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Harold MacMillan - Geskiedenis

Harold MacMillan - Geskiedenis


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Harold MacMillan

1894- 1986

Britse politikus

Die Britse staatsman Harold Macmillan is in Oxford opgelei. Hy het in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog gedien en is drie keer gewond.

Macmillan betree die politiek as lid van die Konserwatiewe Party en in 1924 word hy verkies tot die parlement. Macmillan het 'n reputasie as progressief binne die Konserwatiewe Party gevestig.

In 1940 het hy by die kabinet van Churchill aangesluit. Meer as 'n dekade later is Macmillan aangewys as minister van behuising. Na die Suez -krisis van 1956 vervang Macmillan Anthony Eden as premier.

Een van sy belangrikste prestasies op daardie tydstip was die hervestiging van 'n noue verhouding met die Verenigde State na die spanning wat verband hou met die Suez-krisis.


Konserwatiewe regering, 1957–1964

Die konserwatiewe regering van die Verenigde Koninkryk wat in 1957 begin en in 1964 geëindig het, het uit drie ministeries bestaan: die eerste Macmillan -bediening, tweede Macmillan -bediening, en dan die Douglas-Home ministerie. Hulle is gelei deur Harold Macmillan en sir Alec Douglas-Home, wat onderskeidelik deur koningin Elizabeth II aangestel is.


Primêre bronne

(1) Harold Macmillan, brief aan sy ma, Helen Macmillan (30 Augustus 1915)

Hulle het groot harte, hierdie soldate, en dit is 'n baie patetiese taak om al hul briewe huis toe te moet lees. Sommige van die ouer manne, met vroue en gesinne wat elke dag skryf, het in hul styl 'n wonderlike eenvoud wat byna groot letterkunde is. En dan kom daar af en toe 'n grimmige sin of twee, wat blitsvinnig 'n vieslike gesinsdrama onthul.

(2) Harold Macmillan, brief aan sy ma, Helen Macmillan (26 September 1915)

'N Stroom motor-ambulanse het steeds by ons verbygery, terug van die vuurlyn. Van die gewondes was baie vrolik. Ek sien 'n ou wat regop sit en vreugdevol 'n Duitse offisier se helm verpleeg. "Hulle hardloop!" skree hy. Die wildste gerugte was aan die gang. Maar ons manne was baie aangemoedig, en ons het van 3.30-9.30 op die pad gestaan ​​en byna onophoudelik gesing, & quotRag-time & quot-en musieksaaletjies, sentimentele liefdesliedjies-alles en nog wat. Dit was regtig nogal wonderlik.

(3) Harold Macmillan, brief aan sy ma, Helen Macmillan (13 Mei 1916)

Miskien is die buitengewoonste ding van 'n moderne slagveld die verwoesting en leegheid daarvan. 'N Mens kan hierdie punt nie te veel beklemtoon nie. Van oorlog of soldate is niks te sien nie -slegs die gesplete en verpletterde bome en die uitbarsting van 'n af en toe dop onthul iets van die waarheid. 'N Mens kan myle soek en geen mens sien nie. Maar in die kilometers van die land skuil dit (soos mol of rotte), duisende, selfs honderdduisende mans, wat voortdurend 'n nuwe manier van dood beplan. Sonder om hulself te wys, skiet hulle 'n koeël, bom, lugtorpedo en dop op mekaar af. En ook êrens (aan die Duitse kant weet ons van hul bestaan ​​teenoor ons) is die klein silinders gas wat net wag vir die oomblik om hul naar en vernietigende dampe uit te spoeg. En tog toon die landskap niks daarvan nie - niks anders as 'n paar stukkende bome en 3 of 4 dun lyne grond en sandsakke, hierdie en die ruïnes van dorpe en dorpe is die enigste tekens van oorlog wat oral sigbaar is. Die glans van rooi jasse - die krygswysies van fife en drum - aides -de -camp wat hier en daar op skitterende laaiers skarrel - lansies wat blink en swaarde flits - hoe anders moes die ou oorloë gewees het. Die opwinding van die geveg kom nou net een of twee keer in 'n twaalfmaand. Ons het nie soveel die dapperheid van ons vaders nodig nie (en in ons leër in elk geval, ek dink u sal dit vind), die onwrikbare en geduldige vasberadenheid wat Engeland telkens gered het. As iemand tuis oor vrede dink of praat, kan u met waarheid sê dat die weermag moeg genoeg is vir oorlog, maar bereid is om nog 50 jaar te veg indien nodig, totdat die finale doel bereik is.

Ek weet nie hoekom ek sulke plegtige dinge skryf nie. Maar die daaglikse koerante is so vol nonsens oor ons & quotexhaustion & quot, en dit lyk asof mense by die huis so klein is oor klein persoonlike rusies dat die groot kwessies ('n mens voel) besig is om te verdoesel en te vergeet. Baie van ons sou nooit die spanning kon verduur en die gruwels wat ons elke dag sien, verduur as ons nie voel dat dit meer is as 'n oorlog - 'n kruistog nie. Ek sien nooit 'n man vermoor nie, maar dink aan hom as 'n martelaar. Al die mans (alhoewel hulle dit nie in woorde kon uitdruk nie) het dieselfde oortuiging - dat ons saak reg en seker is om uiteindelik te seëvier. En as gevolg van hierdie onuitgedrukte en byna onbewuste geloof, het ons geallieerde leërs 'n meerderwaardige moraal, wat (eendag) die deurslaggewende faktor sal wees.

(4) Harold Macmillan, brief aan sy ma, Helen Macmillan (10 Julie 1916)

'N Uitgrawe in die loopgrawe is 'n heel ander saak - dit is soos niks anders as 'n kis nie, is klam, muwwerig, onveilig, beknop - 5 voet lank - 4 voet breed - 3 voet hoog. Dit kan slegs deur 'n gimnastiese prestasie aangewend word. Om daaruit te kom, is byna onmoontlik. . Dit is 'n slegte ding, 'n arme ding, maar (ongelukkig) my eie en (vir die skuiling en troos wat dit met al sy mislukkings bied om my te bekostig) is ek mal daaroor!

(5) Harold Macmillan, brief aan sy ma, Helen Macmillan (20 Julie 1916)

Hulle het ons uitgedaag, maar ons kon hulle nie sien skiet nie, en natuurlik was hulle vasgesit terwyl ons in die oop veld was. Daarom beduie ek my manne om stil te lê in die lang gras. Toe begin hulle lukraak bomme na ons gooi. Die eerste het my ongelukkig in die gesig en rug getref en my vir die oomblik verstom. Baie fakkels is afgevuur, en toe elke fakkel opgaan, het ons in die gras neergesak en gewag totdat dit doodgaan. eers toe ek in die loopgraaf terugkom, het ek gevind dat ek ook net bokant die linker tempel naby die oog getref is. Die bril wat ek gedra het, moes deur die krag van die ontploffing geblaas gewees het, want ek het dit nooit weer gesien nie. Gelukkig is hulle nie verpletter en in my oog gedryf nie. Ek het aan u almal tuis gedink toe die bom in my gesig ontplof het. Die dokter het vir my gesê dat ek my ma gevra het toe ek vanoggend wakker word. En nou dink ek aan julle almal, geliefdes by die huis, en voel ek so dankbaar dat God my weer beskerm het.

(6) Harold Macmillan, brief aan sy ma, Helen Macmillan (15 September 1916)

Die Duitse artillerie-spervuur ​​was baie swaar, maar ons het ná die eerste halfuur die ergste deurgemaak. Ek is effens gewond in die regterknie. Ek het die wond met die eerste stop vasgemaak, en ek kon aangaan. Ongeveer 8.20 stop ons weer. Ons het agtergekom dat ons aan die linkerkant deur Duitsers in 'n afstand van ongeveer 500 meter van 'n ongedekte sloot gehou word. Ons het probeer om te bombardeer en in die loopgraaf af te jaag. Ek het 'n partytjie met 'n Lewis -geweer na links geneem om te probeer om by die loopgraaf in te kom, toe ek gewond is deur 'n koeël in die linker dy (blykbaar van naby). Dit was 'n ernstige wond, en ek was redelik hulpeloos. Ek val in 'n skulpgat, skree vir sers. Robinson om die bevel oor my party te neem en met die aanval voort te gaan. Sers. Sambil het my gehelp om die wond vas te maak. Ek het geen water gehad nie, aangesien die koeël voorheen deur my waterbottel gegaan het.

