July 1, 1935

During his so-called ‘wilderness years’ of the 1930s, Churchill had many detractors on both sides of the House, though he also had his supporters. Some were passing him top-secret information from the Foreign Office, which clearly indicated Germany was rebuilding her defences, and possibly building offensive capabilities.

Churchill continued to speak out on the importance of rebuilding Britain’s air defences throughout this period and at the beginning of July 1935, the new Secretary of State for Air Sir Phillip Cunliffe-Lister asked newly installed Prime Minister Stanly Baldwin if Churchill could join the Air Defence Research sub-committee of the Committee for Imperial Defence. Baldwin readily agreed. He and Churchill exchanged several letters setting the terms such that Churchill would still be free to argue his position on the state of Britain’s air defences.

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