Thursday, September 15, 2016

What a Conservative M.P. thought of the Labour Party and Sir Stafford Cripps (1941)

From the August 1941 issue of the Socialist Standard

In the light of subsequent developments, it is interesting to recall what Captain Harold Macmillan, M.P., had to say about the Labour Party and Sir Stafford Cripps seven years ago. At that time they were political opponents. Now, Sir Stafford Cripps represents the British Government in Russia and Captain Harold Macmillan is a member of the Government, along with leaders of the Labour Party. In June, just before the German attack on Russia, The Times was urging that Cripps should be included in the Cabinet (News Chronicle, June 17th, 1941). 

Here are Captain Harold Macmillan’s views seven years ago : —
  Captain Harold Macmillan, Conservative M.P. for Stockton, speaking at a meeting of the English Review Luncheon Club, in London, yesterday, gave two views of the Labour Party as seen through the eyes of the Right-wing in politics.
  "One view is that the Labour Socialist Party is really a Socialist movement, and that if it got into power it might attempt to carry Socialist legislation and alter the economic structure in that direction," he said.
   "That is the view if Sir Stafford Cripps is to be taken seriously.
   "The other view is that the Labour Party is just a normal Radical movement—that Cripps is not to be regarded seriously as a danger, but should rather be carefully nursed as the greatest political asset we have at the present time. (Laughter.)
   "If anything were to happen to Sir Stafford Cripps it would be a serious disaster to us.—(Daily Herald, November 15th, 1934.)
Clifford Allen

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