he took along his father's battered old despatch box from the days when he had been Colonial Secretary. In his speech, Chamberlain explained the need for the general tariff of 10 per cent. It would help correct the deficit in the balance of payments, and the fall in the value of the pound, as well as reducing unemployment by moving "to our own factories and fields work which is now done elsewhere".

Chamberlain wrote in his diary: "The largest problem I see in front of us is what is to be the future of international trade. It has shrunk to a third of what it was in Is it going to recover, or is the spirit and practice of economic nationalism going to prevail, and each country try to live by taking in its own washing? On the answer to this problem depends our policy in agriculture, in Empire relations, and international affairs.

We are now endeavouring to increase the home production of bacon, eggs, poultry, hops, cheese, etc. How far are we to carry it? This piece of legislation was widely seen to be the realisation of his father's long cherished ambitions of imposing tariffs to help protect the British Empire. As Chamberlain pointed out: "There can have been few occasions in all our long political history when the son of a man who counted for something in his day and generation has been vouchsafed the privilege of setting the seal on the work which the father began but had perforce to leave unfinished.

Neville Chamberlain often worked from 9. He told his sister, Ida Chamberlain , that: "Every day, one interview or committee succeeds another and in the evening there is generally a box large enough to keep me out of bed till the small hours. It is strenuous work but I suppose that I would not willingly change it now for any other. Chamberlain wrote in his diary: "I am more and more carrying this government on my back. The P. MacDonald is ill and tired, S. Stanley Baldwin is tired and won't apply his mind to problems.

It is certainly time there was a change". The King said: "I wonder how you have stood it - especially the loss of your friends and their beastly behaviour. You have been the Prime Minister I have liked best; you have so many qualities, you have kept up the dignity of the office without using it to give you dignity. Stanley Baldwin became prime minister for the third time.

Chamberlain worked much harder than Baldwin and viewed himself as an being in control of the government. It was decided that Chamberlain should be put in charge of defence expenditure. Graham Macklin has pointed out that Chamberlain now "became the supreme arbiter of the nation's defences, holding the purse strings and thus dictating the parameters of the debate surrounding the scale and direction of the rearmament drive.

Chamberlain was not inclined either by temperament or desire, particularly in the aftermath of the Wall Street crash, to embark on a vast spending spree. Indeed, his first act was to present Treasury figures for defence estimates lower than at any time since the First World War.

Chamberlain rejected this figure and told the DRC that he believed that financial stability was far more important than increasing spending on defence. In the figures had been 4 per cent for Britain against 13 per cent for Germany. Some members of the Conservative Party began attacking Chamberlain for his unwillingness to rapidly increase spending on defence. At that year's party conference, Chamberlain admitted that defence spending had reached a dangerous low level, but blamed successive Governments for the last eight and a half years, which, he pointedly reminded his audience, included his most vociferous critic, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill.

Peter Neville , the author of Neville Chamberlain , argues that Chamberlain's views on rearmament was influenced by his belief in social reform: "Chamberlain If, Chamberlain reasoned, diplomacy could bring about an understanding profoundly worth striving for His belief was that if the burden of arms spending became so heavy that it endangered Britain's economic recovery still at a delicate stage after the Depression , then a diplomatic situation had to be found.

In March , Chamberlain, gave permission for an increase in the frontline strength of the Royal Air Force from 1, to 1, first-line planes. In his diary he wrote: "I am pretty satisfied now that, if we can keep out of war for a few years, we shall have an air force of such striking power that no one will care to run risks with it. I cannot believe that the next war, if it ever comes, will be like the last one, and I believe our resources will be more profitably employed in the air, and on the sea, than in building up great armies.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer he had resisted attempts to increase defence spending. He now asked the defence policy requirements committee to look at different ways of funding this expenditure. Despite this, the country still did not rapidly increase defence spending. Over the next two years Chamberlain's Conservative government became associated with the foreign policy that later became known as appeasement. Chamberlain believed that Germany had been badly treated by the Allies after it was defeated in the First World War.

He therefore thought that the German government had genuine grievances and that these needed to be addressed. He also thought that by agreeing to some of the demands being made by Adolf Hitler of Germany and Benito Mussolini of Italy, he could avoid a European war.

Joachim von Ribbentrop was ambassador to London in August, His main objective was to persuade the British government not to get involved in Germany territorial disputes and to work together against the the communist government in the Soviet Union.

During this period Von Ribbentrop told Hitler that the British "were so lethargic and paralyzed that they would accept without complaint any aggressive moves by Nazi Germany. While he would not dismiss Mr Eden he would deprive him of his influence at the Foreign Office.

Mr Eden was regarded as an enemy of Germany. Putlitz told MI5 that her policy of appeasement was "letting the trump cards fall out of her hands. If she had adopted, or even now adopted, a firm attitude and threatened war, Hitler would not succeed in this kind of bluff". A few weeks before he officially became prime minister, Chamberlain arranged for Nevile Henderson to replace Eric Phipps as British ambassador to Berlin.

Phipps had been warning of the dangers of Hitler and in his reports he gave ample and frequent warning of Nazi intentions to his superiors in London. He argued that Germany could only be contained "through accelerated and extensive British rearmament". Henderson later recalled that Chamberlain "outlined to me his views on general policy towards Germany, and I think I may honestly say that to the last and bitter end I followed the general line which he set me.

Oliver Harvey wrote in his diary: "I hope we are not sending another Ribbentrop to Berlin. A large number of leading Nazis were in attendance when he made a speech where he defended Adolf Hitler and urged the British people to "lay less stress on Nazi dictatorship and much more emphasis on the great social experiment which is being tried out in this country. This speech provoked an uproar and one journalist described him as "our Nazi ambassador at Berlin".

However, some newspaper editors, including Geoffrey Dawson , the editor of The Times , supported this approach to Nazi Germany. Some senior figures in the intelligence services were very opposed to appeasement and supplied Neville Chamberlain with a document from a spy close to Hitler quoting him as saying: "If I were Chamberlain I would not delay for a minute to prepare my country in the most drastic way for a total war It is astounding how easy the democracies make it for us to reach our goal If the information which has proved generally reliable and accurate in the past is to be believed, Germany is at the beginning of a Napoleonic era and her rulers contemplate a great expansion of German power.

Lord Halifax , the leader of the House of Lords , shared Chamberlain's belief in appeasement. In Halifax visited Nazi Germany for the first time. Halifax's friend, Henry Chips Channon , reported that: "I had a long conversation with Lord Halifax about Germany and his recent visit. He described Hitler's appearance, his khaki shirt, black breeches and patent leather evening shoes. He told me he liked all the Nazi leaders, even Goebbels, and he was much impressed, interested and amused by the visit.

He thinks the regime absolutely fantastic, perhaps even too fantastic to be taken seriously. But he is very glad that he went, and thinks good may come of it. I was riveted by all he said, and reluctant to let him go. Halifax later explained in his autobiography, Fullness of Days : "The advent of Hitler to power in had coincided with a high tide of wholly irrational pacifist sentiment in Britain, which caused profound damage both at home and abroad.

At home it immensely aggravated the difficulty, great in any case as it was bound to be, of bringing the British people to appreciate and face up to the new situation which Hitler was creating; abroad it doubtless served to tempt him and others to suppose that in shaping their policies this country need not be too seriously regarded. Anthony Eden , the foreign secretary, supported Chamberlain's appeasement policy because he believed that Britain needed time to rearm.

However, as Keith Middlemas , the author of Diplomacy of Illusion: British Government and Germany, , has pointed out: "While Eden held to the policy of keeping Germany guessing long enough to give Britain time to rearm, so that he could negotiate from a position of strength, Chamberlain, conscious of time running out, preferred to settle the outstanding accounts at once.

At this stage Winston Churchill was not giving his support to those opposing the appeasement of Adolf Hitler. On 17th September, Churchill praised Hitler's domestic achievements. If our country were defeated I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations. Churchill went further the following month. He then considered the way Hitler had suppressed the opposition and set up concentration camps: "Although no subsequent political action can condone wrong deeds, history is replete with examples of men who have risen to power by employing stern, grim and even frightful methods, but who nevertheless, when their life is revealed as a whole, have been regarded as great figures whose lives have enriched the story of mankind.

So may it be with Hitler. However, he believed that sometimes it was necessary to impose a dictatorship. He considered Antonio Salazar , "the present dictator of Portugal" one of the "wisest statesmen which the post-war period has produced in Europe". He argued that Hitler had probably gone too far with the Nuremberg Laws but "dictatorships are not always evil and, however anathema the principle may be to us, it is unfair to condemn a whole country, or even a whole system.

