Austen Chamberlain as Foreign Secretary

David Dutton analyses Austen Chamberlain's impact on British foreign policy, and European affairs, between the wars.

Few of those charged with the direction of British foreign policy in the inter-war years have fared particularly well at the bar of history. But, among the array of damaged reputations of Prime Ministers and Foreign Secretaries, the performance of Austen Chamberlain, British Foreign Secretary from November 1924 to June 1929, perhaps stands out as something of an exception. Though his career has often been overshadowed by those of his more famous father, Joseph, and half-brother, Neville, Austen was a major political figure in his own right who enjoyed a career in the front rank of British public life which extended over more than three decades. His first ministerial post came in 1895, his last in 1931.

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