22nd February 1938
Anthony Eden resigned last Sunday (20th February) as British Foreign Secretary.
Eden has opposed the Prime Minister Chamberlain’s approach to the Fascist rise in Europe and has become somewhat of a dissenter in the Conservative Government, much like Churchill, although the two of them don’t get along. His objection to Chamberlain’s negotiation with Mussolini appears to have been the trigger point. Eden has stated that the existing agreement whereby Italy stays out of Spain stands, while Chamberlain is playing along with renegotiating Mussolini’s promise. Meanwhile, Italian forces are gathering in Spain regardless of any agreement that may be in place or under negotiation. Eden’s stance is that Mussolini should at least honour the first agreement before they talk about any new terms. How could there be any trust on a new agreement with ongoing blatant disregard for the first one.
Despite speculation that Eden would become a rallying point for those opposed to Chamberlain, this hasn’t materialised. Eden has become somewhat withdrawn from his parliamentary colleagues and suffers from a fairly low popularity as a result of his lukewarm opposition to the policies of appeasement.
Chamberlain has announced Halifax will replace Eden as Foreign Secretary.
In other news: The hard fought gains by the Spanish Republicans in Teruel have been reversed, with Franco’s forces retaking the city in the last couple of days. The Nationalists finally took the city and cut off around 14,500 Republican Troops who were in a general withdrawal from the area. Most of the Republicans have made it out safely. Colourful Republican Commander El Campesino leads the cut-off troops who are still attempting to break out to safety.
Nationalist report finding 10,000 Republican bodies in the city. The Republicans are now at a severe disadvantage, with the losses of men and materiel likely to be difficult to replace.