By R. A. C. Parker (auth.)
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Extra info for Chamberlain and Appeasement: British Policy and the Coming of The Second World War
Now that the door to the United States was almost shut and movement to northern Italy from the south checked by economic stagnation, that meant territorial aggrandisement. The Ethiopian crisis was made by British public opinion. Simon seemed to have been indecisive and shifty over the Far East and was widely held to have 'let down the League'. When Baldwin became Prime Minister, replacing the weary Ramsay MacDonald as head of the 'National Government', he moved Simon from the Foreign Secretaryship to the Home Office.
Mander, a Liberal, was the most persistent speaker and questioner on foreign affairs in the 1930s and a zealot for the League. ) Into a debate mainly devoted to currency, commerce, industry and tariffs he intruded Manchuria and put forward the 'League' position: 'It is a test question. We have to decide whether war is to be permitted ... ' He hoped the Council of the League would 'use all the moral force they possibly can' and if that were not enough 'use financial and economic pressure and, if that will not do, use pressure in the way of a blockade in preventing goods going into or coming out of japan'.
Hitler's line seems to have been, first, to avoid multilateral agreements because the less other powers cooperated with each other, the greater German relative strength, and, secondly, if possible, to avoid joining in new agreements to limit German actions, in case their breach aroused unnecessary excitement. The German foreign ministry, headed by the comparatively amiable Baron von Neurath, could safely be left to carry out these tasks. One negotiation in the summer of 1935, however, made a sharp exception to Hitlerian evasiveness, and led to the Anglo-German naval agreement.