The Foreign Office

The Foreign Office

The Foreign Office

The Foreign Office

Excerpt

I recall a conversation with the late Lord Balfour, in which, speculating on the future development of large-scale organisations, he advanced the suggestion that the ever-increasing complication in their working, due to new methods of communication and other modern inventions, would in the end put them beyond the range of effective human control. Frankenstein would, in very truth, be crushed by the monster of his own creation. Lord Balfour, with his captivating air of whimsical detachment, gave two illustrations of his thought. One was the future development of great business "combines," when undertaking is added to undertaking, till the network of responsibility and calculation becomes too vast and varied for any directing mind to master it. There is, perhaps, a good deal in recent commercial and financial experience on both sides of the Atlantic to give substance to Lord Balfour's vision in this respect. The other illustration which he tentatively put forward was the future of the Foreign Office.

Certainly those who study the following pages, written by two erudite and accomplished officials in the service of that Department, will realise how . . .

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