Cold War Britain 1945-1964: New Perspectives by Michael F. Hopkins, Michael D. Kandiah, Gillian Staerck

By Michael F. Hopkins, Michael D. Kandiah, Gillian Staerck

Chilly battle Britain 1945-1964 bargains new views on ways that Britain fought the chilly battle, and illuminates key parts of the coverage formula strategy. It argues that during some ways Britain and the U.S. perceived and dealt with the risk posed through the Communist bloc in comparable phrases: however, Britain's carrying on with worldwide commitments, postwar monetary difficulties and household issues obliged her once in a while to take on the chance quite another way.

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36 Certainly, Morrison was attentive to the need to reinforce the impact of events with efforts to educate the party and the public in the meaning of the developments. 37 Working with the United States The natural counterpart to the growing tensions with the Soviet Union was an improving relationship with the United States. If Bevin had taken the lead in this, Morrison strongly supported him and tried to make his own contribution to fostering mutual understanding. Although he possessed only a superficial grasp of foreign policy in the 1930s, Morrison had acquired, through visits there, a sympathy for the United States.

37 Party Chairman Woolton was also particularly keen that Conservatives be seen to address issues that were of concern to ordinary people, one of the most pressing of which was housing. Extensive war damage and poor prewar housing stock meant that there was an acute housing shortage. The Labour Government approached this problem by favouring state planning and public housing schemes, and their policies discriminated against private house building and home ownership. The Conservatives claimed that homes could be provided for all – ‘but not under Socialism’.

42 The Foreign Office files confirm this. ’ Bevin himself minuted the Morrison paper thus: ‘A counter paper must be put with this. 43 Yet it is interesting to note that, at the same time, Bevin himself was contemplating reform. In a letter to Sir Orme Sargent, the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, Sir Pierson Dixon noted that the Foreign Secretary ‘had it in mind’ to appoint a Foreign Office committee to investigate and report on missions abroad. Dixon added that ‘I think many of us are agreed that something on the lines sketched out above ought to be done.

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