Henderson admitted in his autobiography, Failure of a Mission , that his comments gave "most offence to the left wing". However, he believed that that the British people should pay more "attention to the great social experiment which was being tried out in Germany" and condemned those who suggested that "our old democracy has nothing to learn from Nazism". Henderson argued that "in fact, many things in the Nazi organisation and social institutions Anthony Eden was furious when he discovered this and felt he was being undermined as foreign secretary.

One historian has commented: "Eden and Chamberlain seemed like two horses harnessed to a cart, both pulling in different directions. In his diary, Halifax records how he told Hitler: "Although there was much in the Nazi system that profoundly offended British opinion, I was not blind to what he Hitler had done for Germany, and to the achievement from his point of view of keeping Communism out of his country.

If reasonable settlements could be reached with This story was leaked to the journalist Vladimir Poliakoff. On 13th November the Evening Standard reported the likely deal between the two countries: "Hitler is ready, if he receives the slightest encouragement, to offer to Great Britain a ten-year truce in the colonial issue In return Hitler would expect the British Government to leave him a free hand in Central Europe".

Lord Halifax later explained that Hitler told him that Czechoslovakia "only needed to treat the Germans living within her borders well and they would be entirely happy". Blomberg said that Anglo-German relations were more important than the "colonial question" but Germany were interested in taking territory in Central Europe.

Halifax wrote to Chamberlain on 24th November, "The whole thing comes back to this. However much we may dislike the idea of Nazi beaver-like propaganda etc. On 26th November, , Chamberlain recorded his objectives in the negotiations: "It was not part of my plan that we should make, or receive, any offers.

What I wanted to do was to convince Hitler of our sincerity and to ascertain what objectives he had in mind Of course they want to dominate Eastern Europe; they want as close a union with Austria as they can get, without incorporating her in the Reich. William Strang , a senior figure in the Foreign Office, also urged caution over these negotiations: "Even if it were in our interest to strike a bargain with Germany, it would in present circumstances be impossible to do so.

Public sentiment here and our existing international obligations are all against it. Nevile Henderson , who was in favour of an agreement with Hitler, warned the British government that Nazi Germany was building up its armed forces. In January he reported: "The rearmament of Germany, if it has been less spectacular because it is no longer news, has been pushed on with the same energy as in previous years. In the army, consolidation has been the order of the day, but there is clear evidence that a considerable increase is being prepared in the number of divisions and of additional tank units outside those divisions.

The air force continues to expand, at an alarming rate, and one can at present see no indication of a halt. We may well soon be faced with a strength of between and first-line aircraft Finally, the mobilisation of the civilian population and industry for war, by means of education, propaganda, training, and administrative measures, has made further strides. Military efficiency is the god to whom everyone must offer sacrifice. It is not an army, but the whole German nation which is being prepared for war.

Joachim von Ribbentrop , the German ambassador in London complained about Vansittart. According to Norman Rose : "Vansittart's techniques also worked against him. His memoranda, drafted in a convoluted, epigrammatic style, faintly condescending in tone, warning of terrible dangers if his advice went unheeded, all too often irritated his political masters In some quarters, his anti-Germanism was viewed as excessive, even paranoid.

Eden argued that this move made it even more difficult to get an agreement with Hitler. He was also opposed to further negotiations with Benito Mussolini about withdrawing from its involvement in the Spanish Civil War. Eden stated that he completely "mistrusted" the Italian leader. At a Cabinet meeting Chamberlain made it clear that he was unwilling to back down over the issue. Anthony Eden resigned on 20th February He told the House of Commons the following day: "I do not believe that we can make progress in European appeasement if we allow the impression to gain currency abroad that we yield to constant pressure.

I am certain in my own mind that progress depends above all on the temper of the nation, and that temper must find expression in a firm spirit. This spirit I am confident is there. Not to give voice it is I believe fair neither to this country nor to the world. No one else in the Cabinet was willing to resign over this issue: Winston Churchill commented: "There seemed one strong young figure standing up against long, dismal, drawling tides of drift and surrender, or wrong measurements and feeble impulses.

He seemed at this moment to embody the life-hope of the British nation… Now he was gone. The only thing they cared about was their property and their cash. The only thing they feared was that one day those nasty Communists would come and take it. Churchill argued in Parliament that: "The resignation of the late Foreign Secretary may well be a milestone in history.

Great quarrels, it has been well said, arise from small occasions but seldom from small causes. The late Foreign Secretary adhered to the old policy which we have all forgotten for so long. The Prime Minister and his colleagues have entered upon another and a new policy. The old policy was an effort to establish the rule of law in Europe, and build up through the League of Nations effective deterrents against the aggressor.

Is it the new policy to come to terms with the totalitarian Powers in the hope that by great and far-reaching acts of submission, not merely in sentiment and pride, but in material factors, peace may be preserved.

David Low , a cartoonist who opposed appeasement, commented: "As might have been expected in such conditions, advocates of Churchill-Eden and opponents of appeasement soon found themselves labeled war-mongers and irresponsibles. On 12th March, , the German Army invaded Austria. The country had been due to hold a referendum on its independence in which, it was expected, it would vote against incorporation into the Third Reich. The union with Austria was achieved by bullying and intimidation, but without a single shot being fired.

Chamberlain was shocked and dismayed but felt he had to accept Anschluss. He told the cabinet that they now had to "prevent an occurrence of similar events in Czechoslovakia". Winston Churchill, like the Government and most of his fellow Conservative MPs, decided that they would have to accept the aggressive action taken by Hitler. During the debate in the House of Commons , Churchill did not advocate the use of force to remove German forces from Austria.

Instead he called for was discussion between diplomats at Geneva and still continued to support the government's appeasement policy. According to John Bew , there were political reasons for this approach and why Clement Attlee led the attack on Chamberlain's decision not to take action over Austria. The majority of his party remained firmly behind Chamberlain. In public, Churchill had in fact begun to temper his criticism of the government, in the hope that he might be brought back into office in some capacity, and be able to exert his influence from within.

It was Attlee Chamberlain now appointed fellow appeaser, Lord Halifax , as his new foreign secretary. Hitler's main concern was over Czechoslovakia, a country that had been created after the allied victory in the First World War.

Before the conflict it had been part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. In March , Adolf Hitler advised Konrad Henlein , the leader of the Sudeten Germans, on his political campaign to gain independence. Hitler told him "that demands should be made by the Sudeten German Party which are unacceptable to the Czech government.

Later that month, Hugh Christie , an MI6 agent, working in Nazi Germany, told headquarters that Hitler would be ousted by the military if Britain joined forces with Czechoslovakia against Germany. Christie warned that the "crucial question is: How soon will the next step against Czechoslovakia be tried?

The probability is that the delay will not exceed two or three months at most, unless France and England provide the deterrent, for which cooler heads in Germany are praying. Chamberlain believed his appeasement policy was very popular with the British people.

Bennett , that Chamberlain was "the best P. However, some members of his cabinet found him a difficult man. He became suspicious to the point of paranoia, employing Sir Joseph Ball , with the support of MI5 , to gather information on the contacts and financial arrangements of his political opponents, and even to intercept their telephone calls. Eden replied that Chamberlain was attempting to "return to class warfare in its bitterest form".

The Czech crisis reached the first of many dangerous points in May It was reported that two Sudeten German motorcyclists had been shot dead by the Czech police. This led to rumours of Hitler preparing to use the incident as a pretext for invasion and there were reports of German troops assembling near the Czech border. The French and Soviet governments pledged support to the Czechs. Lord Halifax sent a message to Berlin which warned that if force was used Germany "could not count upon this country being able to stand aside".

At the same time he sent a diplomatic message which told the French they should not assume Britain would fight to save Czechoslovakia. On 25th May, Lord Halifax had a meeting Tomas Masaryk , the Czechoslovak minister in London, and told him the least that his country could "get away with" would be autonomy on "the Swiss model" combined with neutrality in foreign policy.

Later that day Chamberlain told the Cabinet "the Sudeten Deutsch should remain in Czechoslovakia but as contented people. Winston Churchill now decided to become involved in discussions with representatives of Hitler's government in Nazi Germany in an attempt to avoid conflict between the two nations. Forster asked Churchill whether German discriminatory legislation against the Jews would prevent an understanding with Britain.

Churchill replied that he thought "it was a hindrance and an irritation, but probably not a complete obstacle to a working agreement. On the suggestion of Lord Halifax it was decided to send Lord Runciman , to Czechoslovakia to investigate the Sudeten claims for self-determination. He arrived in Prague on 4th August , and over the next few days he saw all the major figures involved in the dispute within Czechoslovakia. He became extremely sympathetic to the Sudeten desire for home rule.

