Friday, 20 April 2012

The Lost Visit - Queen Elizabeth's Parents in Berlin

Very few of the official histories mention the visit by Queen Elizabeth II's parents - George VI and the Queen Mother to Berlin. I came across a passage in Harold Nicolson's Diaries in 1936 when meeting the Queen Mother (still Duchess of York at that time) she remembered to him their last meeting in Berlin. I was very surprised by this, as I never came across a mention in the official histories of this visit by Royalty to pre-war Germany. Finally I found the earlier entry in Nicolson's diary to their visit, where he lunches with them in Berlin and his favourable impression of the Duchess.

This visit which took place in March 1929, was the first Royal visit to Germany since World War One and took in the palaces of the deposed Kaiser in Potsdam. There were 2 visits as the Yorks on route to a Royal Wedding in Norway took the train and stayed in Berlin on the 2 legs of the journey.

There is nearly no mention in the British Press at the time of this visit and very little since. They took the opportunity to present the Royal calling card with President Hindenburg's office. Since one of the Duke's many dubious aquaintance's included notorius honours trafficker Maundy Gregory who had linked to the Herrenclub, there may have been more to this visit and the York's interest in Right Wing German monarchist circles.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Truth about the Truth - the 1941 debate

Sir Joseph Ball , despite the death of his patron Neville Chamberlain in October 1940 continued to enjoy access to the corridors of power whilst been kept under close scrutiny by Churchill and his personal intelligence advisor Desmond Morton. Ball was as deputy director of the Security Executive which held ascendancy over MI6, MI5, Scotland Yard , NID and SOE was in a key position at the time of the Rudolf Hess Peace Mission in May 1941 and as Director of the Security Intelligence Centre (SIC) he kept an active hand in monitoring the Fifth Column whilst secretly controlling the Anti-Semitic and Pro-Fascist magazine Truth, which finally came under parliamentary scrutiny in October 1941 when Captain Wedgewood exposed the anti-war, pro-peace and pro-fascist views and it's control by Ball, the National Publicity Bureau and Ultra Right Conservative Chamberlainites like Ball. He stated : "It has now become a public danger.Not only is it perpetually putting forward the policy of peace and reconciliation, and generally the old isolationist policy, but it is also, as it were, the nucleus of the controlled Press which would spring up if this country were successfully invaded.I have to prove that the policy of this paper is dangerous to our war effort. I say that it is pro-Fascist, it is anti-Semite, it is pro-peace, it is anti-Churchill, it is anti-American, it is pro-German, and it is now anti-Russian. On the 9th August 1939 it wrote "The 'Link' is quite open about what it is doing. Many anti-Government propagandists pretend to be actuated by national welfare, but their plan is to push Britain, by hook or by crook, into a war with Germany."
On 14th February, 1940, they said: If peace were concluded with Germany, and there is good reason to believe that it could now be concluded on terms which would satisfy any reasonable person. … Again, on 23rd February they spoke of the peace policy of the B.U.F., that is the British Union of Fascists, before and after the war as the same: Mind Britain's business. It says: Hitler bears close resemblance to Mr. Churchill. That was just a month before the war, at a time when Mr. Churchill was not in a position to influence our policy. Then, after the war: Mr. Churchill added another distinction to his conquest in the course of his speech on the wireless. He is the first man to call the Germans ' Huns.' Again: ''Whenever during the last war Mr. Churchill edified us with a cocksure pronouncement on the progress of hostilities it was always invariably the prelude to a bad reverse.'' On 16th December, 1939, it says: Imagination boggles at Mr. Hore-Belisha and Mr. Winston Churchill wondering a single second over the failure of their Departments to meet their obligations. What they would worry themselves sick about would be if their own salaries were not paid promptly. On 23rd February, 1940, it says: Now that the sound and fury of Mr. Winston Churchill has been hushed awhile "— He was not Prime Minister then— when our Prime Minister quits his post in a middle of a war to cross the Atlantic we expect him to return with something more substantial than even an Eight Point Declaration. The humiliating impression is conveyed of the British Prime Minister standing cap in hand on America's doorstep or gang-plank. That was on 22nd August, 1941. In October, 1939, there was this statement: There is only one man in England who, in Mr. Churchill's reckoning, is fit to govern and that man, of course, as you will guess, is Mr. Churchill. That is the attitude of mind towards not merely a man in office but a man