In the Cold War battle for hearts and minds Britain was the first country to formulate a coordinated global response to communist propaganda. In January 1948, the British government launched a new propaganda policy designed to 'oppose the inroads of communism' by taking the offensive against it.' A small section in the Foreign Office, the innocuously titled Information Research Department (IRD), was established to collate information on communist policy, tactics and propaganda, and coordinate the discreet dissemination of counter-propaganda to opinion formers at home and abroad.

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