Bevan, Rt Hon Minister of Health

Speaking at a press conference, Aneurin Bevan (pictured) acknowledges the problems encountered since the implementation of a National Health Service, including increasing demands on medical staff and facilities. But, in spite of the doubts and controversies, the popularity of the service reflected the fact that there was an overwhelming need for it.

Bevan was born into a mining family in November 1897 in South Wales. At the age of 13 he worked in a colliery, but due to a health problem he was forced to leave. Eventually he entered politics, becoming Minister of Health in Attlee's Labour government in 1945. He resigned in 1951 over the government's defence and foreign policies, which required a decrease in social expenditure. He overcame a speech impediment to become a public figure who was described as one of the greatest orators of the time.

Originally broadcast 06 October 1949.

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