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[Page 152]

Churchill expressly states that when the original plan was submitted to them:

'They were very favourably impressed by the plan, and they announced their agreement, and said it was a plan conceived in a spirit which was prudent et prevoyant. They pointed out that it enabled us to withdraw at any stage should the gunnery results not be such as we anticipated.'

But at this stage the plan prudent et prevoyant was about to be
thrown overboard and also the deliberately considered opinion of Admiral Carden and Sir Henry Jackson that the Dardanelles could not be rushed but could be reduced by a regular and sustained bombardment'. This was obviously the stage at which to withdraw, as the French had pointed out when they gave their original approval of the undertaking, because, according to Mr. Churchill, the ships 'were not able at this stage to inflict
decisive and permanent damage' on the forts although they might silence
them temporarily.

Next we come to the remarkable discrepancies in the statements
made by Mr. Asquith on November 2nd and those of Mr. Churchill on
November 15th. Mr. Asquith stated:

'After full investigation and consultation with naval experts, including the Admiral commanding in that part of the Mediterranean, notwithstanding - I am betraying no secret in saying this - notwithstanding some doubts and hesitations which undoubtedly there were in the mind of our principal naval adviser at that time, Lord Fisher, the Government felt justified in sanctioning a naval attack.'

On the other hand, Mr. Churchill stated: 'I attach importance to the fact that at no time did I receive from Lord Fisher any criticism of the definite method

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