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CHAR 2/266A-B Public and Political: General: Defence: Correspondence etc.

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CHAR 2/266A/84

Letter from Sir [Joseph] Austen Chamberlain (the Goring Hotel, [Ebury Street, London]) to WSC, stating that he was going to delay putting forward a motion [? for a Secret Session of the House of Commons on the state of the nation] until he had seen [Henry] David Margesson [Government Chief Whip], as the Government might propose a measure on the subject which they ought to accept. Chamberlain adds that this would not exclude the possibility of a motion to which such a proposal might be the answer.

He also returns a letter from Reginald Purbrick, explaining that he completely differed from him, and regarded maintaining a demilitarised zone in "the Straits" [? Germany's eastern frontier] as impossible, since Germany had been allowed to occupy and fortify the similar zone on her western frontier. Chamberlain notes that the two things stood together and were part of the common settlement at the end of the First World War, so it was not possible to maintain one without the other. Secondly, Chamberlain states that he did not regard the Soviet Union as a threat to Britain or Europe, nor Germany as a defence for Europe against Communism, though this was Hitler's propaganda. He remarks that though Communism was an internal menace in many countries, and might well be encouraged by the Third International (which was indistinguishable from the Soviet Government), Germany couldn't guarantee other countries against it. Instead, the German threat to British safety was so real and so imminent that it would be foolish to dissipate strength over minor points, when it was all needed to save Britain from the greater danger. Signed typescript.

1 folio
04 Jul 1936