E. F. L. Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax
Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, (16 April 1881 – 23 December 1959), known as The Lord Irwin from 1925 until 1934 and as The Viscount Halifax from 1934 until 1944, was one of the most senior British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 politicians of the 1930s, during which he held several senior ministerial posts, most notably as Foreign Secretary from 1938 to 1940. As such he is often regarded as one of the architects of the policy of appeasement
The term appeasement is commonly understood to refer to a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to another power. Historian Paul Kennedy defines it as "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and...

 prior to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...


Instead of deluding public opinion with a notion that a sufficient application of force will provide a remedy, a wiser course would be to set about taking such steps as may be the means of recovering that consent without which society in Ireland cannot exist...[an offer should be made to the Irish] conceived on the most generous lines.

Speech in Parliament on the Irish insurgency after the Great War. Quoted in Lord Birkenhead, Halifax (Hamish Hamilton, 1965), pp. 121-2.

Though I am, as you know, a pacifist by nature, I am not disposed to go to all lengths to meet people who seem to be behaving with utter unreason.

Letter to William Wedgwood Benn, quoted in Birkenhead, p. 275.

[It is] a question of personal appeal and conviction, rather than any argument. The cards I fancy are sympathy, understanding of his hopes, suspicions and disappointments, but above all, striving to convey to him, through what one says, a real echo of the sincerity that pervaded your doings in London.

Letter of 16 February, 1931. Quoted in Birkenhead, p. 296.

[The Hore-Laval proposals] were not so frightfully different from those put forward by the Committee of Five. But the latter were of respectable parentage: and the Paris ones were too much like the off-the-stage arrangements of nineteenth-century diplomacy.

In 1935. Quoted in Keith Feiling, A Life of Neville Chamberlain (Macmillan, 1970), p. 275.

Nothing was more likely to aggravate the difficulties of the present situation than any suggestions that our ultimate objective was to unite France, Italy and ourselves against Germany.

To the Cabinet (15 March, 1938).