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Chatham House [The Royal Institute of International Affairs]
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Chatham House
Formation 1920; 99 years ago
Headquarters London, England
Membership
3,000+
Website http://www.chathamhouse.org

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Theresa May speaking in 2015

The Royal Institute of International Affairs, commonly known as Chatham House, is a not-for-profit and non-governmental organisation based in London whose mission is to analyse and promote the understanding of major international issues and current affairs. It is the originator of the Chatham House Rule and takes its name from the building where it is based, a Grade I listed 18th-century house in St James's Square, designed in part by Henry Flitcroft and occupied by three British Prime Ministers, including William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham.

In the University of Pennsylvania’s rankings (announced in January 2017) for their Global Go To Think Tanks Report, Chatham House was ranked the think tank of the year, and the second most influential in the world after the Brookings Institution, and the world's most influential non-U.S. think tank.[1] In November 2016, Chatham House was also named Prospect magazine's Think-Tank of the Year, as well as the winner in the UK categories for International Affairs and Energy and Environment.[2]

The current chairman of the Council of Chatham House is Jim O'Neill and its director is Robin Niblett. The deputy director is Adam Ward and research directors are Rob Bailey, Patricia Lewis, and Alex Vines.

Chatham House has three presidents — from the two main political parties at Westminster: Sir John Major, former Prime Minister (Con.); The Baron Darling of Roulanish, former Chancellor of the Exchequer (Lab.); and The Baroness Manningham-Buller, a crossbench peer and former Director General of MI5.[3]

Role

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Juan Manuel Santos, President, Republic of Colombia - Chatham House Prize 2017, 9 November 2017

Drawing upon its members, Chatham House aims to promote debate on significant developments in international affairs and policy responses. Their independent research and analysis on global, regional and country-specific challenges is intended to offer new ideas to decision makers on how these could best be tackled from the near to the long term. Chatham House is routinely used as a source of information for media organisations seeking background or experts upon matters involving major international issues.

Chatham House is membership-based and anyone may join. It has a range of membership options for corporations, academic institutions, NGOs, and individuals including students and under 35s. In addition to corporate members consisting of government departments, large corporations, academic institutions, investment banks, NGOs, energy companies and other organisations, Chatham House currently has international leaders from business, diplomacy, science, politics and media as its individual members.[4]

Chatham House Rule

Chatham House is the origin of the non-attribution rule known as the Chatham House Rule, which provides that guests attending a meeting may discuss the content of the meeting in the outside world, but may not discuss who attended or identify what a specific individual said. The Chatham House Rule evolved to facilitate frank and honest discussion on controversial or unpopular issues by speakers who may not have otherwise had the appropriate forum to speak freely. Despite this, most meetings at Chatham House are held on the record, and not under the Chatham House Rule.

Research and publications

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Africa Programme's event in 2015

Chatham House research is structured around three thematic departments - Energy, Environment and Resources, International Economics, International Security – and Area Studies and International Law, which comprises regional programmes on Africa, the US and Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and Russia and Eurasia, as well as the International Law programme.

Chatham House also contains the Centre on Global Health Security, headed by David L. Heymann.[5] and the Hoffmann Centre, headed by Bernice Lee.[6]

Major reports in 2018 include Transatlantic Relations: Converging or Diverging? which argued that the longer-term fundamentals of the transatlantic relationship remain strong.[7]

Several reports were published in 2017 – The Struggle for Ukraine[8] explored how, four years on from its Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine is fighting for survival as an independent and viable state. Chokepoints and Vulnerabilities in Global Food Trade[9] set out why policymakers must take action immediately to mitigate the risk of severe disruption at certain ports, maritime straits, and inland transport routes, which could have devastating knock-on effects for global food security. Collective Action on Corruption in Nigeria: A Social Norms Approach to Connecting Society and Institutions[10] examined how anti-corruption efforts could be made significantly more effective through new ways of understanding why people engage in the practice. America’s International Role Under Donald Trump[11] explored how Trump's personality and style – brash, unpredictable, contradictory and thin-skinned – promises to have a meaningful impact on his engagement in foreign affairs.

In 2016, Elite Perceptions of the United States in Latin America and the Post-Soviet States[12] examined how elites in Latin America and the former Soviet Union view the United States, and makes recommendations as to how the US could adjust its policies based on these perceptions.

2015 also saw several reports published - Nigeria’s Booming Borders: The Drivers and Consequences of Unrecorded Trade[13] showed how a critical opportunity exists to formalize trade and drive more sustainable and less volatile growth, Changing Climate, Changing Diets: Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption[14] outlined why reducing global meat consumption will be critical to keeping global warming below the ‘danger level’ of two degrees Celsius, Heat, Light and Power for Refugees: Saving Lives, Reducing Costs[15] examined the reasons why energy provision to displaced people undermines the fundamental humanitarian aims of assistance, and Towards a New Global Business Model for Antibiotics: Delinking Revenues from Sales[16] argued for revenues for pharmaceutical companies to be delinked from sales of antibiotics to avoid their over-use and avert a public health crisis.

Chatham House published the research paper Livestock – Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector: Global Public Opinion on Meat and Dairy Consumption in December 2014. It argued that there was a major lack of public awareness of the link between climate change and human consumption of meat and dairy products.[17]

Released in July 2014, NATO: Charting the Way Forward suggested future priorities for NATO in the light of world events, especially considering Afghanistan and Ukraine. The report was the culmination of a year of expert roundtable meetings, in preparation for NATO's 2014 summit in Wales.[18]

Declared the #2 Report of 2014 in the University of Pennsylvania’s 2014 Global Go To Think Tanks Report, How to Fix the Euro: Strengthening Economic Governance in Europe was produced in March 2014, in conjunction with the Real Instituto Elcano and the Agenzia di ricerche e legislazione. It examined why the economic and monetary union (EMU) was so badly affected by the global economic and financial crisis, and assessed whether further changes needed to be made to the structure of economic governance underpinning it.[19]

Western Policy towards Syria: Ten Recommendations was published in December 2013. This programme paper sought to inform a more strategic approach to the overall Western response to the crisis in Syria and its immediate neighbourhood, and to that end produced a list of 10 strategic recommendations for Western governments.[20]

The November 2013 report Conflict and Coexistence in the Extractive Industries examined disputes between governments and companies over mineral resources and how falling commodity prices, plus heightened concerns over resource security, environmental degradation and climate change, could bring further scrutiny and tensions to the sector.[21]

Chatham House released the report Managing Famine Risk in April 2013 which argued that while early warning systems for famine and food crises had a good record, early action had been heavily hindered by the perceived political risk in donor countries.[22]

In December 2012, Chatham House released Resources Futures, a report on resource insecurity and the potential for future supply disruptions, volatile prices, accelerated environmental degradation and rising political tensions over resource access.[23] The report proposed a new 'G8-style' group of critical producers and consumers called the 'Resource 30' or R30 to tackle resource price volatility.[24][25]

In May 2012, Chatham House published the report Shifting Capital: The Rise of Financial Centres in Greater China.[26] The report argued that China needs to develop a deeper and more diversified financial sector that reflects the size and the international integration of its real economy.

