- Slides: 14
Why did Harold Macmillan resign? • On 10 th October 1963, Harold Macmillan went through surgery for prostate cancer. • After six years in office, he resigned whilst recovering in hospital. • Many supported Butler to succeed Macmillan, however Macmillan himself disliked him. • To everyone’s surprise, the Foreign Secretary Lord Douglas Home renounced his peerage to step forward. • From his hospital bed, Macmillan sent a letter to the Queen recommending Home become Prime Minister. • On 16 th October, the Queen made Douglas-Home Prime Minister.
Learning Task One Watch this clip from Andrew Marr’s ‘A History of Modern Britain’. Identify three reasons why Harold Macmillan resigned in 1963.
The ‘Night of the Long • Knives’ Macmillan saw in the by-election results evidence that former Conservative voters would abandon their candidates in support of the Liberals. • The Cabinet was also relatively elderly, and with younger political leaders on the scene, like American President John F. Kennedy, at a time of dramatic social changes, Macmillan resolved to bring some younger men into important posts. The seven ministers earmarked for replacement averaged 59. • Macmillan intended to carry out the reshuffle in autumn 1962, however on 11 th July Butler let slip the details to Lord Rothermere who owned several newspapers. • Macmillan, suspecting that the plans were deliberately leaked by Butler to further his political career, felt compelled to act. • He summoned Lloyd to a meeting that evening and informed him that he was to be replaced as Chancellor. • The remaining six officeholders were informed the following day, 13 July.
How bad was 1963 for the government? • A Civil Servant, John Vassall, was caught spying for the USSR in 1963. The Admiralit was accused of trying to cover it up. • In January 1963, Kim Philby, a senior official in the foreign office, was revealed to have been passing information on to the USSR for decades. Rather than be arrested, Philby fled to Moscow. • The Duke of Argyll sued his wife for divorce on the grounds of adultery. He compiled a list of men, two of which were government ministers.
Damaged by political • At a party at the country estate of Lord Astor on July scandal 8, 1961, Secretary of State for War John Profumo was introduced to 19 -year-old London dancer Christine Keeler • Also present at this gathering was a Russian military attaché, Eugene Ivanov, who was Keeler’s lover. Through Ward’s influence Profumo began an affair with Keeler, and rumours of their involvement soon began to spread. • In March 1963 Profumo lied about the affair to Parliament, stating that there was no relationship with Keeler. Evidence to the contrary quickly became too great to hide • 10 weeks later Profumo resigned.
Learning Task Two Separate an A 4 piece of paper into three sections: • Political scandal • Night of the Long Knives • Poor health Identify which is the most important to least. Explain how it resulted in Macmillan’s resignation.
Why did the Conservatives lose the 1964 General Election? 1. Political scandals – Vassal affair, Profumo Scandal 2. Macmillan sacking 1/3 of his cabinet in July 1962 3. Economy held back by failure to join the EEC 4. Macmillan’s resignation due to poor health 5. New leader was Sir Alec-Douglas Home. An elderly Lord who summed up the “establishment” 6. Success of Wilson’s Labour Party.
Learning Task Three 1. Watch this video clip on Harold Wilson’s leadership of the Labour Party. 2. Around your picture of Harold Wilson, explain how he helped improve the Labour Party. 3. How was this different to Alec Douglas-Home? https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Wj. Ty. Fe. Aslp. E
A well planned Labour campaign • What he managed to do was bring uniformity to the party by uniting the left and right factions. • Wilson had shown the public that the Labour Party was a modern party who were dedicated to taking Britain into the new, scientific age. He famously made his “White Heat of Technology” speech which showed this. • The Labour campaign was based around Harold Wilson, who was plugged as a man of the people. "If the past belongs to the Tories, the future belongs to us, all of us” • Economic planning, growth and scientific change were given prominence. • Labour's victory was largely put down to the popular and populist leadership of Harold Wilson, which had done much to boost Labour morale in the run up to the election. https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Wj. Ty. Fe. Aslp. E (12 – 18 mins)
A disastrous Conservative campaign • To promote the Tory manifesto, Prosperity with a Purpose, Sir Alec set off on a soap box tour of the country. His decision to appeal to the voters in person instead of concentrating on delivering his message via television was a mistake. • Although Douglas-Home struggled with his television performances, he also had trouble dealing with hecklers. His attempts to silence them at rallies often made him look difficult and unsympathetic. • In comparison to Wilson, Douglas-Home seemed old fashioned and out of touch with the modern age of the 1960 s. • The Conservatives found it difficult to shake off the reputation from the scandals of 1963.
Learning Task Four 1. Create a mind-map to show the various reasons why Labour won the 1964 General Election. 2. Provide examples and quotations to clearly explain how each factor caused a Wilson victory. https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Wj. Ty. Fe. Aslp. E