Some of these English statesmen were declared fascists. They feared British labor and its communistic tendencies, and they hated communism with an abiding fear. If Germany could be lured eastward, England would be freed from a lot of commitments to protect a lot of silly little nations. So there was little doubt in the minds of these Tory statesmen what horse to put their money on.
The Anglo-German Fellowship, organized in England after Hitler came to power to cultivate friendship with his regime, included 27 Members of Parliament and 28 Lords, among them Lord Londonderry, the great coal magnate and host of Von Ribbentrop; Lord Nuffield, England's Henry Ford; the Marquess of Lothian. Lord Halifax cannily was not a member, though he was the society's guest of honor. The great bank, insurance, munitions, transportation, and oil companies were well represented. The Friends of Italy and the Friends of National Spain, similarly organized, had many of the same members.(1)
Lord Londonderry had for years urged Anglo-German understanding as a fundamental of peace, and advocated a conference of the four European powers, Britain, Germany, France, and Italy. Londonderry House in London, center of Tory entertaining, which dazzled Mac- Donald into becoming pro-German and into making Londonderry Air Minister in 1931, frequently saw Chamberlain. As Air Minister under Baldwin up to 1935, Londonderry had sought to avert or postpone the time when Germany might, as he wrote, "strike out along a course of Weltpolitik frankly antagonistic to Great Britain and her many imperial and commercial interests".
With Chamberlain as Prime Minister, Londonderry again became "a potent behind-the-scenes figure in Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policy of appeasing the dictators. . . . Nazi Germany has had no stauncher friend in England than the tall, handsome, 60-year-old Marquess of Londonderry", who numbered among his personal friends Führer Adolf Hitler, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, Minister for Aviation Hermann Göring, Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. ( Time, Dec. 26, 1938) Londonderry visited the Reich twice in 1936 and twice in 1937, arranged for Lord Halifax' visit in November, 1937, and was present at the Munich Conference.(2)