Treasury paper for the Future Policy project, ‘Economic strength’, July 1959

Paper is an assessment of the relative strengths of the powers. “The UK [sic] influence and capacity for independent action has been greatly weakened in the last decade by the repeated sterling crises: if the UK could maintain a strong external financial position that would much improve its relative position within the West… UK is […]

J.Downie, Treasury official to R.Clarke, Permanent Under Secretary, Treasury, 3 July 1959

“I suppose that the ultimate policy aim (to put it rather grandiloquently) is to conduct our affairs so as to maximise the capacity of the United Kingdom to influence the course of world history in a way satisfactory to us. At least, I take this to be the object for any country with pretensions to […]

PUS’s Planning Committee: ‘Comments received from posts on paper entitled “Sources and means of influence in the modern world’”, 4 December 1968

Notes that a paper was circulated to posts in August. “Several comments emphasised that, as our power to intervene militarily in various parts of the world was reduced, the importance of our non-military effort overseas particularly such aspects as information work and diplomatic persuasion would significantly increase”. Paper then notes seven proposals on aid. “(i) […]

Denis Allen, Permanent Under Secretary, FCO, to all heads of post, 16 August 1968

Encloses a paper which “attempts to expand the Secretary of State’s thoughts on the sources and means of influence in the modern world”, whose contents “have been generally approved”. Paper: “Sources and means of influence in the modern world”, July 1968 “It is this distribution of our economic interests, deriving in many cases from our […]

Permanent Under Secretary’s Steering Committee, Review Committee on Overseas Representation: The basic assumptions, 14 October 1968

Foreign Office paper endorsed by the Foreign Secretary and circulated for information. “The basic aims of our overseas policy are peace, prosperity and freedom for Britain. They are not divisible. International instability prejudices our prosperity as well as our freedom… The scene for the conduct of external policy has been revolutionised not only by sophisticated […]

FCO, UN Department Paper, ‘The New International Economic Order’, January 1975

“The aspect of the New International Order [sic] which has attracted most attention is the altered distribution of economic power, as exemplified with particular prominence by…OPEC… The so-called ‘new international economic order’ is, in fact, a set of demands by developing countries for control of their own natural resources, transfer of resources to them by […]

Are British ministers consistently misleading parliament on their Middle East policy?

By Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 17 May 2018   Two British ministers have recently been forced to resign for misleading parliament. Last month, Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned, saying she had mistakenly misled parliament over whether her department had targets for deporting illegal immigrants. Last December, Damian Green, who was effectively Theresa […]

How Britain engaged in a covert operation to overthrow Assad

by Mark Curtis Published in Middle East Eye, 25 April 2018 Some commentators in the British mainstream media believe the UK has “done nothing” in the war in Syria and lament the failure to help stop it. In fact, Britain has engaged in a covert operation with allies to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad for more than […]

R.Wilding, Treasury, draft paper, ‘Flexibility in the national economy in relation to defence and allied expenditure’, 13 October 1959

Paper for the Future Policy study. “We cannot but security or prosperity by investing money in soldiers or in trade promotion and it is not necessarily true that the more we spend on either, the safer and richer we shall be. Both our security and our prosperity depend rather upon the existence of a favourable […]

Steering Committee of the Future Policy Group, ‘The future of Anglo-American relations’, Draft, October 1959

“For the last yeo [sic] years Anglo-American relations have been extremely good. We have succeeded in consolidating and extending our position as the first ally of the United States and the coordination of policy between the two governments has never been so far-reaching and satisfactory. As long as this situation continues, the basis of our […]