Philip Snowden: The First Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer

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Philip Snowden: The First Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer

Philip Snowden: The First Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer

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The job had initially been earmarked for Harold Wilson, with Gaitskell pencilled in to succeed Wilson as Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Works. In early July 1949 Gaitskell shared Chancellor of the Exchequer Stafford Cripps' worries that Treasury officials were too "liberal" and too reluctant to implement socialist measures. Gaitskell thought balance of payments problems should be solved not by realignments of currencies but by asking surplus countries like the US and Belgium to inflate their economies (so they would import more). Gaitskell blamed the Left for the defeat and attempted unsuccessfully to amend Labour's Clause IV—which its adherents believed committed the party to further nationalisation of industry, while Gaitskell and his followers believed it had become either superfluous or a political liability. Philip Snowden, 1st Viscount Snowden, PC ( / ˈ s n oʊ d ən/; 18 July 1864 [ citation needed] – 15 May 1937) was a British politician.

The men and women who formed Labour’s government included many of the greats who had led Labour in its first quarter-century. After her divorce, hard to obtain prior to the passage of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1937, they were eventually married on 9 April 1937, Gaitskell's thirty-first birthday, with Evan Durbin as best man. In his letter of 10 August, Gaitskell wrote: "Lest there should be any doubt in your mind about my personal attitude, let me say that I could not regard an armed attack on Egypt by ourselves and the French as justified by anything which Nasser has done so far or as consistent with the Charter of the United Nations. The Conservatives not only attacked Gaitskell as unpatriotic for failing to support British troops in action, but also tried to exploit perceived differences between Gaitskell and Bevan, who had rejoined the Shadow Cabinet earlier in the year and who had now been promoted to Shadow Foreign Secretary.Cripps was seriously unwell and had to go to Switzerland to convalesce on 18 July; Attlee announced that he was taking over Cripps' responsibilities with three young, financially able, ministers to advise him. Facing the need to increase military spending in 1951, he imposed National Health Service charges on dentures and spectacles, prompting the leading left-winger Aneurin Bevan to resign from the Cabinet.

Unilateral nuclear disarmament was increasingly popular amongst union activists and was also debated in several union conferences in the spring and summer of 1960. By the time he was elected Labour MP for Blackburn in 1906, he had become a well-known socialist figure, standing at the national level alongside both Keir Hardie, Professor Arnold Lupton and Ramsay MacDonald.While he was convalescing at his mother's house at Cowling he began to study socialist theory and history. Nobody imagined Labour would be out of power for more than a few years, and Attlee expected to be Prime Minister again by 1953. Besides repudiating the unquestioned commitment to public ownership of the means of production, now seen as merely one of numerous useful devices, he emphasised the goals of personal liberty, social welfare and above all social equality. The defence budget was to increase from 8% to 14% of GNP, a proportion exceeded only by the US amongst NATO members.

Like Gaitskell before him, Blair was often seen by many of his enemies in the Labour Party as a public-school educated, middle-class interloper.His official biographer wrote, "He was raised in an atmosphere which regarded borrowing as an evil and free trade as an essential ingredient of prosperity".

Although the first Labour government only lasted nine months, it achieved much, including the Wheatley Housing Act that saw half a million council homes built over the next decade. There were also very real worries that the Soviets might invade western Europe (which was unarmed, with strong communist influence in many countries) and that the US would not help Britain if she did not help herself. In 1931 he established Sir George May’s economy committee, which, by its recommendation that benefits for depression-induced unemployment be decreased, brought about the fall of the Labour ministry that year. By 1902, he had moved his base to Leeds and toured Britain as a lecturer on politics and corruption, with his own syndicated column and short essays in numerous working class outlets.a total over a three-year period); at this stage it had appeared that the US would be willing to help foot the bill. At the October 1960 Scarborough Conference two resolutions in favour of unilateral disarmament – proposed by the TGWU and the Engineers' Union – were carried, whilst the official policy document on defence was rejected. In November 1949, with the high level of public spending already a problem and under pressure from Cripps, Bevan had pushed an act through Parliament granting the government the power to impose prescription charges, although they were not brought in just yet (Cripps had wanted 1 shilling per prescription, but Bevan had not agreed to this). Gaitskell soon emerged as the leader of the group, the others being Harold Wilson, President of the Board of Trade, and Douglas Jay, Economic Secretary to the Treasury. Although his parents and sisters were involved in weaving at the Ickornshaw Mill, he did not join them; after attending a local board school (where he received additional lessons in French and Latin from the schoolmaster) he stayed on as a pupil-teacher.



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