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3 Oct 2014
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This Sceptred Isle

Harold Macmillan Becomes P.M. & a Dog Goes Into Space
In 1957 Harold Macmillan became Prime Minister. He had four issues before him: Ireland, Cyprus, relations with the United States after Suez; the economy.

In mid 1957 there was a run on sterling. The government put interest rates up. Inflation was under control but unemployment, already high, would suffer because of it.

This was the year Macmillan agreed with America that in return for guided missiles Britain would give the Americans bases in the United Kingdom. This too was the beginning of Britain's nuclear defence policy.

Harold Macmillan
Harold Macmillan

  • Grandson of a Scottish crofter who founded a publishing company
  • Did much to advance the international reputation of Macmillan Publishing although his brother Daniel ran the business on a day to day basis
  • His mother was an American and was ambitious for him
  • Educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford
  • Married Lady Dorothy, daughter of the Duke of Devonshire
  • Fought in World War I, was wounded and won the Military Cross
  • Became Conservative MP for Stockton-on-Tees in 1924
  • Minister for Housing in 1951
  • Minister of Defence in 1954
  • Foreign Secretary for a short time in 1955 and then Chancellor of the Exchequer in the same year
  • Became Prime Minister when Eden resigned in 1957 and was re-elected in 1959
  • His most famous speech was Wind Of Change which he made in Cape Town in 1960, warning of the changing climate of countries wanting their independence and how wrong it would be to resist the aspirations of those peoples
  • Retired due to ill health in 1963
  • Became the 1st Earl of Stockton on his 90th birthday in 1984.

did you know?
In 1957 Russia sent the first arificial satellite, Sputnik 1 into space. A few weeks later they did it again - this time with a barking dog on board.

Select historical period

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1952George VI dies
1953Coronation of Elizabeth II
Hilary & Tensing conquer Mount Everest
1955Eden becomes Prime Minister
1956Suez Crisis
1957Macmillan succeeds Eden as Tory Prime Minister
1958The EEC begins
Life Peerages Act is passed
1959Oil is discovered in the North Sea
The Vietnam War begins
1960Cyprus and Nigeria become independent
1961South Africa leaves the Commonwealth
JF Kennedy US President
1962The National Economic Development Council is formed

Founding Members Of The Treaty Of European Union (The Treaty Of Rome)
West Germany

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