Public and Political: General: Defence of Freedom and Peace.

Reference code: CHAR 2/283

Part of: CHAR 2
Next record: CHAR 2/284
Previous record: CHAR 2/282

Date: 29 Jul 1936 - 31 Dec 1936

Scope/content:

Correspondents include: A H Richards, [Secretary, Focus in Defence of Freedom and Peace] on meetings of the Focus (earlier the Freedom and Peace Union, and Peace with Freedom Movement), extending the focus group to the United States, avoiding the appearance of British propaganda and solely Jewish backing, extending into France, an invitation for WSC to address the movement in the United States, avoiding rivalry with other related organizations, inviting various individuals, including WSC, to speak at meetings of the focus group and hostility to WSC in the United States press because of his actions in the Abdication Crisis (30); Herbert Swope on inviting WSC to speak in the United States; Sir Norman Angell [Member of the Council of the Royal Institute of International Affairs] on deciding on a clear policy towards armaments; Philip Guedalla on finalising the focus group's policy statement; Sir Robert Waley Cohen on relations between the forum and the League of Nations Union, and Nazi brutality towards the Jews; Randolph Churchill on WSC's plans to visit the United States (2); [James] Maxwell Garnett, Secretary, League of Nations Union, on the speech by WSC for the focus group in the Albert Hall [London, 3 December], requesting him to speak for the League of Nations Union as well.

Other subjects include: forming links and focussing efforts with the League of Nations Union and New Commonwealth Society.

Also includes: draft power of attorney enabling Randolph Churchill to manage WSC's lecture tour of the United States; summary of the meeting of the Anti-Nazi Council, including an agreement to set up an research organization on the Nazis; drafts of the Focus in Defence of Freedom and Peace manifesto and policy statement, on Nazi, Fascist and Communist oppression, the threat to Britain, preventing war, objections to the policies of isolation from Europe, co-operation with Germany, neutrality or alliances with Italy or France, and the aim of staying within the League of Nations and the Kellogg Pact in keeping up security against war; summary of a meeting of the focus group, including speeches and statements by WSC, Sir Norman Angell, [Henry] Wickham Steed, Philip Guedalla and Philip Noel-Baker, Chairman of the Committee of the International Peace Campaign, on subjects including common ground with the Trades Union Congress and the Labour Party, arranging the focus group's opening meeting at the Albert Hall, gaining cross-party support, the formation of the focus group, possible conflict with the International Peace Campaign and Fascist influence in Spain; draft note by [? WSC] on faults in British foreign policy, in trying to be reconciled with Germany, and dropping agreements with France; statements of the objectives and principles of the focus group; copy of a letter from Sir Austen Chamberlain, declining to join the focus group; press cutting from the Times, reporting WSC's speech at the Albert Hall on the views of extremists such as Sir Oswald Mosley [leader, British Union of Fascists] and the Communists, international divisions and the need to unite within the League of Nations; advertisements for the Albert Hall meeting; notes and copies of correspondence by WSC and Violet Pearman [Secretary to WSC].

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UKAT

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Physical: 1 bound file (147 folios)
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Contained records

Reference Record Date
CHAR 2/283/99 Copy of a letter from Sir [Joseph] Austen Chamberlain (the Goring Hotel [Ebury Street, London]) to A H Richards [Secretary of the Focus in Defence of Freedom and Peace, earlier the Freedom and Peace Union, and Peace with Freedom Movement]. Chamberlain states that though he agrees with the Focus's statement of objects, he cannot take part in a Focus meeting at the Albert Hall or serve as a member of the Committee. He explains that he has to spend more time on private affairs, and his hands are already full without adding to his engagements, but offers to write a short letter to be read at the meeting, if WSC or the Committee wishes it. Typescript. 12 Nov 1936