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Neville Chamberlain

Book Review: 'The Battle For Peace'

'The Battle For Peace', by F. Elwyn Jones (Left Book Club)

Is Britain Going Fascist ?

Political Parties in the Melting Pot

Mr. Chamberlain’s meeting with Hitler has had the effect of bringing to the surface some hitherto hidden currents in the political parties. Mr. Anthony Eden, who speaks for the Conservative group which favours a strong line against Germany, Italy and Japan, is now criticising Mr. Chamberlain's policy and possibly challenging him for the leadership of the Conservative Party. That he is acting with the advice and guidance of Lord Baldwin is an indication of the amount of support he can count upon in Conservative circles.

The Socialist Party exposes Mr Chamberlain and his Labour Critics (1938)

So the crisis is over. Representatives of the four major European Powers sat round the table and concluded arrangements that carve up Czechoslovakia, freeze Russia out of Europe, and, we are fervently assured, lay the basis of “peace in our time”. Lest there should be any doubt about this peaceful future, a great drive to develop armaments is proposed, and plans are being made to ensure that everybody will have a niche in defensive and offensive operations. The temporary popularity of Chamberlain, the general relief at the banishing of immediate war danger, and the united support worked up on behalf of the Czechs, are being utilised to push forward the increased armament campaign.


The Socialist and Conscription

In spite of repeated promises to the contrary, conscription is to become the law of this country during peace time. It is the first occasion that such a drastic denial of democracy will have been brought into operation here when war was not in progress. Already we are warned of the kind of scenes we shall witness—the prosecution of unwilling conscripts, the charges of shirking and the encouragement of tale-bearing by those who suspect their friends and neighbours of avoiding conscription. A Staff Reporter of the Daily Express writes:

“Those who are personally summoned and fail to answer will probably be treated as deserters. As in the great war, the authorities are relying on ‘the next-door neighbour with a son in the Army’ to denounce a shirker” (Daily Express, 28th April, 1939).

It is worthy of note that conscription has promptly received the support of a leader of the Church, the Bishop of St. Albans.

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