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32 The effect of the crisis within Czechoslovakia itself was also severe. The British Military Attache in Prague reported on his visit to the Sudetenland about a week after the acute danger had passed. Czechoslovak troops were 'at once feared, despised and hated': a somewhat astonishing observation, since units of the army were deliberately composed of a mixture of races. ' 33 The Czechs were sorely tempted to derive the lesson that the Nazis- Sudeten or Reich German- had been bluffing, and their bluff had been called.

Runciman was able to bring the parties together again, and talks were resumed on 24 August. The following day, the Runciman Mission reported confidentially that the Czechs were prepared to make proposals not far from the Karlsbad points; three autonomous Sudeten districts would be set up, from which Czech police would be removed; while Czech a~d German officials would be exchanged. 59 Henderson saw this development as a greatly opportunity. 60 The British Government, proposed the Ambassador, should urge the French to inform their Czech clients that unless the proposal was accepted they would be left to their fate; while, simultaneously, Britain should tell Germany that if she used force to upset such a solution, Britain would regard that as a casus belli.

Whether deservedly or not, Lloyd George was very widely distrusted; he had been out of office for fifteen years, and his age and political affiliations both made it exceedingly unlikely that he would ever return. Churchill appeared to some as an irresponsible, Puckish figure; to others as a tragic case of a brilliant young politician who had passed through a middle age of anticlimax. First requirement of any scheme designed to contain Germany was a THE FLOOD GATES OPEN very close diplomatic alliance between Britain and France.

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