Back to Chips Channon

Posted by Helen Tuesday, August 23, 2016 ,

It seems about time to start that campaign to have the whole of Channon's diaries becoming available and, indeed, published, as I wrote some time ago. The published diaries are fascinating and often remarkably accurate, despite a comment made by one reader on my posting. Chips may have been shallow (what politician is not?) but his judgements were remarkably accurate and his knowledge of what was going on phenomenal, With all the diaries in the public domain we would see more of that.

I found a newspaper article (or part of it) from 2007 that talks of the diaries being published in full. I assume it was an item in Londoner's Diary, the gossip column of the Evening Standard, not the most reliable sources of information. I can find no trace of such a publication and I am sure I would have noticed. There is a biography of Channon, published in 2011, by Richard CarreƱo, which will have to be tracked down.

In the meantime, I shall have to re-read the existing diaries (well someone has to do these chores). I wanted to get hold of the later edition with that new introduction by Robert Rhodes James but have experienced some difficulty in that. So, the 1967 edition it will have to be. My one problem is that my copy is falling apart. Indeed, I keep it together, somewhat inelegantly, with a rubber ring. Chips would have been horrified.

A visit to the Charing Cross Road bookshops is indicated. It will all make a very good change from the other book I am reading, Tolstoy and his disciples by Charlotte Alston. In fact, there could not be a greater contrast.

2 comments

  1. The biography, based on comments on the Amazon page, sounds useless. Sad!
    Who has physical custody of the complete diaries at this point?
    Is there any legal obstacle to their complete publication?

     
  2. Helen Says:
  3. As far as I can make out they are in the possession of the present Lord Kelvedon, Chips's grandson. In 2007, soon after the death of the first Lord K (Paul Channon) there was some talk of the diaries being made available in full but, as I said above, nothing seems to have come of it. Paul Channon's instructions was to keep them away from the public eye till 2018 and it looks like his son might comply with that unless pressure is exerted on him. Apart from other considerations there might be some interesting information about Yugoslavia and Britain's role therein during and after the war. That, of course, might be one reason why the FCO would not want the diaries published.

     
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