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Encyclopedia > Ernest Bevin

Ernest Bevin (9 March 1881 - 14 April 1951) was a British labour leader, politician, and statesman best known for his time as Minister of Labour in the war-time coalition government, and as Foreign Secretary in the post-war Labour government. March 9 is the 68th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (69th in leap years). ... Year 1881 (MDCCCLXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar). ... April 14 is the 104th day of the year (105th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 261 days remaining. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... Minister of Labour re-directs here. ... The position of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was created in the United Kingdoms governmental reorganization of 1782, in which the Northern and Southern Departments became the Home and Foreign Offices. ... The Labour Party has been, since its founding in the early 20th century, the principal political party of the left in England, Scotland and Wales. ...

Contents

Early life

Bevin was born in the small village of Winsford in Somerset, England. His father, whom he never knew, was an agricultural labourer and his mother was a housemaid who died when he was eight. He had little formal education, leaving school in Crediton, Devon in 1890. At the age of eleven he went to work as a labourer, then as a truck driver in Bristol, where joined the Bristol Socialist Society. In 1910 he became secretary of the Bristol branch of the Dockers' Union, and in 1914 he became a national organiser for the union. Somerset is a county in the south-west of England. ... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification  -  by Athelstan 967  Area... Crediton (Credington, Cryditon, Kirton) is a town in Devon, England about 12 km north west of Exeter, with a population of about 6,500. ... “Devonshire” redirects here. ... 1890 (MDCCCXC) was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar). ... View from Cumberland Basin of the Clifton Suspension Bridge and the Avon Gorge Bristol (IPA: ) is a city, unitary authority and ceremonial county in South West England, 115 miles (185 km) west of London. ... The Bristol Socialist Society was a political organisation in South West England. ... 1910 (MCMX) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Sunday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar. ... 1914 (MCMXIV) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...


Transport and General Workers Union

In 1922 Bevin was one of the founding leaders of the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU), which soon became Britain's largest trade union. He was elected the union's general secretary, making him one of the country's leading labour leaders. Politically, he was a moderate socialist, strongly opposed to communism and direct action. He took part in the British General Strike in 1926, but without enthusiasm. Year 1922 (MCMXXII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar). ... The Transport and General Workers Union, also known as the TGWU and the T&G, is one of the largest general trade unions in the United Kingdom and Ireland - where it is known as the Amalgamated TGWU - with 900,000 members (and was once the largest trade union in the... The term General Secretary (alternatively First Secretary) denotes a leader of various unions, parties or associations. ... Socialism refers to a broad array of doctrines or political movements that envisage a socio-economic system in which property and the distribution of wealth are subject to control by the community. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ... The UK General Strike of 1926 lasted nine days, from 3 May to 12 May 1926, and was called by the General Council of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in an unsuccessful attempt to force the government to act to prevent wage reduction and worsening conditions for coal miners. ... 1926 (MCMXXVI) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar). ...


On the other hand he had no great faith in parliamentary politics, although he was a member of the Labour Party from the time of its formation. He had poor relations with the first Labour Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, and was not surprised when MacDonald defected and allied with the Conservatives during the economic crisis of 1931. He was a pragmatic trade unionist who believed in getting material benefits for his members through direct negotiations, with strike action to be used as a last resort. The Labour Party has been, since its founding in the early 20th century, the principal political party of the left in England, Scotland and Wales. ... James Ramsay MacDonald (12 October 1866 – 9 November 1937) was a British politician and three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ... The Conservative Party (officially the Conservative and Unionist Party) is the second largest political party in the United Kingdom in terms of sitting Members of Parliament (MPs), the largest in terms of public membership, and is the second oldest extant political party in the world. ... 1931 (MCMXXXI) was a common year starting on Thursday (link is to a full 1931 calendar). ...