(7) Harold Macmillan, ondervra deur Alistair Horne oor die feit dat hy ernstig gewond is op 15 September 1916 (1979)

Dapperheid is nie eintlik ydelheid nie, maar 'n soort verborge trots, want almal hou jou dop. Toe was ek veilig, maar alleen, en absoluut verskrik, want ek hoef nie meer te pronk nie, ek hoef nie voor te gee nie. daar was niemand vir wie u verantwoordelik was nie, selfs nie die draagbaardraers nie. Toe was ek baie bang. Ek onthou die skielike gevoel - jy het twee dae lank 'n hele stryd deurgemaak. skielik was daar niemand daar nie. jy kan huil as jy wil.

(8) Emrys Hughes, Macmillan: Portret van 'n politikus (1962)

Macmillan het 'n oratoriese styl van die Gladstoniaanse tydperk gehad. Hy sit sy hande op die lapels van sy jas en draai na die agterbanke agter hom vir goedkeuring en ondersteuning. Hy sal sy stem lig en laat sak en praat asof hy op die verhoog is. Sy gepoleerde frases stink na middernagolie. Het hy geweet wanneer hy optree en wanneer hy nie homself was nie?

(9) Rab Butler, The Art of the Possible (1971)

Macmillan is grootgemaak in 'n baie moeilike politiekskool. Permanent beïnvloed deur die werkloosheid en lyding in sy kiesafdeling in die. Noordoos. die feit dat hy 'n groot deel van sy vroeë lewe as rebel deurgebring het terwyl ek 'n lid was van die geminagde en afnemende & quotestablishment & quot, onderstreep 'n verskil in temperament tussen ons. Dit lê moontlik ook aan die wortel van ons toekomstige verhouding. Maar in die politieke filosofie was ons nie ver van mekaar nie.

(10) Alistair Horne, Macmillan: The Making of a Prime Minister (1988)

Na die partykonferensie in Blackpool in Oktober 1946, is 'n komitee saamgestel onder Butler om 'n dokument op te stel wat konserwatiewe beleid bevestig. Van die voorste banke van die opposisie af was Macmillan een van diegene wat die naaste betrokke was. Teen die somer van 1946 het hy 'n ernstige politieke gedagte nagedink oor die hervorming van die party. In een van die meer diepgaande filosofiese gedeeltes van sy memoires, voer hy aan hoe Peel die eerste van die moderne konserwatiewes was, in soverre hy verstaan ​​het dat 'n party slegs na 'n groot debakel herbou kon word deur 'n nuwe beeld te quot & quot. Peel het dit gedeeltelik bereik deur die naam van die party van Tory na Konserwatief te verander, en Macmillan het idees begin dryf oor 'n "New Democratic Party".

(11) Brendan Bracken, het aan Lord Beaverbrook verslag gedoen oor die konserwatiewe konferensie van 1946 (1946)

Die neososialiste, soos Harold Macmillan, wat ten gunste is van die nasionalisering van spoorweë, elektrisiteit, gas en vele ander dinge, verwag dat hulle groot steun van die afgevaardigdes sal kry. Dit het geblyk dat die neo-sosialiste gelukkig was om met hul kopvelle te ontsnap. Die afgevaardigdes het niks te doen met die voorstel om die party se naam te verander nie. Hulle eis 'n werklike konserwatiewe beleid in plaas van 'n sintetiese sosialistiese een wat die Macmillans en die Butlers so na aan die hart lê, en dit het Churchill een van die grootste onthale van sy lewe gegee.

(12) Harold Wilson, Memoirs: The Making of a Prime Minister, 1916-1964 (1986)

Ek het alreeds 'n volkome geniale verhouding met Harold Macmillan, 'n klub van nature, en ons was gereeld in die rookkamer in gesprek. Die eerste nege maande van die Eden -regering was hy minister van buitelandse sake. 'Nadat ek 'n paar maande geografie geleer het,' kla hy by my, 'nou moet ek rekenkunde leer.' Hy was 'n volmaakte parlementariër en het sy brief vinnig onder die knie gekry, soos in elke vorige senior amp wat hy beklee het. Daar moes 'n chemie aan die werk gewees het wat die beste van ons albei behaal het, en die debatte oor sy eerste begroting en die wetsontwerp op finansies het gewilde geleenthede geword. Ek het skielik 'n aanleg ontwikkel om op 'n humoristiese en persoonlike manier ernstige ekonomiese en finansiële probleme te hanteer waarop Macmillan gereageer het.

Ek en hy het 'n gelukkige en stimulerende verhouding gehad. In daardie dae, selfs op die komiteefase van die wetsontwerp op finansies, sou die huis vol word om na die mees abstrakte wysigings te luister en ons te hoor klop. Na 'n gladiatoruitwisseling sou die kanselier 'n brief aan my stuur, gewoonlik 'n drankie in die rookkamer voorstel, my soms gelukwens met my aanval op hom en soms 'n vraag stel oor hoe ek my toespraak voorberei het.

(13) Harold Wilson, toespraak in die laerhuis oor Harold Macmillan (Februarie 1962)

In hul haas om na Europa te kom, moet hulle nie die vier-vyfdes van die wêreldbevolking vergeet nie, wie se besorgdheid is oor die opkoms van koloniale status tot selfbestuur en die revolusie van stygende verwagtinge. As dit die geval is, moet die wêreldorganisasie nie die entoesiasme en aspirasies weerspieël van die nuwe lede en nuwe nasies wat hul erfenis aangaan nie, dikwels deur Britse optrede, soos die premier gesê het, en wat wil sien dat hul bure ook na vore gebring word in die lig? Daar moet erken word dat dit vandag die grootste krag in die wêreld is, en ons moet vra waarom dit so dikwels is dat ons aan die verkeerde kant gevind word, of vermoedelik gevind word.

Die rekord van hierdie land sedert die oorlog, onder beide regerings, is goed genoeg om aan die wêreld bekend te maak - Indië, Pakistan, Birma, Ceylon, Ghana, Nigerië, Tanganyika en Sierra Leone en, selfs na die angs, Ciprus. Waarom stel ons dit voor dat ons in die oë van die wêreld so gereeld bondgenote het met reaksionêre regerings, wie se rekord op die weegskaal van menslike enfranchisasie weeg as 'n stuk stof teen egte goud en silwer wat ons rekord betref?

Waarom spreek die Britse minister van buitelandse sake in aksente van die dooie verlede, asof hy die gevolge van die optrede wat sy regering sowel as ons s'n geneem het, vrees en jammer kry?

Mense vra nie net in hierdie land nie, maar ook in die buiteland: 'Wie is in beheer? Wie se hand is aan die stuur? Wanneer gaan die premier hom inspan en regeer? ' Ek glo nie dat hy dit kan nie. Die panache is weg. Op elke kwessie, binne en buite, vind ons nou dieselfde wankelende hand, dieselfde wankelende besluiteloosheid en verwarring. Wat meer is, eerbare. Lede daarteenoor weet dit, en sommige van hulle begin dit selfs sê.

Die MacWonder van 1959 is die man wat ons vanmiddag hierdie patetiese optrede gelewer het. Hierdie hele episode het ons aandrang agtien maande gelede geregverdig dat die minister van buitelandse sake in die laerhuis moes gewees het. Maar ons was verkeerd oor een ding. Ons het gedink dat die edele heer 'n kantoorseun sou wees. Die premier kon vandag slegs sy wankelende posisie herstel deur 'n volwaardige huldeblyk aan die edele heer. Om die gesegde wat Nye Bevan beroemd gemaak het, inderdaad aan te neem: 'Dit is 'n bietjie moeilik om te weet wat die orrelslyper is en watter die ander is.'

