By P. Neville
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Extra info for Appeasing Hitler: The Diplomacy of Sir Nevile Henderson, 1937-39
87 Subsequently he had second thoughts and asked the Foreign Office if he could stay on in Belgrade while the situation in Yugoslavia remained unsettled. The Department then offered Henderson the Embassy in Buenos Aires instead. This was a devastating blow. Buenos Aires was certainly not 'in the First Eleven', to use Vansittart's phrase, and Henderson regarded it as a demotion. He poured out his distress to Lancelot Oliphant in a personal letter, who replied by saying that he was The Emergent Diplomat 19 only more than grieved that your recent selection hurts so much....
4 This interpretation rather plays down the importance of the April interview to which Henderson refers in his memoirs. Yet according to the British Foreign Policy Document series, 'Henderson worked out for himself the line he would follow in Berlin. The editors note that Henderson said nothing in Failure of a Mission about a Foreign Office briefing prior to his departure, or indeed what the Foreign Office thought about the current state of Anglo-German relations. P. Conwell Evans, the maverick English professor who taught at Konigsberg University, and had links with the Berlin Embassy, 20 A Man with a Mission 21 subsequently claimed, however, that Henderson had offered him an alternative explanation for his line.
Dissatisfaction with Phipps's performance was at the root of the decision to move Henderson to Berlin. A whispering campaign was initiated against Phipps, who was judged to be too anti-Nazi in his approach. Vansittart was sufficiently concerned about the attacks to write to Baldwin's Private Secretary on 31 March 1936, although Phipps was not actually moved for another year. 8 Phipps had to go, but why was Henderson selected as his successor? Part of the explanation is provided by the analysis in the previous chapter.