The Genesis of Britain’s Anti-Communist Propaganda Policy

Part of the Global Conflict and Security since 1945 book series (GCON)


On January 8, 1948, the British Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, presented four papers to the Cabinet which authorized a new direction for British foreign policy.1 This Cabinet meeting finalized Britain’s reluctant embrace of the division of Europe, including Germany, into Communist and non-Communist camps, and of the need for a more aggressive anti-Communist foreign policy to counter the Soviet threat to Britain and the West. This meeting also provided the foundation for Britain’s propaganda policy during the early Cold War years through the Cabinet’s approval of the paper entitled “Future Foreign Publicity Policy.”2 The Cabinet’s approval of this paper represented the culmination of a two-year battle over Britain’s publicity policy toward the Soviet Union. The “Future Foreign Publicity Policy” paper not only authorized the inception of an anti-Communist propaganda campaign but also founded the Information Research Department (IRD), the organization that was destined to become the hub of Britain’s Cold War political warfare efforts.


Foreign Policy Foreign Minister Social Democracy Labour Party Soviet Government 
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Copyright information

© Lowell H. Schwartz 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.RAND CorporationUSA

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