By C.J. Bartlett
An account of British international coverage within the twentieth century, discussing the not easy commitments, global Wars, chilly battle and readjustments to the current day.
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Additional info for British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century
Lloyd George became too preoccupied with parliamentary success. 50 These are strong words. Harold Nicolson, though conscious of Lloyd George's domestic calculations, nevertheless commended many of the prime minister's expedients as a skilful attempt to buy time until passions cooled. Nor were they necessarily incompatible with vision or a steady sense of purpose. 'In his [Fontainebleau] memorandum of25 March, in his great fight of 29 British Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century May 4, he showed that a politieian is better when it eomes to reasonableness, than a theoerat.
In fact, however, British policy-makers, especially the more astute among them, 24 Partial Commitment and Total War were not exactly sure what this would entail. In any case his tory would not come to 'a full stop' with the defeat of Germany. Consideration had therefore to be given to the wider implications to the balance among the powers in the event of a permanently weakened Germany. Within the Foreign Office there was a tendency to blame and to try to identify the German 'war party'. Victory appeared to require the rooting out of Prussian militarism together with the im position of such drastic social and political reforms as would guarantee the emergence of a peace-loving Germany.
Not only did the United States fail to join the League, but differences with Britain over war debts, naval, commercial and other rivalries threatened to push the two countries further apart. British efforts to reduce these causes of friction have not found universal favour among historians. Although W. N. Medlicott accepts that the Washington Treaties of 1921-2 conferred some benefits upon Britain, he nevertheless insists that the British government 'must be criticised for its willingness to secure the immediate emotional satisfaction of a dramatic act of friendship and temporary pacification at the cost of a permanent weakening ofthe British position in the Far East'.