(14) Edward Heath, Die verloop van my lewe (1988)

Eden se opvolger, Harold Macmillan, het verreweg die mees konstruktiewe verstand gehad wat ek in 'n leeftyd van politiek teëgekom het. Hy het 'n volledig ingeligte siening van beide binnelandse en wêreldaangeleenthede, en sou die kleinste plaaslike probleem in 'n nasionale konteks plaas, en enige nasionale probleem in sy regmatige posisie in sy wêreldstrategie. Die historiese kennis van Macmillan het hom in staat gestel om alles in 'n realistiese perspektief te beskou en kontemporêre vrae te belig met parallelle en verskille in vergelyking met die verlede. Sy verstand is gekweek in baie dissiplines: letterkunde, tale, filosofie en godsdiens, sowel as geskiedenis. Om saam met hom te werk, het groot plesier verskaf, sowel as om 'n mens se hele lewe te verbreed.

Harold was lief vir Oxford en bowenal vir Balliol, waar hy altyd tuis gevoel het gedurende sy lang lewe. Hy het 'n eerste in sy Moderations ontvang, maar die Groot Oorlog, waartydens hy drie keer gewond is tydens aktiewe diens, het hom verhinder om sy graad te voltooi. Hy onderskei hom ook gedurende die dertigerjare, toe hy, net soos Eden, 'n sterk teenstander van versoening was, en dan tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, toe hy Churchill se minister was, woonagtig by die geallieerde hoofkwartier in Noord -Afrika, saam met veldmaarskalk Alexander en generaal Eisenhower . Sy vriendskap met Eisenhower het hom in die latere jare goed te pas gekom. Harold het niks anders as bewondering vir sy medesoldate nie, maar soos almal wat daadwerklik aksie gesien het, het hy die oorlog self hartstogtelik gehaat.

Harold Macmillan gee niks om vir ander mense se agtergronde nie en beoordeel dit volgens hul intelligensie en hul karakter. Sy sosiale beleid is ingelig deur sy eie vrygewige gees en onblusbare begeerte om die underdog te help en om te verseker dat almal in hierdie land die geleentheid kry om 'n ordentlike lewe te hê. Sy toesprake as 'n bedrieglike en deernisvolle agterbank in die dertigerjare het steun vir sy standpunte gekry toe die Konserwatiewe Party sy beleid en prioriteite heroorweeg het in die nasleep van die massiewe nederlaag van die algemene verkiesing van 1945.


Tory -leiers wat ons geken het: Harold Macmillan (deel twee)

U kan lees oor die loopbaan van Macmillan totdat hy hier premier geword het, en oor sy kort periodes in die buitelandse kantoor hier en as kanselier hier.

Enoch Powell het oor hom gepraat terwyl die 'akteurbestuurder' Lord Hailsham geprys het dat sy 'pragtige toneelspel' Anthony Sampson van hom geskryf het as 'n 'studie in dubbelsinnigheid'. Dinge wat goed afgeloop het, was ‘fun ’, minder gelukkige oomblikke‘ a bore ’. Macmillan se kabinetsvergaderings was die verhoog vir sy sprankelende verstand. Sy amptelike biograaf, Alistair Horne, het gedink dat die styl baie van die man was. Dit is beslis waar dat sy houding 'n politieke punt gehad het. Die Tory -gent op die hoenderhout verberg 'n man wie se politiek net so liberaal as konserwatief was: of, soos Peter Hennessy dit wou hê, Whig. Dit het ook sy felle intelligensie en sy boekhaftigheid bedek: 'die Engelse, hulle hou nie van slim mense nie'. In privaatheid was hy afwysend van anti-intellektualisme, en gesê van Margaret Thatcher: 'Ek wens sy wil 'n boek lees.'

Dit het ook 'n heel ander man verberg. Voor toesprake was hy byna fisiek siek. Sy persoonlike lewe was beroerd. Hy het diep gedink en bekommerd oor Brittanje se ekonomie en status in die wêreld. Hy was geneig om direk in te meng, en probeer af en toe om sowel die buitelandse as die ekonomiese beleid vanaf nommer tien te bestuur. En, in plaas van die ononderbroke optrede, het hy na Suez die grootske omskrywing van die Britse buitelandse beleid onderneem, en daarna probeer om die modernisering van die ekonomie daarvan te bewerkstellig.

Maar veral was hy 'n politieke operateur. Selfs dit was dikwels gewortel in 'n innerlike kwesbaarheid. Toe hy premier geword het, was hy bang dat sy regering slegs ses weke sou duur. Hy het beweer dat hy van Eden sowel as van Butler hou, maar hy het opgemerk dat daar geen vriende bo was nie. By die aanvang van die topposisie het Macmillan besluit wat een van die vele hervormings sou wees. Deur die Butler -huissekretaris te maak, het hy hom as sy de facto -adjunk en waarskynlik erfgenaam geïdentifiseer, asook hom bevorder. Die Tory -party in die algemeen het egter nog nooit van gematigde of hervormende huissekretarisse gehou nie. Intussen het die drie ministers wat Macmillan geglo het Butler ondersteun, na die House of Lords gegaan. Die elmboë was van die begin af skerp.

Macmillan lyk onaantasbaar. Selfs die bedanking van sy hele Tesourie -span, nadat hy die besnoeiing geweier het, het hom onaangeraak gelaat. Macmillan sou Enoch Powell en Nigel Birch destyds as fanatici beskou, en dit word '' 'n klein plaaslike moeilikheid '' genoem. Macmillan se posisie was in werklikheid veilig. Na Suez en Eden se vertrek, was die laaste ding wat die Tories nodig gehad het, nog 'n leierskapskrisis. Verder was Arbeid in 1957 en vroeg in 1958 voor in die meningspeilings: die konserwatiewes het in die tussenverkiesing vyf setels verloor. Teen die tweede helfte van 1958 was die konserwatiewes weer voor. Soos altyd met die konserwatiewes, ten minste tot in die negentigerjare, was 'n wenner die belangrikste: Macmillan bied die party die beste kans om te wen.

In 1959 het hy behoorlik 'n meerderheid van 100 gelewer: die beste resultate van die konserwatiewes sedert 1935, en een wat hulle pas in 1983 pas. Wat die oorwinning meegebring het, is insiggewend en help om te verduidelik hoe Macmillan voortaan regeer het. In die eerste plek was dit 'n persoonlike triomf. Na die krisisse van 1957 het Macmillan se vrolike, afgemete onverbeterlikheid 'n aantreklike noot getref. Vicky se Supermac -tekenprent vir die Evening Standard was moontlik 'n satiriese kritiek op die vermoë van Macmillan om elders te wees toe die mis na die waaier was, maar dit het ook 'n sterk punt gelyk. Hy het wel bo dit uitgestyg.

In 1957 het Macmillan ook sy toespraak 'nog nooit so goed' gehou nie. By die lees daarvan was dit net 'n vraag as 'n bewering, en die implikasie was dat die welvaart wat dit geïdentifiseer het, moontlik nie volhoubaar is nie. Maar dit was vir eers volhoubaar, en dit was baie die ervaring wat baie konserwatiewe kiesers gehad het. Soos Trog dit stel, in die toeskouer.

'Wel, menere, ek dink ons ​​het almal 'n goeie stryd gevoer' (The Spectator, 16 Oktober 1959)

Dit kom saam met 'n ander ruiter: 'Die lewe is beter onder die konserwatiewes: moenie toelaat dat Arbeid dit verwoes nie.' Toe Labour in hul manifes van 1959 onvoorsiene welsynsvoorstelle aanbied, spring die konserwatiewes daarop.

Macmillan het sy groot oorwinning behaal, en sy beloning was 'n posisie van opkoms in sy party en in die land wat onbreekbaar gelyk het. Hy wou die posisie gebruik om die heroriëntering van die Britse buitelandse beleid wat hy ná Suez begin het, voort te sit: en dit was baie sy buitelandse beleid. Die kern daarvan was die onvermydelike erkenning, na Suez, dat Brittanje se plek in die wêreld verminder is. In die openbaar het hy baie van Brittanje se wêreldrol gespeel. Privaat erken hy die werklikheid. Brittanje se taak was nou om sy kaarte bo hul waarde te speel, om sy status en invloed te maksimeer. Hierdie fundamentele erkenning het sedertdien die kern van die Britse buitelandse beleid gelê (ten minste tot baie onlangs).

