Runciman, Walter Runciman, 1st Viscount

Runciman, Walter Runciman, 1st Viscount

(rŭn`sĭmən), 1870–1949, British shipping magnate and public official. He inherited his father's large shipping business. As a Liberal he served in Parliament, with two interruptions, from 1899 to 1937 and held a number of governmental administrative positions, including the presidency of the Board of Trade (1914–16, 1931–37). He was made viscount in 1937. In July, 1938, he was sent to Czechoslovakia to mediate between the Czech government and the Sudeten Germans. The unsuccessful mission was a prelude to the Munich PactMunich Pact,
1938. In the summer of 1938, Chancellor Hitler of Germany began openly to support the demands of Germans living in the Sudetenland (see Sudetes) of Czechoslovakia for an improved status. In September, Hitler demanded self-determination for the Sudetenland.
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