10 May 1893|
Regent's Park, London, UK.
In 1940, Lonsdale-Bryans travelled to Italy to meet Ulrich von Hassell, the German ambassador to Italy. He believed von Hassell would be receptive to the idea of a pact between Britain and Germany at the outbreak of World War II. The terms of this pact were that Germany would have a free hand in Europe in return for Britain running the rest of the world. However, he unsuccessfully attempted to arrange a meeting with both U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower and British General Bernard Montgomery.
Lonsdale-Bryans had the ear of several members of British Parliament, including Lord Halifax, but the level of support of said MPs is unknown. A handwritten note by the MI5 stated: "He went to Italy with the knowledge of the Foreign Office in order to develop his contacts. He greatly exceeded his instructions."
MI5 decided against having him arrested, due to the possible support he was receiving from members of Parliament (potentially including Neville Chamberlain), and the embarrassment this would have caused. Lonsdale-Bryan was on friendly terms with powerful members of the British aristocracy, including the Duke of Buccleuch and Lord Brocket, who also were Nazi sympathizers.
When Winston Churchill succeeded Chamberlain as Prime Minister, Lord Halifax remained as Foreign Secretary until, in January 1941, he was sent to Washington as British Ambassador. Lonsdale-Bryans's political influence therefore disappeared.
- National Archives: catalogue reference KV/2/2839 - Image 5
- 1901 Census of Great Britain
- Brit's WWII Nazi Deal Plan Unveiled
- http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/30/wayward.diplomat.ap/index.html[dead link]
- National Archives: catalogue reference KV/2/2839 - Image 4
- UK diplomat sought deal with Nazis, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 2, 2008
- BBC News