The day before yesterday lunching with H. P., editor of ——-. H. P. rather pessimistic about the war. Thinks there is no answer to the New Order , i.e. this government is incapable of framing any answer, and people here and in America could easily be brought to accept it. I queried whether people would not for certain see any peace offer along these lines as a trap. H. P.: “Hells bells, I could dress it up so that they’d think it was the greatest victory in the history of the world. I could make them eat it.” That is true, of course. All depends on the form in which it is put to people. So long as our own newspapers don’t do the dirty they will be quite indifferent to appeals from Europe. H. P., however, is certain that ——-  and Co. are working for a sell-out. It appears that though ——  is not submitted for censorship, all papers are now warned not to publish interpretations of the government’s policy towards Spain. A few weeks back Duff-Cooper  had the press correspondents up and assured them “on his word of honour” that “things were going very well indeed in Spain.” The most one can say is that Duff-Cooper’s word of honour is worth more than Hoare’s.
H.P. says that when France collapsed there was a Cabinet meeting to decide whether to continue the war or whether to seek terms. The vote was actually 50-50 except for one casting vote, and according to H. P. this was Chamberlain’s. If true, I wonder whether this will ever be made public. It was poor old Chamberlain’s last public act, as one might say, poor old man.
Characteristic war-time sound, in winter: the musical tinkle of raindrops on your tin hat.
 Editor and journal not identified.
 Hitler’s New Order for Europe – Nazism.
 It is possible that Orwell’s animosity towards Sir Samuel Hoare (see last sentence of the paragraph) may have led him to retail H. P.’s assertion. In The Second World War, Churchill, discussing the formation of his War Cabinet, in May 1940, defends Hoare, Halifax and Simon against charges of responsibility for shortcomings in the period leading to the war (II, 10; U.S.: Their Finest Hour, 10). Although he included the two lords in his Cabinet, he had Hoare appointed ambassador to Spain on 17 May. He later comments that ‘no one could have carried out better this wearing, delicate, and cardinal five years’ mission’ (II, 459; U.S.: Their Finest Hour, 518).
 Unidentified; its six hyphens may be an error for the seven of H. P.’s journal.
 Alfred Duff Cooper, Minister of Information. Peter Davison