Samuel Hoare, 1st Viscount Templewood

British Conservative politician (1880-1959)

Samuel John Gurney Hoare, 1st Viscount Templewood (24 February 1880 – 7 May 1959), more commonly known as Sir Samuel Hoare, was a senior British Conservative politician who served in various Cabinet posts in the Conservative and National governments of the 1920s and 1930s.

sarong politika

Quotes

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Secretary of State for India

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  • What he did object to was going back to the position of 1906 to 1914, that [sic] everybody was preparing for a war against Germany. We might eventually be driven to it, but we were not, in his opinion, yet at that point.
    • Remarks to the Cabinet (19 March 1934), quoted in Correlli Barnett, The Collapse of British Power (1972), p. 388
  • As things are now, India is not in a position to defend itself. A great part of the defence of India is dependent on British Imperial troops.
    • Speech in the House of Commons (10 December 1934)

Foreign Secretary

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  • Either we should have to make a futile protest, which would irritate Mussolini and perhaps drive him out of the League into the arms of Germany, or we should make no protest at all and give the appearance of pusillanimity.
    • Remarks to the Cabinet shortly before the Second Italo-Ethiopian War (19 June 1935), quoted in Correlli Barnett, The Collapse of British Power (1972), p. 358
  • He had been left with the opinion that there would be a wave of public opinion against the Government if it repudiated its obligations under Article 16 [of the Covenant of the League of Nations]... It was abundantly clear that the only safe line for His Majesty's Government was to try out the regular League of Nations procedure.
    • Remarks to the Cabinet shortly before the Second Italo-Ethiopian War (21 August 1935), quoted in Correlli Barnett, The Collapse of British Power (1972), p. 361
  • British public opinion was solidly behind the League when it was founded... The British people supported the League for no selfish motive. They had seen the old system of alliances unable to prevent a world war. As practical men and women they wished to find a more effective instrument for peace. After four years of devastation they were determined to do their utmost to prevent another such calamity falling not only on themselves but upon the whole world. They were determined to throw the whole weight of their strength into the scales of international peace and international order. They were deeply and genuinely moved by a great ideal. It is the fashion sometimes in the world of to-day—a foolish fashion like many others in the world of to-day—to scoff at such ideals. What is the use, say the modern critics, of collective action when individual strength is simpler and swifter to apply, and more direct in its appeal to national sentiment? What is the good of working for peace when the whole history of the world shows that war is the only way of settling great issues? These questions ring every day in our ears. The day to day events of recent history have made it impossible for us to ignore the strength of the argument behind them. None the less, in spite of the grim experiences of the past, in spite of the worship of force in the present, the British people have clung to their ideal and they are not prepared to abandon it.
    • Speech to the League of Nations Assembly in Geneva (11 September 1935), quoted in The Times (12 September 1935), p. 7
  • It is...necessary when the League is in a time of real difficulty for the representative of the United Kingdom to state his view and to make it as clear as he can, first, that his Majesty's Government and the British people maintain their support of the League and its ideals as the most effective way of ensuring peace; and, secondly, that this belief in the necessity for preserving the League is our sole interest in the present controversy. No selfish or imperialist motives enter into our minds at all.
    • Speech to the League of Nations Assembly in Geneva (11 September 1935), quoted in The Times (12 September 1935), p. 7
  • On behalf of his Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom I can say that they will be second to none in their intention to fulfil, within the measure of their capacity, the obligations which the Covenant lays upon them. The ideas enshrined in the Covenant, and in particular the aspiration to establish the rule of law in international affairs, have appealed...with growing force to the strain of idealism which has its place in our national character, and they have become a part of our national conscience.
    • Speech to the League of Nations Assembly in Geneva (11 September 1935), quoted in The Times (12 September 1935), p. 7
  • It is in accordance with what we believe to be the underlying principles of the League that our people have steadily promoted, and still promote, the growth of self-government in their own territories. It was, for example, only a few weeks ago that I was responsible for helping to pass through the Imperial Parliament a great and complicated measure for extending self-government in India. Following this same line of thought we believe that small nations are entitled to a life of their own and to such protection as can collectively be afforded to them in the maintenance of their national life. We believe, on the undoubted evidence of past and present times, that all nations alike have a valuable contribution to make to the common stock of humanity. And we believe that backward nations are without prejudice to their independence and integrity, entitled to expect that assistance will be afforded them by more advanced peoples in the development of their resources and the building up of their national life. I am not ashamed of our record in this respect, and I make no apology for stating it here.
    • Speech to the League of Nations Assembly in Geneva (11 September 1935), quoted in The Times (12 September 1935), p. 7
  • The attitude of his Majesty's Government has been one of unwavering fidelity to the League and all that it stands for, and the case now before us is no exception, but, on the contrary, the continuance of that rule. The recent response of public opinion shows how completely the nation supports the Government in the full acceptance of the obligations of League membership, which is the oft proclaimed keynote of its foreign policy... In conformity with its precise and explicit obligations the League stands, and my country stands with it, for the collective maintenance of the Covenant in its entirety, and particularly for steady and collective resistance to all acts of unprovoked aggression. The attitude of the British nation in the last few weeks has clearly demonstrated the fact that this is no variable and unreliable sentiment, but a principle of international conduct to which they and their Government hold with firm, enduring, and universal persistence.
    • Speech to the League of Nations Assembly in Geneva (11 September 1935), quoted in The Times (12 September 1935), p. 7

