Neville Chamberlain (1869-1940), Conservative politician, Prime Minister 1937-40. The majority in Britain hoped that a peaceful solution could be found for Germany's claim on areas of other countries with German population, and Chamberlain was a willing spokesman for this policy of appeasement. With the agreement at Munich in 1938 he effectively abandoned Czechoslovakia, but immediately accelerated Britain's rearmament program and the following year declared that Britain would defend Poland. This commitment led, in September 1939, to the start of World War II. He brought into his War Cabinet the leading opponent of appeasement, Winston Churchill. The failure of the campaign in Norway in April 1940 led to his resignation.
Dr Graham Macklin is manager of the research service at the National Archives. His main academic interests were in British fascism, post-war fascism, and right-wing terrorism. He is working on a biography of the British fascist A K Chesterton, which entailed looking closely at areas of Chamberlain's politics which are often ignored, such as the close relationship in those years between Conservative Central Office and the fascist fringe magazine Truth.