Samuel Hoare, 1st Viscount Templewood: Wikis

  

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The Right Honourable
 The Viscount Templewood 
GCSI GBE CMG PC


In office
7 June 1935 – 18 December 1935
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by Sir John Simon
Succeeded by Anthony Eden

In office
28 May 1937 – 3 September 1939
Monarch George VI
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Neville Chamberlain
Preceded by Sir John Simon
Succeeded by Sir John Anderson

Born 24 February 1880 (2010-03-13T22:12:57)
Died 7 May 1959 (2010-03-13T22:12:58)
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Spouse(s) Lady Maud Lygon
Alma mater New College, Oxford

Samuel John Gurney Hoare, 1st Viscount Templewood GCSI, GBE, CMG, PC (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.

Contents

Youth

He was a descendant of the Quaker Samuel Hoare and the son of Sir Samuel Hoare, 1st Baronet. Hoare was educated at Harrow and New College, Oxford.

Entry into politics

Hoare was first elected to the House of Commons at the January 1910 general election as Member of Parliament for Chelsea.

After serving in World War I as a soldier, and apparently on intelligence duties in Russia and in Italy, where he met (and recruited for MI5) the then unknown Benito Mussolini, Hoare returned to enter parliament and became one of the principal Conservatives who revolted against continued participation in the government of David Lloyd George in 1922. He was rewarded with the position of Secretary of State for Air, which he held in all the various Conservative governments of the 1920s.

When the Conservatives joined the National Government in 1931, Hoare became Secretary of State for India in which capacity he negotiated, with great difficulty, the passage of the landmark Government of India Act 1935. He was, however, most famous for his activities as Foreign Secretary beginning in 1935. In 1935, Hoare was instrumental in obtaining approval for the British rescue effort on behalf of endangered Jewish children in Europe known as the Kindertransport.

In the same year, Hoare dealt with the Italian invasion of Ethiopia. Together with French Prime Minister Pierre Laval, he developed the so-called Hoare-Laval Agreement, which would have granted Italy considerable territorial concessions in Ethiopia, and put the rump of Ethiopia under Italian hegemony. In his memoirs Hoare claimed that his intentions were twofold: to appease Italy to keep Mussolini away from a German alliance, and to find a compromise which preserved elements of the Ethiopian state from Mussolini. He admitted that his negotiations in Paris with Laval had caught him at a disadvantage. He noted that in the absence of the Hoare-Laval pact the Italians seized all of Ethiopia, and drew closer to Germany leading eventually to the destabilisation of Austria and the indefensibility of Czechoslovakia. The public uproar against this apparent sell-out of the Ethiopians led to Hoare's resignation as Foreign Secretary at the end of the year. His successor was Anthony Eden. When Eden had his first audience with King George V, the King is said to have remarked "No more coals to Newcastle, no more Hoares to Paris."

At least in retrospect Hoare stressed that he shared with Chamberlain's close allies a realist position - conscious of the need to prevent a military conjunction of Germany, Italy and Japan which would be too great for Britain's naval power unless France were to prove robust and the Americans would abandon their isolationism. The minority alternative which emerged, led in particular by Eden, would have confronted Italy without regard to the German threat.

Hoare quickly returned to important posts in government, at Baldwin's invitation. This was too quickly, Halifax thought, who criticised Baldwin for giving in to Hoare's importunity. Appointed First Lord of the Admiralty in 1936, Hoare vigorously endorsed Britain's naval rearmament, including ordering the first three King George V class battleships, and worked to reverse the subordination of the British naval aviation to the Royal Air Force. Hoare was consistently close to Chamberlain, on whose taking over from Baldwin, Hoare was moved to the Home Office. The descendant of Quaker prison reformers, he oversaw significant judicial reforms but these were largely held up by the advent of war in 1939: he had intended to abolish corporal punishment in prisons and had been keen to work towards the abolition of the death penalty, of whose risks he was very aware.

Along with Halifax and Simon he was a key member of Chamberlain's inner ministerial circle and his account of Munich is anguished. Hoare had close links to the Czech government. In retirement he stood strongly by Chamberlain's essential judgements, but regretted Chamberlain's lack of sensitivity in foreign affairs, and his tendency for personal intervention which not only led to his failure to retain Eden, but overrode his Foreign Office advisers. But as Hoare repeatedly points out, public opinion was vociferously pacifist and Chamberlain's actions were widely endorsed, not least by Roosevelt. The Labour opposition strongly opposed rearmament and the introduction of conscription, even after Munich. But in spring 1939 Hoare aligned himself very firmly with Chamberlain's upbeat belief that war was now unlikely, rather than with Halifax's increasing focus on shoring up alliances and rearming for a conflict that to the Foreign Secretary seemed imminent.