Vir hierdie doel, en herken die werklikheid na Suez, erken Macmillan die einde van die ryk. Privaat, 'n hersiening wat hy onder die kabinetsekretaris begin het, het ook die losmaak van die Statebond beoog, ten minste ekonomies. Die bekendste was dat Macmillan in 1960 sy beroemde toespraak oor 'wind van verandering' in Kaapstad gehou het: die opkoms van swart Afrika -nasionalisme het onafhanklikheid onvermydelik gemaak. Vir baie van sy eie agterbanke het hierdie ongemaklike waarheid niks anders as blinde woede gewek nie, maar daaragter lê 'n eenvoudige berekening. As onafhanklikheid onvermydelik was, is dit beter aan die Weste se kant as die Sowjets.

Die onderbou van een rasionele reaksie op Suez was dus 'n ander, selfs belangriker. Soos Attlee en Bevin voor hom, erken hy die sentraliteit van die NAVO en die verhouding met die Verenigde State. Nou, ná Suez, was die fundamentele ongelykheid daarvan vir almal duidelik. Macmillan kon eerder in 'n de Gaulle-styl reageer het (Eden sou dit wel kon gedoen het), buig hy voor die omstandighede en probeer om die Anglo-Amerikaanse verhouding te herstel.

Hy het die Amerikaners om 'n ander rede nodig gehad. Brittanje het geen effektiewe onafhanklike kernafskrikmiddel gehad nie. Teen die laat vyftigerjare was ons in 'n wêreld van ICBM's, nie bomme en jets nie. Brittanje se eie kernmissiel, Bluestreak, het £ 60 miljoen gekos en het nie gewerk nie. 'N Amerikaanse lugstelsel, Skybolt, is beveel: dit werk ook nie. Uiteindelik het die Amerikaners in die Nassau -ooreenkoms Polaris -basisse gekry en Brittanje het Polaris gebring. Dit was nie regtig onafhanklik nie, maar dit het ten minste gewerk.

Daar word ook gereeld gesê dat Macmillan die sjarme aangeskakel het toe Kennedy aan bewind gekom het, en dat die jonger man oorwin is deur die tel van die ou wêreld: Brittanje was, in Macmillan se woorde, Griekeland na Amerika se Rome. Trouens, Kennedy se verhouding met Macmillan was teer as wat dikwels vermoed word. Macmillan is geraadpleeg oor Berlyn en Kuba, en sommige het geglo dat hy 'n rol gespeel het om Kennedy te kalmeer. Die EEG was egter die kern van die spanning. Teen die jare sestig floreer die EEG: die Amerikaners beskou dit toenemend as die toekoms, iets wat Macmillan gevrees het.

Dit was deel van die logika agter Macmillan se besluit om aansoek te doen vir EEG -lidmaatskap. Afgesien van die oordeel dat dit in die geopolitieke belang van Brittanje was, het Macmillan ook geglo dat dit in Brittanje se ekonomiese belang is. Teen die vroeë 1960's het die Britse ekonomie tekens getoon van die probleme wat dit voortaan sou veroorsaak. Inflasie was 'n konstante bedreiging. Sterling was kwesbaar en waarskynlik oorwaardeer. Britse groeikoerse was histories goed, maar volgens die EEG -standaarde was dit laag: die helfte van Italië of Duitsland en aansienlik laer as Frankryk (in Wes -Europa het slegs die Republiek Ierland 'n laer groeikoers gehad). Die produktiwiteitsvlakke van Brittanje was laag, sy aandeel in die wêreld se uitvoermarkte het gedaal.

Die onderliggende probleme manifesteer in korttermynprobleme. Teen die middel van 1962 was die inflasie meer as 5%. Toe hy kanselier word, het Selwyn Lloyd die 'betaalpauze' ingestel om inflasie teen te werk ('n plafon op die betaling van die openbare sektor). Dit was polities ongewild, en in November 1961 het 'n ooreenkoms tussen die Elektrisiteitsraad en die vakbonde dit verbreek. Intussen het werkloosheid skerp gestyg.

Macmillan word dikwels daarvan beskuldig dat hy paniekerig raak weens ekonomiese probleme of 'n siniese uitbuiting van die 'stop-go' Keynesiaanse ekonomie vir verkiesingsdoeleindes. Daar is 'n element van waarheid in beide aanklagte. Die begroting van 1959 beloop 'n weggee voor die verkiesing, en Macmillan se ingryping het daartoe gelei dat die weggee van 'n inkomstebelastingverlaging van 6d in die pond na 9d gegaan het. In die lig van werkloosheid, het 'n meningspeiling van die Arbeid en die tussenverkiesing in Orpington gekom van Maudling se 'strewe na groei'. Trouens, 'n nugtere ontleding van die beleid onder Macmillan sien meer omsigtigheid as uitbreiding. Daar moet ook onthou word dat in die Macmillan -jare die meeste van die primêre ekonomiese aanwysers beter was as onder Wilson of Heath: inflasie en werkloosheid was oor die algemeen laer, die pond veiliger en die groei meer volgehou.

Vir Arbeid was dit die 'vermorste jare'. Harold Wilson se 'white heat of technology' impliseer 'n fundamentele kritiek op 'n Britse ekonomie wat nie kon moderniseer nie. Vir kritici aan die regterkant het die Keynesianisme van Macmillan verseker dat die fundamentele probleme van die Britse ekonomie onaangeraak bly: ons betaal onsself meer as wat ons kon bekostig, die vakbonde was te magtig en die werkersklasse was vasbeslote. Beide kritiek bevat elemente van die waarheid, maar dit mis ook 'n paar fundamentele punte. Albei ignoreer die feit dat die Britse ekonomie deur hoë vlakke van verdedigingsbesteding skeefgetrek is. Hulle vergeet ook die spook wat die geslag van Macmillan agtervolg het: die dertigerjare. En nie net die 'duiwels dekade' nie: die feit dat die Britse volk ook die oorlog en soberheid verduur het. As pogings om fundamentele probleme op te los, half ingewikkeld was (die NEDC), verkeerd verstaan ​​is (die beukende spoorweë) of voor die geboorte (die EEG) vermoor is, moet dit nooit vergeet word dat, soos Macmillan dit gehad het, ons dit nooit so gehad het nie goed: die jare van die naoorlogse konsensus het volgehoue ​​ekonomiese groei en 'n ongekende styging in die lewensstandaard van gewone mense beleef.

Ek het elders oor Macmillan en Europa geskryf (sien hier). Vir Macmillan bied die EEG -lidmaatskap 'n uitweg uit Brittanje se ekonomiese en geopolitieke oplossing. Dit was ook diep polities in alles wat Macmillan gedoen het, die element was altyd teenwoordig. Die kernafskrikmiddel het inderdaad die bykomende voordeel dat dit Arbeid diep verdeel. So ook Europa. Dit was egter meer as dit. Teen 1962 het die glans van Macmillan en sy regering gekom. Die EEG verteenwoordig, in Michael Fraser se woorde, die Deus ex machina: 'n spelwisselaar.

Dit het misluk. Ek het hier geskryf oor die idee van die stigting en die gevoel dat die 'sestigerjare die einde van 'n politieke era, die' regering van chaps ', hier gesien het. Die idee dat die Macmillan -regering deur die ou Etoniese wag gedomineer word, kan oordrewe wees. Hy het in werklikheid nuwe bloed bevorder: veral Ted Heath, Enoch Powell en Ian Macleod. Teen 1962 het die ou lug van die patrisiërs egter versuur. Terselfdertyd het die politieke probleme van die regering toegeneem. In 1962 het Arbeid 'n konstante voorsprong in die meningspeilings gehad. Toe, in die tussenverkiesing van Orpington, op 14 Maart 1962, word 'n konserwatiewe meerderheid van 14,760 in 1959 deur die liberale meegesleur: Eric Lubbock wen met 7,855 stemme, in 'n kiesafdeling langs Macmillan se eie. In Junie verloor die Tories Middlesbrough West aan Labour.

