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Ward, Paul (2002)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: D1, D731
In the 1930S the Labour Party was engaged in an intense debate over the direction of its foreign\ud policy in response to the rise of expansionist fascist powers in Europe. The lift of the party rejected\ud rearmament by the National govemment. Others, like Hugh Dalton, called for rearmament. Some\ud historians have seen this second stance as incompatible with socialism, describing it as an adjustment\ud to reality. This article argues that the Labour re-armers accommodated national difence within their\ud socialism, and that this benefited the party when in 1940 it entered the Churchill coalition and in\ud 1945 when it faced the electorate.
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    • 1 New Age, 9 September 1909. My thanks go to Keith Laybourn, Sarah I3astow and the anonymous readers for providing constructive comments on earlier drafts of this article. Valuable suggestions were made on one version of this paper at the Institute of Contemporary British History's 'The Left in the Twentieth Century' conference, London, July 1999.
    • 2 R. Miliband, Parliamentary Socialism, first published 1961, second edition, London, Merlin, 1972, pp. 231-71; J. F. Naylor, Labour's Intemational Policy: The Labour Party in the 1930.1, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1969; M. R. Gordon, COllflict and Consensus in Labour's Fore(([lI Policy 1914-1965, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1969. See also S. Wichert, 'The British Left and Appeasement: Political Tactics or Alternative Policies?', in W. J. Mommsen and L. Kettenacker (eds), the Fascist Challellge alII! the P"licy "f Appeasemellt, London, Allen and Unwin, 1983, pp. 125-41.
    • 3 J. I3rookshire, '''Speak for England", act for England: Labour's leadership and I3ritish national security under the threat of war in the late [930S', European History Quarterly, 29, 2, 1999, pp. 251-87; J. Swift, Labour ill Crisis: Clement Aftlee and the Labour Party ill Opposition, 193/-40, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2001. J. W. Young, 'Idealism and realism in the history of Labour's foreign policy', Bulletin "f the Society for the Study of Labour History, 50, 1985, pp. 14-19, is a useful historiographical essay.
    • 4 For a discussion of the politics of the historiography of the interwar years see M. Smith, Democracy ill a Depression: Britain ill the 1920.1 and 1930S, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1998.
    • 5 K. M organ, Against Fascism alld War: Ruptures and Contilluities in British Commlmist Politics, 1935-41, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1989; J. JuPP, The Radical L~ft in Britain 193/-1941, London, Cass, 1982; B. Pimlott, Labour arid the L~ft in the 1930.1, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1977. " See for example, I3. Pimlott, Hugh Daltoll, London, Cape, 1985; B. 13rivati, H11.([hCaitskell, London, Richard Cohen, 1996.
    • 7 As N. J. Crowson does in depth for the Conservatives in his Facill,([Fascism: The COllservatille Party and the European Dictators 1935-194°, London, Routledge, 1997.
    • H Labour Party, AlInual Conferellce Report, 1934, p. 174, henceforth LPA CR.
    • 9 J. H. Grainger, Patriotisms: Britain 19°0-1939, London, Routledge, 1986, p. 329; G. Orwell, 'Notes on Nationalism', in S. Orwell and 1. Angus (eds), the Collected Essays, Jouma/ism alld Letters "f Geo~([e OniJcll. Vol. J.' As I Please, 1943-1945, Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1970, pp. 423-5. For the 1931 political crisis and its impact see R. I3assett, Nineteell Thirty-Olle: Political Crisis, Aldershot, Gower, 1980; P. Williamson, National Crisis and National Coverlllnellt: British Politics, the Ecollomy alld the Empire 1926-1932, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1992; A. Thorpe, The British Gellera/ Election of 1931, Oxford, Clarendon, 1991; S. Brooke, Labour's War: The La/lOur Party during the Sceolld ~Vorld War, Oxford, Oxford University Press, [992, ch. I.
    • 10 B. Donoughue and G. W. Jones, Herbert iVforrison: Portrait of a Politician, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1973, p. 150; Stafford Cripps, 'Natiollal' Fascism ill Britain, London, Socialist League, n.d.; LPACR, 1933, p. 218. See also Aneurin I3evan, LPACR, [937, p. 209.
    • 11 J. Hinton, Protests and Visiom: Peace Politics ill 20th Celltury Britain, London, Hutchinson Radius, 1989, p. [14·
    • 12 Pimlott, Dalton, pp. 246-7.
    • 13 Ibid., pp. 104, 184.
    • 14 H. Dalton, The Fatiful Years: iVfcmoirs 1931-1945, London, Muller, 1957, p. 41.
    • 15 Stephen Bird, archivist at the National Museum of Labour History, kindly allowed me sight of his biography of Gillies for a forthcoming volume of the Dicti,mary of Labour Biograpl/y.
    • 16 Labour Party International Department: Germany files, National Museum of Labour History (NMLH), ID/GER/15, contain the memorandum and Noel-Baker's response.
    • 17 'Fight for Freedom' circular letter, II February 1942, NMLH, !D/GER/r6/o.
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