1. Mr. Winston Churchill defended a similar policy in Parliament on November 23rd, 1932, when he said: "Their duty is not only to try, within the restricted limits which, I fear, are all that is open to them, to prevent war, but to make sure that we ourselves are not involved in one, and, above all, to make sure that, if war should break out among other Powers, our country and the King's Dominions can be effectively defended, and will be able to preserve, if they desire to do so, that strong and unassailable neutrality from which we must never be drawn except by the heart and conscience of the nation."
In a speech in Parliament on March 8th, 1934, he reverted to the same idea: "... But, putting the preservation of peace in the first place, what is the next great object that we must have in view? It is to secure our national freedom of choice to remain outside a European war, if one should break out. That I put as the more direct and more practical issue, subordinate to, but not less important than, the preservation of peace."
1. The offer was renewed on November 7th in circumstances which will be described later on.
2. Van Kleffens, The Rape of the Netherlands, pp. 85-8.
3. General Chauvineau, Une invasion est-elle encore possible, p. 193.
4. Elie J. Bois, Truth on the Tragedy of France, pp. 98, 170; André Maurois, Tragédie en France,, p. 77.
. Van Kleffens, The Rape of the Netherlands, p. 102.
1. It should be noted that, in accordance with the accepted principle of the Belgian Army, there was only one order--to resist to the end.
Chapter V, "The Defensive and Retreat," Article 168 of the Belgian Field Service Regulations prescribes that: "In the event of an attack, it shall be compulsory to resist to the end. The Commander-in-Chief alone shall reach a decision as the expediency of ceasing resistance on any position and as to the moment at which it should cease."
2. General Georges commanded the North-Eastern Army Group, that is all the French and British Forces opposite the German frontier.
3. The order to prepare the flooding noif the Yser had been given on May 19th. On the 26th, the soaked ground on the east bank was sufficient to stop tanks. All the bridges over the Yser were prepared for destruction.
4. German summer time.
1. British White Paper, Cmd. 5437.