The Chips Channon diaries: ‘Churchill is a devil and must never be trusted’

The third extract of the series, featuring redacted extracts published for the first time, reveals his mistrust of the future Prime Minister

By Simon Heffer. 23 February 2021 •

Note from Scradge: this is a warning from history. From Wiki:

Sir Henry Channon (7 March 1897 – 7 October 1958), often known as Chips Channon, was an American-born British Conservative politician, author and diarist. Channon moved to England in 1920 and became strongly anti-American, feeling that American cultural and economic views threatened traditional European and British civilisation. He wrote extensively about these views. Channon quickly became enamoured of London society and became a social and political climber.

In 1936, Channon became the Parliamentary Private Secretary for Rab Butler, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office. Butler was from the appeasement wing of the Conservative Party.

Channon began writing a private diary that was so incendiary that it has been kept under wraps until now.

Channon is the historical equivalent of the many ghouls in western politics and journalism today who shill for a fascist invader, thief, mass murderer and poisoner. Article follows:

Churchill was unpopular with Channon for his critical stance on Germany 
Churchill was unpopular with Channon for his critical stance on Germany 

When the abridged version of the diaries was published in 1967 the text prepared by Channon’s devoted friend and partner, Peter Coats, took care to play down his enthusiasm for appeasement and his disdain for Churchill and others, whom Channon considered dangerous warmongers.

The text marked in bold indicates redacted information that has never been seen before and shows that, although the general narrative of those months leading up to the Munich crisis (which ends this volume of the diaries) was preserved, much of its flavour was diluted to make Channon appear more sensible to posterity. Also, certain key players from the time – Anthony Eden (by then Earl of Avon) and R A “Rab” Butler in particular – were still alive.

After Eden resigned as Foreign Secretary in February 1938 over appeasement, Butler answered for his successor, Lord Halifax, Channon’s uncle by marriage, in the House of Commons. And as Butler’s parliamentary private secretary, Channon had privileged access to what was going on between London and Berlin.

Still convinced of Hitler’s role as a bulwark against Soviet communism, he was unequivocally against a war with Germany and never gave any indication of embarrassment at being on the wrong side of history. Like many politicians, before and since, he took the view that one should never apologise and never explain.

1937

15 April
People are buying ‘Churchills’, and saying once more that he ought to be in the govt; that it is too bad to keep so brilliant a man out of office. But were he to be given it, it would mean, what? War with Germany? 

27 July 
Winston C spoke again this afternoon in his usual fluent way. To hear him is to believe that the Germans are arriving tonight. What utter nonsense, but his fear and dislike of them amount to an obsession and threaten seriously to undermine his judgement on other matters. He is becoming a man with une idée fixe.

1938

4 February
There is terrific excitement because Hitler has pulled off yet another political coup; he cannot do wrong, really. Now he has assumed supreme control of his army. All the hysterical anti-Germans in this country are up in arms. But surely internal changes are none of our business.

22 February
Winston Churchill rose and in a vicious biting speechdefended Eden and attacked the govt. It was yet another bid on the part of the old ruffian to lead an independent group, perhaps a centre party. The attempt failed. 

4 March
Winston Churchill has written a wicked article half-heartedly attacking Chamberlain. He is a devil and must never be trusted.

11 March
An unbelievable day in which two things occurred: I fell in love with the Prime Minister, and Hitler took Vienna.

3 May 
Appointments all day at the H of C, where I am becoming both feared and respected. Is Winston, that fat, brilliant, unbalanced, illogical, porcine orator more than that? Is he the male Cassandra? Is he perhaps right, banging his head against an uncomprehending country and unsympathetic government? I think not, for he is always wrong. Now he is a man with [a] fixed idea, i.e. the German menace. All his life he has hated and preached against them and thus done much to poison our relations with Germany.

22 May
I rushed to the Foreign Office, where I found an atmosphere of suppressed excitement. The Germans were moving troops, or possibly even mobilising; their rage against the Czechs is almost boiling over. A shiver has passed through every chancellery in Europe. Is it 1914 all over again? Was the the world to commit suicide?

8 June
A long talk with the Aga Khan. He says that there are only three men in Europe who want war, Göring, Winston Churchill and President Beneš of Czechoslovakia. Göring assured me, however, again and again that he doesn’t want war, and so there are only two, Beneš and Winston. 

We talked of charm and turning to his French wife, who is beautiful, chic and delightfully attractive, he asked her who [is] the most charming person she had ever met, ‘Hitler,’ she retorted. Evidently the dictator turned all his persuasive power upon her and succeeded completely in demolishing her French prejudices. 

Princess Helen of Romania 'believes, like all royalties really, in Germany and in Hitler'
Princess Helen of Romania ‘believes, like all royalties really, in Germany and in Hitler’ CREDIT: Hulton Archive

5 July
Princess Helen of Romania rang me up and asked me to go and see her secretly at the Dorchester. We had a long talk, and she told me that she had been to Berlin recently and had seen Göring, who deplored the cool relations existing between Germany and England. He added that if our relations did not now improve they never would. Germany didn’t want war: but England refused or was incapable of understanding the Germany [sic] point of view. She believes, like all royalties really, in Germany and in Hitler. 

2 September
The Czech telegrams are alarming but I am convinced that Hitler is too canny to risk a war. He is always right, the greatest diplomat of modern times.

