Reviewing the recent course of British foreign policy, the head of the Foreign Office's Western Department noted of the Anglo-French entente in 1907 that it 'was the outcome of the honest and ardent desire...to compose, as far as possible, the many differences which had been a source of perpetual friction between them'.1 His French counterpart described the conclusion of the agreement in his eponymous memoirs as 'un grand tournant de la politique mondiale'.2