By Nicholas Rostow
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Additional info for Anglo-French Relations, 1934–36
What to do about Churchill had become inseparable from the question what to do about Germany and a deteriorating international situation. Churchill wanted office; he also wanted active foreign and defence policies designed to preserve the balance of power in Europe. To take him into the Cabinet posed more problems for the government, so ministers beiieved, than to leave him out. 31 Haunted by Gallipoli, hated and ridiculed by the government as their most famous enemy on Indian home rule, the eloquent and energetic Churchill remained a formidable opponent no matter how few his followers among MPs.
To fight Germany when Hitler believed himself ready might not be so intelligent as to fight when he was weak, no matter what the condition of Britain's own defences then was. MacDonald's words carry the weight of the crises of 1914 and 1931, so different in character and so personal to him; Londonderry voiced the impatience of his uncertainty that the nominal enemy, Germany was the real one; and Simon expressed ambiguity. Though the government would not begin intensively to examine the role of the army until December 1936, one can detect here most ministers' certainty that if there were no army, no future government could send it to France.
It contained 'ground for very grave anxiety'. So the government would be watchful: should a crisis come Britain would be ready. Baldwin then announced the acceleration of RAF expansion. By the end of 1936, 300 planes would be added to the home defence British Policy: July-November 1934 39 forces. 109 By then there would be new air bases, new training schools and a sufficient expansion of industry to supply required aircraft. Time was necessary to train the skilled men needed both to maintain and to man a modern force, and the RAF therefore ran no immediate risks of being outclassed by the Luftwaffe.
Anglo-French Relations, 1934–36 by Nicholas Rostow