To assess what contribution, if any, gold could make to the international monetary system in the wake of the global financial crisis, Chatham House set up a global taskforce of experts in 2011. In February 2012, the taskforce released the report Gold and the International Monetary System[27] which concluded that although a gold standard may have limited reckless banking and debt accumulation, it likely would have created excessive constraint on national economic policies where more flexible responses were needed.

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George Osborne and Christine Lagarde speaking at Chatham House, 9 September 2011

In September 2011 Chatham House published a report examining support for populist extremists across Europe and recommending how mainstream political parties could respond. Right Response: Understanding and Countering Populist Extremism in Europe, by Matthew Goodwin,[28] noted that extreme parties more effectively exchange ideas and strategies as compared to mainstream parties, and recommended established parties work together on best practice to confront this challenge.

In October 2010 Chatham House published a report entitled Strategy in Austerity: The Security and Defence of the United Kingdom.[29] The report offered a framework for assessing the quality and durability of the British government's Strategic Defence and Security Review. Briefing Papers were also published on Iraq, Yemen, Cyber-Warfare, and the legal implications of unmanned drones (UAVs) amongst others.

In September 2010 Chatham House produced the report The ‘Shale Gas Revolution’: Hype and Reality, by Paul Stevens,[30] which analysed the huge increase in unconventional gas production in the US. The report cast serious doubts over the industry's confidence in the ‘revolution’ and whether conditions in the US could be replicated. It received a Special Note in the Publication of the Year category at the Prospect Think Tank Awards 2011.[31]

A Chatham House analysis of the June 2009 Iranian presidential election voting figures by Ali Ansari, Daniel Berman and Thomas Rintoul[32] revealed irregularities in the official statistics that contradicted the official government line that a spate of newly participating voters had pushed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to victory. This report was widely cited by major media outlets, including The New York Times,[33] BBC,[34] The Guardian,[35] The Telegraph,[36] The Wall Street Journal,[37] and the Financial Times.[38]

Speakers

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Muhammadu Buhari speaking at Chatham House, 26 February 2015

In addition to undertaking wide-ranging research, Chatham House hosts high-profile speakers from around the world. Recent speakers include Shinzō Abe, David Cameron, Aung San Suu Kyi, Christine Lagarde, Madeleine Albright, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Abdullah Gül, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Herman Van Rompuy, Muhammad Yunus, Ban Ki-moon and on 26 February 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of All Progressive Congress, Nigeria, spoke on the prospects of democratic consolidation in Africa : Nigeria's transition.[39]

Periodical publications

Chatham House also houses the key scholarly and policy journal International Affairs, as well as a bi-monthly magazine The World Today. The World Today is represented for syndication by Tribune Content Agency, a subsidiary of The Tribune Company.

Chatham House Prize

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Hillary Clinton, recipient of the 2013 Chatham House Prize.

The Chatham House Prize is an annual award presented to "the statesperson or organisation deemed by Chatham House members to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year".[40]

List of winners

Year / Name / Country
2005 President Viktor Yushchenko[40] Ukraine
2006 President Joaquim Chissano[40] Mozambique
2007 Sheikha Mozah Al Missned[40] Qatar
2008 President John Kufuor[40] Ghana
2009 President Lula da Silva[41] Brazil
2010 President Abdullah Gül[42] Turkey
2011 Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi[43] Myanmar
2012 President Moncef Marzouki and Rached Ghannouchi[40] Tunisia
2013 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton[44] United States
2014 Co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation Melinda French Gates[45] United States
2015 Médecins Sans Frontières [46] Switzerland
2016 Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif[47] Iran
Secretary of State John Kerry[47] United States
2017 President Juan Manuel Santos[48] Colombia
2018 Committee to Protect Journalists [49] United States

History

Origins


The Royal Institute of International Affairs finds its origins in a meeting, convened by Lionel Curtis, of the American and British delegates to the Paris Peace Conference on 30 May 1919. Curtis had long been an advocate for the scientific study of international affairs and, following the beneficial exchange of information after the peace conference, argued that the method of expert analysis and debate should be continued when the delegates returned home in the form of international institute.[50]

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Lionel Curtis was instrumental in the founding of Chatham House.

Ultimately, the British and American delegates formed separate institutes, with the Americans developing the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

The British Institute of International Affairs, as it was then known, held its inaugural meeting, chaired by Robert Cecil, on 5 July 1920. In this, former Foreign Secretary Edward Grey moved the resolution calling the institute into existence:

"That an Institute be constituted for the study of International Questions, to be called the British Institute of International Affairs."[51]

These two, along with Arthur J. Balfour and John R. Clynes, became the first Presidents of the Institute, with Curtis and G. M. Gathorne–Hardy appointed joint Honorary Secretaries.[51]

By 1922, as the Institute's membership grew, there was a need for a larger and more practical space and the Institute acquired, through the gift of Canadian Colonel R. W. Leonard, Chatham House, Number 10 St. James's Square, where the Institute is still housed.[52]

Inter-war years

Following its inception, the Institute quickly focused upon Grey's resolution, with the 1920s proving an active decade at Chatham House. The journal, International Affairs, was launched in January 1922, allowing for the international circulation of the various reports and discussions which took place within the Institute.[52]

After being appointed as Director of Studies, Professor Arnold Toynbee became the leading figure producing the Institute's annual Survey of International Affairs, a role he held until his retirement in 1955. While providing a detailed annual overview of international relations, the survey's primary role was ‘to record current international history’.[53] The survey continued until 1963 and was well received throughout the Institution, coming to be known as ‘the characteristic external expression of Chatham House research: a pioneer in method and a model for scholarship.’[54]

In 1926, 14 members of Chatham House represented the United Kingdom at the first conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations, a forum dedicated to the discussion of problems and relations between Pacific nations.[55] The IPR served as a platform for the Institute to develop an advanced political and commercial awareness of the region, with special focus being place upon China's economic development and international relations.[56]

In the same year the Institute received its Royal Charter, thereupon being known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The Charter set out the aims and objectives of the Institute, reaffirming its wish to ‘advance the sciences of international politics...promote the study and investigation of international questions by means of lectures and discussion…promote the exchange of information, knowledge and thought on international affairs.’[57]

Further expansion

1929 marked the next stage in the Institute's development with the appointment of a full-time chief executive or director when Ivison Macadam was appointed to the position (Secretary and then Director-General) [58] where he oversaw the Institute's rapid expansion with its growing research, organisational and financial needs.[59] A role he occupied until 1955.

