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Philip Snowden: The First Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer

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Gaitskell made himself very unpopular by abolishing the basic petrol ration for private motorists, but encouraged the building of oil refineries, a move little-noticed at the time which would have important repercussions for the future. Gaitskell blamed the Left for the defeat and attempted unsuccessfully to amend Labour's Clause IV—which its adherents believed committed the party to further nationalisation of industry, while Gaitskell and his followers believed it had become either superfluous or a political liability.

Sir Edward Bridges wanted Herbert Morrison, a political heavyweight; Morrison had been an early advocate of devaluation but did not regard himself as qualified. Gaitskell alienated some of his supporters by his opposition to British membership of the European Economic Community, which Conservative Prime Minister Macmillan had been seeking since July 1961. Philip Snowden, First Viscount Snowden, the British politician, was a forthright and convincing speaker.After initially expressing surprise, Gaitskell accepted Crossman's advice that Bevan be allowed a veto over any change to nationalisation policy. While convalescing he became convinced of the value of socialism and started making rousing anti-capitalist speeches. In fact it may well have been aimed at Attlee who had the previous day warned against "emotionalism" whilst privately Bevan thought that Gaitskell was highly emotional and, as he had shown in 1951, "couldn't count".

Besides repudiating the unquestioned commitment to public ownership of the means of production, now seen as merely one of numerous useful devices, he emphasised the goals of personal liberty, social welfare and above all social equality. At Newcastle, with a general election clearly imminent, Gaitskell pledged that Labour's spending plans would not require him to raise income tax, for which he was attacked by the Tories for supposed irresponsibility. g. Hugh Dalton, of whom he became a protégé, Douglas Jay and Evan Durbin) and City people such as the economist Nicholas Davenport. In a speech at Stalybridge (5 October 1952) Gaitskell alleged that "about one-sixth" of the constituency delegates "appeared to be Communist or Communist-inspired" and attacked "the stream of grossly misleading propaganda with poisonous innuendos and malicious attacks on Attlee, Morrison and the rest of us" published in Tribune.Bondfield would later become the first female cabinet minister and the first woman to be a privy counsellor in the UK. However, Bevan soon rejected Gaitskell's proposed compromise that it be announced that the health charges were not to be permanent as "a bromide".

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