Turkish commentators claim that the British Blue Book, The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-6, which the historian Arnold Toynbee compiled for Lord Bryce during the First World War, cannot be taken seriously as historical evidence because Toynbee later admitted that the British government used it as war propaganda. This implies that truth and propaganda are mutually exclusive. Yet when this question was put to Toynbee in a personal letter, he answered:
|It is true that the British Government's motive in asking Lord Bryce to compile the Blue Book was propaganda. But Lord Bryce's motive in undertaking it, and mine in working on it for him, was to make the truth known, and the evidence was good: the witnesses were all American missionaries with no political axe to grind. So the Blue Book, together with Lepsius' book, does give a true account.|
Toynbee has never reversed himself on this matter. In this study, Etmekjian traces Toynbee's attitude to the Armenian Genocide.