Disarmament Conference (1932-4):
‘After the Great War, there was a strong desire to avoid any risk of repetitions fear reinforced by the growth of extremist movements across Europe and by best-selling war books and films such as Erich-Maria Remarque’s ‘All Quiet on the Western Front’ (book (English translation.) 1929; film 1931). There was also growing belief among historians that the international arms race rather than German malevolence, had caused war in 1914, which led naturally to hopes that disarmament would promote peace. Britain had already lifted arms expenditure after 1919, and then adopted a ‘ten-year rule’ to limit expenditure further. Attempts were therefore made to bring about multilateral international disarmament, through a conference at Geneva, under the auspices of the’ (see also) ‘*League of Nations and chaired by Arthur Henderson, who as a foreign secretary had helped to start the process. The conference was a disappointment, with mutual recrimination and no country risking its own national interest. It lingered on, but sits useful life came to an end when Nazi Germany withdrew in October 1933’.
From, John Ramsden, Professor of Modern History at Queen Mary, University of London.
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