Teen Julie het Macmillan in die herfs besluit op 'n hervorming. As deel daarvan het hy beplan om sy kanselier, Selwyn Lloyd, af te dank: werkloosheid neem toe en die kanselier beskadig goedere. Hy maak toe die fout om die idee te bespreek met Rab Butler, wat die verhaal al te kenmerkend aan die uitgelek het Daaglikse pos. Macmillan het toe besluit dat hy Lloyd daar en dan moet afdank en sodoende die groothandelskommeling vorentoe moet bring. In totaal is sewe kabinetsministers afgedank, asook 'n aantal juniors. Dit het gou die bynaam gekry van die Night of the Long Messes. Macmillan was van plan om sy regering te verfris en beslissend te lyk: in plaas daarvan het Mac the Knife, of Super-Macbeth, paniekerig of ontrou gelyk, of albei. Een liberaal het opgemerk 'Groter liefde het niemand as dit nie, dat hy sy vriende vir sy lewe aflê'. Die leier van die Arbeid, Hugh Gaitskell, noem dit 'die daad van 'n desperate man in 'n desperate situasie'.

Die regering is toe geteister deur 'n skandaal (lees weer hieroor). Vassall en Philby was die ware saak. Die 'koplose man' was pret, en Profumo het die lot gekry. Dit alles het gepaard gegaan met die satire -oplewing. Soos van Privaat oog en Peter Cook het 'die establishment' genadeloos agtervolg: Cook het 'n besonder verwondende weergawe van Macmillan as 'n verwarde ou duffer. Profumo het veral Macmillan ernstige politieke skade aangerig, maar veral omdat dit bestaande twyfel en vooroordele gekristalliseer het. Daar was gemompel op die agterbanke, en selfs onder predikante het die voorsitter van die komitee van die agterbank in 1922 gepraat oor die moontlikheid van 'n nuwe leier. Van die tesourie -span wat in 1958 bedank het, het Thorneycroft en Powell vrede gemaak en was terug in die regering. Nigel Birch het nie een van die twee gedoen nie. In die Commons -debat oor Profumo het hy 'n beroep op Macmillan gedoen om binnekort te gaan, en het Robert Browning aangehaal: 'Nooit weer 'n vertroue in die oggend nie'. Dit het vasgesteek.

In die herfs van 1963 wonder Macmillan of hy kan, of moet, voortgaan. In September het hy aan die koningin gesê dat hy nie van plan is om die party tot die volgende verkiesing te lei nie. Teen 7 Oktober het hy van plan verander. Toe, daardie nag, word hy deur vreeslike pyn geteister: hy het probleme onder sy knieë gehad. Hy het eers besluit om voort te gaan, maar toe dokters vir hom sê dat hy 'n operasie nodig het, het hy weer van plan verander. Ironies genoeg sou die operasie hom nog twintig jaar meer lewenskragtig gee.

Hy sou in die rol van oudste staatsman glip met 'n mengsel van openbare gemak en genade saam met die stekeligheid wat hy so gereeld tevore getoon het. Sy privaat lewe was steeds kompleks. In haar laaste jare het Macmillan se verhouding met sy vrou nader geword, en hy was beroerd toe sy in 1966 oorlede is. Sy seun, Maurice, het alkoholisme oorkom, sy dogter, Sarah, nie. Albei sterf voor hom, iets wat hy sterk voel. Hy het troos gesoek in die geselskap van vroue, in boeke en in die skryf van sy ses volumes herinneringe. Later, in 1985, kort voor sy dood, het hy Margaret Thatcher gekritiseer.

Sy nalatenskap bly ontwykend. Hy het 'n duideliker oog as die meeste gehad oor Brittanje se veranderde posisie in die wêreld, en hy het besef dat as dit sy mag sou projekteer, dit sou wees deur invloed, status en wat ons nou sagte mag noem. Hy het iets van Brittanje se onderliggende ekonomiese probleme verstaan, maar kon waarskynlik nie veel daaraan doen nie. Hy was 'n moderniseerder wat nie modern voorgekom het nie en wat paslik gemoderniseer het. There is at least some truth in the accusation that he was over fond of political manoeuvre he was also remarkably fearful of losing office (even with a majority of 100). He once explained that he believed his son had not risen as far as he did in politics, because Maurice ‘wasn’t enough of a shit’, whereas he was. Certainly, by the ‘fifties he had developed the sharp elbows needed to reach the top and stay there. Whether, once there, he did enough is still open to question.

Here is Michael Cockerell’s brilliant documentary on the Night of the Long Knives.


Harold Macmillan and the fickleness of history

Harold Macmillan, the onetime British prime minister, popped into mind a few days ago. Watching the problems in extricating the United Kingdom from the European Union reminded me that a humiliating failure to secure entry to that same entity’s predecessor was one of the things that drove Macmillan from office.

Macmillan (1894-1986) was prime minister between 1957 and 1963. He fought one general election during that period, picking up an additional 20 seats in the process. Although intended sarcastically, the sobriquet “Supermac” seemed to fit.

Macmillan has been characterized as “psychologically interesting,” which is an apt descriptor of someone who wasn’t what he seemed to be. Theatrical in style, you could call him either a welter of contradictions or a devious operator. Perhaps he was both.

Notwithstanding his unflappable image, Macmillan had suffered a nervous breakdown in his 30s. And despite projecting the aura of an Edwardian aristocrat, he was actually a commoner. And his apparent affable, avuncular nature masked a lethal ruthlessness.

Macmillan’s paternal grandfather, Daniel, was born into a Scottish crofting family in the Isle of Arran. In the mid-19 th century, Daniel founded the family publishing business with his brother. Successful financially and international in scope, Macmillan Publishers remained a family owned business until the late 20 th century. Macmillan himself became chairman after his retirement from politics.

Harold Macmillan

Like most men of his age, Macmillan volunteered for service on the outbreak of the First World War. And there was nothing nominal about his participation. Serving on the front lines, he was wounded three times, the final occasion in 1916 at the Battle of the Somme, where his wound was sufficiently serious to send him to hospital for the duration.

Macmillan married into the aristocratic Cavendish family in 1920 but it was a less than perfect union. Within a decade, his wife began a lifelong affair with a political colleague. Everyone who mattered knew the story and Macmillan was humiliated. In his early 80s, he was said to still agonize over the parentage of his youngest daughter.

Although first elected to parliament as a Conservative in 1924, Macmillan didn’t acquire any significant status until the Second World War. And while he wasn’t a first-rank player then, he did establish a positive relationship with Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. This was to prove very useful in the late 1950s when Eisenhower was U.S. president and Macmillan became prime minister.

The post-war Conservative ascendance, beginning in 1951, was when Macmillan came into his own. There were four cabinet positions – minister of Housing and Local Government, minister of Defence, Foreign Secretary, and Chancellor of the Exchequer – before he manoeuvred to replace Anthony Eden as prime minister in the wake of the Suez debacle.

Observers of Macmillan’s flexibility underscore his movement over the Suez Canal crisis. Initially, he was a strong advocate of military intervention but changed his tune after American rage threatened to sink sterling unless Britain withdrew its forces from Egypt. When the dust settled, Eden was out and Macmillan was in.

This capacity for self-interested ruthlessness was evident again in 1962’s infamous “Night of the Long Knives.” Facing declining popularity, Macmillan fired eight cabinet ministers. As one critic tartly put it, “greater love hath no man than this, than to lay down his friends for his life.”

Politically, Macmillan was what Canadians would call a Red Tory, a man of the genteel centre-left.

Macmillan fully accepted the post-war settlement of a mixed economy and a strong welfare state while actively repairing the American alliance and promoting a British nuclear deterrent, he was an advocate of negotiations with the Soviet Union whether by conviction or practicality, he aggressively pushed decolonization and he sought to gain United Kingdom entry into what was then the European Common Market.

Suddenly, though, Macmillan was a political anachronism.

The social changes facilitated by post-war affluence and baby boom demographics left him looking old fashioned, even quaint. And the combination of European humiliation and the Profumo sex scandal finished the job. On Oct. 18, 1963, Macmillan resigned as prime minister, ostensibly for health reasons.

Historical reputation is a funny thing, much given to the whims of academic fashion. Critics point out that Macmillan failed to grapple with the problems that came home to roost in the quarter-century following his departure.

Then again, neither did any of his contemporaries.

