Camille Barrere Papers

Collection Summary

Title: Camille Barrere Papers
Call Number: MS 93-02
Size: 0.25 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from Sotheby's, 1985
Processed By: JLT, 9-1-1992; JEF, 11-2-1998; MN, 1-23-2012
Note: None
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

This collection contains 28 letters in English written by Camille Barrere, a French diplomat, to English Lady Violet Milner, from 19 November 1931 to 23 December 1935. There are no letters in the collection for the year 1932.

The majority of letters express a bitter and negative tone used by Barrere against the lack of statesmanship by England and France during the years of the letters, 1931 to 1935 as both countries failed to relate, according to Barrere, to the political environment of the times. This sentiment is carried through most of the letters, with several topics of particular interest to Barrere discussed in a few series of letters.

Of particular interest was the handling of the Austrian crises early in the 1930s and the lack of response from either France or England to the situation. Barrere also laments in a series of letters “England’s treachery” in signing a naval treaty with Germany. He views this as an act without parallel and comments that “false friends are more dangerous than no friends at all, “in regard to England’s believed betrayal of France by signing the treaty. Another topic carried through in a series of letters is the discussion of the Suez Canal as it relates to a treaty signed in 1888.

Period political key players mentioned in the letters include Stanley Baldwin, (1867-1947), British statesman and three-time prime minister of England, and Maxine Weygand, (1867-1965), a French general who in 1930 was named chief of state-major general of the French army. Other figures of the time mentioned include Georges Clemenceau, (1841-1929), a statesman and politician of the Third French Republic. The collection is arranged chronologically.


Born in 1851, Camille Barrere served as French ambassador to Rome for 28 years from (1897 to 1924). In that capacity, Barrere strived to improve Franco-Italian relations that had deteriorated since 1881. Barrere died in 1940.

The youngest child of Admiral F. A. Maxse, Violet Georgina Milner married Lord Edward Cecil, son of Lord Salisbury. Additionally, Milner was editor of the National Review from 1932 to 1948. She died in 1958.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 Personal Correspondence from Camille Barrere to Lady Violet Milner. 1931, 1933-1935.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Personal Correspondence from Camille Barrere to Lady Violet Milner

Box 1 FF 1 Personal correspondence, 1931. Contains correspondence from 19 November 1931 in which Barrere discusses a copy of a portrait of Clemenceau painted by M. Godard. The portrait is described as it relates to a sense of national ingratitude by France to Clemenceau.
Box 1 FF 2 Personal correspondence, 1933. Beginning letter (13 July 1933) in a series describing resentment against both England and France over their lack of response to the German tension in Austria; contains undated letters concerning issues in Austria; contains letter dated 1 August 1933 regarding Austria and Treaty of Versailles and the Italian interest in the affair; contains letter dated 4 August 1933; contains letter dated 13 August 1933 in which war is predicted unless the German activity is completely stopped; contains letter of 24 December 1933 discussing the possible resignation of Weygand.
Box 1 FF 3 Personal correspondence, 1934. Letter dated 29 April 1934 contain brief reference to Dr. Foerster, a German forced to exile to Paris to remain alive; letter of 23 May 1934 describes France and England being ruled by fools in addition to restating an earlier prediction by Clemenceau that war would be imminent in 1935; letter of 3 August 1934 containing vindication to Barrere by the fact that Stanley Baldwin delivered statement similar to those spoken by Barrere for over 14 years, and also presumed political bias by the Prince of Wales; letter of 6 August 1934 is more personal in nature but contains references to the world being full of murderers and blackguards; letter of 10 August 1934 contains information on Austrian situation in addition to discussing Hitler’s appeals to England for solidarity; letter of 23 December 1934 discusses German propaganda in France as being not without effect.
Box 1 FF 4 Personal correspondence, 1935. Letter of 7 January 1935 describes two-month trip to Egypt in addition to discussing Stanley Baldwin as he was related to a German incident; letter of 10 June 1935 describes the character of Barrere’s deceased friend, Adrien Montebello, grandson of a warrior to Napoleon, and the son of an English lady; letter of 19 June 1935 contains comments on the Anglo-German naval treaty of 1935 as flagrant violation of prior British agreement with France, in addition to discussing Barrere’s illness; undated letter describes stupidity of naval agreement; letter of 24 June 1935 discusses treaty as well as Barrere’s illness; letter of 12 July 1935 describes treaty by stating that England has put itself into extreme danger as a result of protecting its water routes; letter of 23 July 1935 contains comment on Mussolini in addition to discussion of naval treaty.
Box 1 FF 5 Personal correspondence, 1935 (continued). Letter of 3 August 1935 contains comment on health of wife in addition to beginning a series of letters on a Suez Canal discussion as it relates to England; letter of 12 August 1935 from Cannes comments on Mussolini and the state of war; letter of 15 August 1935 is from Mrs. Barrere in Cannes to Lady Milner that contains views on health and the political affairs of Europe; letter of 11 October 1935 contains comment on the Suez Canal’s convention of 1888 and the Geneva Convention and inscribed calling card; letter of 15 October 1935 comments on anti-British sentiments by the French as a result of Anglo-German relations; letter of 24 October 1935 contains discussion of political affairs which viewed by Barrere appear to be slightly better; letter of 16 December 1935 contains comment about the need for joint affairs between England and France against Germany, in addition to discussing a pro-German statement made by Baldwin; letter of 23 December 1935 contains comments on extinction of statesmanship and that England and France were courting disaster with Germany.