The De Bunsen Mission to South America, 1918
On 21 April 1918, a special mission left Devonport on board HMS Arlanza, bound for South America. Its aims were threefold. First, it would offer thanks to countries which had either actively sided with the Allies in the First World War or otherwise shown sympathy towards them. It would seek to retain that support by reiterating the reasons for Britain’s continuing belligerency. Second, it would discuss with those countries ‘delicate economic questions’ raised by the war, which correspondence could not easily resolve. Third, the mission aimed to encourage a clear understanding of British policy among Britain’s diplomatic and consular representatives, many of whom had long been absent from the United Kingdom.1
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