Troy Media columnist Pat Murphy casts a history buff’s eye at the goings-on in our world. Never cynical – well, perhaps just a little bit.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

Harold Macmillan and the fickleness of history added by Pat Murphy on November 16, 2018
View all posts by Pat Murphy &rarr


Harold Macmillan's "Wind of Change" Speech

It is, as I have said, a special privilege for me to be here in 1960 when you are celebrating what I might call the golden wedding of the Union. At such a time it is natural and right that you should pause to take stock of your position, to look back at what you have achieved, to look forward to what lies ahead. In the fifty years of their nationhood the people of South Africa have built a strong economy founded upon a healthy agriculture and thriving and resilient industries.

No one could fail to be impressed with the immense material progress which has been achieved. That all this has been accomplished in so short a time is a striking testimony to the skill, energy and initiative of your people. We in Britain are proud of the contribution we have made to this remarkable achievement. Much of it has been financed by British capital. …

… As I've travelled around the Union I have found everywhere, as I expected, a deep preoccupation with what is happening in the rest of the African continent. I understand and sympathise with your interests in these events and your anxiety about them.

Ever since the break up of the Roman empire one of the constant facts of political life in Europe has been the emergence of independent nations. They have come into existence over the centuries in different forms, different kinds of government, but all have been inspired by a deep, keen feeling of nationalism, which has grown as the nations have grown.

In the twentieth century, and especially since the end of the war, the processes which gave birth to the nation states of Europe have been repeated all over the world. We have seen the awakening of national consciousness in peoples who have for centuries lived in dependence upon some other power. Fifteen years ago this movement spread through Asia. Many countries there, of different races and civilisations, pressed their claim to an independent national life.

Today the same thing is happening in Africa, and the most striking of all the impressions I have formed since I left London a month ago is of the strength of this African national consciousness. In different places it takes different forms, but it is happening everywhere.

The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact, and our national policies must take account of it.

Well you understand this better than anyone, you are sprung from Europe, the home of nationalism, here in Africa you have yourselves created a free nation. A new nation. Indeed in the history of our times yours will be recorded as the first of the African nationalists. This tide of national consciousness which is now rising in Africa, is a fact, for which both you and we, and the other nations of the western world are ultimately responsible.

For its causes are to be found in the achievements of western civilisation, in the pushing forwards of the frontiers of knowledge, the applying of science to the service of human needs, in the expanding of food production, in the speeding and multiplying of the means of communication, and perhaps above all and more than anything else in the spread of education.

As I have said, the growth of national consciousness in Africa is a political fact, and we must accept it as such. That means, I would judge, that we've got to come to terms with it. I sincerely believe that if we cannot do so we may imperil the precarious balance between the East and West on which the peace of the world depends.
The world today is divided into three main groups. First there are what we call the Western Powers. You in South Africa and we in Britain belong to this group, together with our friends and allies in other parts of the Commonwealth. In the United States of America and in Europe we call it the Free World. Secondly there are the Communists – Russia and her satellites in Europe and China whose population will rise by the end of the next ten years to the staggering total of 800 million. Thirdly, there are those parts of the world whose people are at present uncommitted either to Communism or to our Western ideas. In this context we think first of Asia and then of Africa. As I see it the great issue in this second half of the twentieth century is whether the uncommitted peoples of Asia and Africa will swing to the East or to the West. Will they be drawn into the Communist camp? Or will the great experiments in self-government that are now being made in Asia and Africa, especially within the Commonwealth, prove so successful, and by their example so compelling, that the balance will come down in favour of freedom and order and justice? The struggle is joined, and it is a struggle for the minds of men. What is now on trial is much more than our military strength or our diplomatic and administrative skill. It is our way of life. The uncommitted nations want to see before they choose.


Harold MacMillan - History

Harold Macmillan 1894-1986


Maurice Harold Macmillan was not only the Earl of Stockton and the Viscount of Ovenden, but also the conservative British Prime Minister from 1957 to 1963.

Harold Macmillan fought in WWI .

He became prime minister on January 10, 1957.

On February 3, 1960, a gutsy Macmillan gave his Wind of Change speech before members of both Houses of Parliament in the Parliamentary Dining Room, Cape Town, South Africa, and, more importantly, before the creator of apartheid, Hendrik Verword.

Macmillan had already delivered this same speech a month earlier in Ghana.

In South Africa, Macmillan's speech was not embraced by everyone, some members of the audience refused to applaud after he had finished.

In particular, South Africa's Prime Minister Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd politely begged to differ. Verwoerd thanked Macmillan for his speech, but said he could not agree.

Macmillan's speech rocked the political boat of many contemporaries, as it marked a significant shift in British foreign policy towards decolonization.

According to BBC, this speech

"was the first sign that the British government accepted that the days of Empire were over, and it dramatically speeded up the process of African independence."


At home, Macmillan got heat from right-wingers as well.

On September 6, 1966, as Verwoerd sat presiding over parliament, he was stabbed to death by a temp. Demetrio Tsafendas , also called Dimitri Tsafendas, pretended to deliver a message but presented a blade instead. Tsafendas, a Mozambique immigrant, was later judged to be insane.


Macmillan had to resign his post on October 18, 1963, because of ill-health.


MAURICE HAROLD MACMILLAN


Profumo affair: How Harold Macmillan’s reaction to scandal was shaped by wife's infidelity

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The Trial of Christine Keeler: Trailer for the BBC drama

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The Profumo affair has been dramatised in the BBC six-parter &lsquoThe Trial of Christine Keeler&rsquo, with part 3 airing on Sunday. The scandal rocked the establishment in the early Sixties, and is widely viewed as one of the watershed moments of the decade. Prime Minister Harold Macmillan&rsquos response to the scandal was to initially try to bury it under denial, but when the full extent of the affair and his knowledge of it came to light, his reputation and that of the Conservative Party was hugely damaged.

Related articles

Investigative journalist Clive Irving, who was reporting on the scandal as it unfolded in London in 1963, wrote how part of the reason for Macmillan&rsquos unwillingness to confront the sex scandal head-on was to do with his attitudes towards sex, and the affair his own wife Lady Dorothy had been conducting for nearly 30 years.

He wrote in the Daily Beast in November 2019: &ldquoThe explanation we got for Macmillan&rsquos indifference, which amounted to dereliction, was given on the basis that we could never print it.

&ldquoMacmillan, we were told, had old-fashioned views about political integrity.

&ldquoHe regarded Profumo as a decent, 'clubbable' chap and members of Macmillan&rsquos clubs never lied.

Christine Keeler and Harold Macmillan (Image: Getty)

Harold Macmillan and Lady Dorothy circa 1925 (Image: Getty)

&ldquoIt had all been a profound shock to him, a personal betrayal.

&ldquoMoreover, sex was a demon in the Prime Minister&rsquos private life.

&ldquoFor 30 years his wife, Lady Dorothy, had been having an affair with an infamous bad boy of the Tory Party, the bisexual Robert Boothby, and there had been a daughter from the union.&rdquo

He added: &ldquoA year after the Profumo scandal we reported a more sordid footnote: Robert Boothby was keeping the company of two psychopathic gangsters, the Kray twins, who &ndash in return for Boothby introducing them to a higher social network where they were treated as sinister curiosities &ndash had provided him with rent boys.&rdquo

Harold Macmillan and Lady Dorothy in the Sixties (Image: Getty)

Related articles

Lady Dorothy was the daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and conducted an affair with Boothby from around 1929, until her death in 1966.

The Crown season 2 shows, with accuracy, that her husband was well aware of her near 30-year affair.

Although it was common knowledge in Parliament, too, the story of the relationship was never broken in the press.

Angela Lambert, writing in The Independent in 1994, explained: &ldquoMacmillan would not give his wife the divorce she and her lover both craved.

&ldquoHe loved her. In any case, divorce was unthinkable for both family and political reasons.&rdquo

Conservative politician Robert Boothby (Image: Getty)

Boothby was married to Dorothys sister Diana from 1935 to 1937 (Image: Getty)

Macmillan also gave his surname to Dorothy&rsquos daughter Sarah who was born to Boothby in 1930.

However, Sarah lived an ultimately unhappy life and died at the young age of 39 in 1970.

