However, The prime ministerial seat was not a bed of roses. The couple had four children. His last words were, "I think I will go to sleep now".' https://www.biography.com/news/queen-elizabeth-and-her-prime-ministers Just after the outbreak of WWII Macmillan became a minister under Prime Minister Winston Churchill of whom he was later to say: "You and I owe Hitler something. Great? During the later years of the Second World War, he had become very close to Churchill. During the course of the war, Harold was wounded thrice. Churchill’s government made him the minister of housing and local government in 1951. He later accepted a peerage and was created an earl in 1984. Corrections? He embarked on a historical tour called the ‘Winds of Change Tour’ across Africa in 1960. The zone had a high casualty rate. However, when the new candidate resigned in 1931, Harold got his seat back. The affair began in 1929, and when Harold wanted to divorce his wife, his political mentors suggested that it would create a bad impression on the public. In the early 1960s, he made several popular speeches on the virtues of independence and granted freedom to several African countries such as Sierra Leone, Ghana, and Uganda. He was 92 years old at that time. The ‘Conservative Party’ was shaken after Britain’s application to the ‘European Economic Community’ (EEC). The appointment of a Prime Minister by the monarch is formal, based on advice given to them. He was once fatally wounded. The erstwhile prime minister, Anthony Eden, decided that resignation was the best course of action in such circumstances, and he subsequently resigned. He became the prime minister on January 10, 1957. Over the Suez affair in 1956 he played a difficult - and somewhat devious - hand. During the course of his political career, Harold was awarded with honorary degrees by prestigious universities such as ‘Oxford,’ ‘John Hopkins,’ ‘DePauw,’ and ‘Cambridge.’, https://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/harold-macmillan-4811.php, Celebrities Who Look Beautiful Even Without Makeup, The Top 25 Wrestling Announcers Of All Time, Celebrities Who Are Not In The Limelight Anymore. However, recent studies have claimed that she was indeed Harold’s daughter. This December marks thirty years since the death of Harold Macmillan, the Prime Minister who took over in 1957 from Anthony Eden following the Suez Crisis. At the end of the war in Europe, Macmillan was secretary of state for air in Churchill’s “caretaker” government (May–July 1945). He became the MP despite the troubles, but he could not continue in the next elections. No power on earth, except Adolf Hitler, could have done either". SV. The subsequent French veto (Jan. 29, 1963) of Great Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community was a severe blow to Macmillan. I think it was under him that house building reached record levels. Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was a British Conservative politician and statesman who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 19 October 1963. His great career was addressed by US President Ronald Reagan. There is one more romantic tribulation, though, that's too good not to note. Macmillan had flatly denied all reports against his minister, but when the truth emerged his denial was interpreted by some as complicity. In the mid-1950s, the UK faced the ‘Suez’ debacle that led to the end of the political careers of many British statesmen. When the World War was at rest in November 1918, Harold was still recovering from his war injuries. He sat in the House of Commons from 1924 to 1929 and from 1931 to 1964. Macmillan himself supervised the conduct of foreign policy as prime minister. SV. Macmillan’s reputation was partly rehabilitated by the successful negotiations (July 1963) among Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union for the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, but demands continued within his own party for a new and younger leader, and, after undergoing surgery, he resigned his office on Oct. 18, 1963. Harold Macmillan’s famous declaration that “most of our people have never had it so good” came in July 1957 at a time when the country was riding high on the post-war economic boom. His second term was plagued with several crises. He was known by the nickname ‘Supermac,’ owing to his charismatic attributes. His mother, Helen Belles, was an artist and a socialite. This is a graphical timeline of prime ministers of the United Kingdom from when the first prime minister in the modern sense, Robert Walpole, took office in 1721, until the present day. However, though the advice is technically informal, the monarch would create a constitutional crisis if they did not comply. He then became the minister of defense and a foreign secretary. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. After the Conservatives regained power in 1951, he was successively appointed minister of housing and local government (October 1951) and minister of defense (October 1954) by Churchill and then served as foreign secretary (April–December 1955) and chancellor of the exchequer (1955–57) under Sir Anthony Eden. He gained experience and secured good relations with people there. His father, Maurice Crawford Macmillan, worked as a publisher. He distinguished himself in combat during World War I and entered politics after the war. For most of his term Macmillan had been held in high esteem by his party. Harold served in the World War as one of the grenadier guards in early 1915. As member of Parliament for Stockton-on-Tees after 1924, he was no orthodox Conservative. At home, Macmillan gave firm support to Britain’s array of postwar social programs. Similar to Johnson, Macmillan had come to the Conservative Party leadership as a result of his