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Philip Snowden: The First Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer

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Bevan now claimed he had "misunderstood or misheard" what Gaitskell planned and was reported to be "absolutely livid" and "wondering whether to blow the whole thing wide open". Gaitskell and Wilson met with Attlee, Ernest Bevin and Cripps at Chequers on 19 August, and Bevin and Cripps agreed with some reluctance to devaluation. He did not reject public ownership altogether, but also emphasised the ethical goals of liberty, social welfare and above all equality, and argued that they could be achieved by fiscal and social policies within a mixed economy.

After leaving office in October, he was created a viscount and made lord privy seal, but he left that office in 1932. Although he had chaired the ILP for a second time, from 1917 to 1920, Snowden resigned from the party in 1927 because he believed it was "drifting more and more away from. An economics lecturer and wartime civil servant, he was elected to Parliament in 1945 and held office in Clement Attlee's governments, notably as Minister of Fuel and Power following the bitter winter of 1946–47, and eventually joining the Cabinet as Chancellor of the Exchequer.He told Crossman (19 October) that Bevan simply wanted to succeed Jim Griffiths as deputy leader and had shown no inclination to resist moderate policies.

However, Bevan soon rejected Gaitskell's proposed compromise that it be announced that the health charges were not to be permanent as "a bromide".Bevan at this time thought that Gaitskell should be reduced to "a junior clerk" in the next Labour Government.

Snowden later wrote in his autobiography: "I was brought up in this Radical atmosphere, and it was then that I imbibed the political and social principles which I have held fundamentally ever since". Ignoring advice from his allies, and partly motivated by detailed polling by Mark Abrams which showed that younger voters regarded Labour as old-fashioned, Gaitskell pushed for reform. Gaitskell was appointed at the young age of 44, especially unusual as most of Attlee's Cabinet were in their sixties or older. Its object is to create in him a greater and greater sense of his dependence upon the state, and, at the same time, to inculcate in him the conviction that he is a part of it and that he has a duty and responsibility toward the state; and that only in so far as he fulfils this duty can he benefit by the advantages of a complete personal and social life.

He argued that according to the principles of Euclid if two things are equal to a third thing they must both be equal to one another, and so there could not be any real difference between Castle and Gaitskell. Like Gaitskell before him, Blair was often seen by many of his enemies in the Labour Party as a public-school educated, middle-class interloper. He profoundly believed in the morality of the balanced budget, with rigorous economy and not a penny wasted.

Crossman believed Bevan could have overthrown Gaitskell (17 July 1959) and that both Bevan and Gaitskell thought Wilson an unprincipled careerist (13 August 1959). for bad temper and general hatred, since 1926" whilst Michael Foot thought it "rowdy, convulsive, vulgar, splenetic".

Gaitskell recorded that Bridges, Plowden, Leslie (Head of Information) and Armstrong were all urging him to stand firm and that he was "overcome with emotion" at Armstrong's words. Gaitskell's position became more cautious during the summer, and he suggested the dispute with Egypt should be referred to the United Nations. When Crossman interjected that Bevan "was only half wanting" to be leader, had not made any conspiracy against Attlee and was mainly concerned at voicing protests against Morrison and Gaitskell, the latter replied that "there are extraordinary parallels between Nye and Adolf Hitler. It was difficult for the Treasury to take tough measures given the government's small majority and the likelihood of another election soon. The function of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as I understand it, is to resist all demands for expenditure made by his colleagues and, when he can no longer resist, to limit the concession to the barest point of acceptance.

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