Britain and the Problem of International Disarmament: by Carolyn J. Kitching

By Carolyn J. Kitching

Within the aftermath of the good struggle, multilateral disarmament was once put on the most sensible of the foreign schedule by means of the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of countries. This e-book analyzes the naval, air and land disarmament rules of successive British governments from 1919 to 1934, articulating their difficulty both to fulfil their responsibilities or to prevent them. bold and debatable, the current research demanding situations the hitherto approved view that Britain occupied the excessive ethical flooring by means of vastly decreasing its armaments and argues that, in this interval, British disarmament coverage was once reactive and customarily did not give you the management that this tremendous delicate time in overseas politics demanded.

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Additional info for Britain and the Problem of International Disarmament: 1919-1934 (Routledge Studies in Modern European History, 3)

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They range from the militarism of Churchill to the pacifism of Parmoor, and all shades in between. 181 Never, during the 1920s, was disarmament an item of priority among Conservative ministers. Baldwin, in concentrating on his own particular fields of interest—holding the Party together, and striving for industrial peace—left matters of foreign policy to successive Foreign Secretaries, notably Austen Chamberlain (1924–9). But whilst Chamberlain did recognise that disarmament meant reduction by international agreement, his approach to gaining such international agreement differed greatly from that of Cecil, the man to whom he left most of the work until the latter’s resignation in 1927.

Labour Ministers predictably held much stronger views on the necessity to achieve a measure of disarmament, but their individual potential during two periods of minority administration was very much subordinated to the policy of Ramsay MacDonald and to the need for Liberal support. Only Henderson achieved any individual success, working tenaciously both as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs to achieve acceptance of the Optional 39 BRITAIN AND INTERNATIONAL DISARMAMENT Clause and General Act, as well as in his role as President-elect in preparing for the Disarmament Conference.

119 Once arrived at Geneva, he worked closely with the Foreign Office adviser, Alexander Cadogan, and the chief military adviser, Major-General Temperley. 120 Between them they drew up a Disarmament Convention which was designed give the initiative back to Britain, and to breathe life back into the proceedings. 121 Labour ministers James Ramsay MacDonald122 held strong views on disarmament, whilst recognising that the question would present any government with a dilemma: It is a very serious dilemma, and it is this: On the one hand, you say to a Government, ‘Do not spend in armaments’.

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