Our answer to Chamberlain

Do you know that the famous Russian catchphrase "Our response to Chamberlain" was originally addressed to Joseph Austin Chamberlain, who was British Foreign Secretary in 1924-1929.

The precondition for the "response" was the political conflict between the Soviet Union and Britain. When the USSR came out in support of the Kuomintang party in China, the Asian revolutionaries created an army and set about reuniting the country. As a result, the Chinese destroyed two British missions, which undermined the position of the British in Asia. Britain sent a note of protest to the USSR, signed by the foreign minister. It spoke of the deterioration of Anglo-Soviet relations, and Chamberlain placed all the responsibility for this on the Soviet government. Great Britain demanded that the USSR cease military and political support for the revolutionary government of China. In conclusion, the note threatened to sever trade and diplomatic relations.

In response to this, the newspaper Pravda published an article with a note in response signed by the USSR People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs Georgy Chicherin. The article was titled "Our Answer to the English Note." Moscow denied all accusations against it. Soon the same Pravda published an article entitled “Hello Canton! Here is our answer to Chamberlain! " (The Kuomintang government was established in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, known in Europe as Canton.)

As a result, diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries were severed.

After the articles were published in Pravda, demonstrations were organized in which people carried plywood posters with a figurine and the words "Our answer to Chamberlain!" The minister himself - an elegant tall aristocratic man famous for his warmth and sociability - was depicted in cartoons, posters and ridiculed in literature.

On June 9, 1927, Osoaviakhim established a fund to raise funds for the construction of an air fleet called Our Response to Chamberlain.

Writers Ilf and Petrov used this expression in the novel "The Twelve Chairs". The great schemer proposed to create a painting "The Bolsheviks are writing a letter to Chamberlain" - based on the painting by the artist Repin "The Cossacks are writing a letter to the Sultan."

In 1929, with the coming to power of the Labor government, Chamberlain was removed from his post and diplomatic relations between the USSR and Great Britain were restored, but the phrase from the Pravda newspaper firmly rooted in the Russian language. The phrase "Our Response to Chamberlain" symbolizes a decisive rebuff - both in a serious and ironic sense.