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GREAT BRITAIN: From Fitzhardinge Street

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Adolf Hitler last week climbed in the British. Who’s Who, issued for 1939 in London, from five to 29 lines. This week, as the Aquitania neared Manhattan, many thumbed Who’s Who for what it says about this Cunarder’s No. 1 and No. 2 passengers of the week, the Edens. Namely, on p. 1005:

“EDEN, RT. HON. (ROBERT) ANTHONY, P.O. 1934; M.C., J.P., D.C.L. Oxford, 1936 and Durham, 1937; Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs since 1935; M.P. (C.) Warwick and Leamington since 1923; Trustee of National Gallery since 1935; 2nd surv. s. of late Sir William Eden, 7th and 5th Bart.; b. 12 June 1897; m. 1923, Beatrice Helen, d. of Hon. Sir Gervase Beckett, 1st Bart.; two s. Educ.: Eton, Christ Church, Oxford; B.A. First Class Honours (Oriental languages), 1922. Formerly Captain King’s Royal Rifle Corps; served World War, 1915-19, with his regiment, and as G.S.O.3, and as Brigade Major (M.C.) ; contested Spennymoor Division of Durham, 1922; attended Imperial Press Conference, Melbourne, 1925; Parliamentary Private Secretary to Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Sir Austen Chamberlain, K.G.), 1926-29; Parliamentary Under Secretary, Foreign Office, 1931-33; Lord Privy Seal, 1934-35; Minister without Portfolio for League of Nations Affairs, 1935. Publication: Places in the Sun. Address: 17 Fitzhardinge Street, W.I. T.: Welbeck 7817. Clubs: Carlton, Hurlingham.

Between these last lines can be read the most remarkable career of any young Britisher of present times. The long-sighted rulers of the Empire prefer that a man should show some spark of rebellion, and very definitely of idealism, early. No spark, no spunk. No Character. Eden has Idealism—and Character—and in 1935 he became at 38 the youngest British Foreign Secretary in living memory.

“One of Us.” Not everyone remembers that “Tony” Eden was one of the few who have ever taken First Class Honors at Oxford in the extremely difficult Oriental Languages. When Queen Victoria yet reigned everyone knew of the celebrated quarrel of obstinate Artist Whistler and obstinate Baronet Sir William Eden over the price of the beautiful painting by Whistler of Mr. Anthony Eden’s mother. Today everyone knows that in 1935 a most important British General Election was won by the Conservatives, partly because “the country” believed Anthony Eden was somehow going to make of the League of Nations a shining sword and with it slay the Dictators.

It did not come to pass. In resigning this year from the Chamberlain Cabinet, because, in fact, the Prime Minister was constantly going over the head of Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden (as he now constantly goes over the head of Lord Halifax—who approves), Mr. Eden did something of great simplicity and courage.

“Modern World.” Anthony Eden comes now to the U. S. to address the annual dinner in Manhattan at the Hotel WaldorfAstoria of the National Association of Manufacturers. He will speak on Democracy and the Modern World. Before the Edens sailed from Southampton last week, Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax declared to the House of Lords: “Mr. Eden … is going to the United States not as a Cabinet Minister, but with the fullest assent and approbation of the British Government. I have no doubt but that his visit will be extremely valuable in establishing contacts.” Seven-year-old Son Nicholas, before solemnly saying good-by to Father Eden at Southampton, admonished: “Now you have a big job on!” Said Anthony Eden to the press: “My wife and I are glad, at last, to have this chance of visiting the United States. . . . We have to be back at home for the Christmas holidays with the children.”

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