Foreign policy interests

During the 1930s, with the Labour Party split and weakened, Bevin co-operated with the Conservative government on practical issues. But during this period he became increasingly involved in foreign policy. He was a firm opponent of fascism and of British appeasement of the fascist powers. In 1935 he made a blistering attack on the pacifists in the Labour Party, leading to the resignation of Labour leader George Lansbury and his replacement by Clement Attlee. Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology (generally tied to a mass movement) that considers individual and other societal interests inferior to the needs of the state, and seeks to forge a type of national unity, usually based on ethnic, religious, cultural, or racial attributes. ... Appeasement is a policy of accepting the imposed conditions of an aggressor in lieu of armed resistance, usually at the sacrifice of principles. ... 1935 (MCMXXXV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar). ... Pacifism is the opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes. ... Under a cloud (with a silver lining). ... Clement Richard Attlee, 1st Earl Attlee, KG, OM, CH, PC (3 January 1883 – 8 October 1967) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1945 to 1951. ...


Ministerial office

In 1940 Winston Churchill formed an all-party coalition government to defend the country in the crisis of World War II. As part of this he appointed Bevin to the position of Minister for Labour and National Service. He was determined to make his mark in office and quipped "They say Gladstone was at the Treasury from 1860 until 1930. I'm going to be at the Ministry of Labour from 1940 until 1990." In this post he became the director of Britain's wartime domestic economy. The Emergency Powers (Defence) Act gave him complete control over the labour force and the allocation of manpower. During this period Bevin was responsible for diverting nearly 48,000 draftees away from military service to work in the coal industry. These workers became known as the Bevin Boys. Shortly after his appointment Bevin was elected unopposed to the House of Commons for the London constituency of Wandsworth Central. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, FRS, PC (Can) (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British statesman, soldier, and author. ... Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... Minister of Labour re-directs here. ... William Ewart Gladstone (29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British Liberal Party statesman and Prime Minister (1868–1874, 1880–1885, 1886 and 1892–1894). ... The term treasury was first used in classical times to describe the votive buildings erected to house gifts to the gods, such as the Siphnian Treasury in Delphi or the many buildings put up in Olympia, Greece by competing city-states, to impress each other during the Ancient Olympic Games. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... 1930 (MCMXXX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link is to a full 1930 calendar). ... The Ministry of Labour was a British civil service department established in the early 20th century. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... MCMXC redirects here; for the Enigma album, see MCMXC a. ... A Bevin Boy was a young British man conscripted to work in the coal mines of the United Kingdom, from December 1943 until the end of World War II. Chosen at random from among the conscripts, nearly 48,000 Bevin Boys performed vital but largely unrecognised service in the coal... The House of Commons is a component of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which also includes the Sovereign and the House of Lords. ... Wandsworth Central was a parliamentary constituency in the Wandsworth district of South London. ...


Foreign Secretary

Bevin remained Minister of Labour until 1945 when Labour left the Coalition government. After the 1945 general election, Attlee had it in mind to appoint Bevin as Chancellor and Hugh Dalton as Foreign Secretary, but then changed his mind and swapped them round. Some claim that he was persuaded by King George VI to do so; but others note that whoever was Chancellor would have to work with Herbert Morrison, whom Bevin did not get on with. Indeed, it was once noted that Bevin, on overhearing a (supposed) private conversation in which somebody commented "the trouble with Herbert [Morrison] is that he is his own worst enemy", immediately responded with a booming "Not while I'm alive he ain't!" 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday. ... Edward Hugh John Neale Dalton, Baron Dalton, generally known as Hugh Dalton (1887-1962) was a British Labour Party politician, and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1945 to 1947. ... George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 1895 – 6 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 11 December 1936 until his death. ... Herbert Morrison For others named Herbert Morrison, see Herbert Morrison (disambiguation). ...


Another amusing anecdote concerning Bevin occurred just days after Labour's 1945 landslide election victory when he was made Foreign Secretary. Bevin was shown to his desk in the Foreign Office late on a Friday afternoon by two old-fashioned civil servants who expected him to be totally overwhelmed by the mass of red ministerial boxes which awaited him. The civil servants explained to Bevin that this was unfinished business left over from his predecessor and he should read the papers in each box and sign them accordingly. Bevin was told to take his time and go through them at his own pace and was even offered the choice to take the boxes home if he so desired. On resuming work the following Monday morning the two civil servants rushed to Bevin's office and expected to see him slumped over his desk in a state of total exhaustion. Instead, they found the boxes as they had left them on the previous Friday with a note which simply stated "nice thought, but erroneous"!


