Churchill`s greatest disagreement with John Simon and Chamberlain was over the value of going to war with Germany to defend Czechoslovakia. Churchill believed that Czechoslovakia had been sacrificed to maintain peace with Germany, and that “they would have left themselves to their own devices and said that they would not get any help from the Western powers, [the Czechs] could have created better conditions than they had.” Churchill also used his speech to highlight the hypocrisy of forcing Czechoslovakia to give up part of its sovereign territory without a referendum. He said: “No matter how you say it, this particular block of land, this mass of people to be handed over, never expressed a desire to enter the Nazi regime. This violated the principle of self-determination, which stated that “liberal and democratic” nations should be protected from takeover by totalitarian governments, an idea Churchill strongly supported. Churchill used this speech to expose Hitler`s expansionist tendencies immediately after Germany`s annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland. He sharply criticized Neville Chamberlain and his government for accepting Hitler`s annexation of the Sudetenland, saying, “Instead of taking his supplies off the table, [Hitler] was content with the fact that they were served to him naturally.” Churchill regarded the Munich Accords as a weaker piece that upset the balance of continental power, and he argued that the agreement would not prevent the outbreak of war or guarantee that Hitler would change his behavior. We are being asked to vote in favour of this motion, which has been submitted to the newspaper, and it is certainly a motion that is uninseversulated, as is the case with the opposition amendment. I myself cannot express my agreement with the measures taken, and since the Chancellor of the Exchequer has defended his version of the case with so much speech, I will try, if I may, to look at the case from a different angle. I have always been of the view that peacekeeping depends on the accumulation of deterrents against the aggressor, combined with a sincere effort to remedy grievances. Mr.
Hitler`s victory, like so many famous battles that determined the fate of the world, was fought with the narrowest margins. The Chancellor of the Exchequer [Sir John Simon] said that this was the first time that Mr Hitler was persuaded to step down – I think that was the word – in any way. We really must not waste time after the whole long debate on the difference between the positions of Berchtesgaden, Godesberg and Munich. They can be embodied very simply if the house allows me to vary the metaphor. £1 was demanded at the top of the gun. When it was given, £2 was demanded at the top of the gun. Eventually, the dictator agreed to take £1,17s.6d. and the rest in pledges of goodwill for the future. These are the characteristics that I would like to highlight here to expose them, and which have marked a negligent responsibility for which Britain and France must pay dearly. In those five years, we have been reduced from such an overwhelming and unassailable position of security that we have never bothered to think about it. We were reduced from a position where the word “war” was seen as a word that could only be used by people qualified for insane asylum. We have been reduced from a position of security and power – the power to do good, the power to be generous to a defeated enemy, the power to reconcile with Germany, the power to give it adequate reparation for its grievances, the power to stop arming it if we wanted to make power, every step in force, mercy or justice that we thought was just – reduced in five years from a safe and undisputed position to the Stand where we are.
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