By Robert Pearce
The Labour governments of 1945-51 are one of the most crucial and debatable in smooth British heritage, and feature been the point of interest of in depth learn during the last fifteen years. during this learn, Robert Pearce makes the result of this examine to be had in a concise and available shape, when encouraging scholars to formulate their very own interpretations. He appears to be like on the major political personalities of the interval, units their paintings within the context of Labour historical past considering 1900, and examines their family, international and imperial achievements.
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Additional resources for Atlee's Labour Governments 1945-51 (Lancaster Pamphlets)
The Chancellor called in November 1947 for ‘the tempo of African economic development’ to be increased out of all recognition. In this way Britain would not only save dollar imports but be able to sell more in the dollar market. The showpiece of colonial development was ‘Operation Groundnuts’, the attempt to grow groundnuts in over 3 million acres of bush land in Tanganyika. In this way, it was hoped, Britain would have a valuable oil-rich food to sell at a time of world shortage of fats and oils.
He became Minister of Labour and National Service. This was a more important post than many historians have been prepared to admit, in view of the outbreak of hostilities in Korea in June 1950 and the likelihood of major warfare, which according to the War Office was ‘possible in 1951, probable in 1952’. But Bevan only accepted the post with great reluctance. He would have liked to succeed Bevin at the Foreign Office or, failing that, to go to the Colonial Office. The Treasury would not have been particularly appealing; but he had heard with ‘consternation and astonishment’ the news that Gaitskell had been appointed in October 1950.
Labour’s economic policies have been variously interpreted. But, if there are questions about their success, there is little doubt that they were not ‘socialist’ policies, in any Labour and the economy 29 meaningful sense of the word, although a continuation of rationing rather than reliance on the price mechanism had socialist overtones, ensuring ‘fair shares’ rather than rationing by price. Harold Wilson, who as President of the Board of Trade instigated a ‘bonfire of controls’ on 5 November 1948, even took pride that he, as a socialist minister, made free enterprise ‘free and enterprising’.
Atlee's Labour Governments 1945-51 (Lancaster Pamphlets) by Robert Pearce