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By Roy Douglas (auth.)

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Whatever real injury German prestige had suffered, the newspapers of the West certainly gloried in the outcome. Rather mildly, Chamberlain wrote that' It certainly was unfortunate from our point of view that the European press should have insisted on crowning us with laurels. ' 31 This, argued the Ambassador, 'definitely put him on the side of the war party'. 32 The effect of the crisis within Czechoslovakia itself was also severe. The British Military Attache in Prague reported on his visit to the Sudetenland about a week after the acute danger had passed.

They had a treaty of mutual defence against attack. Yet there was another even stronger link, which in the opinion of most people would have joined them inseparably in any event. ' 2 Rather curiously, Halifax followed this statement with one which might seem difficult to reconcile with it. Provided no direct German attack were launched on France, ''We could in any particular case say whether we would or would not come to France's assistance. This had ... ' 3 Perhaps Halifax was thinking of the unlikely possibility of a 'limited war'; perhaps he believed it was possible to bluff France and Germany simultaneously about Britain's practical commitment to the former.

24 All of these matters led to a growing concern about how Britain should behave in this undeniably serious situation. On 15 March 1938 J. ' 25 Chamberlain and Halifax were at first receptive of such proposals. 27 Notable men in British public life took up in a more uninhibited manner the cry for military commitments. Lloyd George and Churchill in particular canvassed the idea vigorously. Both had close contacts with France, and they were disparaged in turn by Phipps, who assured French officials that neither man possessed much influence in Britain, and that their recommendations should be taken with a pinch ofsalt.

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