Hitler’s Bid for British Friendship
Chapter 8- The Forced War: When Peaceful Revision Failed, David L Hoggan
The Anglo German relationship was the most important European issue after the Munich conference. An Anglo-German understanding could mean peace, prosperity, and security for Europe. A new Anglo-German war would bring destruction, ruin, and despair. The former condition would offer nothing to the doctrine of Bolshevism, which thrived on human misery. The latter situation would present a unique opportunity for expansion to the Bolshevist leaders. It is not to be wondered that the Bolshevist leaders hated the Munich conference which had prevented an Anglo-German war. They feared that from its aftermath a permanent Anglo-German understanding would emerge. 
The British attitude toward Germany was the crux of the problem. The attitude of Hitler toward Great Britain was favourable from the standpoint of establishing the permanent peace between the two nations which had been envisaged in the Anglo-German friendship declaration of September 30, 1938. Hitler hoped to avoid what he considered to have been the failures of Hohenzollern Germany. He condemned the idea of a large German navy, which had been brilliantly advocated before 1914 by Admiral von Tirpitz. He was unenthusiastic about the acquisition of German colonies overseas, and he regarded Germany’s legal right to her former colonies as a mere bargaining counter. Hitler opposed trade rivalry between Germany and Great Britain. He wished the British to preserve their world commercial supremacy. 
The attitude of Hitler was familiar to the British leaders. The prominent Labour Party spokesman, George Lansbury, who had been the chief of the British Labour Party until 1935, had done what he could to inform the British Conservative leaders of Hitler’s ideas. Lansbury met with Hitler in Berlin on April 19, 1937. He was greatly impressed with the German leader, and he was convinced that he did not desire war. Lansbury discussed Hitler with Lord Halifax, and he rendered strong support to Chamberlain at the time of the Munich conference. He emphasized that no important section of the British population opposed Chamberlain’s trip to Munich. 
Arnold Toynbee, a leading English historian and an expert on international affairs, had visited Hitler in March 1936. He returned to England with a clear impression of Hitler’s ideas. He informed Conservative Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin that Adolf Hitler was a sincere advocate of peace and close friendship between Great Britain and Germany. 
Thomas Jones, the closest friend of Lloyd George and Stanley Baldwin, had excellent connections with British statesmen. He was with Hitler in Munich on May 17, 1936. Jones was on close terms with Ribbentrop, and he was fully informed about Hitler’s attitudes. Hitler had said that if an Anglo-German understanding was achieved, “my biggest life’s desire will be accomplished.” Jones promised Hitler in Munich that Great Britain hoped “to get alongside Germany,” and he praised Hitler’s decision to give the English language priority after German, in German schools, as a significant contribution to future contacts between the two nations. 
 G.A. Deborin, Vtoraya Mirovaya Voyna, Moscow, 1958, pp. 15-38
 Fritz Hesse, Das Spiel um Deutschland, 1953, pp. 14-15. An excellent reference to Hitler’s single-minded desire for friendship and collaboration with Great Britain is Walter Ansel, Hitler Confronts England, Durham N.C. 1960, pp. 10-13.
 Raymond Postage, The Life of George Lansbury, London, 1951, pp. 313-317
 Thomas Jones, A Diary with Letters, 1931-1950, London, 1954, pp. 180-181.
 Ibid., pp. 197-200.