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The Goodlet diaries: Week 19

The Goodlet diaries: Week 19

May 2, 2016
Ealing-Broadway. Lyon's is to the left of Barrett's.

Lyon’s for tea and coffee (see picture above); it is a bit of a theme in week 19 of the serialisation of Alexander Goodlet’s diary from 80 years ago in 1936. As well as worrying about domestic affairs in the Goodlet household, the Ealing resident also turns his attentions to the alarming goings on at the League of Nations. You can read the introduction to this series, and remind yourself of the characters, here.

Monday, 4.5.36

Up at lunch time and thereafter went along to the School, where Mr Stanley and I put in 5 good hours bricklaying and stone masoning work on the bath.

Made a very good job too, and the whole work was a pleasure, being in beautiful warm sunshine. Home rather late to dinner and then, after typing a letter for the Pater, went down Ealing to post it and visit the Aunts. Met J.D., who had previously telephoned, and had a drink with him in Lyon’s. Found the Aunts well and busy, but like ourselves financially right up against things.

News in the world is not far too seek today. The Emperor Haile Selassie is reported to be on the way to Haifa on HMS Enterprise, while our consul (Sir S. Barton) has done magnificent work in rescuing the staffs of the other white legations from the rioters in Addis Ababa.

Then, the Socialists have completely wiped the board in the final French election, while the Wafdists (Egyptian National Socialists) have done the same in the Egyptian elections. Verily, changes and events.

Tuesday 5.5.36

Slept until 2 p.m., but for the first time for many months rose feeling well rested. Joan and the youngsters were here for tea. I took them home at 5.30 and then went shopping in Acton for the Mater. Dinner over reasonably early and after clearing up I went for a stroll, it being a delightful evening, and dropped into Kidd’s for a chat for ten minutes or so.

The situation here is the last limit of exasperation and danger; not a word comes from Spain, Paris or even London and all told we have about 6s left. And this after seven years on the rack.

In the Great World affairs continue to agitate. Mussolini declares that the whole of Abyssinia is annexed to Italy. In today’s newspapers it is revealed that the R.N. chiefs last year told the Foreign Office that the Navy could not stand up to an Italian attack. Pretty fine, ‘pon my word. Considering the immense sums of money they’ve swallowed in the past years. France, too is still wanting to fox on sanctions. What a world.

Wednesday 6.5.36

Worked very late last night on the mounting and setting of the eccentrics and wheels on the Rocket. Not too bad a job. Rose for lunch and was fairly busy in the afternoon. The Mater, Pater and I had tea together and I amused myself taking our photographs. Went for a walk before dinner and after it went to Lyon’s where J.D. and I had coffee, afterwards taking a walk over Hanger Hill.

Since 11p.m. the Pater and I have sat discussing the present international situation, or rather situations, for there are dozens of them. First Mussolini calmly states that Abyssinia has ceased to exist and that the territory is now completely Italian. An interesting sidelight here is that Marshal Badoglio says that what he has achieved has been done for Italy and the Army; no mention here of Mussolini or Fascism.

Another small, but tragic, item is that Dr Melly, of our Red Cross, has died in Addis Ababa from a wound by an Abyssinian rioter.

Today a hot debate in the House on foreign policy. From which several interesting points emerge. Sir A. Chamberlain says that at the beginning he was quite prepared to enforce sanctions to the point of war, but neither the country nor the Opposition would have stood for it. Now he thinks the whole thing should go by default. Eden says that really effective sanctions never had a chance to be imposed owing to the bad faith of several nations; meaning, of course, France. Sir S. Hoare says we should now abandon the League and all its commitments and return to our traditional independence, guaranteeing only the Low Countries and the French channel ports.

The Pater thinks that Eden on Monday will at the League demand more and stricter sanctions, and if the French do not back up this Britain will then formally abandon the League and all her treaties under it. Rather one in the eye for the French. Of course such a course would mean retarding the establishment of international law and sanity for half a century; but it certainly is the only course we can take. If on the other hand France backs up sanctions it means finis to Mussolini and his brigands.

A third possibility, an unpleasant one, is a combined hostile France and Italy in the Mediterranean. But that would mean universal war, I think. The Scandinavian powers are so disgusted at the position that they are meeting among themselves to consider leaving the League.

A judicial tribunal is to sit to sift the Budget leakages. Meanwhile, Lloyds are paying up.

At a sitting of the Arms Commission today Mr Lloyd George affirmed that broken promises and contracts by British armaments firms had gravely handicapped Russia in the war and led in great measure to her collapse.

Things here still in the same petrified state, and on word of money or business.

Am not well, confound it.

Thursday 7.5.36

Woke at lunch time to learn that the Aunts had been in, in rather an ill temper, and had gone off banging the door behind them. Found that the Doc., like a sportsman, had sent along some funds, so I went down to the bank and was enabled to draw some money.

Home again and settled down to a great mass of correspondence, writing the income tax people and many others for Pater and self.

Stanley did not come to dinner, but turned up at nine, and later Kidd, J.D. and E.B. came in. We sailed two interesting races, the second of which was a most varied and desperate one and was won by Mr Stanley. Walked to Horn Lane as usual…

Friday, 8.5.36

Slept until lunchtime, but awoke still feeling rather rotten, as I have for some time past. Busy all the afternoon and typed a long letter for the Pater. After tea, to the post in Ealing and to the Library.

Have put in a very quiet evening at home. Spent a long time discussing with Buzz my proposed new naval wargame (modern version).

I am afraid the strain of these awful days is telling on the Mater again; her head aches a lot too much these days and her nerves are in pieces. She has wisely gone to bed very early tonight. Poor Dad has had no word of business and really I think such treatment shocking.

The country is still agitated on the question of sanctions or no sanctions and there is a big meeting of the League of Nations Union in the Albert Hall tonight. It is interesting to note that the Vatican quietly vetoed Mussolini’s idea of crowning the King of Italy Roman Emperor.

Letter this morning from Daniel.

Saturday, 9.5.36

Did not get to bed until 6.15 and then did not sleep until after seven. Rose for lunch dead tired and was sorry to find the Mater still under the weather and feeling very done up. She wisely went to bed after lunch and slept until tea time, when she awoke looking much better.

After tea went shopping in Ealing and called on the Aunts.  Have been busy on routine work since dinner and now, 11.30, hope to put in a care free hour or two on the Rocket.

There has been little of note as far as the family situation goes; the same uncanny dead end is still maintained. It’s weird and exasperating.

The big new German airship Hindenburg has arrived in USA after a record passage over the Atlantic.

The Albert Hall Sanctions meeting last night seems to have been pretty unanimous for them.

Sunday 10.5.36

Up at lunchtime (very tired), having put in a long 5 ½ hours’ spell on the steam chests of the Rocket last night and only getting to bed at 7.30 a.m.
Kidd, Joan and family were over to tea and afterwards strolled home with them to inspect a remarkably clever spindle counting machine that Kidd had devised and made since yesterday afternoon.

After dinner went up to post a letter for the Mater and have spent an hour assisting the youngsters on the design of layout for their proposed model Lynton and Barnstaple Railway.

The Mater has had a busy day but seems a bit better and has gone off early to bed; it’s only 11.55 now. I won’t do anymore tonight, just skim through the papers and push off too…