Appendix 1: ISC, FWF, IRD

[…] the research centre into a new ‘Institute for the Study of Conflict.” (13) At this time major changes were occurring in the Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD). IRD was set up in 1948, the brainchild of Christopher Mayhew (S.O.E. during WW2), a junior minister in the Labour Government. Its original aim had been […]

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Anti-communism as a profession: The Information Research Department

[…] this perceptible shift to the left alarmed one group in particular, the professional anti-communist network in Britain, at the heart of which was the Information Research Department (IRD). For a supposedly secret agency, we now know quite a bit about IRD – certainly a great deal more than we did in 1978 when the […]

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Britain’s Secret Propaganda War

Book cover

[…] book about the British secret state since Fitzgerald and Bloch’s British Intelligence and Covert Action in the early 1980s. The incremental uncovering of the Information Research Department (IRD) story has been one of the continuing threads of British parapolitics since Richard Fletcher’s pioneering work on it in the mid 1970s; and for several years […]

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Post-war: private sector propaganda begins to regroup

[…] Department In the labour movement the Trades Union Congress was working with the newly-formed, Foreign Office-based, political warfare executive, operating under cover as the Information Research Department (IRD), in an anti-communist drive. IRD was not an innovation. British politics since World War 1 is studded with clandestine propaganda operations involving the mass media of […]

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In a Common Cause: the Anti-Communist Crusade in Britain 1945-60

A small section of this appeared in Lobster 12. Although this is incomplete and under researched, we thought it worth putting out now. The origins of IRD 1947 saw the creation of the Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD). It is generally accepted that IRD was the brain-child of the then Labour M.P. Christopher […]

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George Orwell and the IRD

In their recent history of the Information Research Department (IRD), Paul Lashmar and James Oliver discuss George Orwell’s decision to collaborate with that organisation’s anti-Communist propaganda operations. They write that ‘George Orwell’s reputation as a left-wing icon took a body blow from which it may never recover when it was revealed in 1996 that […]

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Appendix 8: Biographies

[…] Times. Note the curious Reuters appointment in the middle of the war – or when he re-joined Reuters and worked for the New Straits Times (used by IRD during the Malayan emergency). Crozier claims he became an anti-communist in 1946 after reading Kravchenko’s I Chose Freedom. He appears to have strengthened his dislike of […]

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Forty Years of Legal Thuggery

[…] Increasingly they are hidden, though they can be traced by reference to GCHQ outposts like Darwin (Australia). Also known as the ‘Government Code and Cypher School’ (GCCS) (IRD) ‘Information Research Department’. Usually listed for major posts. Later transformed into the ‘Overseas Information Dept’ (OID) and, later still, the plain ‘Information Dept’. (C) Controversial. (Ex) […]

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Winning Hearts and Minds: British Governments, the Media and Colonial Counter-Insurgency 1944-60

[…] put up with IRD’s incompetent meddling until 1976 remains a mystery: Carruther’s account of the politics of official propaganda does not get that deep. Anybody interested in IRD – or the wider issues of propaganda in British counter-insurgency policies – will find important new material here. A short version of this, concentrating on the […]

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A War of Words: a Cold War Witness

cover

[…] just like his boss at the time, Ernest Bevin, come to that. This short (142 pages) book contains 47 pages of Mayhew reminiscing about his involvement with IRD. His recollections were taped and edited by Lyn Smith, author in 1980 of one of the first big academic articles about IRD. One or two passages, […]

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