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Old March 6th, 2015, 09:58 AM   #11

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I suspect that by 1940 the days of a PM in the House of Lords were over, and Halifax wouldn't have been able to command a majority in the Commons on a motion of No Confidence, and would have been out of office with a flea (or something larger) in the appropriate orifice in short order.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 10:22 AM   #12

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If Halifax had become PM in May 1940 I think he would have tried to negotiate a peace with Hitler

If Hitler was smart, he would have simply demanded Britain accepts new political borders in Europe - maybe Germany gets parts of the Netherlands, Luxembourg and of course parts of Poland

Halifax would have a far harder task of accepting any peace that included Britain giving up an inch of territory...it would follow that Mussolini is told he can't invade British Egypt...though he gets a bit of France and Greece etc

If a peace is agreed then the war ends

A new Germany-Soviet war erupts the following year with no UK (and therefore no US) support. German gets an extra armored corps plus all the resources it historically wasted in the Mediterranean and the Battle of Britain, Battle of the Atlantic and the allied bomber offensive
It might also follow that Germany is not and overseas trade and therefore can import scarce resources it was historically short of

The Wehrmacht is significantly stronger in Russia and the Red Army is weaker

Germany might defeat the USSR
The thing is, though, that even if Britain and Nazi Germany sign a peace treaty in late 1940, then Britain (and very possibly the U.S. as well) might still provide a lot of aid to the Soviet Union due to the fact that it might view the Soviet Union as being a lesser threat than Nazi Germany. Plus, I could be wrong on this, but as far as I know, Stalin refused to believe reports that Nazi Germany will soon invade the Soviet Union; if Nazi Germany would have already made peace with Britain by that point in time, then perhaps Stalin will be more likely to believe these reports and thus be willing to make preparations for the event of a Nazi German invasion of the Soviet Union.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 02:15 PM   #13

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Originally Posted by Ur-Lugal View Post
I suspect that by 1940 the days of a PM in the House of Lords were over, and Halifax wouldn't have been able to command a majority in the Commons on a motion of No Confidence, and would have been out of office with a flea (or something larger) in the appropriate orifice in short order.
Why not ?
In at least the first days of his leadership he would have been in a stronger position than Churchill was. He had the support of a larger number of Conservative MP's than Churchill, and the Labour and Liberal parties had raised no objection to working with either Halifax or Churchill in a coalition.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 02:23 PM   #14

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Why not ?
In at least the first days of his leadership he would have been in a stronger position than Churchill was. He had the support of a larger number of Conservative MP's than Churchill, and the Labour and Liberal parties had raised no objection to working with either Halifax or Churchill in a coalition.
I'll buy that - until there was a major event, and he had to delegate explaining it to the Commons. I doubt if he would have got through that.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 02:31 PM   #15

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I'll buy that - until there was a major event, and he had to delegate explaining it to the Commons. I doubt if he would have got through that.
He could explain it to the Commons, he just wouldn't have been allowed to vote on any of the issues.
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Old March 6th, 2015, 02:37 PM   #16

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He could explain it to the Commons, he just wouldn't have been allowed to vote on any of the issues.
One of us is obviously mistaken on this point. I don't think that, even as PM, he had a right of audience, but you may well be better informed than I am.
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Old March 7th, 2015, 01:44 PM   #17
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The thing is, though, that even if Britain and Nazi Germany sign a peace treaty in late 1940, then Britain (and very possibly the U.S. as well) might still provide a lot of aid to the Soviet Union...
Unlikely - if Britain had agreed a peace with Hitler, there would have been no support to Stalin the following year as this would see conflict between British and German forces
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Old March 7th, 2015, 01:51 PM   #18
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He could explain it to the Commons, he just wouldn't have been allowed to vote on any of the issues.
Yes but he couldn't speak in the House of Commons

A deputy would have to speak for him there

It has generally been accepted that a peer, sitting in the house of Lords, cannot become PM (although today a peer can stand for election in the house of commons without renouncing his/her peerage)
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Old March 7th, 2015, 03:03 PM   #19

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The position of Prime Minister is decided by the ruling party in the House Of Commons, and they can decide on the candidate by whatever means they wish, and in 1940 it was Chamberlain who made the decision after discussing it with just a few senior members of the Conservative Party.
It should also be noted that Halifax was Chamberlains first choice for the position, but Churchill got the role when it became clear that Halifax didn't really want to become PM.
More importantly Churchill wouldn't serve under Halifax.
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Old March 7th, 2015, 03:06 PM   #20

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More importantly Churchill wouldn't serve under Halifax.
He stated he would if he had to in a conversation with Brenden Bracken before the meeting with Chamberlain

Last edited by redcoat; March 7th, 2015 at 03:22 PM.
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