Anglo-French Relations, 1934–36 by Nicholas Rostow

By Nicholas Rostow

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Additional info for Anglo-French Relations, 1934–36

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MacDonald's words carry the weight of the crises of 1914 and 1931, so different in character and so personal to him; Londonderry voiced the impatience of his uncertainty that the nominal enemy, Germany was the real one; and Simon expressed ambiguity. Though the government would not begin intensively to examine the role of the army until December 1936, one can detect here most ministers' certainty that if there were no army, no future government could send it to France. The CID thus agreed to disguise the facts by proscribing the term 'Expeditionary Force'.

This subject was more important than the Chancellor's retort to Baldwin, to which Phipps 34 Anglo-French Relations, 1934-36 replied, that the British government and people would not be amused if he, Hitler, declared the Thames to be Germany's frontier. 84 Just as Sir Eric Drummond, Phipps's colleague in Rome, was to argue against firmness towards Mussolini over Ethiopia because he feared to provoke the Duce into a 'mad dog act', so Phipps recoiled from fighting through the Fuhrer's tantrum. Phipps found it easier to write coy dispatches than verbally to defend positions not covered by his instructions.

Though the government would not begin intensively to examine the role of the army until December 1936, one can detect here most ministers' certainty that if there were no army, no future government could send it to France. The CID thus agreed to disguise the facts by proscribing the term 'Expeditionary Force'. For the government, as for everybody in the world, that formula evoked images of the hecatombs in Flanders and along the Somme, marked by acres of gravestones. Despite the contradiction between analysis and decision, the discussion had addressed facts.

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