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Thomas Hennessey

4 Attlee in Washington Attlee in Washington A lthough it was clarified, quite quickly, that the President had not been advocating the use of the Bomb in Korea (Attlee later told the Cabinet that ‘Truman didn’t realise he’d dropped such a brick’1 during his Washington press conference) the ripples of consternation that flowed in public and diplomatic discourse enabled the Cabinet to decide, on 30 November, that it would be ‘useful’ if the Prime Minister could visit Washington for conversations with Truman. A message was sent accordingly to the President ‘who at

in Britain’s Korean War
Open Access (free)
Rhiannon Vickers

Vic07 10/15/03 2:11 PM Page 159 Chapter 7 The Attlee governments The election of a majority Labour government in 1945 generated great excitement on the left. Hugh Dalton described how ‘That first sensation, tingling and triumphant, was of a new society to be built. There was exhilaration among us, joy and hope, determination and confidence. We felt exalted, dedication, walking on air, walking with destiny.’1 Dalton followed this by aiding Herbert Morrison in an attempt to replace Attlee as leader of the PLP.2 This was foiled by the bulky protection of Bevin

in The Labour Party and the world, volume 1
An uneasy relationship?

Drawing extensively on recently released documents and private papers, this is the first extensive book-length study to examine the intimate relationship between the Attlee government and Britain’s intelligence and security services. Often praised for the formation of the modern-day ‘welfare state’, Attlee’s government also played a significant, if little understood, role in combatting communism at home and overseas, often in the face of vocal, sustained, opposition from their own backbenches. Beneath Attlee’s calm exterior lay a dedicated, if at times cautious, Cold War warrior, dedicated to combatting communism at home and overseas. This study tells the story of Attlee’s Cold War. At home, the Labour government implemented vetting to protect Whitehall and other areas of the Cold War state from communists, while, overseas, Attlee and his Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin authorised a series of highly secret special operations in Eastern Europe, designed to erode Soviet influence, told here for the first time in significant detail. More widely, Ministers also strengthened Imperial and Commonwealth security and, responding to a series of embarrassing spy scandals, tried to revive Britain’s vital nuclear transatlantic ‘special relationship’ with Washington. This study is essential reading for anyone interested in the Labour Party, intelligence, security and Britain’s foreign and defence policy at the start of the Cold War.

Cold War diplomacy, strategy and security 1950–53

Coming just five years after the ravages of the Second World War, the Korean war was a deeply unsettling moment in post-war British history. This book is a study of Britain's diplomatic, military and security policy during the Korean War as seen from the perspective of the British Government. It explores the social and cultural impact of the Korean War (1950-53) on Britain. From allegations about American use of 'germ' warfare to anxiety over Communist use of 'brainwashing' and treachery at home, the Korean War precipitated a series of short-lived panics in 1950s Britain. The book charts the war's changing position in British popular imagination and asks how it became known as the 'Forgotten War'. The study presented argues that the British did have influence over American decision-making during the Korean War. Whereas the existing United Nations resolutions would permit 'swirling' across the 38th parallel operations of a politico-military nature would require further United Nations consideration. The British did not have a veto over American strategy in Korea - but under the Truman administration they came pretty close to one with respect to the widening of the war into China. The Attlee-Truman talks, in December 1950, secured for the British the watershed agreement of the right to be consulted on the use of the atomic bomb. The book also talks about General Douglas MacArthur, the 1951 Chinese capture of Seoul by communists, and the concept of a British 'Manchurian Candidate'-type figure indoctrinated by the Chinese in Korea.

Labour and intelligence during the Second World War
Daniel W. B. Lomas

occupied Europe. This chapter shows how Hugh Dalton, Minister of Economic Warfare, attempted to develop a new brand of unconventional warfare with Labour at its forefront before his replacement in February 1942. It also shows the important role played by Attlee in supporting Dalton during several battles in Whitehall, and his continued role chairing important meetings of the Defence Committee at which SOE

in Intelligence, security and the Attlee governments, 1945–51
British intelligence, ministers and the Soviet Union
Daniel W. B. Lomas

I am not yet satisfied that we get full value for our expenditure. 1 Clement Attlee, 8 April 1950 Russia … is probably the most difficult target which has ever been set to an intelligence and

in Intelligence, security and the Attlee governments, 1945–51
Daniel W. B. Lomas

Attlee government. In Palestine, the British government faced a Zionist insurgency aimed at establishing an independent Jewish state, requiring ministers to resort to extreme measures to implement British policy. The chapter also shows how the Cold War became a major influence on British imperial policy. From London, Attlee oversaw the development of security in the Commonwealth, starting with Australia

in Intelligence, security and the Attlee governments, 1945–51

, and therefore to the technical capabilities available; common ethical considerations would limit the extent of destruction acceptable to the public, even if such limits were detrimental to the war effort. The wartime government had skirted around these issues. In 1945, Attlee’s government was faced with the significant challenge of developing weapons specifically designed to destroy entire cities, and strategies to use them, without alienating the public. How this was achieved is the subject of this chapter. The

in Supreme emergency
Abstract only
The 1940s
Neville Kirk

working-class nationally, rural workers and small producers in Norfolk and the professional middle class in the suburbs of the traditionally Conservative home counties. All these groups were radicalised by the wartime experiences of service to the common cause, shared suffering, mounting grievances and the desire to create a better post-war world for all ‘useful’ Britons. 4 As Ben Chifley, the ALP ’s successor to Curtin, declared in a message to Attlee, Labour’s success constituted a ‘magnificent achievement’, while for

in Labour and the politics of Empire
Cartoons and British imperialism during the Attlee Labour government
Charlotte Lydia Riley

, power, and glory; or as standing by haplessly as the empire sinks beneath the waves. Stephen Howe, in his work on anti-colonialism on the British left, describes among the Attlee government ‘a general lack of concern for colonial issues as compared with the urgent tasks of post-war reconstruction, nationalisation, and extending welfare provision’. 6 In fact, as a more nuanced reading of the cartoons of the time demonstrates, the Labour government had a more complex relationship with empire and imperialism than this

in Comic empires