few misstatements of fact, except in one most difficult matter. This difficulty arises fromthe problem of knowing just who is and who is not a member of the Group. Sincemembership may not be a formal matter but based rather on frequent social association,and since the frequency of such association varies from time to time and from person toperson, it is not always easy to say who is in the Group and who is not. I have tried tosolve this difficulty by dividing the Group into two concentric circles: an inner core of intimate associates, who unquestionably knew that they were members of a groupdevoted to a common purpose; and an outer circle of a larger number, on whom the innercircle acted by personal persuasion, patronage distribution, and social pressure. It isprobable that most members of the outer circle were not conscious that they were beingused by a secret society. More likely they knew it, but, English fashion, felt it discreet toask no questions. The ability of Englishmen of this class and background to leave theobvious unstated, except perhaps in obituaries, is puzzling and sometimes irritating to anoutsider. In general, I have undoubtedly made mistakes in my lists of members, but themistakes, such as they are, are to be found rather in my attribution of any particularperson to the outer circle instead of the inner core, rather than in my connecting him tothe Group at all. In general, I have attributed no one to the inner core for whom I do nothave evidence, convincing to me, that he attended the secret meetings of the Group. As aresult, several persons whom I place in the outer circle, such as Lord Halifax, shouldprobably be placed in the inner core.I should say a few words about my general attitude toward this subject. I approachedthe subject as a historian. This attitude I have kept. I have tried to describe or to analyze,not to praise or to condemn. I hope that in the book itself this attitude is maintained. Of course I have an attitude, and it would be only fair to state it here. In general, I agree withthe goals and aims of the Milner Group. I feel that the British way of life and the BritishCommonwealth of Nations are among the great achievements of all history. I feel that thedestruction of either of them would be a terrible disaster to mankind. I feel that thewithdrawal of Ireland, of Burma, of India, or of Palestine from the Commonwealth isregrettable and attributable to the fact that the persons in control of these areas failed toabsorb the British way of life while they were parts of the Commonwealth. I suppose, inthe long view, my attitude would not be far different from that of the members of theMilner Group. But, agreeing with the Group on goals, I cannot agree with them onmethods. To be sure, I realize that some of their methods were based on nothing but goodintentions and high ideals—higher ideals than mine, perhaps. But their lack of perspective in critical moments, their failure to use intelligence and common sense, theirtendency to fall back on standardized social reactions and verbal cliches in a crisis, theirtendency to place power and influence into hands chosen by friendship rather than merit,their oblivion to the consequences of their actions, their ignorance of the point of view of persons in other countries or of persons in other classes in their own country—thesethings, it seems to me, have brought many of the things which they and I hold dear closeto disaster. In this Group were persons like Esher, Grey, Milner, Hankey, and Zimmern,who must command the admiration and affection of all who know of them. On the otherhand, in this Group were persons whose lives have been a disaster to our way of life.Unfortunately, in the long run, both in the Group and in the world, the influence of thelatter kind has been stronger than the influence of the former.