Churchill Declines to Commit Himself

Thursday 26th November 1936

Behind the Scenes


Baldwin began to prepare for a possible outright constitutional crisis by sounding out the major political figures outside government. The threat of tendering formal advice to the King would be all the more potent if the King had little prospect of forming an alternative government. Baldwin had no difficulty with the leaders of the Labour or opposition Liberal parties, who both promised their support. Labour’s leader, Clem Attlee, committed his party to not forming a pro-King government, even though some more radical elements notably Hugh Dalton, whom he had recently defeated for the leadership, felt the crisis should be exploited. Only Winston Churchill declined to give Baldwin unconditional support and reserved his position.

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