895R. F. W. F. Smith to Harrod, 14 February 1939 [a]

Lord Birkenhead thanks Harrod for his letter of the 23rd. He does not altogether agree with Harrod's opinion on the situation in Spain, but would like to discuss it over with him. [1]

  1. 1. Smith (Lord Birkenhead) was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Edward Frederick Lindley Wood (Lord Halifax), the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1938-39. Harrod later approached Birkenhead again on issues of international policy: in March 1939 he wrote on Poland, suggesting that Birkenhead passed his letter on to the government. Birkenhead replies on 31 March, communicating that the government had already decided to act in precisely the sense Harrod suggested (in HP IV-73-84). In July Harrod wrote on Dantzig, arguing that only making speeches about it was quite futile (Birkenhead to Harrod, 12 July 1939, in HP IV-73-84. In a letter to his wife, Harrod commented that although he was aware that Lord Birkenhead was a regular right-wing, he tries nonetheless to get at him in the hope that he would be sound on foreign affairs and air raids: <26> July 1939, in HPBL Add. 72777/272-73).

    Harrod also approached other Members of Parliament on foreign policy. In May he wrote to R. T. D. Acland, Liberal MP for Barnstaple division, Devon, suggesting that Halifax was opposed to military alliance with Russia. Acland reported that Sinclair suggested that Harrod should write to Lord Strabolgi (Joseph Montague Kenworthy, the opposition chief whip in the House of Lords, 1938-42) about Halifax, as there was more opportunity for harrying him in the Lords (<9 May 1939>, in HP VI-521). Harrod acted as suggested, and Strabolgi passed Harrod's "valuable opinion" on to a number of his parliamentary colleagues, including Lloyd George (Strabolgi to Harrod, 12 and 16 May 1939, in HP VI/507a-508a). Harrod noted on Strabolgi's second letter that "Lloyd George `agrees entirely with Mr. Harrod's letter'".

    1. a. From 12, Chester Street, Belgrave Square, S.W.1. # , one page TLS, in HP VI-519.

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