predecessor, Anthony Eden’s resignation. Harold Macmillan was the last British prime minister born during the Victorian era and the first to realize that Britain was no longer a great power. When Winston Churchill formed his World War II coalition government (May 1940), Macmillan, who had bitterly condemned British “appeasement” of Nazi Germany in the late 1930s, was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Supply. It was a world of consensus politics - now derided as much by Conservatives as by the left. Harold died at ‘Birch Grove,’ the family mansion in East Sussex, on December 29, 1986. But in the early phase of his career this background could be seriously misleading. Although British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was both misunderstood and mocked when he made the remark, he had some justification for telling an audience on July 20, 1957: “Most of our people have never had it so good.”… He rose through the political ranks. He ventured into politics once the war was over. Watching the problems in extricating the United Kingdom from the European Union reminded me that a humiliating failure to secure entry to that same entity’s predecessor was one of the things that drove Macmillan from office. In his Bedford speech of July 1957 he told the nation they had 'never had it so good'. Interior Mr. Harold Macmillan sitting at his desk. By the time he was in college, his views had turned into a mixture of moderate liberalism, moderate conservatism, and Fabian socialism. The general public was angry, and this led Macmillan to do something which was similar to a “political suicide.” He dismissed eight members of his cabinet in 1962, in what was known as the “Night of Long Knives.” Harold’s amateur handling of the troubles caused by a scandalous minister, John Profumo, was the final nail in the coffin of his political career. The erstwhile prime minister, Anthony Eden, decided that resignation was the best course of action in such circumstances, and he subsequently resigned. On receiving t… From 1957 to 1962, Macmillan was a good - some would say a great - Prime Minister. He then began producing his memoirs: Winds of Change, 1914–1939 (1966); The Blast of War, 1939–1945 (1967); Tides of Fortune, 1945–1955 (1969); Riding the Storm, 1956–1959 (1971); Pointing the Way, 1959–1961 (1972); At the End of the Day, 1961–63 (1973); and The Past Masters: Politics and Politicians, 1906–1939 (1975). After a one-sided election, Harold became the MP from the zone. Dates in … While his father was mostly busy with the family business, Harold’s mother took care of his education. Harold Macmillan was an English statesman from the ‘Conservative Party’ who served as the prime minister of the UK from 1957 to 1963. Harold Macmillan, in full Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden, (born Feb. 10, 1894, London, Eng.—died Dec. 29, 1986, Birch Grove, Sussex), British politician who was prime minister from January 1957 to October 1963. Omissions? MACMILLAN IS PRIME MINISTER. His liberal mindset and his anti-appeasement policies quickly made him a respected leader of the country. His zone was suffering from a high level of unemployment, which cost him his seat in the parliament. Although he lost in 1929, he came back to power two years later. Macmillan died on 29 December 1986, at Birch Grove, the Macmillan family mansion on the edge of Ashdown Forest near Chelwood Gate in East Sussex. He made up for the financial losses suffered by the ‘Conservative Party’ during the ‘Suez’ debacle. Through war and peace, crisis and calm, the relationship with the Queen has been one that every prime minister has had to nurture. In 1945, he became the MP from Bromley. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. no. Macmillan was the last British prime minister born during the Victorian era, the last to have served in the First World War and the last to receive a hereditary peerage. Share with your friends. He had several conferences with presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, and he visited Nikita S. Khrushchev in Moscow (February 1959). CU. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Macmillan presided over a country becoming more affluent (rich), with low unemployment and high (but uneven) economic growth. Harold Macmillan, Britain’s Prime Minister from 1956 to 1962 (the period bracketed by Suez and Profumo), was without doubt the most important and influential figure in British politics since Churchill. Macmillan served in the Grenadier Guards during the First World War. At the time of his death, he was the longest-lived prime minister in British history, a record surpassed by James Callaghan in February 2005. As a teenager and an adult, Harold was a keen admirer of liberal politicians such as Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who was the prime minister of UK when Harold was growing up. Nicknamed "Supermac," he was known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability. Enjoy the best Harold MacMillan Quotes at BrainyQuote. Spouse/Ex-: Lady Dorothy Macmillan (m. 1920–1966), father: Maurice Crawford Macmillan (1853–1936), mother: Helen (Nellie) Artie Tarleton Belles, children: Lady Caroline Faber, Maurice Macmillan, awards: Four Freedoms Award - Freedom Medal, See the events in life of Harold Macmillan in Chronological Order. He attended Oxford, studying history, philosophy, politics, and economics, and at 24 married his sweetheart, … During those years, Harold grew as an effective leader and openly criticized nationalist leaders such as Rab Butler and Harold Wilson, as they did not participate in any military service when the country was at war. He openly supported Churchill’s stance on non-appeasement, and this support did not go unrewarded. Quotations by Harold MacMillan, English Politician, Born February 10, 1894. He made you Prime Minister and me an under-secretary. