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Anglo-Ukrainian Committee [Англо-український комітет] – an informal body which existed from 1935 to 1938, consisting of a group of liberal-thinking British politicians and other figures active in Ukrainian affairs.

The Committee was formed in London in February 1935. Its 14 members believed the situation of the Ukrainians in their ethnic territories of Eastern Europe to be of great importance for the whole of Europe, and their aim was to bring this to the attention of the British public. Most of the preparatory work relating to the Committee’s formation was carried out by Cecil L’Estrange Malone, a former Labour Member of Parliament, who was also one of the Committee’s two honorary secretaries (the other being Fredman Ashe Lincoln, a barrister who later became a prominent figure in the British legal profession and Jewish community). A prominent role in the work of the Committee was also played by Robert William Seton-Watson, the historian and champion of national minorities in Central and Eastern Europe.

The Committee was launched on 16 April 1935 at a reception held at the Savoy Hotel in London, during which journalists, politicians and other guests were acquainted with Ukrainian affairs and the Committee’s aims. On 29 May 1935 the Committee organised a meeting at the House of Commons at which the journalist Lancelot Lawton gave an address on the Ukrainian question. Regular meetings of the Committee were subsequently held over a period of time.

In 1935 the Committee published a booklet entitled “The Ukrainian Question and Its Importance to Great Britain” which contained the text of Lawton’s 29 March address and extracts from international treaties and agreements defining the legal status of the ethnic Ukrainian territories. In 1936 a reprint of an article by Roman Smal-Stocki entitled “National Movements in the Soviet Union” was published by the Committee. Letters and articles on Ukrainian affairs written by Committee members appeared in the British press. In October 1935 an attempt to establish a chair of Ukrainian studies at the University of London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies was initiated by the Committee, but was unsuccessful.

The Committee maintained close links with the Ukrainian Bureau in London, from which it obtained up-to-date information on Ukraine, introductions to individuals in Ukraine, etc. Through the Bureau the Committee established links with the main Ukrainian political party in Galicia, the Ukrainian National Democratic Alliance. After 1936 the Committee became less active, and towards the end of 1938 it effectively ceased to exist.

(This Committee was unconnected with the Anglo-Ukrainian Committee founded in 1931.)

RK

Bibliography

Syrota, R., 'Brytanski liberaly, Robert William Seton-Watson i ‘Neshchaslyva natsiia’. (Doslidzennia z istorii proukrainskoho rukhu u Velykii Brytanii v 1919-1939 rokakh)', Visnyk Lvivskoho universytetu, Seriia istorychna (Lviv), 38 (2003), pp. 293-367

Syrota, R., 'Ukrainian Studies in Interwar Great Britain: Good Intentions, Major Obstacles, Harvard Ukrainian Studies, 27 (2004-2005), pp. 149-180

Martynowych, O., 'A Ukrainian Canadian in London: Vladimir J. (Kaye) Kysilewsky and the Ukrainian Bureau, 1931-40', Canadian Ethnic Studies (Calgary), vol. 47, nos. 4-5 (2015), pp. 272-273