Nine Troubled Years

Nine Troubled Years

Nine Troubled Years

Nine Troubled Years

Excerpt

I have tried in this volume to describe my personal impressions of the many crises that rocked the world between 1931 and 1940. The main sources upon which I have drawn are the notes and papers that I regularly kept at the time, and the many official documents that have since been published. A volume of memoirs is in the nature of things egoistical. This is my answer if it is thought that I have overstated the part that I played in the politics of a confused period. I do not claim to have written a history, nor do I pretend that my conclusions are impartial. Having been jointly responsible for the Cabinet decisions during almost all these nine years, I am naturally anxious at least to explain, and, if possible, to justify them. I am equally ready to admit that we all, and not least myself, made mistakes. It was a time when no one's record was free of faults. My account may in any case add to the evidence upon which a considered verdict can be given, either now or in the future. It will be seen that I have resisted the temptation of giving definite answers to questions that are probably unanswerable. Could, for instance, the war have been prevented, or was it inevitable? And if it was inevitable, were all our efforts to avert it misguided? I have said neither "yes" nor "no." I have tried rather to give an account of the conditions in which the MacDonald, Baldwin and Chamberlain Governments were working, and my own reactions to them. Others if they wish can draw conclusions that may not only affect past history, but may well prove useful for the present and future conduct of affairs.

Of the many friends who have helped me, I would particularly mention Mrs. Neville Chamberlain and Miss Hilda Chamberlain, who have not only given me the benefit of their advice, but have placed at my disposal any papers and letters in their possession that bore on my book.

Several of my former colleagues in Whitehall have assisted me in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

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.