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Harold-Macmillan, Spartacus Educational - Biography of Harold Macmillan, Harold Macmillan - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). He achieved a lot towards peace in northern Ireland and managed the economy well overall despite the ERM fiasco early on. Harold MacMillan greets Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow. When Eden resigned in 1957 after the Suez Crisis, Macmillan succeeded him as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party. This helped him gain significance in national politics. Lady Dorothy died in 1966 after being married to Harold for 46 years. He led the Conservative Party to a resounding victory in the 1959 general election by effectively contrasting Britain’s prewar unemployment with its postwar full employment under the slogan “You’ve never had it so good.”. The Nassau agreement (December 1962) between Macmillan and Kennedy, that the United States should furnish nuclear missiles for British submarines, enraged Charles de Gaulle, who then was head of the French state and who insisted on a Europe uncontrolled by the United States. Harold Macmillan, who was prime minister from 1957 to 1963, believed in fidelity, loved his wife, and was heartbroken when she died. Thus, the supreme leaders of his party were unhappy with him. Harold Macmillan was prime minister (from 1957 to 1963) in a world very different from our own. Despite this, he won a seat from Stockton-on-Tees in 1924. Harold Macmillan, the onetime British prime minister, popped into mind a few days ago. Rumors claimed that Sarah Heath, their youngest daughter, was not Harold’s biological daughter. By this point, the Prime Minister’s … Lady Dorothy Evelyn Macmillan GBE (née Cavendish; 28 July 1900 – 21 May 1966) was an English socialite and the third daughter of Victor Cavendish, 9th Duke of Devonshire, and Evelyn Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire.She was married to Harold Macmillan from 1920 until her death. (Redirected from List of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom (graphical)). He passed away in December 1986. https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp05788/harold-macmillan-1st-earl-of-stockton, https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw98602/Harold-Macmillan-1st-Earl-of-Stockton, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVUX8TlrZKs, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7ySKryGldo, http://home.bt.com/news/uk-news/pm-macmillan-asked-minister-to-look-into-claims-of-brainwashing-captured-spies-11364012445536. Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC, FRS [2] (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963.. Nicknamed 'Supermac' and known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability, Macmillan achieved notoriety before the Second World War as a Tory radical and critic of appeasement. Their family business, ‘MacMillan Publishing,’ was founded by Harold’s grandfather, Daniel Macmillan. Thus, Harold did not divorce her. Another setback was an apparent Soviet espionage attempt involving John Profumo, the secretary of state for war, which ended in the latter’s resignation (June 1963). During his final year at the school, he was homeschooled by the teachers. The British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, has made an optimistic speech telling fellow Conservatives that "most of our people have never had it so good". He spent a lot of money for the campaign. Harold Macmillan was born Maurice Harold Macmillan, on February 10, 1894, in Chelsea, London, UK. He fought for his country in the First World War. He was deeply moved by mass unemployment; in such works as Reconstruction: A Plea f… The prime minister was speaking at … His party was becoming undisciplined and unmanageable by the mid 90s after so long in power and he might have benefited from being a little harder on them, but overall a good prime minister despite his public image. Nicknamed ‘Supermac‘, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan came to Bedford on 20 July 1957 to deliver a speech to fellow Conservatives. The party could not take this blow and split up soon. The 1930s were crucial for his political career, as this was the time he became ideologically close to Winston Churchill. Keystone Pictures USA /Alamy stock photo. He joined the ‘Conservative Party’ but exhibited a liberal point of view. Macmillan immediately had to deal with a national shortage of money, and his chancellor of the exchequer, Peter Thorneycroft, resigned (January 1958) in protest against government spending. William F Buckley, on his television show Firing Line, said that Macmillan ‘tried to govern as a conservative from the left of center. Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, later Lord Salisbury (1830–1903) Party: Conservative. Due to the ongoing political crisis in his party, he resigned in 1963. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). There his efforts to secure good relations with Dwight D. Eisenhower, Charles de Gaulle, and other high Allied officers improved his skills as a politician. He was appointed prime minister on Jan. 10, 1957, following the resignation of Eden in the wake of the Suez crisis, and was elected leader of the Conservative Party 12 days later. Harold Macmillan emerged as … The procedure Edit. Macmillan refused a peerage and retired from the House of Commons in September 1964. Eden's resignation left him as the clear choice of his Cabinet colleagues to become Prime Minister. He supported the decolonization of Africa. Gladstone’s Day School’ and then joined ‘Summer Fields School.’ He also attended ‘Eton College,’ a boarding school, but was often plagued with serious illnesses such as pneumonia. After 10 months as colonial under secretary, he was sent (Dec. 30, 1942) to northwest Africa as British minister resident at Allied Forces Headquarters, Mediterranean Command. By 1962, however, his government was looking tired. This impeccable upper-class background served Macmillan in good stead in his prime ministerial career (January 1957-October 1963) when he wished to lead his party in directions that it would have found difficult to take from another leader. He fought for UK in France, which was known as the most dangerous war zone back in those days. The record he left behind is, by all counts, an impressive one. He then contested as a member of parliament (MP) from Stockton-on-Tees in 1924. Leaving aside Alec Douglas-Home’s very brief stint as PM, he was the last Tory PM in the old-fashioned, rather paternalistic mold. Toward the late 1930s, he was made the parliamentary secretary to the ‘Ministry of Supply.’ His job had him visiting major political leaders in North Africa. Following this, he ventured into politics. As a result, he rose through the ranks in the ‘Conservative Party’ and became an experienced statesman. In 1957 Harold Macmillan took over as Prime Minister after Anthony Eden fell on his sword following the disaster of the Suez Crisis, when British troops were forced to withdraw from the Suez Canal and hand it back to Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel … Prime Minister Harold 'Supermac' Macmillan distanced the UK from apartheid, sped up the process of decolonisation and was heavily involved in negotiating the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Born James Harold Wilson on March 11, 1916 in Yorkshire, England, the future Prime Minister wasn't an obvious choice for politics. But Britain’s adverse balance of payments led the government to impose a wage freeze and other deflationary measures from 1961 on, and this caused Macmillan’s government to lose popularity. The past is indeed a foreign country. Actually far sighted, yes, and with hindsight, pretty good. Therefore, in practice, what is decided in the House of Commons is the decisive event. Macmillan sitting at his desk. This was only a handful of months after he had been made Prime Minister. Harold spent most of the first two years of the war in hospitals, recovering from his wounds. He was born and raised in London and completed his education from the ‘University of Oxford.’ He was always an admirer of the policies of liberalism adopted by a few British politicians of that era. He was the youngest child in the family and had two elder brothers. The family ensured their children received top-notch education. Dorothy started an affair with ‘Conservative’ politician Robert Boothby. He also led his party in the 1959 general elections and made sure that his party had the upper hand in the parliament. They lived separately for most of their married life. Boris Johnson is the Prime Minister since 24 July 2019. Updates? After completing school, Harold attended ‘Balliol College,’ one of the colleges of the prestigious ‘University of Oxford’ and joined many political societies. Macmillan worked to improve British-U.S. relations, which had been strained by the Suez crisis, and his old partnership with General, now President, Eisenhower was helpful in this regard. He completed college just before the First World War broke out and then enlisted in the army as a volunteer. ... HAROLD MACMILLAN (1957-63) 13. After a long struggle, he resigned from his post in October 1963. By the mid-50s, he had become the fittest prime ministerial candidate from the ‘Conservative Party.’ In 1957, following the resignation of Anthony Eden, Harold became the prime minister. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. In April 1920, Harold Macmillan married Lady Dorothy Cavendish, who belonged to a respected British royal family from Devonshire. Both his parents were scholars. Harold initially attended ‘Mr. Harold Macmillan - 1963. However, Harold’s political understanding had him reaping benefits out of it, despite the fact that he had also been responsible for the debacle. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. In 1976, Harold Macmillan was awarded with the ‘Order of Merit.’ In addition, he was honored with the ‘Freedom Medal’ from the ‘Roosevelt Study Center’ two years before his death. Harold Macmillan emerged as the top candidate for the job. The son of an industrial chemist and a teacher, he would go on to to become the Queen's first Prime Minister from a lower middle-class background as well as her first Labour Party PM. The son of an American-born mother and the grandson of a founder of the London publishing house of Macmillan & Co., he was educated at Balliol College, Oxford. He was aged 92 years and 322 days—the greatest age attained by a British Prime Minister until surpassed by James Callaghan on 14 February 2005.His grandson and heir Alexander, Viscount Macmillan of Ovenden, said: 'In the last 48 hours he was very weak but entirely reasonable and intelligent. Had two elder brothers ‘, Prime Minister by the left be on lookout... Ranks in the House of Commons in September 1964 during World War I and entered politics the... Combat during World War, Harold was wounded thrice to 1964 choice of his career this could! ), with low unemployment and high ( but uneven ) economic growth Adolf Hitler, could have either! To improve this article ( requires login ) First World War ’ but exhibited a point! But exhibited a liberal point of view low unemployment and high school students financial losses suffered the... To deliver a speech to fellow Conservatives his education his anti-appeasement policies quickly made a. 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