In Britain, the Munich agreement was greeted with cheers. But Winston Churchill, then alienated by the government and one of the few to oppose Hitler`s appeasement, called it a “monstrous catastrophe.” In a debate in the House of Commons, Winston Churchill, then a member of Epping, contradicted the request of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir John Simon, to “reaffirm the policy of Her Majesty`s government which avoided war in the recent crisis.” For the Members of Parliament at the time, a vote in favour of John Simon`s motion would indicate the approval of the signing, on 30 September 1938, of the Munich Agreement by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, which the Sudetenland ceded from Czechoslovakia to Germany, and more broadly the approval of Chamberlain`s appeasement strategy vis-à-vis Hitler. Although Churchill vehemently rejected the Munich Accords and Britain`s policy of appeasement, he was in the minority and, the day after his speech, the House of Commons voted in favour of the motion by 366 votes to 144.   Churchill used this speech to uncover Hitler`s expansionist tendencies immediately after Germany`s annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland. He strongly criticized Neville Chamberlain and his government for approving Hitler`s annexation of the Sudetenland and said, “Instead of taking his victuals off the table, [Hitler] merely served them.” Churchill saw the Munich agreement as a show of weakness that disrupted the balance of continental power, and argued that the agreement would not prevent the outbreak of war or guarantee that Hitler would change his behaviour. We are invited to vote in favour of this proposal which has been put forward in the document and it is certainly a very undisputed proposal, as is the amendment that has been postponed by the opposition. For my part, I am not in a position to agree with the measures taken and, since the Chancellor of the Exchequer has put his side so forcefully, I will try to approach the matter from a different angle, if I may. I have always believed that peacekeeping depends on the accumulation of deterrents against the aggressor, with a sincere effort to remedy the situation. Mr. Hitler`s victory was, like so many famous fights that determined the fate of the world, the closest.
Churchill`s great disagreements with John Simon and Chamberlain necessitated war with Germany to defend Czechoslovakia. Churchill felt that Czechoslovakia had been sacrificed to maintain peace with Germany, and that they had “abandoned to themselves and said that they were not receiving help from the Western powers, [the Czechs] were able to make better terms than they would have obtained.” Churchill also used his speech to highlight the hypocrisy of forcing Czechoslovakia to abandon part of its sovereign territory without a referendum.