Harold Wilson's election promises

1964-1970 election promises and whether Wilson broke them or carried them through.

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  • Created on: 17-05-11 21:07
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Fulfilling the election promises and The 1970 General Election
Wilson took a subtle approach and re-nationalised the steel industry 1967.
Labour had pledged that the private monopoly in steel would be replaced by public
ownership and control, so they fulfilled this promise.
Trade Unions
The public was in favour of regulating Trade Union power.
Barbara Castle ­ `In Place of Strife' ­ given powers to impose settlements in
inter-union disputes which had created anarchy in some industries and she could also
order a strike ballot before a strike.
There was also a compulsory 28 day `conciliation pause' before a strike took place
These proposals were disliked by the union leadership.
This was a failure as it was heavily disliked and result was an increasingly bitter
struggle which ended in the defeat of Wilson and Castle.
Tony Crosland was a gaitskellite, and a central figure as he was appointed Education
secretary in 1965.
He declared war on grammar schools in order to try and fulfil Labour's manifesto `to
further comprehensive schools'.
Issued Education department ­ money for new school buildings and to implement
comprehensive schools.
Crosland promoted higher education ­ massive expansion of polytechnics 1967 and
this was designed to close the technology gap between Britain and her competitors.
Jennie Lee ­ Minister for the Arts ­ funding for the arts and the grants to the arts
council tripled which created artistic diversity which then promoted tourism in Britain.
Jennie Lee was a relatively minor figure in the Wilson government but she was
unanimously praised for her impact.
Crosland was unable to fulfil his pledge entirely.
It can be argued that the reduction in grammar schools, alongside the continuation
of private schooling, actually increased social divisiveness in education by removing
the ladder based on privilege and money in place.

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NHS staff doubles.
The number of drugs available was proliferated ­ costs rose and the burden of the
NHS doubles between 1950 and 1970.
The share of expenditure taken by hospitals rose and the share given to GP's
Treatment remained free at point of delivery.
There was a role of hospital decline for Mental Health.
1959 ­ Mental Health ­ development was encourages and this policy was
enthusiastically pursued by both parties in office.…read more

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The devaluation crisis meant that there was pressure for further cuts which Healey
Roy Jenkins forced Healey to accept cancellation of another British aircraft, the F11.
Defence expenditure was to fall from 6% to 4% by 1971.
There was the decision to withdraw from Asia altogether and so British troops were
to leave by 1971.
Britain was no longer a world power.…read more

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Heath won the election for the Conservatives as the Conservatives gained a majority
of 30 seats.…read more


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