‘The Little Foreign Office of Transport House’, British Foreign Policy and Socialist Internationalism

  • Ettore Costa
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements book series (PSHSM)


The chapter analyses the interaction of socialist internationalism and British foreign policy. The Labour Party served as an instrument of informal intervention and a channel for foreigners to interact with the British government. Socialists from Austria and Italy used their contacts to pressure the British government to favour their nation over South Tyrol. The SPD demanded a privileged treatment, as an instrument of democratisation of Germany, but debate over admission showed the socialists’ opposite positions in foreign policy. The Labour Party, especially Healey, acted as an apologist of Bevin and resorted assiduously to Greek stereotypes to defend the British complicity with the right-wing persecution in the Greek Civil War. Greek socialists appealed for the help of the Labour Party and Comisco, which finally sent a mission to Greece in 1949. The degree of independence or submission of the Labour Party to the British Government is assessed in each case.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Ettore Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent ScholarRomeItaly

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