In his report he placed the major share of the blame for the breakdown of talks on the Czech government and recommended that the Sudeten Germans be allowed the opportunity to join the Third Reich. Neville Henderson supported Runciman and told Chamberlain: "However, badly Germany behaves does not make the rights of the Sudeten any less justifiable.

Kleist-Schmenzin argued that only a strong Anglo-French line would force Hitler to back down. Chamberlain rejected these views because they conflicted with his own view that open threats of force would hasten the outbreak of war. On 12th September, , Hitler whipped his supporters into a frenzy at the annual Nuremberg Rally by claiming the Sudeten Germans were "not alone" and would be protected by Nazi Germany.

A series of demonstrations took place in the Sudeten area and on 13th September, the Czech government decided to introduce martial law in the area. Konrad Henlein , the leader of the Sudeten Germans, fled to Germany for protection. Chamberlain now sent Hitler a message requesting an immediate meeting, which was promptly granted. Hitler invited Chamberlain to see him at his home in Berchtesgaden. It would be the first visit by a British prime minister to Germany for over 60 years. The last leader to visit the country was Benjamin Disraeli when he attended the Congress of Berlin in Members of the Czech government were horrified when they heard the news as they feared Chamberlain would accept Hitler's demands for the transfer of the Sudetenland to Germany.

On 15th September, , Chamberlain, aged sixty-nine, boarded a Lockheed Electra aircraft for a seven-hour journey to Munich, followed by a three-hour car ride up the long and winding roads to Berchtesgaden, the home of Hitler. The first meeting lasted for three hours. Hitler made it very clear that he intended to "stop the suffering" of the Sudeten Germans by force.

Chamberlain asked Hitler what was required for a peaceful solution. Hitler demanded the transfer of all districts in Czechoslovakia with a 50 per cent or more German-speaking population. Chamberlain said he had nothing against the idea in principle, but would need to overcome "practical difficulties". Hitler flattered Chamberlain and this had the desired impact on him.

He told his sister: "Horace Wilson heard from various people who were with Hitler after my interview that he had been very favourably impressed. I have had a conversation with a man, he said, and one with whom I can do business and he liked the rapidity with which I had grasped the essentials.

In short I had established a certain confidence, which was my aim, and in spite of the hardness and ruthlessness I thought I saw in his face I got the impression that here was a man who could be relied upon when he had given his word. Chamberlain called an emergency cabinet meeting on 17th September. Duff Cooper , First Lord of the Admiralty, recorded in his diary: "Looking back upon what he said, the curious thing seems to me now to have been that he recounted his experiences with some satisfaction.

Although he said that at first sight Hitler struck him as 'the commonest little dog' he had ever seen, without one sign of distinction, nevertheless he was obviously pleased at the reports he had subsequently received of the good impression that he himself had made.

He told us with obvious satisfaction how Hitler had said to someone that he had felt that he, Chamberlain, was 'a man. None of the elaborate schemes which had been so carefully worked out, and which the Prime Minister had intended to put forward, had ever been mentioned. He had felt that the atmosphere did not allow of them.

After ranting and raving at him, Hitler had talked about self-determination and asked the Prime Minister whether he accepted the principle. The Prime Minister had replied that he must consult his colleagues. From beginning to end Hitler had not shown the slightest sign of yielding on a single point. The Prime Minister seemed to expect us all to accept that principle without further discussion because the time was getting on.

Neville Chamberlain told the cabinet that he was convinced "that Herr Hitler was telling the truth". Thomas Inskip , Minister for Coordination of Defence, and a loyal supporter of Chamberlain, felt uneasy by the prime minister's performance. He recorded in his diary: "The impression made by the P. It was plain that Hitler had made all the running: he had in fact blackmailed the P.

Oliver Stanley , President of the Board of Trade objected vigorously to Hitler's "ultimatum", and declared that "if the choice for the Government in the next four days is between surrender and fighting, we ought to fight". Herbrand Sackville , 9th Earl De La Warr, Lord Privy Seal, said he was "prepared to face war in order to free the world from the continual threat of ultimatums". Douglas Hogg , 1st Viscount Hailsham, attempted to rally the cabinet to Chamberlain's cause with the defeatist statement that he thought that we "had no alternative but to submit to humiliation.

It was Duff Cooper who was Chamberlain's harshest critic and wrote in his diary: "I argued that the main interest of this country had always been to prevent any one Power from obtaining undue predominance in Europe; but we were now faced with probably the most formidable Power that had ever dominated Europe, and resistance to that Power was quite obviously a British interest. If I thought surrender would bring lasting peace I should be in favour of surrender, but I did not believe there would ever be peace in Europe so long as Nazism ruled in Germany.

The next act of aggression might be one that it would be far harder for us to resist. Supposing it was an attack on one of our Colonies. We shouldn't have a friend in Europe to assist us, nor even the sympathy of the United States which we had today. We certainly shouldn't catch up the Germans in rearmament. On the contrary, they would increase their lead. However, despite all the arguments in favour of taking a strong stand now, which would almost certainly lead to war, I was so impressed by the fearful responsibility of incurring a war that might possibly be avoided, that I thought it worth while to postpone it in the very faint hope that some internal event might bring about the fall of the Nazi regime.

But there were limits to the humiliation I was prepared to accept. Chamberlain ignored his critics and without taking a vote he insisted the Cabinet had "accepted the principle of self-determination and given him the support he had asked for. In the hour-and-a-half meeting, the men were highly critical of the government. Citrine pointed out that "British prestige had been gravely lowered by Chamberlain going to see Hitler. Dalton suggested that these were unlikely to be the last of Hitler's demands.

After the meeting Dalton wrote a scathing assessment of Chamberlain: "The best that can be said of the P. If Hitler had been a British nobleman and Chamberlain a British working man with an inferiority complex, the thing could not have been done better.

On 18th September, , Chamberlain and several of his ministers, met Edouard Daladier , the prime minister of France, in order to persuade him to agree to the orderly transfer of the Sudeten areas to Germany. Chamberlain said that unless we accept Hitler's demands, "we must expect that Herr Hitler's reply would be to give the order to march. Daladier admitted that the dilemma he faced was "to discover some means of preventing France from being forced into war as a result of her obligations and at the same time to preserve Czechoslovakia and save as much of that country as was humanly possible.

Daladier told Chamberlain the French would agree to support Hitler's demands only in return for a British agreement to join the French alliance system in protecting other countries in eastern Europe, including guaranteeing what was left of Czechoslovakia. Chamberlain now had to sell the idea to the Cabinet.

He faced a hostile reception to the idea and several members were very unhappy with the proposed guarantee to Czechoslovakia. What precise obligations did it entail? Was it to be a "joint" guarantee, to be implemented only when each and every guarantor wished to enforce it, or was it to be a "several" guarantee, meaning that in theory Britain could be called on to defend Czechoslovakia alone?

Even the foreign secretary, Lord Halifax , also found it difficult to defend. He conceded that he too "felt considerable misgivings about the guarantee, but Leslie Hore-Belisha , Secretary of State for War, was the most vociferous in voicing his concerns, principally on the strategic grounds that Czechoslovakia could not be defended.

Once the Sudeten German areas had been transferred, it would become "an unstable State economically, would be strategically unsound, and there was no means by which we could implement the guarantee. It was difficult to see how it could survive.

Samuel Hoare , the Home Secretary, was given the task of persuading the newspapers to support Chamberlain's plan. He began to hold daily meetings with proprietors and editors. Layton agreed to help and when one of his young journalists returned from Prague with a secret document which revealed the detailed timetable for the German invasion of Czechoslovakia, he arranged for the story to be suppressed.

Vernon Bartlett had his articles censored and when the newspaper editor, Gerald Barry , wrote an anti-Chamberlain leader, Layton sacked him. Sir Horace Wilson , a senior civil servant who worked closely with Chamberlain, was given the task of controlling the way appeasement was reported on the BBC.

A subsequent internal BBC report on the meetings between Hitler and Chamberlain in , revealed that "towards the end of August, when the international situation was daily growing more critical", Wilson made a number of veiled threats. The report also confirmed that "news bulletins as a whole inevitably fell into line with Government policy at this critical juncture. Paramount News released a newsreel featuring interviews with two senior British journalists who were critical of Chamberlain.

British cinema audiences greeted "with considerable applause" the warning that "Germany is marching to a diplomatic triumph Our people have not been told the truth. Kennedy brought his influence to bear on Paramount's American holding company, and the offending newsreel was quickly withdrawn. On 19th September, , Clement Attlee had a meeting with Neville Chamberlain about the negotiations with Hitler and demanded the recall of Parliament to discuss the crisis. Later that day the National Council of Labour issued a statement saying that it viewed "with dismay the reported proposals of the British and French Governments for the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia under the brutal threat of armed force by Nazi Germany and without prior consultation with the Czechoslovak Government.

