By C. Robert Cole
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Extra resources for Britain and the War of Words in Neutral Europe, 1939–45: The Art of the Possible
She had 'a roving commission from Campbell Stuart' and also worked in a 'vague way' (as Kelly put it) for the MOl and the BBC. Regular information channels were jealous, and Swiss authorities suspicious, of her ill-defined position. Meanwhile conflict went on everywhere between the FPD and Lord Davidson's Commercial Relations Division advisors, and with Davidson himself who liked to point out that 'certain of our press attaches are not first class men'. 53 Carr had sound reasons for throwing in the towel.
The total of all items dispatched for the period March 29-April 26 was 2 950 000. 87 The number increased steadily thereafter and distribution lumbered along at a still unsatisfactory pace. To what effect? Propaganda intelligence indicated a pro-allies press bias emerging in various nations and Rowland Kenney reported that a showing of The Lion Has Wings in Helsinki left Fieldmarshall Carl Gustav von Mannerheim and an audience of Finnish notables smiling and complimentary. However, the audi- 36 Britain and the War of Words in Neutral Europe ence was no more impressed than was Richard Syme by British soldiers portrayed as cheerfully lackadaisical.
In January Sir John Reith replaced 'the elderly Scots lawyer' Lord Macmillan as Minister of Information. This former BBC Director-General was himself a Scot whose dour Presbyterianism embraced an uncommon degree of Calvinist pessimism. Nearly everyone appalled him: Horace Wilson was 'fatuous', Lord Beaverbrook 'a dreadful man ... Evil he seems', and Winston Churchill'a horrid fellow'. Reith approached his post with misgivings and was hardly reassured by Chamberlain: 'One is told to do a job by a man who says one ought to do whatever one is asked to do, but who won't and can't tell you what the job is, or what, if any, support he will give'.
Britain and the War of Words in Neutral Europe, 1939–45: The Art of the Possible by C. Robert Cole