Macadam was able to secure funding to expand the physical plant of the Institute by acquiring the freeholds of 6 Duke of York Street, then called York Street, (largely though the generosity of Waldorf Astor, John Power and others) and later 9 St James's Square, then the Portland Club, in 1943 (through a donation to cover its purchase by Henry Price), and connect these adjoining properties to the original freehold property of Chatham House at 10, St James Square (with the cost of these connections covered by Astor's sons, William, David and John). Power also donated his leasehold property in Chesham Place to the Institute in 1938. These additional properties provided much needed additional space for the Institute's activities.[60]

1929 also saw the inception of the Institute's special study group on the international gold problem. The group, which included leading economists such as John Maynard Keynes, conducted a three-year study into the developing economic issues which the post-war international monetary settlement created.[61] The group's research anticipated Britain's decision to abandon the gold standard two years later.[62]

Around this time Chatham House became known as the place for leading statesmen and actors in world affairs to visit when in London; notably, Mahatma Gandhi visited the institute on 20 October 1931, in which he delivered a talk on ‘The Future of India’. The talk was attended by 750 members making it the Institute's largest meeting up to that point.[63]

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Committee of Post-War Reconstruction meeting in the Institute's Common Room, 1943.

In 1933 Norman Angell, whilst working within the Institute's Council, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his book The Great Illusion, making him the first and only Laureate to be awarded the prize for publishing a book.[63]

Chatham House held the first Commonwealth Relations Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1933. Held roughly every five years, the conference provided a forum for leading politicians, lawyers, academics and others to discuss the implications of recent Imperial Conferences.[64] With various dominion nations seeking to follow individual foreign policy aims, Neill Malcolm, the chairman of the Canadian Institute for International Affairs, emphasised the need for "essential agreement in matters of foreign policy between the various Governments," with the Commonwealth Relations Conference being the vehicle upon which this cooperation would be achieved and maintained.[65]

In 1937, Robert Cecil was also awarded the Nobel Prize for his commitment to, and defence of, the League of Nations and the pursuit for peace and disarmament amongst its members.[66]

War years, 1939–1945

The outbreak of WWII led the Chairman Bill Astor to decentralise the Institute, with the majority of staff moving to Balliol College, Oxford. Throughout the war years the Institute worked closely with the Foreign Office who requested various reports on foreign press, historical and political background of the enemy and various other topics. The few who remained in London were either drafted into various government departments or worked under Toynbee, dedicating their research to the war effort.[67]

The Institute also provided many additional services to scholars and the armed forces. Research facilities were opened to refugee and allied academics, whilst arrangements were made for both the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Polish Research Centre to relocate to the Institute following the bombing of their premises. In addition, allied officers undertook courses in international affairs at the Institute in an attempt to develop their international and political awareness.[67]

The post-war years

Chatham House had been researching potential post-war issues as early as 1939 through the Committee on Reconstruction.[67] Whilst a number of staff returned to the Institute at the end of the war, a proportion of members found themselves joining a range of international organisations, including the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund. Combining this with the Institute's early support of the League of Nations and impact of the gold study on the Bretton Woods system, Chatham House found itself to be a leading actor in international political and economic redevelopment.[67]

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Margaret Thatcher leaving Chatham House after attending the 'Inside Saudi Arabia: Society, Economy and Defence' conference, October 1993.

In reaction to the changing post-war world, Chatham House embarked on a number of studies relating to Britain and the Commonwealth's new political stature, in light of growing calls for decolonisation and the development of the Cold War.[68] A board of studies in race relations was created in 1953, allowing for the close examination of changing attitudes and calls for racial equality throughout the world. The group broke off into an independent charity in 1958, forming the Institute of Race Relations.[69]

Following the Cuban missile crisis and Brazilian coup d'état, the institute developed a growing focus on the Latin American region. Che Guevara, then Cuba's Minister of Industry, wrote an analysis of ‘The Cuban Economy: Its Past and Present Importance’ in 1964 for International Affairs, displaying the Institute's desire to tackle the most difficult international issues.[70]

Chatham House played a more direct role in the international affairs of the Cold War through the October 1975 Anglo-Soviet round-table, the first in a series of meetings between Chatham House and the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow. As an early example of two-track diplomacy, the meeting sought to develop closer communication and improved relations between Britain and the Soviet Union, one of the first such attempts in the Cold War.[71]

Soon after the first Anglo-Soviet round-table, the Institute began an intensive research project into ‘British Foreign Policy to 1985’. Its primary aim was to analyse the foreign policy issues which Britain would encounter in the near and far future. Research began in 1976 and the findings were published in International Affairs between 1977 and 1979.

At the start of the 1980s, the Council moved to expand the Institute's research capabilities in two key emerging areas. The first modern programmes to be created under this initiative were the Energy and Research Programme and the International Economics Programme, formed in 1980 - 1981.[72]

In addition to reshaping its research practices, the Institute also sought to strengthen its international network, notably amongst economically prosperous nations. For example, Chatham House's Far East programme, created with the intention of improving Anglo-Japanese relations in the long and short term, was bolstered by the support of the Japan 2000 group in 1984.[73]

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Nelson Mandela delivering a speech at the Chatham House conference 'South Africa: The Opportunity for Business', 10 July 1996.

Recent history

The Institute celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1995, an event marked by the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. During her visit, The Queen was briefed by the Institute's experts on South Africa in preparation for her impending visit to the country following the end of apartheid.

The year 1998 marked the creation of the Angola Forum. Combining the nation's oil reserves with its growing international ambition, Angola quickly became an influential African nation. As a result, Chatham House launched the Forum to create an international platform for ‘forward looking, policy focused and influential debate and research'.[74] The Institute’s wider Africa Programme was created in 2002, beginning the modern structure of area studies programmes.[75]

In 2005, "Security, Terrorism and the UK" was published.[76] The publication, which links the UK's participation in the Iraq War and the nation's exposure to terrorism, gained significant media attention.

The Chatham House Prize was also launched in 2005, recognising state actors who made a significant contribution to international relations the previous year. Queen Elizabeth II presented the debut award to Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko.[77]

In January 2013 the Institute announced its Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, offering potential and established world leaders a 12-month fellowship at the institution with the aim of providing ‘a unique programme of activities and training to develop a new generation of leaders in international affairs.’ In November 2014, The Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, once again visited and formally launched the Academy under the title of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs.[78]

See also

• Australian Institute of International Affairs
• Canadian International Council
• Council on Foreign Relations
• German Council on Foreign Relations
• International Affairs
• List of UK think tanks
• Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael
• Pakistan Institute of International Affairs
• Singapore Institute of International Affairs
• South African Institute of International Affairs
• The World Today