Macmillan&rsquos biographer Charles Williams wrote in 2009: &ldquoShe was convinced &ndash not least because she was constantly told so &ndash that she was [Robert] Boothby&rsquos daughter.

&ldquoOn one occasion when she was dancing with a clumsy young man who trod on her toes and apologised earnestly in deference to her father&rsquos political status, she exclaimed with furious misery: &lsquoYou&rsquore dancing with the most famous b****** in England. Everyone knows I&rsquom Bob Boothby&rsquos daughter&rsquo.&rdquo

Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies attending the Old Bailey in 1963 (Image: Getty)

Sophie Cookson and Ellie Bamber in the BBC series (Image: BBC)

Foreign Office historian James Southern, writing in 2016, explained how Macmillan reacted with &ldquoaloofness&rdquo over the Profumo sex scandal.

He wrote: &ldquoMacmillan never confronted Profumo about the details of the affair."

Ian Macleod was instead sent to wake Profumo in the middle of the night and ask the War Minister about it.

Macmillan appeared to be satisfied by the latter's denial and maintained an aloofness from the sexual element of the scandal.


Tory Leaders We Have Known: Harold Macmillan (part one)

Harold Macmillan remains one of the more elusive of the leading politicians of his age. In part, that was an elusiveness of his own making: the great actor-manager was possessed of a natural gift, what Hailsham called his ‘beautiful acting’.

What was that act? It was the air of insouciance things were either ‘fun’ or ‘a bore’. He gave the impression of being a prime minster that was not going to drown in a sea of papers of work himself into the ground. That impression was added to by his great wit. Both elements might be neatly summed up in his one liner about ‘going to bed with a Trollope’ or his remark about Mrs Thatcher in her pomp: ‘I do wish she would read’. The Macmillan of the grouse moor, ‘the government of chaps’, offered stability in a changing world. And, in his career, he had (until the last years of his government) a good deal of luck: not only had Britain ‘never had it so good’, but when the mud flew (notably from Suez), it never seemed to stick to Supermac.

Macmillan was both a more complex man, and a more interesting one, than the persona let on. He was one of four prime ministers to have fought in the Great War, and one of two to be seriously wounded (the other was Attlee). A phrase current in the Guards was ‘nearly as brave as Mr Macmillan’. He was, in fact, wounded twice: the wound to the hip at the Somme nearly killed him, and ended his war. His wounds left permanent marks on Macmillan, giving him a limp handshake, leaving him in frequent pain and giving him the somewhat shambling gait that became a part of the Macmillan persona. Famously, he claimed to have passed the time whilst spending an entire day wounded in his shell hole reading Aeschylus’ Prometheus, in the Greek, which he just happened to have with him. Yet, the impression of calm assurance should not be overdone. Once helped back behind the lines, he had to make his own way to the dressing station in a blind panic. His recovery was slow, painful and left him prone to bouts of introspection and melancholy. As well showing his courage, the war gave him compassion, a depth of character and a regard for the ordinary man that was to mark his politics.

On the face of it, his background was conventional enough for a Tory politician: Eton, and Oxford. In fact, he left Eton after three years, being dogged by ill health. That, and his near death in 1916, would leave him prone to hypochondria. He flourished at Oxford, where he made many lifelong friendships. Of the 28 Balliol men who went to war, only two came back: for Macmillan, Oxford was henceforth a ‘city of ghosts’.

After the war, Macmillan spent a happy ten months as ADC to the governor-general of Canada, the Duke of Devonshire. There, he wooed and married Devonshire’s daughter, Lady Dorothy Cavendish. Politically, it was a very good match. Devonshire was colonial secretary under Bonar Law, and the families Tory connections were second to none. Not only did the marriage give him access to that network, it also gave him his entre into politics. He was now a part of high society, though never quite fully part. He often found himself somewhat patronised by her family, and the Macmillan of the grouse moor was always, like so much about Macmillan, something of an act (though he taught himself to be a good shot).

Most poignantly, it was not a happy marriage. Macmillan always maintained his love for her, but it was not reciprocated. In 1929, Dorothy Macmillan began a long running and tempestuous affair with Bob Boothby, a fellow Tory MP. She made the running for Boothby it may even have been a good cover for his bisexuality. Later, Dorothy claimed that the Macmillan’s last child, Sarah, was Boothby’s. Macmillan did contemplate divorce, but in 1930 that was tantamount to political suicide furthermore, his love for her was genuine, as was his Christian faith. Thus, Macmillan became a celibate husband, his love henceforth unrequited. That it troubled him always, there can be no doubt.

Macmillan entered the family publishing business. He was unusually well read for a politician. At Macmillan and Sons, he personally handled the likes of Kipling, Hardy, Yeats, Hugh Walpole and Sean O’Casey. He had discernment too. Years later he would compare O’Casey to Hardy: both wrote a lot, perhaps too much, but what they wrote ‘came from a deep sincerity’. As prime minister he would famously quip that he liked to wake up to a Jane Austen and ‘go to bed with a Trollope’. Nor were his publishing interests merely literary. He brought economists such as Lionel Robbins on board, likewise the historian Lewis Namier.

Those tastes might give us something of Macmillan’s politics. Namier’s history of the 18 th century politics saw politics as an elite contest framed by patronage, the greasy pole and sharp elbows. Whatever one might say of Macmillan in his pomp, he certainly did not lack an interest in the political dark arts. Interestingly, though, the Macmillan of the inter-war years was more of an ideas man. He set out his stall as a reformist, leftist Conservative, attracted to Keynesianism (his brother was a close friend of Keynes).

His outlook was also framed by his admiration for the ordinary working class men he had known in the trenches, and then by his time as MP for Stockton-on-Tees. Most importantly, as MP for Stockton, he saw the impact of industrial decline and unemployment close up. He was also the MP for a marginal seat. In 1923, when he failed to win the first time he stood, he lost to a Liberal: the seat had been Liberal since 1910 (it was one of the industrial seats that, in 1910, saw the Liberal vote go up it had been Conservative in 1906). In 1929, he lost it to Labour, as he did again in 1945. The three occasions he won were all when a One Nation Conservatism that clearly identified Labour as socialist, and beat them.

Not that Macmillan, unlike Butler, could be described as Baldwinian. After entering parliament, he wrote a great deal. He was one of the co-authors of Industry and the State, which argued for a partnership between government and both sides of industry. He was also sympathetic to the proto-Keynesianism of Lloyd George’s Yellow Book. Nor was he without influence. The government’s de-rating measures were in part his idea, and he worked on them closely with the chancellor of the exchequer, Winston Churchill. A series of pamphlets and books followed, culminating in the publication of The Middle Way, in 1938. Years later, Clement Attlee would describe the inter-war Macmillan as ‘a real left wing radical’ and believed that Macmillan had seriously considered crossing the floor and that, if he had, he would have led Labour at some point.

There were question marks from some over Macmillan’s loyalty to his party. He had shown some interests in Mosley’s economic thinking, both when he was in Labour and even at the time of the New Party. Between 1935 and 1937, he was strongly associated with the Next Five Years group, a cross party body with connections to the likes of Lloyd George. He voted against the government over the Unemployed Insured Bill. He stayed loyal to the Conservatives, though, in part thanks to political instinct and in part out of unfulfilled ambition.

What brought Macmillan into open conflict with his own government was appeasement. He openly opposed the Hoare-Laval Pact, and criticised the government’s lack of response to Hitler’s remilitarisation of the Rhineland. He voted against the government in 1936 over Abyssinia, and resigned the Conservative whip. Though he took the whip again in 1937, though he momentarily wavered over Munich a year later he became one of Chamberlain’s most active and outspoken critics. He grew closer to Churchill, more so to Eden. He voted against the government again in November 1938, and at the same time was talking to Labour’s Hugh Dalton about a ‘1931 in reverse’: dissident Conservatives joining with Labour to form an anti-appeasement national government.

It was never going to work, but it identified him as a coming man. When Churchill became prime minister, Macmillan became PPS to Herbert Morrison, the minister of supply. He would take the same role under Beaverbrook. This gave him a greater role in the House of Commons, as Beaverbrook was in the Lords. His careful handling of Beaverbrook paid political dividends too. They were by no means political soul mates, but years later Macmillan always got something of an easy ride from Beaverbrook’s newspapers.

