The First Labour Government, 1924

By Richard W. Lyman | Go to book overview
Office not only a chief infinitely more diplomatic, in the everyday sense of the word, than Lord Curzon, but a willingness to start afresh which found practical expression in such new departures as MacDonald's direct and informal approach to Poincaré. The results were not perfect; the Geneva Protocol is to be found in the honourable company of lost causes and historical might-have-beens. But the Locarno era, that brief interlude of harmony between the wars, owed much to MacDonald's back-breaking work in 1924.67Finally, the first Labour Government should not be blamed too severely if it hesitated before committing Britain to full collective security against aggression, under the Geneva Protocol. It was not aggression after the style of Hitler, after all, about which Ministers were concerned in 1924. Their aim was to prevent the recurrence of a drift into war through two great evils, as they saw them: the international anarchy, which provided no peaceful means for settling disputes, and secret diplomacy, which removed foreign policy from democratic control. Towards this goal, they could reasonably argue that they had made startling progress during their brief period of control over British policy.NOTES
1. E.g. J. H. Thomas, When Labour Rules ( London, 1920), esp. pp. 114-15, 193.
2. J. Bardoux, Le Socialisme au Pouvoir ( Paris, 1930), pp. 66-67; W. P. Maddox , Foreign Relations in British Labour Politics ( Cambridge, Mass., 1934), pp. 116-17, 202-4.
3. New Statesman, 22 Dec. 1923, p. 326.
4. Report of the Expert Committees appointed by the Reparations Commission (Cmd. 2105; 1924), pp. 13-14. Italics added.
5. New Statesman, 22 Dec. 1923, p. 325.
6. Letter of 26 Jan. 1924, text in The Times, 4 Feb. 1924.
7. 169 H.C. Deb., 5 s., 771 ( 12 Feb. 1924).
8. Text in The Times, 4 Feb. 1924.
9. 169 H.C. Deb., 5 s., 767-74, esp. 771.
10. The Times, 3 Mar. 1924; see ibid. for texts of this second exchange of letters.
11. Arnold Toynbee, Survey of International Affairs, 1924 ( London, 1926), pp. 362-3; The Times, 13 May 1924.

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The First Labour Government, 1924
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • I - The Labour Party, 1918-1923 1
  • Notes 16
  • II - The Election of 1923: the Conservatives 18
  • Notes 39
  • III - The Election of 1923: the Liberals Lloyd George and the Dragon 42
  • Notes 52
  • IV - The Election of 1923; Labour The Politics of Glorious Aspirations 53
  • Notes 67
  • V - Results of the Election of 1923 A House Divided 69
  • Notes 80
  • VI - The Path to Office 81
  • Notes 94
  • VII - Cabinet Making 96
  • Notes 107
  • VIII - Housing 110
  • Notes 129
  • IX - Unemployment The Intractable Million 131
  • Notes 154
  • X - The European Problem Year of Opportunity 157
  • Notes 181
  • XI - Russia Path of Most Resistance 184
  • Notes 207
  • XII - Labourites, Socialists and Reformers 210
  • Notes 227
  • XIII - Problems of Minority Government 230
  • Notes 245
  • XIV - The Election of 1924 Red Letter Day 248
  • Notes 262
  • XV - The Election of 1924 Dimensions of Defeat 264
  • Notes 271
  • XVI - Aftermath 272
  • Notes 281
  • Appendix A: the First Labour Ministry - (january 22 to November 4, 1924) 284
  • Appendix B: the Unsolved Mystery of The Zinoviev Letter 286
  • Notes 289
  • Bibliographical Note 290
  • Index 295
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