By Edward Corse

A conflict for impartial Europe describes and analyses the forgotten tale of the British government's cultural propaganda association, the British Council, in its crusade to win the hearts and minds of individuals in impartial Europe in the course of the moment international warfare. The publication attracts on a number formerly unused fabric from documents from throughout Europe and personal memoirs to supply a distinct perception into the paintings of the prime British artists, scientists, musicians and different cultural figures who travelled to Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Turkey at nice own hazard to advertise British existence and concept in a time of struggle.

Edward Corse exhibits how the British Council performed a sophisticated yet an important position in Britain's struggle attempt and attracts jointly the teachings of the British Council event to provide a brand new version of cultural propaganda.

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Second, there was a lack of money, and a seemingly less urgent need, to spend money on propaganda of any type, when Britain had spent so much of its wealth on winning the war. 20 For the Foreign Office, a raw disparity of funding between French, Italian, German and British cultural propaganda was obvious. The fact that the French Government was spending around £500,000 per annum, and the German and Italian Governments around £300,000 per annum each, on cultural propaganda activities was rather shocking when compared to the British Government which was only permitted to spend up to £10 – yes, just ten pounds.

Spain, for example, had recently emerged from a civil war and its new leadership, under General Franco, had relied on German and Italian assistance in order to be victorious. 61 Sweden had only been spared invasion by Germany during the Scandinavian campaign in early 1940 because it did not have a North Sea coast (and therefore unlikely to be invaded by Britain) and Germany considered that it would be easier to obtain the raw materials it needed for its war effort (of which Sweden had many) from a ‘free’ country than from an occupied country.

The Council initially established sub-committees and advisory panels on special subjects, to draw in expertise from British cultural figures who were asked to become members. The first committees to be established in 1935 were: the Students committee – designed to bring foreign students to Britain; the Lectures committee – for organizing lecture tours on a range of cultural subjects in foreign countries by prominent British figures; the Fine Arts committee – for organizing British art exhibitions abroad; the Music Advisory committee – for organizing music concerts abroad involving the likes of distinguished British composers Ralph Vaughan Williams and Arthur Bliss; the Books and Periodicals committee – not only for supplying books abroad, but also to try to promote positive reviews of British books in foreign newspapers; the British Education Abroad committee (which closed in 1936, shortly after it had been established); and the Ibero-American committee stressing the emphasis at the time on Latin America, taking over the Ibero-American Institute of Great Britain.

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