who has put up the best fight for us against the Germans. I now come to the paper's anti-American attitude On 29th September, 1940, they said: America is willing to fight to the last Englishman. On 6th October, 1940, they said: For 18 months Americans have feared any European who stood for peace in Europe. The U.S.A. is fiercely anxious for Europe to 1458 go to war because when Europe is at war, American industry booms. I ask the House to consider not only the effect of all this on our morale but on our relations with other countries. On 3rd November last year it was stated: Germany is not one of the favoured belligerents because she has no money. If that disability were removed America would supply arms to Germany as willingly as to us. On 19th September, this year, the paper said: While one welcomes the Prime Minister's assurance that every effort will be made to secure a peaceful settlement in the Far East, it is imprudent to put oneself into a position where one's life depends on blood transfusion from an expectant and an ambitions heir "— that is America— Even if America is willing to save the patient, what will her fee be? Home consumption is cut down to the bone. This is a decisive moment in a war, into which, if we had been influenced by their importunity, we should have plunged a year earlier when we were more unprepared. On 15th August, 1941, they said: We are glad to co-operate with Americans, not to pull their chestnuts out of the fire. Is this what one would call "helping the war effort"? In connection with the meeting in the Atlantic it was said: I suggest to Mr. Alexander and Mr. Brendan Bracken that the appropriate name for our next battleship to be launched would be H.M.S. Hollywood. There was, as hon. Members know, a moving film taken of the service that took place on board. As to their pro-peace attitude, I will give one quotation, dated 6th October, 1940: The fact which appalled me was the state of mind that had been reached, in which peace itself should be a threat. They know as well as we know that peace would not be peace, but a truce. The basis of all the propaganda against us to-day is that we should be sensible and shake hands with Germany to-morrow, and have our throats cut about five years later. Let me give another quotation to show how they are pro-German. In a reference to the right hon. Gentleman who is now Home Secretary, before he became a Minister, they speak of him as "London's little dictator," and say: London's little dictator suggested to Sir John Anderson that he should watch the people who up to the outbreak of war wanted to strengthen relations with Germany. Mr. Winston Churchill on the Treasury Bench nodded his head in vigorous approval. 1459 On 24th November, 1939, there was a column letter by Major-General Fuller white-washing, German concentration camps by way of counter-blast to the Government's White Paper on German atrocities. Major-General Fuller was connected with Joyce in the Fascist movement. He backed up a book called "The Truth About This War," one of the pacifist publications which came out during the "phoney" war. On 26th July, 1940, there was a leading article insisting on Germany taking her proper place in the leadership of Europe. That was just after France went out of the war. As to their attitude to Russia, here is a quotation dated 8th August, 1941: Let us not deceive ourselves. If Russia does succeed in turning the tables on Germany, it would be she who would issue the invitations to the peace conference and we should be lucky if we got one. I think I have read enough to show even those people who think that "Truth" is the old newspaper they used to read when they were young, that at the present time this newspaper has become a positive danger, and that it is putting over propaganda which is very dangerous to our relations with other countries and dangerous to morale in this country.
I have said all I wanted to say, except that all through these kaleidoscopic changes there appear the figures of Mr. Crocker and Sir Joseph Ball, not as directors of but as connected with "Truth." I understand these people are also on the Swinton Committee. It is improper that people in any sort of way connected with this matter should be on a committee which has the decision as to whether "Truth" should continue to exist. There is a great deal of secrecy about the committee, but if there is any connection between people who are connected with this paper and the Swinton Committee it is bound to create an unsatisfactory feeling throughout the country. I am more anxious to get the attitude of the Swinton Committee towards the Fascists and towards the Jews changed than even to get a change in the editorship of "Truth." That will give us a decent national line, and effective support of this Government. Better that than even to see the paper suppressed."
Both Ball and Crocker had by 1942 resigned from the Security Executive aka Swinton Committee and from directorships of the Truth. Democracy does work if we give a chance bravo Colonel Wedgewood.