References

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7. Wickett, X. (January 2018). "Transatlantic Relations: Converging or Diverging?". Chathamhouse.org.
8. Lutsevych, O.; et al. (October 2017). "The Struggle for Ukraine". Chathamhouse.org.
9. Bailey, R. and Wellesley, L. (June 2017). "Chokepoints and Vulnerabilities in Global Food Trade". Chathamhouse.org.
10. Hoffmann, L.K. and Patel, R.N. (May 2017). "Collective Action on Corruption in Nigeria: A Social Norms Approach to Connecting Society and Institutions". Chathamhouse.org.
11. Wickett, X.; et al. (January 2017). "America's International Role Under Donald Trump". Chathamhouse.org.
12. Parakilas, J. (September 2016). "Elite Perceptions of the United States in Latin America and the Post-Soviet States". Chathamhouse.org.
13. Hoffmann, L.K. and Melly, P. (December 2015). "Nigeria's Booming Borders: The Drivers and Consequences of Unrecorded Trade". Chathamhouse.org.
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15. Lahn, G. and Grafham, O. (November 2015). Chathamhouse.org https://www.chathamhouse.org/publicatio ... cing-costs. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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18. Wickett, X.; et al. (July 2014). "NATO: Charting the Way Forward". Chathamhouse.org.
19. Pickford, S.; et al. (March 2014). "How to Fix the Euro: Strengthening Economic Governance in Europe". Chathamhouse.org.
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21. "Commodity disputes likely to increase" Archived 21 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine. CNBC (2013-11-28). Retrieved 2014-02-03.
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25. Bromby, Robin (2012-12-13). "Talkfest won't tackle the big issues". The Australian. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
26. Subacchi, P.; et al. (May 2012). "Shifting Capital: The Rise of Financial Centres in Greater China" (PDF). Chathamhouse.org.
27. "Gold and the International Monetary System" (PDF). Chatham House Gold Taskforce. Chathamhouse.org. February 2012.
28. Goodwin, Matthew (September 2011). "Right Response: Understanding and Countering Populist Extremism in Europe"(PDF). Chathamhouse.org.
29. Cornish, P (October 2010). "Strategy in Austerity, The Security and Defence of the United Kingdom" (PDF). Chathamhouse.org.
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48. "President Juan Manuel Santos named winner of the Chatham House Prize 2017". chathamhouse.org.
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50. Carrington (2004), p. 47
51. Carrington (2004), p. 48
52. Carrington (2004), p. 50
53. 'Report of the Council of the Royal Institute of International Affairs to the 7th AGM' in The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports 1926-1931, (London: Chatham House, 1931), p. 3.
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55. 'Report of the 8th AGM' in Annual Reports 1926-1931, p. 3
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59. Obituary of Ivison Macadam published in The Times , London, 31 December 1974 by Kenneth Younger
60. The Institute then owned the freeholds covering a rectangle of properties fronting on 10 and 9 in St. James’s Square on the south running north bordered on the east by Duke of York Street to the properties on Ormand Yard on the north (the mews immediately south of Jermyn Street). These freehold properties also later proved to be a valuable financial asset when in the 1960s the northern properties were redeveloped to provide additional annual income for the Institute. Chatham House: Its History and Inhabitants, C. E. Carrington, Revised and updated by Mary Bone, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2004.
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67. Carrington (2004), pp. 63-64
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69. "About | Institute of Race Relations". Irr.org.uk. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
70. The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports, 1964-1965, p. 3.
71. The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports, 1975-1976, p. 3.
72. The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports, 1980–1981, p. 9.
73. The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports, 1984-1985, p. 7.
74. "Angola Forum". Chatham House.
75. "Africa Programme". Chatham House.
76. "International Security Department". Chatham House.
77. "Impartial and International" (PDF). Chathamhouse.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
78. "Academy for Leadership in International Affairs". Chatham House. Retrieved 4 August 2014.

Bibliography

• Carrington, Charles (2004). Chatham House: Its History and Inhabitants. Chatham House. ISBN 1-86203-154-1.

External links

• Official website
• Charity Commission. The Royal Institute of International Affairs, registered charity no. 208223.
• Architectural history and description - from the Survey of London
• Conference papers, research memoranda and miscellaneous papers relating to the work of the Far East Department of the Royal Institute of International Affairs are held by SOAS Archives.
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:26 am

Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/28/19

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Image
The Right Honourable
Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher
GCVO, KCB, PC, DL
Member of the United Kingdom Parliament
for Penryn and Falmouth
In office
1880–1885
Serving with David James Jenkins
Preceded by
Henry Thomas Cole
David James Jenkins
Succeeded by David James Jenkins
Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle
In office
1928–1930
Preceded by Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge
Succeeded by Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone
Personal details
Born Reginald Baliol Brett
30 June 1852
London, England
Died 22 January 1930 (aged 77)
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Eleanor Van de Weyer
Children
4, including:
Dorothy Brett
Sylvia of Sarawak
Parents
William Baliol Brett, 1st Viscount Esher
Eugénie Mayer
Education
Eton College
Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation Politician, courtier, historian

Reginald Baliol Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher, GCVO, KCB, PC, DL (30 June 1852 – 22 January 1930) was a historian and Liberal politician in the United Kingdom, although his greatest influence over military and foreign affairs was as a courtier, member of public committees and behind-the-scenes "fixer", or rather éminence grise.

Career courtier and 'fixer'

Background and education


Reginald, known as Regy, Brett was the son of William Baliol Brett, 1st Viscount Esher and Eugénie Mayer (1814–1904).[1] Born in London, Esher remembered sitting on the lap of an old man who had played the violin for Marie Antoinette, and was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He held a militia commission after Cambridge.[2][3] His father, who was to be Solicitor-General in Disraeli's first ministry (1868), distinguished himself in the 1867 Reform Act debate dutifully supporting the triumphant Disraeli. In 1868 he was named a judge on the Court of Common Pleas; in 1876 he became a Lord Justice of Appeal and in 1883 Master of the Rolls. A distinguished common law judge, in 1885 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Esher by prime minister Lord Salisbury. On his retirement as Master of the Rolls in 1897, he was created first Viscount Esher. "Regy"'s mother was a French émigrée, who had arrived in England, after being expelled for supporting Bonaparte. A refugee she was adopted by the Duke of Wellington's secretary John Gurwood. She was the famous jejeune captivated in Disraeli's novel Coningsby. The happy couple met for the romantic bohemian Tory set at Longleat House and, at the home of the society hostess Lady Blessington.

At Eton Brett was taught by influential master William Johnson Cory, whose pupils included the future prime minister Lord Rosebery and others in the highest echelons of society. Rosebery's idealistic learning from romantic poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, the liberal philosopher J S Mill, the chemistry of Leibniz, music of Mozart, and Jeremy Bentham were intellectual influences on the young Regy. Going up to Trinity College, Cambridge, Brett was profoundly influenced by William Harcourt the radical lawyer, politician and Professor of International Law. Harcourt controlled Brett's rooms, and lifestyle at Cambridge. Brett's father had introduced him to Albert Grey's Committee, but had a long-standing dispute with General Charles Grey, the Queen's Equerry. Brett was admitted to the Society of Apostles, dedicated to emergent philosophies of European atheism; their number included the aristocratic literati of liberalism Frank, Gerald and Eustace Balfour, Frederick and Arthur Myers, Hallam and Lionel Tennyson, Edmund Gurney, S H and J G Butcher. Brett experimented approaching conversion to High Mass from Cardinal Newman on Sundays in London. The Oxford Movement included historians, J Sedgwick and F M Maitland holding an equally profound sway over his youthful scholarship.

