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The Information Research Department: Britain's secret Cold War weapon revealed

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 July 1998

Abstract

The recent release of previously classified Foreign Office files has helped illuminate the early history of the secret propaganda unit, the Information Research Department (IRD). Although launched in 1948 by the Attlee government with the avowed intention of promoting Britain as a socialist ‘Third Force’ in world politics, IRD tended in practice to devote its earliest efforts to attacking the Soviet Union and Communism, not only abroad but also at home, where leaders of the Labour movement deployed its materials against the far left. By 1950 the Third Force mission had been abandoned altogether as British foreign policy shifted decisively towards support for an American-led coalition of Atlantic powers.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1998 Cambridge University Press

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