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First of the Small NationsThe Beginnings of Irish Foreign Policy in the Inter-War Years, 1919–1932$
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Gerard Keown

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198745129

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198745129.001.0001

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‘A Policy of World Peace and World Economic Development’, 1930–1932

‘A Policy of World Peace and World Economic Development’, 1930–1932

(p.209) 8 ‘A Policy of World Peace and World Economic Development’, 1930–1932
First of the Small Nations

Gerard Keown

Oxford University Press

As the 1930s began and the Great Depression took hold, the Irish had committed to running for election to the League Council. Success in the elections meant they took their seat as the relative calm of the 1920s was replaced by turbulence. The Irish were faced with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and failure to achieve progress on disarmament. At home, further progress in hollowing out Commonwealth status though an imperial conference in 1930 and the Statute of Westminster in 1931 were not enough to stem the political fortunes of Fianna Fáil. The government was further preoccupied with a ‘Red Scare’ linking communism and the IRA, prompting renewed efforts to cultivate the Vatican. A greater focus on economic diplomacy was prompted by growing protectionism in Europe but a decade after independence the Irish were understandably cool about Aristide Briand’s plans for European Federal Union.

Keywords:   Great Depression, League of Nations Council, Manchuria, disarmament, Statute of Westminster, imperial conference 1930, Red Scare, Vatican, European Federal Union, Fianna Fáil

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