It declares that this is a shameful betrayal of a peaceful and democratic people and constitutes a dangerous precedent for the future. Some newspapers became hostile to the government's policy towards the Sudetenland. The Daily Herald commented angrily that the Czechs had been "betrayed and deserted by those who had given every assurance that there should be no dismembership of their country".

Conservative MPs also began to criticize the proposed deal. Anthony Eden told a constituency meeting that the "British people know that a stand must be made. They pray that it will not be made too late. The partition of Czechoslovakia under Anglo-French pressure amounts to a complete surrender by the Western Democracies to the Nazi threat of force.

Chamberlain did receive support from the Duke of Windsor , the former King Edward VIII, and considered someone who was pro-Nazi: "I would wish to express on behalf of the Duchess and myself, our very sincere admiration for the courageous manner in which you threw convention and precedent to the winds by seeking a personal meeting with Herr Hitler and flying to Germany. It was a bold step to take, but if I may so, one after my own heart, as I have always believed in personal contact as the best policy in a tight corner.

Meanwhile the German government continuing to put pressure on Chamberlain to make a decision. Joseph Goebbels mounted a propaganda campaign against the Czech government. German newspapers claimed that women and children were mowed down by Czech armoured cars and that poison gas had been used against German-speaking demonstrators.

They discussed the issue for two days before issuing a statement rejecting the Anglo-French plan. Acceptance of the proposals would be unconstitutional, and would lead to the "complete mutilation of the Czechoslovak State in every respect".

The statement also reminded the British and French about their own treaty obligations towards Czechoslovakia. He claimed that: "We had no other choice because we were left alone. Let us have confidence in ourselves. Let us believe in the genius of our nation.

We shall not surrender, we shall hold the land of our fathers. The following morning there was a general strike in Prague, and an even larger mass demonstration. Over , people demanded a military government, and a programme of national resistance. That evening the Czech government resigned. I may soon call upon you here to take an active part in the defence of our country in which we all going to join.

Maxim Litvinov , the Soviet foreign minister, told the assembly of the United Nations that the Soviet Union intended to fulfil its obligations towards Czechoslovakia, if France would do the same. Chamberlain arrived in Godesberg on 22nd September. In doing so, a financial aid professional should:. If you need help navigating the process, contact the Financial Aid Office during regular business hours at — Student services assist with all tuition payments and other student fees and billing for services for the school.

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Here is a budget which really offers you a good taste of the millennium, and all the expense of the rich. I think it quite possible that he may succeed. In that case we are out for 7 years, and if then we come back I shall be 67 if I were alive, and I daresay politics will have ceased to interest me.

Other leading figures in the party thought that Chamberlain should replace Baldwin as leader. Crozier has argued: "Baldwin's temperament and style were not suited to opposition, and Chamberlain himself was forced to alert him to the discontent at his lack of drive. The two main press barons, Lord Rothermere and Lord Beaverbrook , joined forces in an attempt to remove Baldwin as leader.

According to one source: "Rothermere's feelings amounted to hatred. He had backed Baldwin strongly in , and his subsequent disenchantment was thought to be connected with Baldwin's unaccountable failure to reward him with an earldom and his son Esmond, an MP, with a post in the government.

By Rothermere, a man of pessimistic temperament, had come to believe that with the socialists in power the world was nearing its end; and Baldwin was doing nothing to save it. He was especially disturbed by the independence movement in India, to which he thought both the government and Baldwin were almost criminally indulgent.

Rothermere and Beaverbrook wanted Neville Chamberlain to replace Baldwin. They entered into negotiations with Chamberlain who expressed concerns about the long-term consequences of this attack on the Conservative Party.

He was especially worried about the cartoons by David Low , that were appearing in the Evening Standard. Chamberlain argued that before a deal could be arranged: "Beaverbrook must call off his attacks on Baldwin and the Party, cease to include offensive cartoons and paragraphs in the Evening Standard , and stop inviting Conservatives to direct subscriptions to him in order that they might be used to run candidates against official Conservatives. Chamberlain remained loyal to Baldwin and refused to undermine his leader.

He wrote in his diary: "The question of leadership is again growing acute… I am getting letters and communications from all over the country… I cannot see my way out. I am the only person who might bring about Stanley Baldwin's retirement, but I cannot act when my action might put me in his place. However, Peter Neville , the author of Neville Chamberlain , has argued that there is evidence that Chamberlain spread information amongst fellow members of the Cabinet that undermined Baldwin: "Chamberlain's behaviour during the leadership crisis was not as disinterested as he subsequently maintained.

This in itself was not particularly shocking. Politicians are ambitious, and Neville Chamberlain would in have attained a position which neither his father nor his half-brother had ever achieved - leadership of the Conservative Party. In July, , the George May Committee produced the two trade unionists refused to sign the document its report that presented a picture of Great Britain on the verge of financial disaster.

As David W. Howell has pointed out: "A committee majority of actuaries, accountants, and bankers produced a report urging drastic economies; Latham and Pugh wrote a minority report that largely reflected the thinking of the TUC and its research department. An equitable solution should include taxation of holders of fixed-interest securities who had benefited from the fall in prices.

The May Report had been intended to be used as a weapon to use against those Labour MPs calling for increased public expenditure. What it did in fact was to create abroad a belief in the insolvency of Britain and in the insecurity of the British currency, and thus to start a run on sterling, vast amounts of which were held by foreigners who had exchanged their own currencies for it in the belief that it was "as good as gold". This foreign-owned sterling was now exchanged into gold or dollars and soon began to threaten the stability of the pound.

Philip Snowden , the Chancellor of the Exchequer, presented his recommendations to the Cabinet on 20th August. Most members of the Cabinet rejected the idea of the proposed cut in unemployment benefit and the meeting ended without any decisions being made. Clement Attlee , who was a supporter of John Maynard Keynes , condemned Snowden for his "misplaced fidelity to laissez-faire economics".

Arthur Henderson argued that rather do what the bankers wanted, Labour should had over responsibility to the Conservatives and Liberals and leave office as a united party. Chamberlain argued against the increase in taxation and called for further cuts in unemployment benefit.

Chamberlain wrote about the meeting in his diary: "I opened first and intimated: 1 that if these were the final proposals… we should turn them out immediately the House met: 2 that before then we anticipated that the financial crash must come: 3 that we considered that it was the P.

He would remain P. Taylor has argued: "The other eleven were presumably ready to go along with MacDonald. Six of these had a middle-class or upper-class background; of the minority only one Addison Clearly the government could not go on. Nine members were too many to lose. Herbert Samuel later recorded that he told the king that MacDonald should be maintained in office "in view of the fact that the necessary economies would prove most unpalatable to the working class".

He added that MacDonald was "the ruling class's ideal candidate for imposing a balanced budget at the expense of the working class. Later that day Ramsay MacDonald returned to the palace and told the King that he had the Cabinet's resignation in his pocket. Chamberlain was successful in "impaling Labour on a series of ever more difficult hooks of financial policy, forcing Snowden to adopt the large-scale fiscal reforms demanded by the Conservatives and the City, whilst preventing a rise in the level of direct taxation, which would disproportionately affect the rich, the natural constituency".

This enabled the Conservatives to promote the image that it was a Labour prime minister who was punishing the unemployment and to deflect unpalatable accusations that an "upper class" government was foisting "economies" on the most vulnerable sectors of society. The General Election was held on 27th October, The Labour Party polled The only significant concentration of Labour victories occurred in South Wales where eleven seats were retained, many by large majorities.

Chamberlain was appointed as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. He continued with Snowden's austerity-minded measures and in his first budget speech he argued: "Nothing could be more harmful to the ultimate material recovery of this country or to its present moral fibre… hard work, strict economy, firm courage, unfailing patience, these are the qualifications that are required of us, and with them we shall not fail.

Chamberlain was convinced that he needed to balance the budget. He therefore took the controversial decision to protect the home market by introducing tariff duties on foreign goods. This measure was opposed by several members of the Cabinet. His ideas were positive and clearcut; he was tenacious in pursuit of them Courteous and agreeable in manner, Chamberlain was willing to listen to arguments with a friendly spirit - but a closed mind.

Chamberlain's tariff were put before the House of Commons on 4th February , the day which he called "the great day of my life". This was because his father, Joseph Chamberlain , had failed to get this measure accepted by Parliament. To emphasize the point he took along his father's battered old despatch box from the days when he had been Colonial Secretary.

