PRE­CUR­SOR TO WAR

New Zealand Listener - - LETTERS -

Paul Thomas writes ( Sport, Novem­ber 11) that in 1939, we fol­lowed the UK into World War II, with Prime Min­is­ter Michael Joseph Sav­age say­ing, “Where [Bri­tain] goes, we go.” But as Ger­ald Hens­ley writes in Be­yond the Bat­tle­field: New Zealand and Its Al­lies 1939-45, New Zealand was crit­i­cal of pre­war-Bri­tain’s ap­pease­ment pol­icy in Abyssinia (Ethiopia), China and Spain.

In 1937, New Zealand wanted to add “by Ja­panese planes” to a League of Na­tions res­o­lu­tion con­demn­ing the bomb­ing of towns in China, a pro­posal op­posed by Bri­tain and Aus­tralia. The dec­la­ra­tion of war in 1939 marked the aban­don­ment of ap­pease­ment by Bri­tain and France. John Wil­son (John­sonville, Welling­ton)

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