Monday, March 11, 2013

75 Years Ago: Neville Chamberlain Challenged on Policy of Desiring Alliance with France, Hitler, and Mussolini

February 21:
1938 Eden and Chamberlain Clash
LONDON — In one of the most stirring scenes in the modern history of Parliament, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his resigned Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden today [Feb. 21] challenged each other as to the wisdom of their conflicting ideas for preserving the peace of Europe and keeping Great Britain out of another general war. “Tony” Eden took his stand by the side of the League of Nations and respect for treaties as opposed to the methods of power politics and the philosophy that might makes right. Now was the time, Mr. Eden warned, for Britain to stand firm and show its traditional temper, instead of submitting to the threats of the dictators. Mr. Chamberlain paid lip service to the League, but made it plain his heart’s desire is for a four-power alliance of Britain, France, Germany and Italy to control Europe’s affairs in place of the League.
March 7:
1938 Reich Fleet Twice Size of Britain’s
LONDON — The British government plan to spend over £350,000,000 this year on its Air Force, Navy, Army and air raid precautions was approved late tonight [March 7] in the House of Commons after a disquieting debate in which Winston Churchill charged that the Royal Air Force expansion had fallen two years behind schedule and that Germany possessed an air force more than twice as strong as the British. Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain refused to commit himself as to the relative strength of the British and German air forces, but he did attempt to clear up his position in connection with his attempts in Rome, Berlin and London to make peace with Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. Mr. Chamberlain made it plain that he was not afraid of the dictators and would fight, if necessary, for democracy.