Macmillan was then sent to North Africa, in an ill-defined role as minister resident in Algiers. Over the next few years Macmillan’s role broadened. At first, he was dealing with Vichy France. He then became the effective go between for Britain, the Free French and the Americans. By 1944, he was in charge of British affairs in the wider Mediterranean and, most of all, in Italy and the Balkans. This was, to say the least, a complicated business, and potentially combustible. Macmillan handled it with considerable aplomb, especially the potentially explosive relationship between Tito’s Yugoslavia and Italy. Below, he is with Eisenhower and Alexander, among others.

It had one particularly unfortunate outcome. Macmillan, as Allied Control Commissioner, was also called upon to advise the military commander, General Keightley. One of Keightley’s most pressing problems was prisoners of war. There were some 40,000 Yugoslav prisoners, as well as Ustachi (Croatian supporters of Nazi rule) and Chetniks (Serb opponents of Tito) on the run. There were also some 400,000 Germans who had surrendered, or were about to. Among them, were some 40,000 who were, in fact, Soviet citizens, mostly Cossacks and White Russians (anti-communists who had fled the revolution). The Red Army was on the Yugoslav border, and demanded that they be handed over. They were. Years later, Count Nikolai Tolstoy would accuse Macmillan of a war crime. In truth, as far as Macmillan saw it, he took a hurried decision to repatriate what were, in effect, Nazi forces.

Certainly, Macmillan was now well schooled in the arts of statesmanship, in what had proved to be an extremely difficult and delicate situation. He returned to domestic politics, to the Air Ministry in Churchill’s caretaker government. He lost his Stockton seat in the face of Labour’s 1945 landslide, but that defeat came with a considerable silver lining. Such was his status now, that he was given the ultra-safe seat of Bromley. The Conservative opposition did not have shadow cabinet posts as such. Thus, over the next six years Macmillan spoke from the opposition front bench on a range of topics. He had lacked a domestic profile: this gave him one. He was also closely involved, with Rab Butler, in the Industrial Charter, which redefined Tory policy largely in line with Macmillan’s own Middle Way. Macmillan was also closely involved in Churchill’s encouragement of moves towards greater European integration, notably in the creation of the United European Movement. This also saw Macmillan side with Churchill more than Eden, who was sceptical.

Macmillan had made himself a significant figure in the Tory front rank, but he was some way down the pecking order from Eden, or even Butler. Whilst older than both, he had the air of a young man in a hurry. His true position could be seen in the cabinet post Churchill gave him in 1951 (one he had to wait a week to find out about): Macmillan was now minister of housing and local government. Labour’s grand designs had ended in something of disappointment: shortages of labour, raw materials and cash had constrained the house-building programme. It was in a direct response to Labour’s perceived failure that, in 1951, Lord Woolton had settled on the figure of 300,000 houses per year (topping Labour’s previous promise of 200,000). Macmillan’s job was to deliver. The problem was that he had no direct control over house building, whether private or public. What he did do was take the lessons he had learned at the wartime ministry of supply and apply them to the peace: he even called the process ‘modified Beaverbrookism’. With the energetic help of his junior minister, Ernest Marples, and much political cajoling, it worked (you can read more here). Macmillan (seen inspecting a new house in 1953) had proved to be a successful minister of a major spending department.

It was to be his only long spell in any ministry. When Churchill reshuffled in 1954, Macmillan got the Ministry of Defence. From it, he became firmly convinced of two things. One was that Britain needed not only its own nuclear deterrent, but a modern one, which by 1954 meant a hydrogen bomb. The other thing he became sure of was the need for Churchill to name the date of his departure, and was pretty blunt in in so doing. When Eden became prime minister, Macmillan got the Foreign Office. It was a job he was pre-eminently qualified for, and wanted: he had always claimed it to be the ‘summit of my ambitions’. It was not, however, a happy experience. Just as Churchill had regarded defence policy as his personal remit, Eden regarded foreign affairs. You can read more about Macmillan’s brief interlude in the Foreign Office here.

In any event, politics conspired to see Macmillan moved on very quickly. Having delivered a pre-election budget designed to help ensure a Tory victory in the 1955 election, Butler was forced to reverse almost all his tax giveaways in the autumn. Eden was faced with a damaged chancellor. He was also faced with a damaged rival, and sought to take advantage of the fact. His solution was to move Macmillan to the Treasury. Macmillan didn’t want to go, but in the end had no choice. You can read more about Macmillan’s time at the Treasury here.

Macmillan may not have wanted to go, but in doing so he got lucky. In his short time there he was well regarded, which helped, but what really mattered was the he was not foreign secretary as the Suez Crisis erupted in 1956. Macmillan was intimately involved. When Nasser seized the Suez Canal, Macmillan was a member of the Suez Committee. He strongly supported the planned invasion: he was seen as a hawk, looking not merely to take the canal, but overthrow Nasser. Like Eden, he saw Nasser as an Egyptian Hitler or Mussolini. The appeasement analogy led both down a lethal political dead end.

When that dead end became all too apparent, especially Britain came under immense American pressure, Macmillan reversed his view completely. Thus, by the time the Anglo-French invasion was launched, Macmillan was already turning against it. There are several ways of interpreting Macmillan’s actions. One is that in changing his view, he was doing his job as chancellor, defending sterling. Another is that he allowed the sterling crisis to ferment without telling the cabinet the full truth, thus allowing Eden to dig himself in so deep he could not get out. Another is that by seeming to support Eden, until he appeared to have no choice but to advise withdrawal, he differentiated himself from Butler, whose duplicity was supposed. The famous Harold Wilson line about Macmillan’s Suez rings true: ‘first in, first out.’ Whatever, it was Eden that was holed below the waterline, and Butler was damaged too meanwhile, Macmillan survived seemingly intact. And with that would come his chance.

Another way of looking at Macmillan’s conduct was that he had been far quicker than Eden to face reality. As such, he was far better equipped for the top job. Similarly, Butler was never fully trusted by his colleagues. Macmillan was hardly less clever or witty than Butler, and he was certainly more devious, but his persona hid it better. Butler’s sharp impatience with lesser men was not so well hidden. When it came to the dark arts of political manoeuvre, Macmillan was the sharper operator again, he hid it well.

Looking back, Eden’s departure had the air of inevitability about it. It didn’t seem to at the time. Thus, when Eden resigned, the process of arriving at his successor was hurried. As it was, it was simple enough. The process involved the lord chancellor, Lord Kilmuir, and Lord Salisbury, Bobbetty Cecil to his friends, consulting leading Tories. As Kilmuir famously put it later on, Cecil asking, with his lisp: ‘well, is Wab or Hawold?’

For all bar three, it was Harold. Thus, Macmillan kissed hands. The great actor manager now had the top job.


Changing nature of the Prime Minister’s office

Some less attractive features of his personality also emerge from their pages, such as occasional moments of anti-Semitism. The diaries can be used to illustrate Macmillan’s political techniques, such as his use of the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik in 1957 to drive the resumption of nuclear information sharing with the Americans. They also demonstrate his awareness of the changing nature of his office: on 8 November 1958, after attending the Festival of Remembrance, a tribute to victims of war and members of the armed forces, he commented, ‘All these ceremonial duties and functions are becoming more and more oppressive to a Prime Minister and make it necessary to work further and further into the night’.

The diaries are similarly crowded with pithy reflections on the changing nature of the Commonwealth, of international negotiations and of the many statesmen Macmillan dealt with. The challenges facing Macmillan are palpable in his pages. So are the ways he tried to tackle them. They are frequently enlivened by Macmillan’s dry wit. Above all, they act as a direct witness, compiled largely under the pressure of events, to life during Macmillan’s premiership.



Kommentaar:

  1. Aesctun

    is daar analoë?

  2. Abdul-Rafi

    Sekerlik. Alles hierbo het die waarheid vertel. Kom ons bespreek hierdie vraag.

  3. Maynard

    U laat die fout toe. Skryf vir my in PM.

  4. Jolon

    ))))))))))))))))))) it is matchless ;)

  5. Cestmir

    Ek sluit aan. Ek stem saam met al die bogenoemde.



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