The End of an Epoch: Reflections on Contemporary History

The End of an Epoch: Reflections on Contemporary History

The End of an Epoch: Reflections on Contemporary History

The End of an Epoch: Reflections on Contemporary History

Excerpt

[1937]

THIS correspondence hardly needs any elucidation. My letter was written as a protest against the dangerous nonsense that was put about after Hitler's accession to power, by the supporters of Baldwin and Chamberlain, that the internal régimes of other countries were no concern of ours and had nothing to do with their foreign policy. All this, of course, in order to justify "appeasement" towards Nazi Germany. (Naturally it did not apply to Soviet Russia.) To anyone with any knowledge of history it was demonstrably untrue and deeply deleterious to the security of the country, besides going completely against the whole tradition of our policy.

But such was the confusion of mind, the humbug that was preached in season and out of season in those years, that it was almost impossible (as Mr. Churchill found) to get any clear thinking across to the public, especially in the columns of The Times , given up as they were to the propaganda of appeasement, of "understanding" with Hitler. The reader may note with some amusement the careful, diplomatic way in which the demonstration of its untruth had to be phrased.

I took the opportunity to indicate the true policy I thought the country ought to follow. It was the same as that being advocated across the party-barrier by Mr. Churchill. Of course it had no effect, not the slightest -- though I did receive a private word of encouragement from the Foreign Office. The Foreign Office point of view was completely right during all this terrible period, but was taken no notice of, or rather turned down by Chamberlain and the Conservative Party in Parliament and throughout the country. Until too . . .

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