Brett was seen with the Carlton Gardens set of Lady Granville, he was friend of the Clare brothers, introduced by the Earl de Grey. He visited Howick Park, and took law with Lord Brougham and Vaux. The famous lawyer's lectures coincided with Justice Brett's employment with Richard Cross, as a parliamentary re-drafter at the Home Office. Albert Grey introductions provided an invitation to the India Office and entrée to met Sir Bartle Frere, the colonial administrator. When Disraeli tried to enforce Anglicanism, in the Public Worship Bill, and was defeated, Brett wrote copious letters to Hartington, leader of the Liberals in the Commons. The consequences were to push Harcourt into the limelight as a leading Liberal in the Commons. But moderates tended to be dragged into sharing a religious position when the Disraelian tradition was threatening to split English liberalism. Brett visited the actor's daughter Lady Waldegrave at Strawberry Hill, and took deportment lessons from the Duchess of Manchester at Kimbolton, Hartington's private secretary, stamping his credentials as a rich aesthete. Regy was a socialite cultivating many friendships among both aristocratic and successful people. Early on a passion for tradition and imperial liberalism would frustrate the radical right.[4]

Courtier, diplomat and Liberal MP

The Great Eastern Crisis had released Turkey from the threat of Russian invasion. But the success of the Midlothian Campaign had re-energized Gladstone's authority as rightful leader of his party; casting Hartington and Brett as marginalized jingoes. Six years later the Whigs would be pushed into the unionist camp. Brett needed his vanity satisfied but felt comfortable in neither party. He rose to become the mediator between Liberal factions, and was a leading light at the Liberal Round Table Conference in 1887.

Having been a Conservative as a young man, Brett began his political career in 1880, as Liberal Member of Parliament for Penryn and Falmouth. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Hartington, when Secretary of State for War (1882–85) and once drove him to a Cabinet meeting on a sleigh through the snow.[2] However he elected to withdraw from public politics in 1885, after losing an election at Plymouth, in favour of a behind the scenes role. He was instrumental in the Jameson raid of 1895 vigorously defending the imperialist Cecil Rhodes.

In 1895, Lord Brett became Permanent Secretary to the Office of Works, where the Prince of Wales was impressed by his zeal and dedication to the elderly Queen Victoria.[2] A lift was built at Windsor Castle to get the elderly Queen upstairs in a redecorated palace. In Kensington Palace, Esher would push the Queen around in wheel chair so she could revisit her childhood. The devoted royal servant would work even more closely with Edward VII. Upon his father's death on 24 May 1899, he succeeded him as 2nd Viscount Esher.

Image
Brett in 1880

During the Boer War Esher had to intervene in the row between Lansdowne and General Wolseley, the Commander-in-Chief, who tended to blame the politician for military failures. He would make the walk between palace and War Office to iron out problems. Into the political vacuum, Esher wrote the memos that became established civil service procedure. When the Elgin Commission was asked to report on the conduct of war, it was Esher who wrote it after the Khaki Election, and continued to act to influence both King and parliament. They met Admiral Fisher at Balmoral to discuss reform of Naval structures, which relied heavily on Fisher's complex web of relatives in senior posts.[5]

In 1901, Lord Esher was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Berkshire[6] and became Deputy Governor and Constable of Windsor Castle.[7] He remained close to the royal family until his death. By the end of 1903 Esher was meeting or corresponding with King Edward VII every day.[2] He lived at 'Orchard Lea', Winkfield on the edge of the Great Park. During this period, he helped edit Queen Victoria's papers, publishing a work called Correspondence of Queen Victoria (1907).[8]

From 1903 Esher shunned office, but was a member of Lord Elgin's South African War Commission,[9] which investigated Britain's near-failure in the Boer War. At this time he was writing to the King daily (and having three or four meetings a day with the King’s adviser Lord Knollys), informing him of the views of the Commission, of party leaders, and War Office civil servants with whom he was still in touch from his days working for Hartington. St John Brodrick, Secretary of State for War, was resentful of Esher’s influence.[2] Brodrick's scope for operation was paralysed by Esher's circumvention, and the government was much weakened in October 1903 when Joseph Chamberlain and Devonshire resigned over the former's plans for Tariff Reform.

Esher Committee

In 1904 Esher set up a sub-committee of Committee for Imperial Defence, known as the Esher Committee of which he was appointed chairman. To achieve the King's desired reforms of the Army, Esher formed an uneasy alliance with Sir George Clarke, the permanent secretary, to directly undermine H O Arnold-Foster's attempt to block militia reform, Clarke "discountenancing" told him he could not possibly read the Order".[10] A Triumvirate included Esher, Rosebery, and General Murray, notorious for making policy on the hoof misusing ministerial offices[clarification needed]. Furious Esher was determined the King should have intervention: on 7 December, Arnold-Foster advised to save £2m the militia must be absorbed into the Army. His scheming encouraged by the King, wanted Balfour to look to party first, while at the same time warning the King's Secretary that "the Prime Minister will have to take matters into his own hands".[11] Esher's role was for sixty-seven years a secret, by a memorandum behind the scenes[clarification needed], unaccountable to parliament. It was decided on 19 December a Reserve Force should be set up "in commission". On 12 January Esher told the minister to accept his sub-committee's recommendation, even though Arnold-Foster had not even been told of the agenda.[12] Despite the intrigues, the King approved of the committee's work.[13]

Esher cultivated a friendship with Colonel Sir Edmund Ward[verification needed], secretary to the Army Council in order to control minute-taking, the agenda, and meetings quorum[clarification needed] telling him he had secret information of "proof of the Army Order"; and a plan known as "Traverse" towards Army decentralisation. That was in September 1904 when the Army Council's powers were still undefined at the time it was enlarged by Lord Knollys. The issue confronting Esher was the Royal Prerogative which had been circumvented "without reference to the Sovereign".[14] He marched into Arnold-Foster's office to remind him that precedent under Victoria had been to yield to arguments from the monarch[15] which had already been put forward by the Adjutant-General.[16]

Liberal War Office

Image
Reginald Brett at his writing table in 1905

Behind the scenes, he influenced many pre-First World War military reforms and was a supporter of the British–French Entente Cordiale. He chaired the War Office Reconstitution Committee.[9] This recommended radical reform of the British Army, including the setting up of the Army Council, and established the Committee of Imperial Defence, a permanent secretariat that Esher joined in 1905. From 1904 all War Office appointments were approved and often suggested by Esher. He approved the setting up of the Territorial Force, although he saw it as a step towards conscription; a step not taken. Many of Esher’s recommendations were nonetheless, implemented under the new Liberal governments of Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith by Haldane, Secretary of State for War, assisted by Esher's protege the young Major-General Douglas Haig.[2] When Haldane entered the War Office, he was provided with Colonel Sir Gerard Ellison as a new military secretary to make the transitional reforms. Haldane wished to avoid 'corner cuts' and so established the Information Bureau in the War Office. Although Eshers's biographer Peter Fraser argued "the Haldane reforms owed little to Haldane."[17] The initial Liberal reforms were thrown out by the Lords, and the resulting documents looked like Esher's original efforts.[18]

Esher found his son, Oliver Brett, a job as an additional secretary to John Morley and he was on good terms with Capt Sinclair, Campbell-Bannerman's secretary.

