chapter  4
23 Pages

The Question of General Disarmament

ByLorna S. Jaffe

During the early years of the British war the idea of general disarmament received public support not only from the Liberal journalists and intellectuals but, even more insistently, from the Union of Democratic Control, formed in September 1914 by Radicals and Labourites who had opposed Britain’s entry into the war. Although the British government showed no interest in unilateral German disarmament, general disarmament was the subject of serious consideration by both the Imperial War Cabinet committee appointed in April 1917 to recommend non-territorial peace aims and by two meetings of the Imperial War Cabinet itself. When the Lord Milner Committee presented its recommendations to the full Imperial War Cabinet on 26 April, Lloyd George criticised the report for its failure to deal with the question of disarmament. The Imperial War Cabinet discussions initiated by Lloyd George were the first collective examination of the disarmament issue by British leaders.