An important era of study has been the era of Lloyd George's peacetime government, from 1919 to 1922 in the realm of foreign policy. Britain's external relation in this period has been quite interesting and people have conflicting views about the policies in this period. This period has also been of significance for historians because of the role of the Foreign Secretary in the making of British foreign policy.
Secrecy has been a key characteristic of the foreign policy in the late nineteenth century. Small number of ministers and officials has been known to play crucial roles in the formulation of the foreign policy. Those were the times when press had its limited presence and it was not considered an important driver in the policy making. Also public opinion about different issues related to external relations of a country was not given any importance. Even among the government circles a selected elite group made key decisions. Prime Ministers directly controlled the affairs of the Foreign Office.
If we look at the background history of foreign policy in Britain then we get to know that Benjamin Disraeli from 1874 to 1878 intervened constantly in the affairs of his Foreign Secretary. During the 1902 to 1905 period Arthur Balfour gave some respite in the direct intervention culture set by his predecessors but still kept a close eye on the developments in British foreign policy. ...
This scenario changed with war in 1914 and foreign policy was criticized by all & sundry. Different governments also started making comments about the way foreign policy was being tackled. President Wilson of the United States became the biggest critic of covert ways of foreign policy dealings and demanded that democratic process should be involved in the affairs. War continued till 1918 and then Paris Peace Conference took place in 1919 the attention shifted to foreign policy in the peace time. Again policymakers became conscious of the relationships between Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary.
After the Great War the importance foreign policy increases manifolds. Lord Curzon of Kedleston became foreign secretary from October 1919 to January 1924. British electorate also became more conscious of the foreign policy matters as many believed that poor foreign policies were behind the war. Lloyd George became the prime minister and realized the importance of foreign policy particularly in the eyes of electorates as a result of war. He realized that winning foreign policy can result in the success of a government in the eyes of public. Considering tits importance Lloyd made it a point to attend many international conferences in the period 1919 to 1922. Lloyd saw these conferences as the opportunity for both showing government presence as well as gaining economic benefits as most of these were related to trade, war debts and recompense.
Foreign policy also held many dangers for the government of Lloyd George. The government could not have afforded any new wars with any other country as public opinion went heavily against war. It was during this scenario that the Chanak crisis took place in September 1922. This crisis brought the