First Lord of the Admiralty

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  • A great proportion of the expenditure on Naval Defence is required to meet our Imperial, as distinct from our United Kingdom, obligations. The question must occur to all of us whether this little island can continue to shoulder the financial strain involved in maintaining, to so great an extent, the requisite standard of naval strength to ensure our Imperial security. It may well be that the safety of the British Commonwealth of Nations will depend on increased naval support from the Dominions.

Nine Troubled Years (1954)

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  • In Great Britain, the early months of 1935 witnessed an intensification of the partisan battle. The Left continued to clamour for disarmament. The insignificant increase of £4 millions in the Service Estimates, carefully explained and justified in a White Paper of March 5, brought down upon the Government a barrage of Opposition abuse. Herbert Morrison, for instance, whose party had just withdrawn the L.C.C. grant from the School Cadet Corps, declared in Bermondsey on March 13 that: "Toryism as represented by the National Government had resumed its historic role as the party of militarism and aggressive armaments." Even so open-minded and balanced a Liberal as Lothian was writing in The Times on March 11 in support of the German claim for equality and describing the inoffensive phrases in the White Paper as "an inadvertent carry over from pre-equality days."
    • pp. 130-131
  • [A] hymn of praise went up in response to the speech that Hitler made in the Reichstag on May 21 [1935]. In it he declared himself to be a man of peace who would faithfully carry out Germany's international obligations... The effect was exactly what he intended. All the pacifist forces in Great Britain were at once mobilised against the Government's rearmament proposals. The Parliamentary Labour Party immediately decided to vote against the air programme, and, backed by the Trade Union Congress and the National Executive of the Party, demanded a special international conference to take advantage of Hitler's magnificent offer. The religious leaders in the country were equally insistent that we should welcome with open arms Hitler's approach. Archbishop Temple and Dean Inge were for once found to be in agreement. "Hitler," wrote the Archbishop in The Times, "has made in the most deliberate manner offers which are a great contribution to the secure establishment of peace." "What an admirable letter!" responded the Dean three days afterwards. When Baldwin ventured to say a word of caution and to point out that the collective security of peace was still endangered by the absence of four Great Powers from the League, Herbert Morrison, using a metaphor that subsequently created an unfortunate precedent for Chamberlain, declared to the Fabian Society on May 24 that "The Government had either lost the boat or was in danger of losing it, and that Baldwin had missed the opportunity for a big, inspiring and mighty gesture."
    • p. 133

Quotes about Samuel Hoare

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I was amazed by his ambitions; I admired his imagination; I shared his ideals; I stood in awe of his intellectual capacity. But I was never touched by his humanity. He was the coldest fish with whom I have ever had to deal. ~ R. A. Butler
  • I was amazed by his ambitions; I admired his imagination; I shared his ideals; I stood in awe of his intellectual capacity. But I was never touched by his humanity. He was the coldest fish with whom I have ever had to deal.
  • He had a very sharp mind, along with a sharpness of facial outline that reflected his primly precise manner—which prompted "F. E.", Lord Birkenhead, with devastating aptness to describe him as "the last of a long line of maiden aunts". He also had an irritating mannerism of interjecting "Yes, yes" at short intervals in any conversation.
  • Hoare himself was a man who commanded at that time respect, if not affection. He had always proved an efficient Minister and, although his precise and rather mincing form of speech was uninspiring, his actual performances had been of a high Parliamentary order. In conducting the proposals for Indian reform over a long period—nearly four years—he had withstood the attacks both of the Right and the Left. Faced with the formidable and persistent opposition of Churchill and his friends, he had nevertheless brought his measure to a successful conclusion, with infinite patience and considerable courage. At a later stage in the pre- and post-Munich period, he degenerated intellectually and morally, and became one of the worst and most sycophantic of Neville Chamberlain's advisers. But in December 1935 it seemed inconceivable how he had fallen into so grave an error of judgement and of tactics as to put his name to so dangerous a document [the Hoare–Laval Pact]. The true explanation is that he was following, consciously or unconsciously, a double policy—of the League on the one hand, and of appeasement of Italy on the other. Such a dualism was self-contradictory and bound to lead to disaster. He was certainly in a low state of health when he left for his holiday, and unfit for business—especially with so tricky a customer as Laval. His accident in Switzerland could not have been more unfortunately timed, for he was prevented from returning immediately the storm began to gather. Yet, since Hoare was a man of modest stature and a certain prim correctness of speech and behaviour, even his misfortunes had something ridiculous about them. Middle-aged Foreign Secretaries should not go skating; and there were naturally endless witticisms about the thinness of the ice on which he had chosen to practise his skill at this particular crisis.
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