‘The Jackal’s Share’: Whitehall, the City of London and British Policy Towards the Sino-Japanese War, 1937–9
Ever since the 1970s, when the first studies appeared of British policy towards East Asia in the 1930s, it has been accepted that this decade was marked by the existence of a ‘dual diplomacy’ within Whitehall. What is meant by this is that during much of the 1930s the Foreign Office was unable to exercise its usual monopoly over foreign policy because of the assertiveness of the Treasury during Neville Chamberlain’s tenure as chancellor of the exchequer. This led to an uncomfortable scenario wherein the Foreign Office’s efforts to maintain equidistance between Japan and China was undermined by the amateur diplomacy of the Treasury, which was convinced of the need and practicability of securing a rapprochement with Japan.
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