From the Referendum to the Elections, June 1946 to January 1947

  • Andrea Mason
Part of the Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World book series (SCCCW)


This chapter covers the British response to the Polish communists’ campaign to destroy the PSL, which reached a critical point in the months leading up to the general elections in Poland in January 1947. This chapter argues that by the end of 1946 Britain had effectively relinquished its remaining influence over the political settlement in Poland. This disengagement was the result of the climax of a series of other pressures and priorities: deteriorating Anglo-Soviet relations, which threatened to break down altogether as a result of the deadlock over Germany; Britain’s declining economy, which forced Bevin reluctantly into a position of greater dependence on American assistance and goodwill, thus narrowing Bevin’s range of policy options; the pursuit of Bevin’s plans for Western European cooperation, which heightened his caution vis-à-vis Poland and throughout Eastern Europe; and finally, rising Labour party opposition to Bevin’s foreign policy, which culminated in an open revolt in the autumn of 1946.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrea Mason
    • 1
  1. 1.LSE Department of International HistoryLondonUK

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