]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]     SOUND FAMILIAR?         [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ 
                       
     [The Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, warned that] "a 
point might well be reached when rearmament was finished, trade was 
falling and when, especially if the element of good will in our export 
trade had been sacrificed, a very difficult economic and financial 
situation would arise, more particularly as the permanent cost of 
maintaining our armaments would have greatly increased."
                    Minutes, British Cabinet meeting, 20 January 1937

                         *  *  *

     [Neville Chamberlain] "wished the Cabinet to realize that ... 
even the present Programmes were placing a heavy strain on our 
resources. Any additional strain might put our present Programmes in 
jeopardy..."
     [He admitted that] "national safety came before finance, but the 
bill for armaments was running up very heavily. He attached importance 
also to the time factor. There was, perhaps, some alleviation in the 
international situation, and the dangers of overloading the programmes 
beyond the material capacity of the country had to be considered."
                    Minutes, British Cabinet meeting, 3 February 1937

                         *  *  *

     In October 1937, an invitation was issued to Lord Halifax (then 
not yet foreign secretary) to visit Germany in his capacity as master 
of the Middleton hounds for an international hunting and sporting 
exhibition. Chamberlain saw the long-awaited opportunity to move for-
ward with his plans for an Anglo-German detente and insisted over 
foreign secretary Anthony Eden's misgiving that Halifax accept it. On 
his return from the meeting with Hitler, Halifax reported: 
     "I must say I sometimes feel surprised that they are not more 
bitter than they are, and I think it must surely go some way to 
explain why they are so determined, cost them what it may, to place 
themselves in a position in which other people have to treat them with 
respect, and I cannot help thinking that this explains in part their 
willingness to surrender individual liberty for the sake of power."
                               Condensed from L.W. Fuchser's "Neville
            Chamberlain and Appeasement," W.W. Norton, New York, 1982
                         
                         *  *  *

     [On 12 March 1938, breaking all his previous pledges, Hitler 
invaded and annexed Austria in the "Anschluss," which is German for 
annexation.
     Chamberlain's personal interpretation (writes Fuchser, see above) 
of the meaning to be attached to the Anschluss was clear and unequi-
vocal. While a show of British strength might serve a useful purpose, 
the better option was a redoubled effort toward reaching a negotiated 
Anglo-German settlement.]
     "In spite of it all, however, he [Chamberlain] felt that this 
thing had to come. Nothing short of an overwhelming display of force 
would have stopped it. Herr Hitler had been planning to take this 
action for some time and [Austrian Chancelor] Dr. Schuschnigg's blun-
der had given him the chance... So he believed that what had happened 
was inevitable unless the Powers had been able to say 'If you make war 
on Austria you will have to deal with us.' At any rate, the question 
was now out of the way."
               Minutes of the Emergency Meeting of the British Cabinet
            called on 12 March 1938 after Hitler's invasion of Austria.

                              *  *  * 

     [Chamberlain said that] "If Germany could obtain her desiderata 
by peaceful methods there was no reason to suppose that she would 
reject such a procedure in favor of one based on violence. It should 
be noted that throughout the Austrian adventure Herr Hitler had stu-
diously refrained from saying or doing anything to provoke us and in 
small matters such as passport and exchange facilities for British 
subjects returning home from Austria consideration had been shown. All 
this did not look as if Germany wished to antagonise us, on the 
contrary, it indicated a desire to keep on good terms with us."
                         Minutes of meeting, Foreign Policy Committee,
                          18 March 1938 (six days after the Anschluss).

                              *  *  *


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