While Beaverbrook had been busy expanding his newspaper empire, he was still deeply involved in the political scene. But after having been one of Lloyd George’s main supporters in 1916–18, helping him to win the general election, a certain coolness had developed between the two men. Under Beaverbrook’s direction, the Express had conducted several campaigns against the government: taxation of war fortunes by means of a special once-only levy; Winston Churchill’s intervention against the Bolshevik government in Russia; embargo on Canadian cattle; and criticism of Lloyd George’s policy in encouraging the Greeks in their war against the Turkish nationalists under Mustapha Kemal. However, defeat of the Greeks at Smyrna meant that Kemal was intent on carrying the war across the Dardanelles and into the European territories assigned to Greece at the recent Treaty of Sèvres (1920). In London, the government feared that the Allied occupation forces guarding Constantinople would be attacked; so, despite hesitancy from the French and the Italians, Lloyd George and Churchill ordered reinforcements of the British detachment in Chanak, the area on the Asiatic shore of the Dardanelles.
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