By P. Neville
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Extra info for Appeasing Hitler: The Diplomacy of Sir Nevile Henderson, 1937-39
One is the 'Buggins' turn' argument, as Henderson had been in the Diplomatic Service since 1905 and was in line for a major post (although the posting to remote Buenos Aires had been a disconcerting career blip for him). But more convincing is the argument that Henderson had shown himself to be successful at getting on with dictators like King Alexander, and that this capacity clinched his appointment. 21 He may also have feared a political appointee being sent to Berlin to push the appeasement policy.
Yet according to the British Foreign Policy Document series, 'Henderson worked out for himself the line he would follow in Berlin. The editors note that Henderson said nothing in Failure of a Mission about a Foreign Office briefing prior to his departure, or indeed what the Foreign Office thought about the current state of Anglo-German relations. P. Conwell Evans, the maverick English professor who taught at Konigsberg University, and had links with the Berlin Embassy, 20 A Man with a Mission 21 subsequently claimed, however, that Henderson had offered him an alternative explanation for his line.
23 Vansittart may well have wished to reward such loyalty by granting Henderson a senior post. 25 Certainly Vansittart knew Henderson's record. The protestations of incredulity about Henderson's behaviour in Berlin hardly ring true, therefore. Henderson believed in the force of twentieth-century nationalism and he always thought that the Versailles Treaty dangerously ignored German nationalism and the need for selfdetermination in those parts of Europe containing large concentrations of ethnic Germans.