Facing the Dictators: The Memoirs of Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon

Facing the Dictators: The Memoirs of Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon

Facing the Dictators: The Memoirs of Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon

Facing the Dictators: The Memoirs of Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon

Excerpt

I had intended that this volume should cover the period from my earliest experience as a Minister in 1931 until the victory of the Labour Party at the General Election of 1945. I found that this was not possible if I was to give a full account of the events, personalities and negotiations of the nineteen-thirties.

From the autumn of 1931 until my resignation, owing to disagreements with Mr. Chamberlain and my colleagues in February 1938, I was, without a break, a Minister at the Foreign Office. For a greater part of the time I had to conduct negotiations which brought me into direct contact with the personalities then shaping world policy. So it happened that I was the first British Minister to hold discussions with Hitler and Stalin. I also had meetings with Mussolini and more frequent exchanges with the statesmen of France, Poland, Turkey and the Little Entente, amongst others. When I read over the many documents of the period which I had either written, received or commented upon, it seemed to me that here was a record which should be set down in some detail.

The chief sources of my material have been the telegrams and despatches recording my missions and conversations, together with the minutes written, either on Foreign Office papers, or to my colleagues, to the Foreign Secretary when I was a junior Minister, to the Prime Minister and other Ministers when I was Foreign Secretary. Another source has been despatches and letters to Ambassadors, recording my interviews and, though I never kept a regular diary, occasional notes set down, often with weeks or months between entries. As in Full Circle, this is the thought of the time, written at the time about the action of the time. Presuming that my readers would also want to know my present reflections upon . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.