Conservative Party and Anglo-German Relations, 1905-1914 by F. McDonough


By F. McDonough

The 1st ever significant learn reading of the perspectives of the Conservative occasion in the direction of the main points of Anglo-German kin from 1905 to 1914. Drawing on a large choice of unique resources, it examines the Conservative reaction to the German chance, and argues that the reaction of the Conservative occasion in the direction of Germany confirmed a marked absence of open hostility in the direction of Germany. total, this significant new examine offers a robust and late corrective to the normal depiction of the Conservative social gathering in competition as 'Scaremongers' and the executive resource of Germanophobic perspectives one of the British political events.

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71 To make his views even more confusing, Wyndham also opposed the idea of an opposition party ‘producing alternative policies’ and framing ‘hypothetical estimates’. Wyndham was certainly a part of the inner circle, and he frequently discussed defence issues with the party leader, but his influence over the party leader was extremely limited. 72 The party leader exercised a remarkable degree of control over foreign and defence matters within parliament and over the Shadow Cabinet. In essence, the party leader relied primarily on Lansdowne to decide the Conservative Foreign and Defence Questions 31 policy line, and took advice from several sources of ‘expert opinion’ in the party, the Admiralty and the CID.

26 It was only convened by Bonar Law in August 1914 after the opposition leader had discussed policy within his ‘inner circle’ and had already communicated his decision to support Grey’s policy of intervention in the European War to the Prime Minister. Even former ministers realised the limitations of the Shadow Cabinet as a policy-making body and especially as a restraining influence on the views of the opposition leader. As Balfour remarked of 22 Conservative Party & Anglo-German Relations divisions over policy in the Shadow Cabinet during the House of Lords crisis in 1910, ‘Had it been a real Cabinet – the dissenting minority would have resigned, or they would have silently acquiesced in the decision of the majority.

14 In public speeches on Anglo-French relations, Balfour alternated between making friendly comments about French people and disparaging comments about the ‘decadent culture’ of French society. 15 In 1903, when Balfour asked the Committee of Imperial Defence (CID) to investigate the possibility of a naval invasion of the British Isles, the French navy was defined as the hypothetical invader. 17 The Entente, signed in the aftermath of the ill-judged and poorly planned Anglo-Boer War, underlined the overstretched nature of Britain’s defence forces.

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