12 September
A long day of waiting for Hitler’s big speech tonight, in which he is to decide the fate of Europe. Bits began to come through at dinner time. I secretly agreed, indeed sympathised with Hitler’s demands and refuse to look upon him as an Antichrist, as he is considered here.

14 September
Neville, on his own initiative, seeing war coming closer and closer, had telegraphed to Hitler, asking him to have an immediate rendezvous. The German govt surprised, flattered, instantly accepted. It is one of the finest, most inspiring acts of all history! Of course a way will be found now. Neville by his imagination, his practical sense, has saved the world. I am staggered.

Channon thought Chamberlain calling a meeting with Hitler was 'one of the finest, most inspiring acts of all history'
Channon thought Chamberlain calling a meeting with Hitler was ‘one of the finest, most inspiring acts of all history’ CREDIT: Corbis

16 September
The Chamberlain–Hitler meeting seems to have been a huge success. Neville is returning to London today to lay Hitler’s proposition before the Cabinet.

17 September
We all awoke to realities and the impending war. There is now no doubt: the foul Czechs have missed the boat. By their wicked, short-sighted, pusillanimous policy they have brought Europe to the brink of war.

23 September
News came through that the PM had a stormy meeting with Hitler yesterday on his arrival; and that this morning Chamberlain remained in his hotel, instead of proceeding to his rendezvous on the other side of the Rhine with the Führer. It is grave, a bad omen.

25 September
The PM flew back to London yesterday. London is now, including the King and Queen, fitted out with gas masks. 

28 September
Winston as PM would be worse than a war, the two together would mean the destruction of civilisation. The newspapers made harrowing reading!! The fleet mobilised! Trenches dug in Hyde Park! London semi-evacuated. I went to the H of C, where a crowd was waiting outside. The PM rose and in stately slow English began the breathless tale of his negotiations with Hitler. He told how Hitler had invited him to Munich tomorrow morning, that Mussolini had accepted the same invitation, that M. Daladier, in all probability, would do so. The House rose and in a scene of riotous delight, cheered, bellowed their approval. We stood on our benches, waved our order papers, shouted until we were hoarse. Peace must now be saved and with it the world.

Channon believed Chamberlain's agreement with Germany had 'saved the world'
Channon believed Chamberlain’s agreement with Germany had ‘saved the world’CREDIT: Hulton Archive

30 September
I was called at 8am. By my side lay the newspapers – ‘Agreement signed at 12.53 in Munich’. So it is peace, and a Chamberlain, respectable gentleman’s peace. The whole world rejoices whilst a few malcontents jeer. All last evening the Big Four sat in Munich, discussing, arguing, Chamberlain gave in on a few minor points, but he saved the world.

6 comments

  • A modern analogue of Churchill is John McCain, who was consistently labelled a ‘warmonger’ because he took the same position with putler that Churchill did towards hitler in the mid-30’s.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Churchill mouthed off about not wanting to be the man that dismantles the British Empire. He wasn’t, but he set the stage by bellicose blunderings and getting the UK into second serious war, a war that his fellow politicians set the stage for in’14-’18. Churchill gave the Brtish Epmire its death blow and set the stage for much of the bad stuff that came down the pike after 1945.

      Like

  • The Minsk agreement regarding Ukraine copies the infamous Munich agreement handing over the Sudetenland in ways that are too eerie for comfort. Like Chamberlain and his French allies, Germany and France have no leverage to bargain with Putin’s new Russia, because they are not willing to risk a real fight.
    Here are some steps that the Winston Churchill-style leaders we now so badly need could take to stop the rise of a new single-party ruled empire, a KGB dictatorship combined with ultranationalist ethnic extremism, before it morphs into an even worse monster than it already is.
    Draw up plans to provide dramatic increases in natural gas from the United States and other free-world sources to Europe: a 5-year plan to reduce European purchases of natural gas and oil from Russia to zero. Make it clear that this plan will be implemented on schedule unless Putin withdraws both from eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
    Renew Radio-Free Russia and Voice of America to fight the media war against Putin’s propaganda ,countering Putin’s efforts to brainwash the Russian people, and reassure Russians that we are not aiming for their demise — that Americans and Europeans desire a stable, democratic, and rights-respecting Russia as a friend and trading partner, that the last thing we want is a new cold war.
    Offer Ukraine a fast-track into NATO membership, and make clear that NATO we will now reach out to all the former Soviet republics
    Go to the leaders of Brazil and India and make the case that they should stand with other democracies around the world for basic rights and international law, and expanding trade relations among nations respecting these ideals. In other words, they should leave the emerging BRIC alliance and stand with the community of democratic nations.
    As an alternative to the BRICS, and as a potential successor to NATO, put forward a proposal for a league of democracies spanning all inhabited continents. Such a league could also in time function as a successor to the Security Council. It could act in cases like Syria without given the Kremlin and Beijing the power to veto the united voice of the world’s free peoples.

    Liked by 3 people

    • And now we see history repeating itself. Like fools, we are.
      Just like Obama, Biden ripped out the bust of Churchill from the Oval Office and replaced it with a Socialist Revolutionary. Likely the same appeasing policies of Obama will continue and embolden the Socialist Revolutionaries around the world…including Hitler 2.0.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The American people will show their “appreciation” of the semi-petrified socialist fossil’s “reforms” in the next elections, I’m sure, after they see increased unemployment, increased taxes, increased crime-rates, increased masses of Latinos and decreased living standards. But, maybe by then, the damage is so severe, it can’t be reversed anymore. A Germanystan 2.0.

        Liked by 2 people

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