chapter  3
19 Pages

THE HUMAN ELEMENT

Before going on to an in-depth analysis of the way in which individual British governments tried to solve (or avoid) the disarmament dilemma, it is important to examine the attitudes of the individuals who formed those governments. Whilst any one government may have official policies on a number of issues, the influence of the individuals within that government cannot be overlooked. Individuals help to formulate collective policy, but, more importantly, they must then interpret that policy in their own sphere of interest. This can be done with a greater or lesser degree of enthusiasm, depending on the privately held views of the Minister or official in question. It is obviously impossible to look at every individual member of each administration, but the views of the most prominent on the disarmament question, as well as on the League of Nations and, importantly, the question of French security, will now be considered in some detail. For convenience, the list has been broken down into three categories, Liberal, Conservative and Labour, although in view of the fact that many members of each political persuasion served in both Coalition and National governments, and one changed party allegiance, the influence of each individual clearly varied in relation to the ideological mix of the government in question.