Esher's involvements in the Territorial Army were not limited to the War Office. He was the first chairman appointed in 1908 to the County of London Territorial Forces Association and its president from 1912 to his death, in addition he was appointed honorary colonel of the 5th (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers in 1908 and held the same appointment with the 63rd (London) Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery from 1910 to 1921.[19]

Esher's royal triumph and the Entente Cordiale

Esher was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of London in 1909.[20] and the King's Aide-de-Camp. Depicted as a disciple of national efficiency, an able administrator, and a silky, smooth influence as a courtier, he was accused of being an arch-insider, undemocratic and interfering.[21] Moreover, the King liked Esher, and so his influence over the Army grew, leading to a more liberal far-sighted attitude towards the possibility of averting conflict in Europe. Esher's invaluable contribution prevented further promotion in a political career, in which he had been destined for high cabinet office. His close political friends in the Liberal party included Edward Marjoribanks and Earl Rosebery. His aristocratic connections and military experience made him an ideal grandee, but such was the importance of his ties to the monarch, that his career was somewhat restrictive of ambition. He was by nature ambitious, 'clubbable' sociable, and frequently seen at High Society parties in the fashionable houses of the Edwardian era. He was secretive and patriotic: accordingly founding the Society of Islanders. Its one great principle was to build "two for one Keels" over and above any other Navy in the world in order to maintain global peace.

In 1911 Esher helped ease out Lord Knollys, who was then seventy-five years old, having been in the Royal Household since 1862, but who had lost some royal confidence over the negotiation of the Parliament Act. Esher arranged a replacement as King George V's principal adviser with Lord Stamfordham.[2]

Esher declined many public offices, including the Viceroyalty of India and the Secretaryship for War, a job to which King Edward VII had urged he be appointed.[2]

Esher's Great War

In January 1915, Esher visited Premier Briand in Paris, who told him Lloyd George had "a longer view than any of our leaders". An earlier opening of a Salonika Front might have prevented the entry of Bulgaria into the war".[22] He also made contact with Bunau Varilla, editor of Le Matin, to keep Russia in "the alliance and Americans to come to aid of Europe".[23] By 1916 the French war effort was almost spent. Finance Minister, Alexandre Ribot told them to sue for peace, Esher reported.[24] At the Chantilly Conference they discussed combined operations - "Dans la guerre l'inertie est une honte."[clarification needed][25] Esher accompanied Sir Douglas Haig to the Amiens Conference, but was back in Paris to be informed of the surprise news of Kitchener's death. Returning to London Esher spoke with Billy Hughes, Prime Minister of Australia. The following month at the Beaugency Conference they discussed the Somme Offensive. "For heaven's sake put every ounce you have got of will power into this offensive" he told Hankey.[26] He often travelled to France to leave the "mephitic" atmosphere of the War Office,[27] on a trip to Liaison Officer, Colonel Sidney Clive at Chantilly. He learnt first hand the French government's scheme for a "Greater Syria" to include British controlled Palestine. France's ally on the Eastern Front, Russia, had been badly defeated the previous year; so Asquith's neutrality over Briand's Salonika Plan perplexed Esher. He perceived the balance of power in cabinet shifting towards a new more conservative coalition.[28]

During the First World War Esher was, in one writer’s description, de facto head of British Intelligence in France, reporting on the French domestic and political situation, although he told his son he preferred not to have a formal position where he would have to take orders.[2] His son Maurice Brett set up a bureau in Paris called Intelligence Anglaise keeping his father informed through a small spy network with links to newspaper journalists.

In 1917 he told Lloyd George that the diplomacy in Paris was weak, informing the Prime Minister that he "was badly served". The ambassador Lord Bertie was the last of the Victorian imperial envoys, and was failing to do enough to persuade a faltering France to remain fighting in the war. When offered the ambassadorship in Bertie's stead Esher crowed "I cannot imagine anything I would detest more."[29] His considerable diplomatic skills included fluent French and German. The following month there was a French mutiny, as the Poilus were dying in appalling conditions. Haig and Wilson lent their support to an offensive to bolster the French. Petain, the new French commander-in-chief, was deemed too defensive: Esher sent Colonel Repington as liaison officer on a 'charm offensive'. Backed by Churchill and Milner for dramatic action, Esher entered a diplomatic conversation with the Cabinet's War Policy Committee; a unique new departure in the management of British policy. The bad weather and sickness of war made Esher ill in 1917; he was encouraged by the King to holiday at Biarritz.

Partly on Esher's advice, the War Office undertook major re-organization in 1917. He advised unification of commands, in which all British military commands would be controlled from Whitehall's Imperial War Office only.[30] Esher was at the famous Crillon Club dinner meeting in Paris on 1 December 1917 in which with Clemenceau they took critical decisions over the strategy for 1918. The Allied Governments proposed a unified Allied Reserve, despite negative press and publicity in the Commons. As cabinet enforcer, Esher visited Henry Wilson on 9 February 1918, during the crisis over his succession to Robertson as CIGS. Esher became instrumental in remonstrating with loose press articles critical of the war effort in particular, the Northcliffe press and the Morning Post, which was seized and shut down at 6.30 pm on Tuesday, 10 February 1918. In France, Esher had established a rapprochement with the press to help hold the Poincare-Clemenceau government together, at a time when England was at the zenith of her military strength."[31]

Esher was admitted to the Privy Council in 1922. In 1928 he became Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle, an office he had always wanted, holding it until his death in 1930.

Historian and retirement

Lord Esher was also a historian; besides the aforementioned work, he also published works on King Edward VII and Lord Kitchener. Together with Liberal MP Lewis ("Loulou") Harcourt he established the London Museum, which opened its doors on 5 March 1912.[32] In February 1920 he proof read Haig's History of the General Head Quarters 1917-1918. That summer Esher's critique of a Life of Disraeli appeared in Quarterly Review. His own life would be written by Oliver, eldest son and heir.

As the Great War concluded Esher intimated that the King wanted his resignation as Lieutenant-Governor of Windsor. In fact he coveted the post of Keeper of the Royal Archives. Stamfordham demanded his resignation in favour of historian Sir John Fortescue, but Esher remained as Governor. Professionalization also warned Hankey against becoming secretary to the Peace Conference, which to Esher's mind was beyond his competence. Esher also persuaded his friend not to desert the Empire for the League of Nations. Domestic unrest and trade unionism, which Esher loathed, as it threatened peace and stability, also destabilized his position as President of the Army of India Committee. Ever skeptical of political changes, "omnivorous" introductions to the Viceroy's work forced him to decline a solicitous offer to chair a sub-committee of the Conditions of the Poor.

