1st earl of Halifax, Edward Wood

(1881—1959) politician and diplomat

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British Conservative politician. From 1925 to 1931 he was governor-general and viceroy of India (as Lord Irwin), and was involved in that country's struggle for independence. Halifax, who favoured dominion status for the subcontinent, ordered the imprisonment of Mahatma Gandhi after the Salt March. As a member of Chamberlain's government, he visited Germany and met Hitler. An advocate of appeasement, Halifax accepted the post of Foreign Secretary in 1938 on Eden's resignation. He accepted, de facto, the Anschluss of Austria and the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia after the Munich Pact. Halifax refused an invitation to Moscow, thus losing the chance of agreement with the Soviet Union, and leaving the door open for Hitler and Stalin to draw up the Nazi–Soviet pact. During World War II he was British ambassador to the USA.

Subjects: History.

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