By P. Neville
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Additional resources for Appeasing Hitler: The Diplomacy of Sir Nevile Henderson, 1937-39
At the root of some of Henderson's indiscretions and cutting of diplomatic corners was the belief that on some occasions in Turkey, Egypt and Yugoslavia as well as in Berlin, obfuscation gave foreign governments the wrong impression. In Belgrade he had despaired about getting the Foreign Office to see that Italy must make concessions to the Yugoslavs, whereas in Berlin he feared that the British were becoming Job's comforters to those, like the Austrians and the Czechs, whom they could not help.
If, on the other hand, Hitler persisted in his illegal behaviour, and broke his 1935 pledge, Henderson believed that 'the moral disapproval of the world had some weight'. Foreign Office critics could perhaps have argued that for someone who spoke so much about morality, Henderson's scepticism about the League (as shown in his letter to Maxwell Garnett) was surprising. He did, however, share such scepticism with Chamberlain. 58 Henderson was decidedly in the Crowe tradition, broadly supported by Vansittart, in his argument that Britain's national interest must be the predominant factor in policy-making.
29 There is always a danger that an ambassador will become over-sympathetic to the regime to which he is accredited, and Loraine seems to have been a case in point, at least while in post in Ankara. Precisely the same accusation was to be levied against Henderson in Berlin. Loraine's colleague Miles Lampson in Cairo certainly did not seem to be out of step with the appeasement policy either. He wrote to Henderson (with whom he had served in the Tokyo embassy from 1910 to 1911 when both were Third Secretaries) early in 1938, stating his view that the solution of Britain's problems in Egypt and the Mediterranean 'lies ...