Biography of the Leading Personalities of the British Imperial Political Elite Establishment, Presiding Over the Decolonisation Policy of the British Empire, and its Wider Implications

Biography of the Leading Personalities of the British Imperial Political Elite Establishment, Presiding Over the Decolonisation Policy of the British Empire, and its Wider Implications

In the offices that Douglas-Home held, whether as Foreign Secretary or finally the Premiership for one year, he was always known to be a true patriot, shrewd, tenacious and anti-communist. Moreover, he is a devout Christian. Out of many Prime Ministers who all have been recognised Christians – none has spoken out so clearly and unequivocally about his Christian beliefs as Douglas-Home. He was at all times a tough combatant where causes were concerned. Alec Douglas-Home was always suspicious of, and hostile towards, the Soviet Commission’s nature. His views were shared by Macmillan and many other Conservatives after the War. Furthermore like Churchill and Macmillan he held the view that British freedom of action, security and interests could be safeguarded by a close relation with the United States in the Post-World War Two era. He believed that after a certain point British power’s weakness would tend to feed on itself without a close alliance with the Americans. Therefore, in view of his belief that, as Communists mean what they say against Capitalism, so they will seek to expand their Communism to overthrow the Capitalist system, he accepted that Britain should be covered by the American nuclear umbrella.  Douglas-Home also, like Macmillan, favoured the idea of bringing the Asian and African colonies to independence and incorporating them into the Commonwealth. This was in fact the conclusion that he had reached even before the War had ended. A policy that he supported and carried out when he became the Foreign Secretary. Despite the fact that he was an aristocrat, and thus pima facie a traditionalist, he was viewed by his colleagues, and others, as having shown remarkable flexibility and realism. Nevertheless, Douglas-Home believed that Britain must consolidate her power and security between Russia and the United States, as he thought that the American nuclear umbrella was not reliable. He was very much in favour of a strong Commonwealth link.

Eden, R. Anthony Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1940-45; 1951-55) and Prime Minister (1955-57).

A few months after having finished his studies at Oxford in 1922, Anthony Eden unsuccessfully stood as Conservative candidate for a mining seat near his home in Durham. Two years later he was elected for Warwick and Leamington, which he represented in Parliament for the next thirty-three years. However, before he went to Oxford, Eden had already served as the adjutant of his battalion, when he was nineteen and at the age of twenty became a brigade major. Before he was forty Eden was already a national hero, he became Foreign Secretary at the end of 1935 when he was thirty-eight, the youngest man to occupy such a position in politics since Rosebery. For twenty-five years Eden was felt to represent the biggest common denominator of British political conviction on the greatest international issues. Eden was considered, with reason, to be a man who like Baldwin was capable of seeing the good points of his appointments, and putting country before party (which was how Baldwin was regarded in pre-war days). Differences of opinion with Neville Chamberlain (who by then had followed Baldwin as Prime Minister), a little over two years later, about the conduct of foreign policy, especially in relation to Italy, culminated in his resignation; but this enhanced his reputation as a man of principle and integrity. This was also reflected over his conduct of foreign policy during the Suez crisis, as he was not convinced that co-operation with America should be the over-riding priority of British policy. Thus his principle led him to proceed independently without consultation with the Americans, and launched a military attack together with Israel and France on Egypt, which even undermined Churchill’s principle of the “special relationship”, as Eden was close to Churchill who had worked hard to bring that concept about.

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