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By Michael Hughes

The character of overseas international relations and Britain’s international function replaced immeasurably after the tip of the 1st global battle, and this booklet exhibits how a few of the males who headed the international workplace throughout the interwar years sought to function within the transferring political and bureaucratic environments that faced them. British international Secretaries in an doubtful international examines the careers of every of the interwar overseas Secretaries, together with Lord Curzon, Ramsay MacDonald and Anthony Eden. utilizing an in depth diversity of fundamental assets either released and unpublished, reliable and personal, Michael Hughes offers a close evaluate of the way those males approached their function and the way influential they have been in foreign international relations. The ebook additionally appears to be like on the international Secretaries’ successes or mess ups in the British political process, analysing how influential the international place of work was once below each one Secretary in settling on British overseas coverage. a desirable publication with a distinct concentration, British overseas Secretaries in an doubtful international takes a rigorous examine a key subject in British historical past.

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Radical extraparliamentary agitation over foreign policy in any case proved to be the exception rather than the rule during the early 1920s. Curzon predictably showed contempt for those who sought to challenge the traditional character of the domestic foreign policy-making process. Although the Foreign Secretary was intelligent enough to realise that the architects of British foreign policy could not ignore public sentiment altogether, he found it hard to adapt to a world in which ministers had to take parliamentary and public opinion into account before making decisions.

Although The Times was traditionally perceived as the voice of the British establishment, particularly abroad, the paper was bitterly critical of Lloyd George’s coalition government in the post-war years. Henry Wickham Steed, who edited the paper from 1919 to 1922, was an especially fierce critic of Curzon. The leading articles in the paper seldom proposed a clear direction for British foreign policy, beyond a staunch defence of the Anglo-French entente, but their authors did make numerous attacks on the coalition government’s actions.

Curzon was angered at the attacks in The Times, although his reaction was magnified by his habitual penchant for melodrama and self-pity. 106 He never really found a way of dealing with the problem, at least until the death of Northcliffe and the departure of Steed at the end of 1922 led to some changes in the newspaper’s coverage of international affairs. After the attack made on him in the build-up to the Washington Conference, Curzon instructed both the Foreign Office and the Embassy in Washington to withdraw news facilities from The Times,107 a decision that was subsequently defended by Lloyd George in the House of Commons.

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