Hoare after the outbreak of World War II

On the outbreak of war, Hoare became Lord Privy Seal in the War Cabinet, with a wide-ranging brief, until the downfall of the Chamberlain regime. Hoare was one of the foremost Chamberlain loyalists, and was shocked at the apparent disloyalty of others such as Halifax. In May 1940 the resignations of Hoare, Simon and Kingsley Wood were essential conditions for the broadening of the Chamberlain government.

On Winston Churchill's appointment as Prime Minister in 1940, Hoare lost his cabinet position, and was after some months of unemployment, sent as Ambassador to Spain, with his wife Lady Maud Hoare. In this demanding and critical role he sought to encourage Francisco Franco, whom he loathed and whom he found a puzzling and obtuse interlocutor, to keep Spain out of the war, in which he was successful. His fluent memoir of this period "Ambassador on Special Mission" is an excellent insight into the day to day life of a demanding diplomatic position; his primary challenge was to dissuade Franco from his preferred drift to the axis, while preventing the Allies from reacting with undue haste to repeated Spanish provocations.

Hoare's memoir however is not completely frank about his deployment of an array of bluff, leaks, bribery and subterfuge to disrupt unfriendly elements in Franco's regime, and the operations of the German Embassy; but they were remembered fondly by his team.

He remained Ambassador until 1944 when, with the issue of the war no longer in doubt, he returned to Britain and was raised to the peerage as Viscount Templewood, of Chelsea in the County of Middlesex. The baronetcy and peerage became extinct upon his death in 1959.

Hoare was an impressive and hard working politician, bored if not at the heart of public affairs. He was literate and widely read in several languages, especially French, but appears also to have picked up a command of the Spanish language and its literature during his embassy there. He was a keen tennis player, and on his dismissal from office in 1935 convalesced in Switzerland by practising for a skating contest. His career would now be hard to match for longevity or the range of pressures he faced: demanding work in Russia and Italy during World War I, followed by the good fortune to be part of the wave of young Conservative propelled into the 1922 government, which ensured he spent most of the next 18 years in increasingly senior Cabinet positions, followed by four years in a gruelling and thankless embassy in Fascist Spain.

Newly uncovered documents show that Britain’s overseas intelligence service helped Benito Mussolini finance his first forays into Italian politics. Hoping to keep Italy on its side in 1917, during World War I, MI5 gave Mussolini, then 34 and editor of a right-wing newspaper, the equivalent of what’s now $9,500 a week to keep propaganda flowing.[1]

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References

External links

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Emslie John Horniman
Member of Parliament for Chelsea
19101944
Succeeded by
William Sidney
Political offices
Preceded by
Frederick Guest
Secretary of State for Air
1922–1924
Succeeded by
The Lord Thomson
Preceded by
The Lord Thomson
Secretary of State for Air
1924–1929
Succeeded by
The Lord Thomson
Preceded by
William Wedgwood Benn
Secretary of State for India
1931–1935
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Zetland
Preceded by
Sir John Simon
Foreign Secretary
1935
Succeeded by
Anthony Eden
Preceded by
The Viscount Monsell
First Lord of the Admiralty
1936–1937
Succeeded by
Duff Cooper
Preceded by
Sir John Simon
Home Secretary
1937–1939
Succeeded by
Sir John Anderson
Preceded by
Sir John Anderson
Lord Privy Seal
1939–1940
Succeeded by
Sir Kingsley Wood
Preceded by
Sir Kingsley Wood
Secretary of State for Air
1940
Succeeded by
Sir Archibald Sinclair
Preceded by
?
Ambassador to Spain
1940–1944
Succeeded by
Sir Victor Mallet
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Samuel Hoare
Baronet
(of Sidestrand Hall)
1915–1959
Extinct
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Templewood
1944–1959
Extinct
Academic offices
Preceded by
Sir Austen Chamberlain
Chancellor of the University of Reading
1937–1959
Succeeded by
Lord Bridges







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