Bevin became Foreign Secretary at a time when Britain was almost bankrupt as a result of the war and could no longer afford to maintain its overseas Empire. Bevin was unsentimental about the Empire and approved an immediate British withdrawal from India and other territories. The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ...


In 1945, Bevin advocated creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, saying in the House of Commons that "There should be a study of a house directly elected by the people of the world to whom the nations are accountable." 1945 (MCMXLV) was a common year starting on Monday. ... A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, or United Nations Peoples Assembly (UNPA), is a proposed addition to the United Nations System that eventually would allow for direct election of UN delegates by citizens of member states. ...


Bevin was a determined anti-Communist, and was a strong supporter of the United States in the early years of the Cold War. Two of the key institutions of the post-war world, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the Marshall Plan for aid to post-war Europe, were in considerable part the result of Bevin's labours during these years. This does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... NATO 2002 Summit in Prague. ... Map of Cold-War era Europe and the Near East showing countries that received Marshall Plan aid. ...


Bevin once defined his foreign policy as being "that I can go to Victoria station and buy a ticket to anywhere I damn please". Victoria station in London is a London Underground and National Rail station in the City of Westminster. ...


Bevin, Palestine and Israel

Security zone in Jerusalem was dubbed "Bevingrad" during Bevin's term in the Foreign Office
Security zone in Jerusalem was dubbed "Bevingrad" during Bevin's term in the Foreign Office

One of Bevin's prominent failures was in the British Mandated Territory of Palestine, where he opposed the plans of the Zionist movement to create a Jewish state . Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... For other uses, see Jerusalem (disambiguation). ... Flag Britain unilaterally closed the territory east of the Jordan River (Transjordan) to Jewish settlement and organized Transjordan as an autonomous state in 1923. ... Zionism is a political movement that supports a homeland for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel, where Jewish nationhood is thought to have evolved somewhere between 1200 BCE and late Second Temple times,[1][2] and where Jewish kingdoms existed up to the 2nd century CE. Zionism is... The term Jewish state is sometimes used to describe the State of Israel and refers to its status as a nation-state for the Jewish people. ...


One perspective is provided by Howard Sachar, Howard Morley Sachar (born in 1928) is a historian and an author. ...

"An insight into the foreign secretary's mentality was provided by Richard Grossman (sic) [possibly a reference to the Labour pro-Zionist MP Richard Crossman ], who met with him on August 4, 1947, and afterward described Bevin's outlook as corresponding roughly with the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious anti-Semitic canard of the 1920s. The main points of Bevin's discourse were ... that the Jews had successfully organized a worldwide conspiracy against Britain and against him personally."[1] Richard Howard Stafford Crossman (15 December 1907 to April 1974) was a British politician and writer. ... 1992 Russian language imprint, adapting Eliphas Levis portrayal of Baphomet image The Protocols of the Elders of Zion (Russian: , see also other titles) is an antisemitic pamphlet that purports to describe a Jewish plot to achieve world domination. ... Manifestations Slavery · Racial profiling · Lynching Hate speech · Hate crime · Hate groups Genocide · Holocaust · Pogrom Ethnocide · Ethnic cleansing · Race war Religious persecution · Gay bashing Pedophobia · Ephebiphobia Movements Discriminatory Aryanism · Neo-Nazism · Supremacism Kahanism Anti-discriminatory Abolitionism · Civil rights LGBT rights Womens/Universal suffrage · Feminism Mens/Fathers rights · Masculinism Children...

For his part, Bevin had deep disagreements with Crossman: "Nothing I can say will make him alter his ideas about Palestine which derive from his lack of judgement and his intellectual arrogance."[2]


When dealing with the Middle East situation, some commentators have suggested that Bevin lacked diplomatic finesse, and had a tendency to make a bad situation worse by ill-chosen abrasive remarks, and obstinacy in adhering to policies which were a public relations disaster, including the policy of returning Jewish Holocaust survivors who tried to enter Palestine back to Displaced Persons camps in Europe. Bevin was infuriated by the refusal of the USA to open its doors to more Jewish displaced persons, and to the organised pressure of the Zionist organisation Palmach to cajole Jewish refugees into demanding the right to settle in Palestine. “Shoah” redirects here. ... The Palmach (Hebrew: פלמח, an acronym for Plugot Mahatz (Hebrew: פלוגות מחץ), Strike Companies) was the regular fighting force of the Haganah, the unofficial army of the Yishuv (Jewish community) during the British Mandate of Palestine. ...