In his speech, Chamberlain explained the need for the general tariff of 10 per cent. It would help correct the deficit in the balance of payments, and the fall in the value of the pound, as well as reducing unemployment by moving "to our own factories and fields work which is now done elsewhere". Chamberlain wrote in his diary: "The largest problem I see in front of us is what is to be the future of international trade.

It has shrunk to a third of what it was in Is it going to recover, or is the spirit and practice of economic nationalism going to prevail, and each country try to live by taking in its own washing? On the answer to this problem depends our policy in agriculture, in Empire relations, and international affairs. We are now endeavouring to increase the home production of bacon, eggs, poultry, hops, cheese, etc. How far are we to carry it? This piece of legislation was widely seen to be the realisation of his father's long cherished ambitions of imposing tariffs to help protect the British Empire.

As Chamberlain pointed out: "There can have been few occasions in all our long political history when the son of a man who counted for something in his day and generation has been vouchsafed the privilege of setting the seal on the work which the father began but had perforce to leave unfinished. Neville Chamberlain often worked from 9. He told his sister, Ida Chamberlain , that: "Every day, one interview or committee succeeds another and in the evening there is generally a box large enough to keep me out of bed till the small hours.

It is strenuous work but I suppose that I would not willingly change it now for any other. Chamberlain wrote in his diary: "I am more and more carrying this government on my back. The P. MacDonald is ill and tired, S. Stanley Baldwin is tired and won't apply his mind to problems.

It is certainly time there was a change". The King said: "I wonder how you have stood it - especially the loss of your friends and their beastly behaviour. You have been the Prime Minister I have liked best; you have so many qualities, you have kept up the dignity of the office without using it to give you dignity. Stanley Baldwin became prime minister for the third time. Chamberlain worked much harder than Baldwin and viewed himself as an being in control of the government.

It was decided that Chamberlain should be put in charge of defence expenditure. Graham Macklin has pointed out that Chamberlain now "became the supreme arbiter of the nation's defences, holding the purse strings and thus dictating the parameters of the debate surrounding the scale and direction of the rearmament drive.

Chamberlain was not inclined either by temperament or desire, particularly in the aftermath of the Wall Street crash, to embark on a vast spending spree. Indeed, his first act was to present Treasury figures for defence estimates lower than at any time since the First World War.

Chamberlain rejected this figure and told the DRC that he believed that financial stability was far more important than increasing spending on defence. In the figures had been 4 per cent for Britain against 13 per cent for Germany. Some members of the Conservative Party began attacking Chamberlain for his unwillingness to rapidly increase spending on defence. At that year's party conference, Chamberlain admitted that defence spending had reached a dangerous low level, but blamed successive Governments for the last eight and a half years, which, he pointedly reminded his audience, included his most vociferous critic, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, Winston Churchill.

Peter Neville , the author of Neville Chamberlain , argues that Chamberlain's views on rearmament was influenced by his belief in social reform: "Chamberlain If, Chamberlain reasoned, diplomacy could bring about an understanding profoundly worth striving for His belief was that if the burden of arms spending became so heavy that it endangered Britain's economic recovery still at a delicate stage after the Depression , then a diplomatic situation had to be found. In March , Chamberlain, gave permission for an increase in the frontline strength of the Royal Air Force from 1, to 1, first-line planes.

In his diary he wrote: "I am pretty satisfied now that, if we can keep out of war for a few years, we shall have an air force of such striking power that no one will care to run risks with it. I cannot believe that the next war, if it ever comes, will be like the last one, and I believe our resources will be more profitably employed in the air, and on the sea, than in building up great armies. As Chancellor of the Exchequer he had resisted attempts to increase defence spending. He now asked the defence policy requirements committee to look at different ways of funding this expenditure.

Despite this, the country still did not rapidly increase defence spending. Over the next two years Chamberlain's Conservative government became associated with the foreign policy that later became known as appeasement. Chamberlain believed that Germany had been badly treated by the Allies after it was defeated in the First World War. He therefore thought that the German government had genuine grievances and that these needed to be addressed.

He also thought that by agreeing to some of the demands being made by Adolf Hitler of Germany and Benito Mussolini of Italy, he could avoid a European war. Joachim von Ribbentrop was ambassador to London in August, His main objective was to persuade the British government not to get involved in Germany territorial disputes and to work together against the the communist government in the Soviet Union.

During this period Von Ribbentrop told Hitler that the British "were so lethargic and paralyzed that they would accept without complaint any aggressive moves by Nazi Germany. While he would not dismiss Mr Eden he would deprive him of his influence at the Foreign Office. Mr Eden was regarded as an enemy of Germany. Putlitz told MI5 that her policy of appeasement was "letting the trump cards fall out of her hands. If she had adopted, or even now adopted, a firm attitude and threatened war, Hitler would not succeed in this kind of bluff".

A few weeks before he officially became prime minister, Chamberlain arranged for Nevile Henderson to replace Eric Phipps as British ambassador to Berlin. Phipps had been warning of the dangers of Hitler and in his reports he gave ample and frequent warning of Nazi intentions to his superiors in London. He argued that Germany could only be contained "through accelerated and extensive British rearmament". Henderson later recalled that Chamberlain "outlined to me his views on general policy towards Germany, and I think I may honestly say that to the last and bitter end I followed the general line which he set me.

Oliver Harvey wrote in his diary: "I hope we are not sending another Ribbentrop to Berlin. A large number of leading Nazis were in attendance when he made a speech where he defended Adolf Hitler and urged the British people to "lay less stress on Nazi dictatorship and much more emphasis on the great social experiment which is being tried out in this country. This speech provoked an uproar and one journalist described him as "our Nazi ambassador at Berlin".

However, some newspaper editors, including Geoffrey Dawson , the editor of The Times , supported this approach to Nazi Germany. Some senior figures in the intelligence services were very opposed to appeasement and supplied Neville Chamberlain with a document from a spy close to Hitler quoting him as saying: "If I were Chamberlain I would not delay for a minute to prepare my country in the most drastic way for a total war It is astounding how easy the democracies make it for us to reach our goal If the information which has proved generally reliable and accurate in the past is to be believed, Germany is at the beginning of a Napoleonic era and her rulers contemplate a great expansion of German power.

Lord Halifax , the leader of the House of Lords , shared Chamberlain's belief in appeasement. In Halifax visited Nazi Germany for the first time. Halifax's friend, Henry Chips Channon , reported that: "I had a long conversation with Lord Halifax about Germany and his recent visit.

He described Hitler's appearance, his khaki shirt, black breeches and patent leather evening shoes. He told me he liked all the Nazi leaders, even Goebbels, and he was much impressed, interested and amused by the visit. He thinks the regime absolutely fantastic, perhaps even too fantastic to be taken seriously.

But he is very glad that he went, and thinks good may come of it. I was riveted by all he said, and reluctant to let him go. Halifax later explained in his autobiography, Fullness of Days : "The advent of Hitler to power in had coincided with a high tide of wholly irrational pacifist sentiment in Britain, which caused profound damage both at home and abroad.

At home it immensely aggravated the difficulty, great in any case as it was bound to be, of bringing the British people to appreciate and face up to the new situation which Hitler was creating; abroad it doubtless served to tempt him and others to suppose that in shaping their policies this country need not be too seriously regarded.

Anthony Eden , the foreign secretary, supported Chamberlain's appeasement policy because he believed that Britain needed time to rearm. However, as Keith Middlemas , the author of Diplomacy of Illusion: British Government and Germany, , has pointed out: "While Eden held to the policy of keeping Germany guessing long enough to give Britain time to rearm, so that he could negotiate from a position of strength, Chamberlain, conscious of time running out, preferred to settle the outstanding accounts at once.

At this stage Winston Churchill was not giving his support to those opposing the appeasement of Adolf Hitler. On 17th September, Churchill praised Hitler's domestic achievements. If our country were defeated I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations. Churchill went further the following month. He then considered the way Hitler had suppressed the opposition and set up concentration camps: "Although no subsequent political action can condone wrong deeds, history is replete with examples of men who have risen to power by employing stern, grim and even frightful methods, but who nevertheless, when their life is revealed as a whole, have been regarded as great figures whose lives have enriched the story of mankind.

So may it be with Hitler. However, he believed that sometimes it was necessary to impose a dictatorship. He considered Antonio Salazar , "the present dictator of Portugal" one of the "wisest statesmen which the post-war period has produced in Europe". He argued that Hitler had probably gone too far with the Nuremberg Laws but "dictatorships are not always evil and, however anathema the principle may be to us, it is unfair to condemn a whole country, or even a whole system.

Henderson admitted in his autobiography, Failure of a Mission , that his comments gave "most offence to the left wing". However, he believed that that the British people should pay more "attention to the great social experiment which was being tried out in Germany" and condemned those who suggested that "our old democracy has nothing to learn from Nazism". Henderson argued that "in fact, many things in the Nazi organisation and social institutions Anthony Eden was furious when he discovered this and felt he was being undermined as foreign secretary.

