By common consent, the Labour government which held power between July 1945 and October 1951 was one of the ablest of the twentieth century, quite possibly the very best, and the government with the most achievements to its credit, at least in peacetime. It set the parameters of the role and dimensions of what the British government, in modern times, could and should do, in a way which remained unchallenged for over thirty years and which, despite modifications, still remains partially in place. It accomplished more than any other peacetime government, arguably before or since, and in many respects represented the culmination of the entire tradition of Britain’s reform movement since the Great Reform Act if not before. As well, despite its great achievements, it was an honourable government, composed of honourable men who rarely deceived or dissimulated.
KeywordsNational Health Service Prime Minister Foreign Policy Foreign Minister Labour Government
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