Get Labour’s European Dilemmas: From Bevin to Blair PDF

By Roger Broad (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230508545

ISBN-13: 9780230508545

ISBN-10: 1349421251

ISBN-13: 9781349421251

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In the Commons even John Hynd and Maurice Edelman were cautious. Kim Mackay was a lone voice, in the Commons and in a booklet Heads in the Sand. At party conference in October it was asked why the government had not put forward its own alternative. ’14 It was too much to ask the party, after two generations campaigning for nationalisation, suddenly to accept that such a socialist achievement be abandoned for an uncertain internationalisation. A month earlier the TUC had rejected a call from Bob Edwards, of the chemical workers, for participation in the plan.

That the First and Second Circles had been decisive in keeping Britain free when the Third Circle was at best unreliable or at worst a danger, was a factor in determining that this last circle was considered the least important. ’5 No later Labour prime minister or party leader was to withdraw so much from foreign affairs. Bevin’s first speech as Foreign Secretary on 20 August 1945 was considered ‘sober and cautious’ by the New Statesman. The weekly also contended that if Britain was to avoid becoming a mere appendage of American capitalism ‘we must form with the peoples of Europe a common market big enough to enable us to stand up together to the export drive that American business is already planning in the near future’.

The United Nations had issued its Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, and a universal convention to back it up was under discussion. The first session of the Council of Europe Assembly had recommended the framing of a convention for Europe, where, it was felt, the recent history of fascism and the current subjection of eastern Europe to Soviet power underlined the need for more specific and earlier action than UNO could provide. London was cautious: why was purely European action needed?

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Labour’s European Dilemmas: From Bevin to Blair by Roger Broad (auth.)

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