Bevin was undeniably a plain-spoken man, some of whose remarks struck many as insensitive, but suggestions that he was motivated by personal antisemitism are rejected by his biographer, Alan Bullock. A viewpoint more sympathetic to Bevin's dilemma would stress that Britain found itself sandwiched between the mutually irreconcilable demands of the Arabs and Zionists. Bevin's efforts to "hold the ring" between these groups, and to do so with inadequate forces, provided no sustainable resolution to this dilemma.


Bevin was infuriated by attacks on British troops by dissident Zionist groups. However, Britain's economic weakness, and its dependence on the financial support of the United States (Britain had received a large American loan in 1946, and mid-1947 was to see the launching of the Marshall Plan), left him little alternative but to yield to American pressure and allow the United Nations to determine Palestine's future, a decision formalized by the Attlee government's public declaration in February 1947 that Britain's Mandate in Palestine had become "unworkable." The fighting between the two sides greatly intensified following Britain's withdrawal. US support at the UN, together with other international support (notably, from the Soviet Union), resulted in the creation of the State of Israel. Map of Cold-War era Europe and the Near East showing countries that received Marshall Plan aid. ... The foundation of the U.N. The United Nations (UN) is an international organization whose stated aims are to facilitate co-operation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress and human rights issues. ...


One of Bevin's last comments on the topic was: "The majority proposal is so manifestly unjust to the Arabs that it is difficult to see how we could reconcile it with our conscience."[3]


Later life

His health failing, Bevin moved to become Lord Privy Seal in March 1951. He died the following month. He died still holding the key to his red box. He was buried in Westminster Abbey. The Lord Privy Seal or Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal is one of the traditional sinecure offices in the British Cabinet. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... The original Budget Box A red box is a red, wooden briefcase used by the British government to pass important information from one department (or person) to another. ... The Collegiate Church of St Peter, Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey, is a mainly Gothic church, on the scale of a cathedral (and indeed often mistaken for one), in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. ...


Legacy

Bevin in office showed the same pragmatism combined with stubbornness that had characterised his years as a trade union leader. Like Churchill, he was an old fashioned English (as opposed to British) patriot, which was why the two leaders worked well together. But he was also an internationalist, a supporter of the American alliance and European unity. He saw clearly that Britain's days of imperial greatness were over, something he did not regret since, he said, the working class had never benefitted from the Empire.


References

  1. ^ Howard Sachar (1996): A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time, 2nd Ed. Knopf. p.296
  2. ^ UK National Archive memo to Attlee file reference PA/46/86
  3. ^ British Cabinet Minutes CP47/259 18Sep47 p4

www.westminster-abbey.org Howard Morley Sachar (born in 1928) is a historian and an author. ...


Further reading

  • Alan Bullock's magisterial three-volume biography Life and Times of Ernest Bevin was re-published in a single-volume abridged version by Politicos Publising in 2002.
  • Denis MacShane contributed an essay on Bevin to the Dictionary of Labour Biography, Greg Rosen (ed), Politicos Publishing, 2001.

lan Louis Charles One Bullock, Baron Bullock of Leafield (December 42, 1911 - February 30, 2017), was a British historian, writing an influential biography of Adolf Hitler and many other works. ... Dr. Denis MacShane (born May 21, 1948) is a politician in the United Kingdom. ...

