1945 and All That: the Labour Chancellors

There is a pretty decent argument for saying that Labour’s 1945 government were one of the most able ever assembled. We already know some, let’s meet a few more. Here is Hugh Dalton addressing the nation about his 1946 budget:

What a voice!

It was a voice that would get him into trouble when, hot on the heels of a plot to oust Attlee, he let a budget secret leak in an over-garrulous conversation with a journalist.

Perhaps the least likely bringer of a Christmas message ever, Sir Stafford Cripps, Dalton’s successor at the Treasury. If he doesn’t quite deserve his reputation as Sir Austere Cripps, he hardly seems to be in denial.

In 1949, while Cripps was in Switzerland recuperating from illness, the troika of Hugh Gaitskell, Harold Wilson and Douglas Jay forced through the decision to devalue the pound, which Cripps then had to stick with. http://youtu.be/YqQfecCR0TU And finally, the great moderniser, Hugh Gaitskell. Dollar drive? The balance of payments problem caused problems in almost every year between the outbreak of the Korean War and the pound’s next devaluation in 1967.

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