The League of Nations and Imperial Dissent: New Zealand and the British Labour Governments, 1924-31


Reminded of its strategic vulnerability during the First World War, New Zealand contin- ued to look to Britain for guarantees of its security during the 1920s and 1930s. Wellington had reason to believe that its security concerns were taken seriously while conservative governments held office in London. But when the British Labour Party took power in 1924 and 1929, conservative governments in New Zealand felt threatened by Labour's pursuit of a foreign policy which drew Britain closer to the League of Nations. New Zealand was suspicious of the recently formed international body and unconvinced a new world order could be achieved. As a result, the British Empire's most loyal dominion found itself in the unaccustomed role of imperial dissenter as it resisted every move by the first and second British Labour governments to build a framework of arbitration and collective security agreements through the League of Nations. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Publication Title

Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History