LORD CURZON AND THE USE OF SECRET INTELLIGENCE AT THE LAUSANNE CONFERENCE: 1922-1923

Keith JEFFREY, Alan SHARP
1993 Milletleraras  
George Curzon, the British Foreign Secretary, found himsclf in an unenviable position at the Lausanne Conference which opened on 20 November 1922. The great victory of 1918 which, as Harold Nicolson boasted, had left 'the üttoman Empire at our feet dismembered and impotent, its capital and Caliph at the mercy of our guns', and which had allowed the Allies to dictate the Treaty of Sevres, had been dissipated by neglcct of the Near East and the Turkish revival under Mustafa KemaL. Any hopes the
more » ... aL. Any hopes the British might have had of substituting the victories in the Summer of 1922, whilst the Çanakkale (Chanak) crisis brought Britain to the brink of a new war in September. Although this had been averted by a mixture of good luck, and better sense at Chanak than in London, Curzon had few advantages when he travelled to Switzerland to renegotiate the pcace settlement with the victOriOllSTurks. He had few troops and, with the exceptions of New Zealand and Newfoundtand, the British Dominions made it plain that they would not provide any military support for a new adventure in the Ncar East. Relations with his French and ıtalian allies were at a low ebb and the new Prime Minister, Andrew Bonar Law, was anxious to avoid new commitments, particularly in the Near East, both because he had already declared that Britain could not act as the policeman of the world and because he knew that difficu1ties with the French over reparations in Europc could not be long postponcd. Even though the Anglo-French difficulties were not so apparent to the Turks, Curzon was acutely aware of the potential for a breakdown of cooperation either arising from difference over Turkey in the Near East or
doi:10.1501/intrel_0000000174 fatcat:c3sqr6utf5hszpzjlkil7ny4yu