Family life

Esher's most cheerful experiences were at Roman Camp in Callander, Scotland. He embraced the healthy Scottish highland air. His son, Maurice Brett was the successful founder of MI6 in Esher's Paris flat during the war; a meeting place for Prime Ministers and Presidents. In November 1919, Maurice sold Orchard Lea; Esher was a family man.

Astute, reserved, and modestly discreet Esher assiduously courted success and avoided scandal. He turned down an invitation to attend on David, Prince of Wales and his mistress Freda Dudley Ward at Balmoral. But when his wild, artistic daughter invited Colette and husband Bunau Varilla, the family stayed on his yacht in the Clyde; family came first.[33] Dorothy Brett was a slightly bohemian artist living at 2 Tilney Street. She befriended Gertler, a wild Russian Jew, her father despaired.

Honours

British honours


• KCB : Knight Commander the Order of the Bath – announced in the 1902 Coronation Honours list on 26 June 1902[34] – invested by King Edward while on board his yacht HMY Victoria and Albert on 28 July 1902[35] (gazetted 11 July 1902)[36]
• GCVO: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (previously KCVO)
Foreign honours

Family

In 1879, Reginald Brett married Eleanor Van de Weyer, daughter of Belgian ambassador Sylvain Van de Weyer and granddaughter of Anglo-American financier Joshua Bates. They had four children.

• Their elder son, Oliver Sylvain Baliol Brett became 3rd Viscount Esher and was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He married Antoinette Heckscher, daughter of August Heckscher.
• Their second son, Maurice Vyner Baliol Brett, married the famous musical theatre actress Zena Dare.
• Their older daughter, Dorothy, was a painter and member of the Bloomsbury Group. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Artsand spent years in New Mexico.
• Their younger daughter, Sylvia, became the last Ranee of Sarawak on 24 May 1917, following the proclamation of her husband Charles Vyner Brooke as Rajah.

Although married with children, Esher had homosexual inclinations but his flirtations with young men were regarded with tolerant amusement in polite society. The years before his marriage had been marked by a series of what Esher described as 'rapturous' love affairs with various young men. His subsequent marriage in no way stopped or curtailed these activities. Indeed he could not, he told a friend, remember a single day when he was not in love with one young man or another. He later published anonymously a white-covered book of verse called Foam, in which he glorified 'golden lads'.

References

1. Hedley (2004)
2. Reid 2006, pp127-31
3. "Brett, Reginald Baliol (BRT870RB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
4. Searle, Critics, pp.82-3; Perfectly secret, EHR, CXXVII, no.528, p.1178
5. Morris, The Scaremongers, p.477; Humphries, p.1157; N Lambert, Adm Sir J Fisher and Concept of Flotilla Defence, pp.639-60
6. "No. 27281". The London Gazette. 5 February 1901. p. 766.
7. "No. 27336". The London Gazette. 23 July 1901. p. 4838.
8. Kuhn, Democratic royalism, pp.57-81
9. "The Papers of Viscount Esher (Reginald Brett)". Janus. Cambridge University.
10. Clarke to Esher, 26 November 1904, Esher's Journals and Letters
11. Esher to Lord Knollys, 27 November 1904, Journals and Letters
12. Arnold-Foster, Diary, 25 January 1905
13. Edward VII to Balfour, RA R 25/68, 69
14. Esher to Knollys, 18 October 1904, Journals and Letters
15. Clarke to Esher, 16 November 1904, Journals and Letters,
16. Adj-Gen. Sir Charles Douglas, W.O, 7 November 1904
17. Fraser, p.23.
18. Fraser, p.23-4
19. Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1930. Kelly's. p. 620.
20. "No. 28255". The London Gazette. 28 May 1909. p. 4062.
21. The World (1910); Lees-Milne, Enigmatic, p.220-1
22. Journal and Letters, 6 May 1916
23. Journals, 17 May 1916
24. Journals, Esher to Robertson, Paris, 20 May 1916
25. President Poincare on the state of battle at Verdun, Esher's Journals, 23–24 May 1916
26. Journals, Esher to Sir Maurice Hankey, Paris, 3 August 1916
27. Esher to Haig, 6 August 1916
28. Esher to Robertson, 11 August 1916, Journals and Letters, vol.4, 1916-30
29. Journals and Letters, 19 May 1917.
30. FM Sir William Robertson, 'Soldiers and Statesmen 1914-1918' (1926)
31. Memorandum to Stamfordham, 18 October 1917, Royal Archives, Windsor, GVK1340/1; Fraser, p.372
32. Bailkin, Jordanna "Radical Conservations: The Problem with the London Museum" Radical History Review - Issue 84, Fall 2002, pp. 43–7
33. The Enigmatic Edwardian, p.325
34. "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
35. "Court Circular". The Times (36832). London. 29 July 1902. p. 10.
36. "No. 27453". The London Gazette. 11 July 1902. p. 4441.

Bibliography

• Bloch, Michael (2015). Closet Queens. London: Little, Brown. ISBN 1-40870-412-9.
• Brett, Oliver (1938). Journals and Letters of Reginald Brett, Viscount Esher. 6 vols. Routledge.
• Fraser, Peter (1971). Life and Times of Reginald Brett, Viscount Esher. Routledge.
• Lees-Milne, James (1986). The Enigmatic Edwardian: The Life of Reginald, 2nd Viscount Esher. London: Sidgwick & Jackson.
• Magnus, Philip (1964). King Edward VII. John Murray.
• Reid, Walter (2006). Architect of Victory: Douglas Haig. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd. ISBN 1-84158-517-3.

External links

• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Esher
• The Papers of Viscount Esher (Reginald Brett) at Churchill College
• Works by Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Viscount Esher at Internet Archive
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:35 am

Confession of Faith
by Cecil Rhodes
University of Oregon
June 2, 1877

NOTICE: THIS WORK MAY BE PROTECTED BY COPYRIGHT

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO READ THE COPYRIGHT NOTICE AT THIS LINK BEFORE YOU READ THE FOLLOWING WORK, THAT IS AVAILABLE SOLELY FOR PRIVATE STUDY, SCHOLARSHIP OR RESEARCH PURSUANT TO 17 U.S.C. SECTION 107 AND 108. IN THE EVENT THAT THE LIBRARY DETERMINES THAT UNLAWFUL COPYING OF THIS WORK HAS OCCURRED, THE LIBRARY HAS THE RIGHT TO BLOCK THE I.P. ADDRESS AT WHICH THE UNLAWFUL COPYING APPEARED TO HAVE OCCURRED. THANK YOU FOR RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF COPYRIGHT OWNERS.


