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Clement Attlee

1,069 bytes added, 13:02, 31 May 2009
He was elected to Parliament in 1922 as [[Labour Party]] member for Stepney and in 1924 he was made Undersecretary of State for War. In 1927 Attlee was a member of the Indian Statutory Commission under the chairmanship of Sir John Simon, and since he supported self-government for India he dissented from the report of the Joint Select Committee in 1933.
He joined [[Ramsay MacDonald]]'s Labour cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1929-1931 (that is, he was minister without portfolio and did not run a department). He became Postmaster General in 1931. Along with most Labour MP's, he broke with Ramsay MacDonald when the Macdonald joined with the [[Conservative Party|Conservatives]] to form the National Coalition government in 1931.
==Prime Minister==
[[File:Labour45b.jpg|thumb|275px|left|Iconic 1945 election poster]]
In the 1945 General Election Attlee led the Labour Party to its largest victory at the polls. He explained his policies in 1947, noting that the chief challenge which faced Britain was the need for a transition from a war to a peace economy, and for a transition from capitalism to socialism. However the nation had been impoverished by the war and was unable to hold its increasingly expensive and restive British Empire. Attlee's solutions were to make India independent, to pull out of Palestine, to nationalize major industries and begin socialized medicine, and to turn to the sympathetic liberal governerment of Preasident [[Harry Truman]] to pay for it all.
==Further reading==
* Davies, Andrew. ''To Build a New Jerusalem: The British Labour Party from Keir Hardie to Tony Blair'' (1996)
* Hennessy, Peter. ''Never Again: Britain 1945-1951'' (2nd ed 2006), 560pp; detailed social history
* Howell, David. ''Attlee'' (British Prime Ministers of the 20th Century) (2006), good brief biography [ excerpt and text search]
* Kynaston, David. ''Austerity Britain, 1945-1951'' (2008), 704pp; highly detailed, well-written social history
* Morgan, Kenneth O. ''Britain since 1945: The People's Peace'' (2001)
* Radice, Giles. ''The Tortoise and the Hares: Attlee, Bevin, Cripps, Dalton, Morrison'' (2008)
* Swift, John. ''Labour in Crisis: Clement Attlee and the Labour Party in Opposition, 1931-1940'' (2001)
* Worley, Matthew. ''Labour inside the Gate: A History of the British Labour Party between the Wars'' (2005),