One historian has commented: "Eden and Chamberlain seemed like two horses harnessed to a cart, both pulling in different directions. In his diary, Halifax records how he told Hitler: "Although there was much in the Nazi system that profoundly offended British opinion, I was not blind to what he Hitler had done for Germany, and to the achievement from his point of view of keeping Communism out of his country.

If reasonable settlements could be reached with This story was leaked to the journalist Vladimir Poliakoff. On 13th November the Evening Standard reported the likely deal between the two countries: "Hitler is ready, if he receives the slightest encouragement, to offer to Great Britain a ten-year truce in the colonial issue In return Hitler would expect the British Government to leave him a free hand in Central Europe". Lord Halifax later explained that Hitler told him that Czechoslovakia "only needed to treat the Germans living within her borders well and they would be entirely happy".

Blomberg said that Anglo-German relations were more important than the "colonial question" but Germany were interested in taking territory in Central Europe. Halifax wrote to Chamberlain on 24th November, "The whole thing comes back to this. However much we may dislike the idea of Nazi beaver-like propaganda etc.

On 26th November, , Chamberlain recorded his objectives in the negotiations: "It was not part of my plan that we should make, or receive, any offers. What I wanted to do was to convince Hitler of our sincerity and to ascertain what objectives he had in mind Of course they want to dominate Eastern Europe; they want as close a union with Austria as they can get, without incorporating her in the Reich. William Strang , a senior figure in the Foreign Office, also urged caution over these negotiations: "Even if it were in our interest to strike a bargain with Germany, it would in present circumstances be impossible to do so.

Public sentiment here and our existing international obligations are all against it. Nevile Henderson , who was in favour of an agreement with Hitler, warned the British government that Nazi Germany was building up its armed forces. In January he reported: "The rearmament of Germany, if it has been less spectacular because it is no longer news, has been pushed on with the same energy as in previous years.

In the army, consolidation has been the order of the day, but there is clear evidence that a considerable increase is being prepared in the number of divisions and of additional tank units outside those divisions. The air force continues to expand, at an alarming rate, and one can at present see no indication of a halt.

We may well soon be faced with a strength of between and first-line aircraft Finally, the mobilisation of the civilian population and industry for war, by means of education, propaganda, training, and administrative measures, has made further strides. Military efficiency is the god to whom everyone must offer sacrifice. It is not an army, but the whole German nation which is being prepared for war.

Joachim von Ribbentrop , the German ambassador in London complained about Vansittart. According to Norman Rose : "Vansittart's techniques also worked against him. His memoranda, drafted in a convoluted, epigrammatic style, faintly condescending in tone, warning of terrible dangers if his advice went unheeded, all too often irritated his political masters In some quarters, his anti-Germanism was viewed as excessive, even paranoid.

Eden argued that this move made it even more difficult to get an agreement with Hitler. He was also opposed to further negotiations with Benito Mussolini about withdrawing from its involvement in the Spanish Civil War. Eden stated that he completely "mistrusted" the Italian leader. At a Cabinet meeting Chamberlain made it clear that he was unwilling to back down over the issue. Anthony Eden resigned on 20th February He told the House of Commons the following day: "I do not believe that we can make progress in European appeasement if we allow the impression to gain currency abroad that we yield to constant pressure.

I am certain in my own mind that progress depends above all on the temper of the nation, and that temper must find expression in a firm spirit. This spirit I am confident is there. Not to give voice it is I believe fair neither to this country nor to the world. No one else in the Cabinet was willing to resign over this issue: Winston Churchill commented: "There seemed one strong young figure standing up against long, dismal, drawling tides of drift and surrender, or wrong measurements and feeble impulses.

He seemed at this moment to embody the life-hope of the British nation… Now he was gone. The only thing they cared about was their property and their cash. The only thing they feared was that one day those nasty Communists would come and take it.

Churchill argued in Parliament that: "The resignation of the late Foreign Secretary may well be a milestone in history. Great quarrels, it has been well said, arise from small occasions but seldom from small causes. The late Foreign Secretary adhered to the old policy which we have all forgotten for so long.

The Prime Minister and his colleagues have entered upon another and a new policy. The old policy was an effort to establish the rule of law in Europe, and build up through the League of Nations effective deterrents against the aggressor.

Is it the new policy to come to terms with the totalitarian Powers in the hope that by great and far-reaching acts of submission, not merely in sentiment and pride, but in material factors, peace may be preserved. David Low , a cartoonist who opposed appeasement, commented: "As might have been expected in such conditions, advocates of Churchill-Eden and opponents of appeasement soon found themselves labeled war-mongers and irresponsibles.

On 12th March, , the German Army invaded Austria. The country had been due to hold a referendum on its independence in which, it was expected, it would vote against incorporation into the Third Reich. The union with Austria was achieved by bullying and intimidation, but without a single shot being fired. Chamberlain was shocked and dismayed but felt he had to accept Anschluss.

He told the cabinet that they now had to "prevent an occurrence of similar events in Czechoslovakia". Winston Churchill, like the Government and most of his fellow Conservative MPs, decided that they would have to accept the aggressive action taken by Hitler. During the debate in the House of Commons , Churchill did not advocate the use of force to remove German forces from Austria. Instead he called for was discussion between diplomats at Geneva and still continued to support the government's appeasement policy.

According to John Bew , there were political reasons for this approach and why Clement Attlee led the attack on Chamberlain's decision not to take action over Austria. The majority of his party remained firmly behind Chamberlain. In public, Churchill had in fact begun to temper his criticism of the government, in the hope that he might be brought back into office in some capacity, and be able to exert his influence from within. It was Attlee Chamberlain now appointed fellow appeaser, Lord Halifax , as his new foreign secretary.

Hitler's main concern was over Czechoslovakia, a country that had been created after the allied victory in the First World War. Before the conflict it had been part of the Austrian-Hungarian empire. In March , Adolf Hitler advised Konrad Henlein , the leader of the Sudeten Germans, on his political campaign to gain independence.

Hitler told him "that demands should be made by the Sudeten German Party which are unacceptable to the Czech government. Later that month, Hugh Christie , an MI6 agent, working in Nazi Germany, told headquarters that Hitler would be ousted by the military if Britain joined forces with Czechoslovakia against Germany. Christie warned that the "crucial question is: How soon will the next step against Czechoslovakia be tried?

The probability is that the delay will not exceed two or three months at most, unless France and England provide the deterrent, for which cooler heads in Germany are praying. Chamberlain believed his appeasement policy was very popular with the British people. Bennett , that Chamberlain was "the best P.

However, some members of his cabinet found him a difficult man. He became suspicious to the point of paranoia, employing Sir Joseph Ball , with the support of MI5 , to gather information on the contacts and financial arrangements of his political opponents, and even to intercept their telephone calls. Eden replied that Chamberlain was attempting to "return to class warfare in its bitterest form". The Czech crisis reached the first of many dangerous points in May It was reported that two Sudeten German motorcyclists had been shot dead by the Czech police.

This led to rumours of Hitler preparing to use the incident as a pretext for invasion and there were reports of German troops assembling near the Czech border. The French and Soviet governments pledged support to the Czechs. Lord Halifax sent a message to Berlin which warned that if force was used Germany "could not count upon this country being able to stand aside".

At the same time he sent a diplomatic message which told the French they should not assume Britain would fight to save Czechoslovakia. On 25th May, Lord Halifax had a meeting Tomas Masaryk , the Czechoslovak minister in London, and told him the least that his country could "get away with" would be autonomy on "the Swiss model" combined with neutrality in foreign policy.

Later that day Chamberlain told the Cabinet "the Sudeten Deutsch should remain in Czechoslovakia but as contented people. Winston Churchill now decided to become involved in discussions with representatives of Hitler's government in Nazi Germany in an attempt to avoid conflict between the two nations.

Forster asked Churchill whether German discriminatory legislation against the Jews would prevent an understanding with Britain. Churchill replied that he thought "it was a hindrance and an irritation, but probably not a complete obstacle to a working agreement. On the suggestion of Lord Halifax it was decided to send Lord Runciman , to Czechoslovakia to investigate the Sudeten claims for self-determination.

He arrived in Prague on 4th August , and over the next few days he saw all the major figures involved in the dispute within Czechoslovakia. He became extremely sympathetic to the Sudeten desire for home rule. In his report he placed the major share of the blame for the breakdown of talks on the Czech government and recommended that the Sudeten Germans be allowed the opportunity to join the Third Reich.