Rhodes originally wrote this on June 2, 1877, in Oxford. Later, that year in Kimberley, he made some additions and changes. What follows is that amended statement. The spelling and grammar errors were in the original.

It often strikes a man to inquire what is the chief good in life; to one the thought comes that it is a happy marriage, to another great wealth, and as each seizes on his idea, for that he more or less works for the rest of his existence. To myself thinking over the same question the wish came to render myself useful to my country. I then asked myself how could I and after reviewing the various methods I have felt that at the present day we are actually limiting our children and perhaps bringing into the world half the human beings we might owing to the lack of country for them to inhabit that if we had retained America there would at this moment be millions more of English living. I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives. I contend that every acre added to our territory means in the future birth to some more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence. Added to this the absorption of the greater portion of the world under our rule simply means the end of all wars, at this moment had we not lost America I believe we could have stopped the Russian-Turkish war by merely refusing money and supplies. Having these ideas what scheme could we think of to forward this object. I look into history and I read the story of the Jesuits I see what they were able to do in a bad cause and I might say under bad leaders.

At the present day I become a member of the Masonic order I see the wealth and power they possess the influence they hold and I think over their ceremonies and I wonder that a large body of men can devote themselves to what at times appear the most ridiculous and absurd rites without an object and without an end.

The idea gleaming and dancing before ones eyes like a will-of-the-wisp at last frames itself into a plan. Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule for the recovery of the United States for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire. What a dream, but yet it is probable, it is possible. I once heard it argued by a fellow in my own college, I am sorry to own it by an Englishman, that it was good thing for us that we have lost the United States. There are some subjects on which there can be no arguments, and to an Englishman this is one of them, but even from an American’s point of view just picture what they have lost, look at their government, are not the frauds that yearly come before the public view a disgrace to any country and especially their’s which is the finest in the world. Would they have occurred had they remained under English rule great as they have become how infinitely greater they would have been with the softening and elevating influences of English rule, think of those countless 000’s of Englishmen that during the last 100 years would have crossed the Atlantic and settled and populated the United States. Would they have not made without any prejudice a finer country of it than the low class Irish and German emigrants? All this we have lost and that country loses owing to whom? Owing to two or three ignorant pig-headed statesmen of the last century, at their door lies the blame. Do you ever feel mad? do you ever feel murderous. I think I do with those men. I bring facts to prove my assertion. Does an English father when his sons wish to emigrate ever think of suggesting emigration to a country under another flag, never—it would seem a disgrace to suggest such a thing I think that we all think that poverty is better under our own flag than wealth under a foreign one.

Put your mind into another train of thought. Fancy Australia discovered and colonised under the French flag, what would it mean merely several millions of English unborn that at present exist we learn from the past and to form our future. We learn from having lost to cling to what we possess. We know the size of the world we know the total extent. Africa is still lying ready for us it is our duty to take it. It is our duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before our eyes that more territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race more of the best the most human, most honourable race the world possesses.

To forward such a scheme what a splendid help a secret society would be a society not openly acknowledged but who would work in secret for such an object.

I contend that there are at the present moment numbers of the ablest men in the world who would devote their whole lives to it. I often think what a loss to the English nation in some respects the abolition of the Rotten Borough System has been. What thought strikes a man entering the house of commons, the assembly that rule the whole world? I think it is the mediocrity of the men but what is the cause. It is simply—an assembly of wealth of men whose lives have been spent in the accumulation of money and whose time has been too much engaged to be able to spare any for the study of past history. And yet in hands of such men rest our destinies. Do men like the great Pitt, and Burke and Sheridan not now to exist. I contend they do. There are men now living with I know no other term the [Greek term] of Aristotle but there are not ways for enabling them to serve their Country. They live and die unused unemployed. What has the main cause of the success of the Romish Church? The fact that every enthusiast, call it if you like every madman finds employment in it. Let us form the same kind of society a Church for the extension of the British Empire. A society which should have members in every part of the British Empire working with one object and one idea we should have its members placed at our universities and our schools and should watch the English youth passing through their hands just one perhaps in every thousand would have the mind and feelings for such an object, he should be tried in every way, he should be tested whether he is endurant, possessed of eloquence, disregardful of the petty details of life, and if found to be such, then elected and bound by oath to serve for the rest of his life in his County. He should then be supported if without means by the Society and sent to that part of the Empire where it was felt he was needed.

Take another case, let us fancy a man who finds himself his own master with ample means of attaining his majority whether he puts the question directly to himself or not, still like the old story of virtue and vice in the Memorabilia a fight goes on in him as to what he should do. Take if he plunges into dissipation there is nothing too reckless he does not attempt but after a time his life palls on him, he mentally says this is not good enough, he changes his life, he reforms, he travels, he thinks now I have found the chief good in life, the novelty wears off, and he tires, to change again, he goes into the far interior after the wild game he thinks at last I’ve found that in life of which I cannot tire, again he is disappointed. He returns he thinks is there nothing I can do in life? Here I am with means, with a good house, with everything that is to be envied and yet I am not happy I am tired of life he possesses within him a portion of the [Greek term] of Aristotle but he knows it not, to such a man the Society should go, should test, and should finally show him the greatness of the scheme and list him as a member.

Take one more case of the younger son with high thoughts, high aspirations, endowed by nature with all the faculties to make a great man, and with the sole wish in life to serve his Country but he lacks two things the means and the opportunity, ever troubled by a sort of inward deity urging him on to high and noble deeds, he is compelled to pass his time in some occupation which furnishes him with mere existence, he lives unhappily and dies miserably. Such men as these the Society should search out and use for the furtherance of their object.

(In every Colonial legislature the Society should attempt to have its members prepared at all times to vote or speak and advocate the closer union of England and the colonies, to crush all disloyalty and every movement for the severance of our Empire. The Society should inspire and even own portions of the press for the press rules the mind of the people. The Society should always be searching for members who might by their position in the world by their energies or character forward the object but the ballot and test for admittance should be severe)

Once make it common and it fails. Take a man of great wealth who is bereft of his children perhaps having his mind soured by some bitter disappointment who shuts himself up separate from his neighbours and makes up his mind to a miserable existence. To such men as these the society should go gradually disclose the greatness of their scheme and entreat him to throw in his life and property with them for this object. I think that there are thousands now existing who would eagerly grasp at the opportunity. Such are the heads of my scheme.

For fear that death might cut me off before the time for attempting its development I leave all my worldly goods in trust to S. G. Shippard and the Secretary for the Colonies at the time of my death to try to form such a Society with such an object.
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On September 19, 1877, Rhodes drafted his first will; at that time, he had an estate of only about £10,000. (Although he changed his will quite a number of times in years following, the objective remained the same. After his death, the directors of the Rhodes Trust set up the Rhodes Scholarships as the best way to achieve his objectives.) The first clause of the 1877 will bequeathed his wealth as follows:

To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity.
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