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Description

Rare separately issued pictorial map of China, printed in London by the Army Bureau of Current Affairs.

On the verso are maps, pictures and articles concerning Ernest Bevin's Statement of Foreign Affairs and the Japanese surrender on August 14, 1945: /gallery/enlarge/52255a

The Army Bureau of Current Affairs, or ABCA, was an organization set up by William Emrys Williams to educate and raise morale amongst British servicemen and servicewomen during World War II. Despite some controversy, Williams insisted on the right to education for servicemen and women, particularly in current affairs. In mid-1941 Williams established the ABCA and ran it for the duration of the war. For this role, he became known as ABCA Bill.

The ACBA was a program of general education for citizenship for servicemen and women: officers attended courses on conducting discussions groups, and these were started as hourly sessions each week. ABCA rapidly expanded resulting in photographic display; wall newspapers articles written by the men themselves; and an "Anglo American Brains Trust". The ABCA issued pamphlets in units and promoted discussions, for instance about post-war reconstruction and the Beveridge report. It met with resistance from Winston Churchill, who felt it was a poor use of military time.

The organization is generally regarded as a factor in the landslide Labour Party victory in the post-war general election in 1945, a charge that was refuted by General Ronald Adam, the Adjutant General, who had overall responsibility for the Bureau. Nonetheless, ABCA organizers and teachers predominantly seem to have been left-wing, as were the soldiers who attended the classes, and classes became dominated by discussion of nationalization and social justice. The service vote in the election that followed is said to have been the most dramatic reflection of the public mood, with as many as 80% of soldiers voting for the Labour Party according to some sources.

After the war and under the auspices of the Carnegie Trust, Williams transformed the ABCA into the Bureau of Current Affairs, moving their offices to Piccadilly in London and continued their activities in peace-time with the assistance of several ABCA contributors including the artists James Boswell.

The map is quite rare-- this is the second example we have ever seen.