Neville Henderson supported Runciman and told Chamberlain: "However, badly Germany behaves does not make the rights of the Sudeten any less justifiable. Kleist-Schmenzin argued that only a strong Anglo-French line would force Hitler to back down. Chamberlain rejected these views because they conflicted with his own view that open threats of force would hasten the outbreak of war. On 12th September, , Hitler whipped his supporters into a frenzy at the annual Nuremberg Rally by claiming the Sudeten Germans were "not alone" and would be protected by Nazi Germany.

A series of demonstrations took place in the Sudeten area and on 13th September, the Czech government decided to introduce martial law in the area. Konrad Henlein , the leader of the Sudeten Germans, fled to Germany for protection. Chamberlain now sent Hitler a message requesting an immediate meeting, which was promptly granted. Hitler invited Chamberlain to see him at his home in Berchtesgaden. It would be the first visit by a British prime minister to Germany for over 60 years.

The last leader to visit the country was Benjamin Disraeli when he attended the Congress of Berlin in Members of the Czech government were horrified when they heard the news as they feared Chamberlain would accept Hitler's demands for the transfer of the Sudetenland to Germany. On 15th September, , Chamberlain, aged sixty-nine, boarded a Lockheed Electra aircraft for a seven-hour journey to Munich, followed by a three-hour car ride up the long and winding roads to Berchtesgaden, the home of Hitler.

The first meeting lasted for three hours. Hitler made it very clear that he intended to "stop the suffering" of the Sudeten Germans by force. Chamberlain asked Hitler what was required for a peaceful solution. Hitler demanded the transfer of all districts in Czechoslovakia with a 50 per cent or more German-speaking population. Chamberlain said he had nothing against the idea in principle, but would need to overcome "practical difficulties".

Hitler flattered Chamberlain and this had the desired impact on him. He told his sister: "Horace Wilson heard from various people who were with Hitler after my interview that he had been very favourably impressed.

I have had a conversation with a man, he said, and one with whom I can do business and he liked the rapidity with which I had grasped the essentials. In short I had established a certain confidence, which was my aim, and in spite of the hardness and ruthlessness I thought I saw in his face I got the impression that here was a man who could be relied upon when he had given his word. Chamberlain called an emergency cabinet meeting on 17th September.

Duff Cooper , First Lord of the Admiralty, recorded in his diary: "Looking back upon what he said, the curious thing seems to me now to have been that he recounted his experiences with some satisfaction. Although he said that at first sight Hitler struck him as 'the commonest little dog' he had ever seen, without one sign of distinction, nevertheless he was obviously pleased at the reports he had subsequently received of the good impression that he himself had made.

He told us with obvious satisfaction how Hitler had said to someone that he had felt that he, Chamberlain, was 'a man. None of the elaborate schemes which had been so carefully worked out, and which the Prime Minister had intended to put forward, had ever been mentioned. He had felt that the atmosphere did not allow of them.

After ranting and raving at him, Hitler had talked about self-determination and asked the Prime Minister whether he accepted the principle. The Prime Minister had replied that he must consult his colleagues. From beginning to end Hitler had not shown the slightest sign of yielding on a single point. The Prime Minister seemed to expect us all to accept that principle without further discussion because the time was getting on.

Neville Chamberlain told the cabinet that he was convinced "that Herr Hitler was telling the truth". Thomas Inskip , Minister for Coordination of Defence, and a loyal supporter of Chamberlain, felt uneasy by the prime minister's performance. He recorded in his diary: "The impression made by the P. It was plain that Hitler had made all the running: he had in fact blackmailed the P. Oliver Stanley , President of the Board of Trade objected vigorously to Hitler's "ultimatum", and declared that "if the choice for the Government in the next four days is between surrender and fighting, we ought to fight".

Herbrand Sackville , 9th Earl De La Warr, Lord Privy Seal, said he was "prepared to face war in order to free the world from the continual threat of ultimatums". Douglas Hogg , 1st Viscount Hailsham, attempted to rally the cabinet to Chamberlain's cause with the defeatist statement that he thought that we "had no alternative but to submit to humiliation.

It was Duff Cooper who was Chamberlain's harshest critic and wrote in his diary: "I argued that the main interest of this country had always been to prevent any one Power from obtaining undue predominance in Europe; but we were now faced with probably the most formidable Power that had ever dominated Europe, and resistance to that Power was quite obviously a British interest.

If I thought surrender would bring lasting peace I should be in favour of surrender, but I did not believe there would ever be peace in Europe so long as Nazism ruled in Germany. The next act of aggression might be one that it would be far harder for us to resist. Supposing it was an attack on one of our Colonies. We shouldn't have a friend in Europe to assist us, nor even the sympathy of the United States which we had today. We certainly shouldn't catch up the Germans in rearmament.

On the contrary, they would increase their lead. However, despite all the arguments in favour of taking a strong stand now, which would almost certainly lead to war, I was so impressed by the fearful responsibility of incurring a war that might possibly be avoided, that I thought it worth while to postpone it in the very faint hope that some internal event might bring about the fall of the Nazi regime.

But there were limits to the humiliation I was prepared to accept. Chamberlain ignored his critics and without taking a vote he insisted the Cabinet had "accepted the principle of self-determination and given him the support he had asked for. In the hour-and-a-half meeting, the men were highly critical of the government. Citrine pointed out that "British prestige had been gravely lowered by Chamberlain going to see Hitler.

Dalton suggested that these were unlikely to be the last of Hitler's demands. After the meeting Dalton wrote a scathing assessment of Chamberlain: "The best that can be said of the P. If Hitler had been a British nobleman and Chamberlain a British working man with an inferiority complex, the thing could not have been done better. On 18th September, , Chamberlain and several of his ministers, met Edouard Daladier , the prime minister of France, in order to persuade him to agree to the orderly transfer of the Sudeten areas to Germany.

Chamberlain said that unless we accept Hitler's demands, "we must expect that Herr Hitler's reply would be to give the order to march. Daladier admitted that the dilemma he faced was "to discover some means of preventing France from being forced into war as a result of her obligations and at the same time to preserve Czechoslovakia and save as much of that country as was humanly possible. Daladier told Chamberlain the French would agree to support Hitler's demands only in return for a British agreement to join the French alliance system in protecting other countries in eastern Europe, including guaranteeing what was left of Czechoslovakia.

Chamberlain now had to sell the idea to the Cabinet. He faced a hostile reception to the idea and several members were very unhappy with the proposed guarantee to Czechoslovakia. What precise obligations did it entail? Was it to be a "joint" guarantee, to be implemented only when each and every guarantor wished to enforce it, or was it to be a "several" guarantee, meaning that in theory Britain could be called on to defend Czechoslovakia alone?

Even the foreign secretary, Lord Halifax , also found it difficult to defend. He conceded that he too "felt considerable misgivings about the guarantee, but Leslie Hore-Belisha , Secretary of State for War, was the most vociferous in voicing his concerns, principally on the strategic grounds that Czechoslovakia could not be defended. Once the Sudeten German areas had been transferred, it would become "an unstable State economically, would be strategically unsound, and there was no means by which we could implement the guarantee.

It was difficult to see how it could survive. Samuel Hoare , the Home Secretary, was given the task of persuading the newspapers to support Chamberlain's plan. He began to hold daily meetings with proprietors and editors. Layton agreed to help and when one of his young journalists returned from Prague with a secret document which revealed the detailed timetable for the German invasion of Czechoslovakia, he arranged for the story to be suppressed.

Vernon Bartlett had his articles censored and when the newspaper editor, Gerald Barry , wrote an anti-Chamberlain leader, Layton sacked him. Sir Horace Wilson , a senior civil servant who worked closely with Chamberlain, was given the task of controlling the way appeasement was reported on the BBC. A subsequent internal BBC report on the meetings between Hitler and Chamberlain in , revealed that "towards the end of August, when the international situation was daily growing more critical", Wilson made a number of veiled threats.

The report also confirmed that "news bulletins as a whole inevitably fell into line with Government policy at this critical juncture. Paramount News released a newsreel featuring interviews with two senior British journalists who were critical of Chamberlain.

British cinema audiences greeted "with considerable applause" the warning that "Germany is marching to a diplomatic triumph Our people have not been told the truth. Kennedy brought his influence to bear on Paramount's American holding company, and the offending newsreel was quickly withdrawn. On 19th September, , Clement Attlee had a meeting with Neville Chamberlain about the negotiations with Hitler and demanded the recall of Parliament to discuss the crisis.

Later that day the National Council of Labour issued a statement saying that it viewed "with dismay the reported proposals of the British and French Governments for the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia under the brutal threat of armed force by Nazi Germany and without prior consultation with the Czechoslovak Government. It declares that this is a shameful betrayal of a peaceful and democratic people and constitutes a dangerous precedent for the future.

