Document H

Letter to Quintin Hogg from Sir Denys Page, Professor of Greek at Oxford, 31 October 1938

Page was travelling in Europe at the time of the election and saw the result announced in Munich.

“My dear Quintin,

… With all deference to you, it cannot have been very easy to decide which way to vote. I suppose both parties were, in their hearts, agreed on the two crucial points. – first, overwhelming gratitude to Chamberlain for his great part in the averting – or postponing – of war (tho’ I have spoken to many Germans these 10 days who were confident that Germany would in fact have climbed down at the last moment). – Secondly, uneasiness amounting to positive alarm that things should have been permitted to go so far; that the final settlement should have had to be made in circumstances which suggested that Germany’s public threat of force was an important, if not the decisive, factor; and that England should have been found to be in a reprehensible state of unpreparedness.

A vote for the Government – which I think I must have given had I been able to vote – is therefore primarily given in confidence that the Government will, first, remedy the admitted weakness of our country as revealed in the recent crisis; secondly, that it will in the near future, before things go so far again, come to some clear and detailed understanding with Germany about the numerous questions which at present make for hostility between us and the one European power which could do us infinite harm.

Yours ever,
Denys Page”

Reference: Hailsham Papers, HLSM 2/43/1/6