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(Neville, 1869-1940, Prime Minister)
Fine Autograph Letter Signed to 'Dear George'
telling his correspondent that he is leaving for "Aberdeenshire without having found any further opportunity to avail myself of your hospitable offer ... I should certainly have come again if I had not been fully occupied. The weather has been terribly unsettled and has no doubt diminished everyone's bag ... I was shooting with Atholl yesterday. We got 83 brace but I believe if we had had a decent day we might well have got 120 brace. On Saturday I went with my son and another boy to one of Wentworth's lochs for the afternoon only. We had 2 in the boat & one fishing from the shore but as none of us had anything longer than gumboots we could not reach far enough to do much good. However we got 7 from the shore & 34 in the boat making 41 trout which weighed 13lbs 6ozs practically 3 to the lb. Wentworth was rather astonished so I suppose we were more than usually successful ...", 2 sides 4to., Dalchosnie, Kinloch Rannoch, Perthshire, 4th September
After the 1931 general election, Ramsay MacDonald appointed Chamberlain as Chancellor of the Exchequer. He presented his first budget in April 1932. He maintained the severe budget cuts that had been agreed to at the inception of the National Government. Chamberlain hoped that a cancellation of the war debt owed to the United States could be negotiated. In June 1933, Britain hosted the World Monetary and Economic Conference. The Conference came to nothing. US President Franklin Roosevelt sent word that he would not consider any war debt cancellation. By 1934, Chamberlain was able to declare a budget surplus and restore many of the cuts in unemployment compensation and civil servant salaries he had made after taking office. He told the Commons "We have now finished the story of Bleak House and are sitting down this afternoon to enjoy the first chapter of Great Expectations".
Defence spending was heavily cut in Chamberlain's early budgets. By 1935, faced with a resurgent Germany under Hitler's leadership, he was convinced of the need for rearmament. Chamberlain especially urged the strengthening of the Royal Air Force, realising that Britain's traditional bulwark, the English Channel, was no defence against air power.
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