Some newspapers became hostile to the government's policy towards the Sudetenland. The Daily Herald commented angrily that the Czechs had been "betrayed and deserted by those who had given every assurance that there should be no dismembership of their country". Conservative MPs also began to criticize the proposed deal.

Anthony Eden told a constituency meeting that the "British people know that a stand must be made. They pray that it will not be made too late. The partition of Czechoslovakia under Anglo-French pressure amounts to a complete surrender by the Western Democracies to the Nazi threat of force. Chamberlain did receive support from the Duke of Windsor , the former King Edward VIII, and considered someone who was pro-Nazi: "I would wish to express on behalf of the Duchess and myself, our very sincere admiration for the courageous manner in which you threw convention and precedent to the winds by seeking a personal meeting with Herr Hitler and flying to Germany.

It was a bold step to take, but if I may so, one after my own heart, as I have always believed in personal contact as the best policy in a tight corner. Meanwhile the German government continuing to put pressure on Chamberlain to make a decision. Joseph Goebbels mounted a propaganda campaign against the Czech government. German newspapers claimed that women and children were mowed down by Czech armoured cars and that poison gas had been used against German-speaking demonstrators. They discussed the issue for two days before issuing a statement rejecting the Anglo-French plan.

Acceptance of the proposals would be unconstitutional, and would lead to the "complete mutilation of the Czechoslovak State in every respect". The statement also reminded the British and French about their own treaty obligations towards Czechoslovakia. He claimed that: "We had no other choice because we were left alone.

Let us have confidence in ourselves. Let us believe in the genius of our nation. We shall not surrender, we shall hold the land of our fathers. The following morning there was a general strike in Prague, and an even larger mass demonstration. Over , people demanded a military government, and a programme of national resistance. That evening the Czech government resigned. I may soon call upon you here to take an active part in the defence of our country in which we all going to join.

Maxim Litvinov , the Soviet foreign minister, told the assembly of the United Nations that the Soviet Union intended to fulfil its obligations towards Czechoslovakia, if France would do the same. Chamberlain arrived in Godesberg on 22nd September.

At their first meeting Hitler made a series of new demands. He now wanted the immediate occupation of Sudeten areas and non-German-speakers who wished to leave would be allowed to take only a single suitcase of belongings with them. He also added to his demands certain areas with less than 50 per cent German speakers.

He also raised Polish and Hungarian grievances in other areas of Czechoslovakia. At another meeting the following day Chamberlain pleaded with him to return to the terms of the previous agreement. Chamberlain pointed out that he had already risked his entire political reputation to gain the Anglo-French plan and if he marched into the Sudetenland, his political career would be destroyed. He pointed out that when he left England he had been booed by the crowd at the airport.

Hitler refused to budge and restated that he would occupy the Sudeten areas on 1st October. Chamberlain decided to break-off talks and return to London. Chamberlain had been right by the changing public mood in Britain. A Mass Observation poll found that 44 per cent of those questioned expressed themselves to be "indignant" at Chamberlain's policy, while only 18 per cent were supportive.

Of those men who were questioned, 67 per cent said they were willing to fight to defend Czechoslovakia. On the day that he returned to London, a crowd of over 10, people massed in Whitehall, shouting "Stand by the Czechs! Alexander Cadogan , Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, felt that it would be impossible for the Cabinet to support Chamberlain in his efforts to do a deal with Hitler.

When he read Hitler's latest memorandum which laid out his demands he thought Chamberlain would advise the Cabinet to reject it. He was shocked when he discovered that Chamberlain wanted to accept these terms. He was quite calmly for total surrender Hitler has evidently hypnotised him. On 24th September the Cabinet had a full-day meeting. Chamberlain told his ministers that he was "satisfied Herr Hitler would not go back on his word" and was not using the crisis as an excuse to "crush Czechoslovakia or dominate Europe.

He thought that he had now established an influence over Herr Hitler, and the latter trusted him. The Prime Minister believed that Herr Hitler was speaking the truth. Chamberlain had now lost the support of most of his Cabinet. Leslie Hore-Belisha , Secretary of State for War, rejected Hitler's proposal, and called for the army to be mobilised. It was, he contended, "the only argument Hitler would understand". He then warned that the Cabinet "would never be forgiven if there were a sudden attack on us and we had failed to take the proper steps.

He was always concerned that the government would achieve "peace with dishonour", now he feared "war with dishonour". Cooper pointed out the chiefs of staff had already called for mobilisation - "we might some day have to explain why we had disregarded their advice.

Cooper commented that it was "difficult to deny that any such danger existed". In his diary that night Cooper wrote: "Hitler has cast a spell over Neville". Lord Halifax , the Foreign Secretary, the great supporter of appeasement , was now having doubts about the policy.

He wrote to Chamberlain explaining: "It may help you if we give you some indication of what seems predominant public opinion as expressed in press and elsewhere. While mistrustful of our plan but prepared perhaps to accept it with reluctance as alternative to war, great mass of public opinion seems to be hardening in sense of feeling that we have gone to limit of concession and that it is up to Chancellor Hitler to make some contribution.

Earl Winterton went to see Leo Amery , one of Chamberlain's oldest friends, and someone who was felt to have influence over the prime minister. He admitted that "at least four of five Cabinet members were seriously contemplating resignation. Amery also wrote a letter to Chamberlain, which he delivered himself.

How, he asked, could Chamberlain expect the Czechs "to commit such an act of folly and cowardice? Amery concluded the letter with the words: "If the country and the House should once suppose that you were prepared to acquiesce in or even endorse this latest demand, there would be a tremendous feeling of revulsion against you. Chamberlain's main concern was the changing views of Lord Halifax. At a Cabinet meeting on 25th September, he admitted he said that he no longer trusted Hitler: "He Halifax could not rid his mind of the fact that Herr Hitler had given us nothing and that he was dictating terms, just as though he had won a war but without having had to fight So long as Nazism lasted, peace would be uncertain.

For this reason he did not think it would be right to put pressure on Czechoslovakia to accept. Duff Cooper wrote in his diary that Halifax's comments "came as a great surprise to those who think as I do. Douglas Hogg , 1st Viscount Hailsham, previously a staunch ally of Chamberlain, produced a press cutting which listed in detail the many occasions on which Hitler had broken his word. Only two ministers supported Chamberlain, James Stanhope , the President of the Board of Education, and Kingsley Wood , the Secretary of State for Air, who argued that the prime minister's visits had "made a considerable impression in Germany and had probably done more to weaken Nazism than any other event in recent years.

Neville Henderson , the British ambassador in Germany, pleaded with Chamberlain to go on negotiating with Hitler. He believed that the German claim to the Sudetenland in was a moral one, and he always reverted in his dispatches to his conviction that the Treaty of Versailles had been unfair to Germany.

Henderson thought, not unreasonably, that it was not the job of the British government to subvert the German government". Chamberlain also received support from Sir Eric Phipps , the British ambassador to France: "Unless German aggression were so brutal, bloody and prolonged as to infuriate French public opinion to the extent of making it lose its reason, war now would be most unpopular in France.

I think therefore that His Majesty's Government should realise extreme danger of even appearing to encourage small, but noisy and corrupt, war group here. All that is best in France is against war, almost at any price. Daladier retorted that a meeting of his Council of Ministers that afternoon had unanimously rejected the Godesberg demands. Chamberlain asked if this meant France would declare war on Germany? Daladier replied that "in the event of unprovoked aggression against Czechoslovakia, France would fulfil her obligations".

The Czechoslovak government leaked details of the Godesberg demands to the British press. The Times included a statement from Leo Amery , attacking Chamberlain: "Are we to surrender to ruthless brutality a free people whose cause we have espoused but are now to throw to the wolves to save our own skins, or are we still able to stand up to a bully. Harold Macmillan , the Conservative MP, who had been a critic of the government's appeasement policy, later explained the mood of the British people at the time: "They were grimly, but quietly and soberly, making up their minds to face war.

They had been told that the devastation of air attack would be beyond all imagination. They had been led to expect civilian casualties on a colossal scale. They knew, in their hearts, that our military preparations were feeble and inadequate. Yet they faced their ordeal with calm and dignity We thought of air warfare in , rather as people think of nuclear warfare today.

Benito Mussolini suggested to Hitler that one way of solving this issue was to hold a four-power conference of Germany, Britain, France and Italy. This would exclude both Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and therefore increasing the possibility of reaching an agreement and undermine the solidarity that was developing against Germany. Although these loans usually have low interest rates, remember that this is money you do have to pay back. Financial aid feels like a much higher priority now, huh?

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