Thursday, June 01, 2006


"In December 1916...Buchan was put forward to run a propaganda department.

"Propaganda was not a new weapon in the Government's armoury. . . Charles Masterman . . . had been appointed to head a propaganda bureau...and on 2 September 1914 he brought together twenty five leading British authors to discuss propaganda. They included J.M. Barrie, Arnold Bennett, Robert Bridges, G.K. Chesterton, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, John Galsworthy, Thomas Hardy, Anthony Hope Hawkins, John Masefield, Gilbert Murray, Sir Henry Newbolt, G.M. Trevelyan and H.G. Wells. Rudyard Kipling and Sir Arthur Quiller Couch, though unable to attend, also offered their services.

"The Central Committee for National Patriotic Associations had been formed in August 1914 with Asquith as honorary chairman...and coordinated the activities of other groups such as 'The Fight for Right Movement'..."

"(Buchan also) brought in...the explorer Reginald Farrar, E.S.P. Haynes and the cricketer Pelham Warner. Other members of the department included...Sir Ernest Shackleton and the historian Arnold Toynbee...The head of Reuters, Roiderick Jones, whom Buchan had known in South Africa, was appointed to run the section on cable and wireless propaganda, F.S. Oliver went briefly to the British Dominions Section and Alexander Watt was made the Department's Literary Agent."

Andrew Lownie, John Buchan: The Presbyterian Cavalier, Godine Publisher, 1995, p. 127-8


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