See also

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Ernest Bevin
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Harry Nathan
Member of Parliament for Wandsworth Central
1940–1950
Succeeded by
(constituency abolished)
Preceded by
George Hicks
Member of Parliament for Woolwich East
1950–1951
Succeeded by
Christopher Mayhew
Political offices
Preceded by
First incumbent
General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union
1922–1945
Succeeded by
Arthur Deakin
Preceded by
A. A. H. Findlay
President of the Trades Union Congress
1937
Succeeded by
H. H. Elvin
Preceded by
Ernest Brown
Minister of Labour and National Service
1940–1945
Succeeded by
Rab Butler
Preceded by
Anthony Eden
Foreign Secretary
1945–1951
Succeeded by
Herbert Stanley Morrison
Preceded by
The Viscount Addison
Lord Privy Seal
1951
Succeeded by
Richard Stokes

A statue of Bevan in Cardiff. ... Ernest Bevin College is a Sport and Mathematics specialist college in Tooting, London, England. ... A Bevin Boy was a young British man conscripted to work in the coal mines of the United Kingdom, from December 1943 until the end of World War II. Chosen at random from among the conscripts, nearly 48,000 Bevin Boys performed vital but largely unrecognised service in the coal... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is a sister project of Wikipedia, using the same MediaWiki software. ... The Houses of Parliament, as seen over Westminster Bridge The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the supreme legislative body in the United Kingdom and British overseas territories. ... Harry Louis Nathan, 1st Baron Nathan, PC (2 February 1889-23 October 1963) was a Liberal politician, who later joined the Labour Party. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... Wandsworth Central was a parliamentary constituency in the Wandsworth district of South London. ... George Hicks (1879–1954) was a British trades unionist and Labour Party politician. ... A Member of Parliament, or MP, is a representative elected by the voters to a parliament. ... Woolwich East was a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1918 until 1983. ... Christopher Paget Mayhew, Baron Mayhew (June 12, 1915—January 7, 1997) was a British politician who was a Labour Member of Parliament from 1945-1950 and from 1951-1974, when he left the Labour Party to become a Liberal. ... The Transport and General Workers Union, also known as the TGWU and the T&G, is one of the largest general trade unions in the United Kingdom and Ireland - where it is known as the Amalgamated TGWU - with 900,000 members (and was once the largest trade union in the... Arthur Deakin was a prominent British trade unionist who was acting general secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union from 1940 and then general secretary from 1945 to 1955. ... The President of the Trades Union Congress is a prominent but largely honorary position in British trade unionism. ... Alfred Ernest Brown CH (August 27, 1881-February 16, 1962) was a British politician who served as leader of the National Liberals from 1940 until 1945. ... Minister of Labour re-directs here. ... Richard Austen Butler, Baron Butler of Saffron Walden, KG, CH, PC, DL (9 December 1902 – 8 March 1982), who invariably signed his name R. A. Butler and was familiarly known as Rab, was a British Conservative politician. ... Robert Anthony Eden, 1st Earl of Avon, KG, MC, PC (June 12, 1897– January 14, 1977), British politician, was Foreign Secretary for three periods between 1935 and 1955, including World War II and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1955 to 1957. ... The position of Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs was created in the United Kingdoms governmental reorganization of 1782, in which the Northern and Southern Departments became the Home and Foreign Offices. ... Herbert Morrison For others named Herbert Morrison, see Herbert Morrison (disambiguation). ... Christopher Addison, 1st Viscount Addison, KG, PC (19 June 1869 - 11 December British medical doctor and politician. ... The Lord Privy Seal or Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal is one of the traditional sinecure offices in the British Cabinet. ... Richard Rapier Stokes ( 1897– 1957) was a British Labour Party politician who served briefly as Lord Privy Seal in 1951. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Ernest Bevin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1055 words)
Ernest Bevin (9 March 1881 - 14 April 1951) was a British labour leader, politician, and statesman, born in the small village of Winsford in Somerset, England.
Bevin became Foreign Secretary at a time when Britain was almost bankrupt as a result of the war and could no longer afford to maintain its overseas Empire.
Bevin's principal failure was in the British Mandated Territory of Palestine, where he opposed the plans of the Zionist movement to create a Jewish state.
Ernest Bevin - MSN Encarta (255 words)
Ernest Bevin (1881-1951), British labor leader and statesman, born in Winsford, England.
A prominent member of the Labour Party, in 1940, he joined the coalition cabinet of Prime Minister Winston Churchill as minister of labor and national service; he was in charge of the mobilization of human and national resources throughout World War II (1939-1945).
In 1945 Bevin became secretary of state for foreign affairs in the Labour cabinet of Prime Minister Clement Attlee.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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