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Munich: Kennedy v. Churchill

JFK sets the record straight

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In your June 9 Letters Column, Randolph S. Churchill says TIME was wrong in referring to Czechoslovakia as “Britain’s ally” and denounces the “holier than thou” attitude adopted by some Americans towards the English in regard to Munich, and states that England had no more moral or legal obligation to defend Czechoslovakia than had the U.S. Mr. Churchill implies that the respective positions of Great Britain and the U.S. towards Czechoslovakia were on a par …

Britain’s military alliance with France under the Locarno Pact of 1925 … although it did not guarantee Czechoslovakia against aggression as it did Belgium, made it inevitable that if France went to war to fulfill its own direct obligation under the Franco-Czech Treaty of 1924, England would be drawn in … England was deeply committed, by her treaty with France and by her official actions …The illustrious father of Mr. Churchill has admitted that Great Britain was deeply involved and that “it must be recorded with regret that the British Government not only acquiesced but encouraged the French Government in a fatal course” (Churchill, The Gathering Storm).

The U.S. had no political involvement in Europe in 1938 … President Roosevelt never sent congratulations to Mussolini for arranging the Munich Conference, as alleged by Randolph Churchill … The President’s telegram to Mussolini on Sept. 27 was a final appeal asking Mussolini to intervene with Hitler …