Chamberlain's secret bid to reach a deal with Hitler, revealed in newly released documents
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain held secret talks with Hitler's henchmen to work out ways of making the Nazis look more sympathetic to ordinary Britons, classified documents released last week reveal. The cloak-and-dagger meetings in London came shortly after Chamberlain signed his disastrous appeasement deal with Hitler in Munich in September 1938, declaring 'peace for our time' on his return to Britain. The meetings were held without the knowledge of the Cabinet and Foreign Office. Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax only learned of them later because of an MI5 mole in the German embassy.
Two newly-declassified documents show Chamberlain was ready to make more deals with Hitler after Munich, which would have the ‘happiest and most far-reaching effects for the relationship between the two countries’. The papers reveal Chamberlain told Hitler that it would have ‘the greatest effect on public opinion in England’ if, in the event of war, they had a pact in place not to use poison gas, not to bomb each other’s civilians and to spare cities with cultural treasures.
...In his subsequent memo, Cadogan agonises over whether he should tell Lord Halifax about the clandestine meeting. He fears it might make Halifax resign and cause the Government to collapse, forcing a General Election at a time when the Nazis are poised to wage war across Europe...In the smuggled MI5 memo, Hesse tells von Ribbentrop that Chamberlain wants to finalise a deal personally with Hitler which could ensure ‘complete secrecy on the English side’ until the agreement is signed.
This also sounds familiar from the 1990s here in Israel:
...said historian Richard Cockett, author of a book on Chamberlain’s media manipulation...the just-released documents reveal that Steward had been authorised by Chamberlain to hold such meetings. ‘If Steward was not acting under orders from Chamberlain, he was probably guilty of treason,’ he said. ‘If he was acting under orders, then he was just a dupe.’ He said Halifax was also an appeaser but was eventually ‘changed’ by the Foreign Office and became sceptical about the policy.
Fellow historian Andrew Roberts said: ‘It is not surprising Steward was having these meetings. He was always very loyal to Chamberlain and did his bidding. Also, Steward himself was an appeaser. It is not surprising in the least bit that Chamberlain was going behind the Foreign Office’s back and holding such talks. They were sceptical of appeasement all along.’
Steward is credited as being No 10’s first spin doctor, spending a large part of his time trying to influence newspapers into writing stories that suited the Chamberlain Government...
The Israeli appeasers and behind-the-back dealers: