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Reopening the British Embassy following the liberation of Paris

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Foreign affairs and diplomacy, Foreign Office Historians, Second World War
A photo of Alfred Duff and Lady Diana Cooper talking to a VIP.

On 13 September 1944 a Dakota aircraft, with an escort of 45 Spitfires, flew across the English Channel towards Paris. The plane carried the new British Ambassador to France, Alfred ‘Duff’ Cooper, with the mission to re-establish a British presence in the newly liberated French capital.

Child Evacuees in the Second World War: Operation Pied Piper at 80

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Second World War, Social history
A nurse with child evacuees from Plymouth in the garden of the Chaim Weizmann Home at Tapley Park, Instow, North Devon, October 1942 Five children are shown sitting on top of a wall (two girls, three boys), and a girl in the centre is giving a posy of flowers to a nurse who is wearing a uniform.

On 1 September 1939, with war imminent, the government had initiated Operation Pied Piper, which would see the evacuation of over 1.5 million people from urban 'target' areas, of whom 800,000 were children. What were the consequences of this massive scheme, both short-term and long-term?

What’s the context? Polish cryptologists reveal they have cracked the Enigma code, 26 July 1939

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Foreign Office Historians, What's the context? series
The three Polish codebreakers Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rozycki and Henryk Zygalski

On 26 July 1939, in a forest near Warsaw, Polish code breakers told their British colleagues how they had cracked the German Enigma code. As war against Nazi Germany approached, the meeting symbolised the importance of political, as well as intelligence co-operation in the struggle ahead.

Forward or backward looking? The Treaty of Versailles

Cartoon: At the Peace Table. Treaty of Versailles. Clemenceau says, "Take your seats, gentlemen!" The food and chairs look dangerous, and there are handcuffs on the table, worried and suspicious German delegates.

German anger at the Treaty of Versailles between the wars is well known. Hitler, in his rise to power, exploited this deep resentment. So how did such a contentious document come into existence and why was it signed?

The Industrial Reorganisation Corporation and the 1968 reorganisation of British manufacturing

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Finance and economics, Home affairs
This is an English Electric advertisement (or poster) from 1951. The text reads: 'The wealth of nearly 50 years' experience is built into every 'English Electric' product. The 'English Electric Organization and its Research Laboratories are constantly engaged in the development of new designs, new processes, new equipment. The aim is perfection - and better living for people all over the world. 'English Electric ' products are the first, the middle and the last links in the chain of electricity's service to mankind. The poster largely consists of a printed painting showing a cloudy sky with touches of blue and a dam in the background (which is presumably producing hydro-electric power) and an electric locomotive emerging from a tunnel. At the bottom of the poster a banner containing text reads: 'The English Electric Company Limited, Queens House, Kingsway, London WC2. Also it states: Works: Stafford, Preston, Rugby, Bradford, Liverpool.

On winning the 1964 election the new Labour government adopted an interventionist industrial policy. By the late 1960s a policy of amalgamation through merging firms was intended to deliver companies which could compete on a global basis, but the outcomes did not always match expectations.

The British Embassy Bangkok: a look back before moving on

Posted by: and , Posted on: - Categories: Foreign affairs and diplomacy, The National Archives
Photograph of the frontage of the British Embassy Bangkok, March 2019 (Kridtidej Sawangcharoen). There is a far spreading tree in the foreground and the Embassy building is very impressive.

The British Embassy in Bangkok is truly one of the most spectacular properties overseas. It is a symbol of soft power from the Colonial era in the midst of the modern day quest for economic development. This is a last look at the (soon to be) old British Embassy Bangkok.