1945 General Election

On 7th May, 1945, Germany surrendered. Winston Churchill wanted the coalition government to continue until Japan had been defeated, but Clement Attlee, the Deputy Prime Minister and the leader of the Labour Party, refused, and resigned from office. Churchill was forced to form a Conservative government and an election was called for 5th July, with a further three weeks to allow servicemen to vote. (1)

Aneurin Bevan wrote: "At last, the deadly political frustration is ended; at last the unnatural alliance is broken between left and right, between Socialism and Reaction, in other words between forces which on every single issue (bar only the defeat of Nazi Germany) proceed from opposite principles and stand for opposite policies... The sooner the election is held, the sooner we shall be able to get rid of the Tories and begin in earnest with the solution of the tremendous tasks before us." (2)

Labour Party Manifesto

In its manifesto, Let us Face the Future, it made clear that "the Labour Party is a Socialist Party, and proud of it. Its ultimate purpose at home is the establishment of the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain - free, democratic, efficient, progressive, public-spirited, its material resources organised in the service of the British people.... Housing will be one of the greatest and one of the earliest tests of a Government's real determination to put the nation first. Labour's pledge is firm and direct - it will proceed with a housing programme with the maximum practical speed until every family in this island has a good standard of accommodation. That may well mean centralising and pooling of building materials and components by the State, together with price control. If that is necessary to get the houses as it was necessary to get the guns and planes, Labour is ready." (3)

The manifesto argued for the state takeover of certain branches of the economy - the Bank of England, coal mines, electricity and gas, railways, and iron and steel. This reflected some of the measures passed by the Labour Conference in December 1944. However, some left-wing commentators pointed out that the "nationalisation measures were justified on grounds of economic efficiency, not as a means of shifting the balance between labour and capital." (4)

Labour Party poster
Labour Party poster (May 1945)

The document made it clear that if elected it would pass legislation to protect the working-class: "The Labour Party stands for freedom - for freedom of worship, freedom of speech, freedom of the Press. The Labour Party will see to it that we keep and enlarge these freedoms, and that we enjoy again the personal civil liberties we have, of our own free will, sacrificed to win the war. The freedom of the Trade Unions, denied by the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act, 1927, must also be restored. But there are certain so-called freedoms that Labour will not tolerate: freedom to exploit other people; freedom to pay poor wages and to push up prices for selfish profit; freedom to deprive the people of the means of living full, happy, healthy lives".

The Labour Party also stated its commitment to a National Health Service: "By good food and good homes, much avoidable ill-health can be prevented. In addition the best health services should be available free for all. Money must no longer be the passport to the best treatment. In the new National Health Service there should be health centres where the people may get the best that modern science can offer, more and better hospitals, and proper conditions for our doctors and nurses. More research is required into the causes of disease and the ways to prevent and cure it. Labour will work specially for the care of Britain's mothers and their children - children's allowances and school medical and feeding services, better maternity and child welfare services. A healthy family life must be fully ensured and parenthood must not be penalised if the population of Britain is to be prevented from dwindling." (5)

It was unclear during the 1945 General Election who would win. It has been claimed that the support of The Daily Mirror was crucial. It was a newspaper that was read by over 30% of British soldiers and encouraged them to air their grievances. Harold Nicolson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Information, complained that the newspaper had "pandered to the men in the ranks and given them a general distrust of authority". (6)

In its editorials the newspaper linked egalitarianism with patriotism by attacking upper-class privilege. "During the war, many members of the diverse social groups have been thrown together in the Services, in factories, and in evacuation centres. Learning to appreciate one another, they have made the happy discovery that, in all things that really matter, they are alike... We may be all equal in death. But many thousands of Britons have given everything in the war in order that we might be equal in life too." (7)

Conservative Party and Fascism

Labour candidates began to exploit the connections between the Conservative Party and secret pro-fascist organizations such as the Right Club. Founded by Archibald Ramsay, the Tory MP for Peebles and Southern Midlothian, and including several Tory peers such as 2nd Lord Redesdale, 5th Duke of Wellington, 2nd Duke of Westminster, 2nd Lord Brocket, 7th Marquess of Londonderry and 8th Duke of Buccleuch, were members of the organization. (8)

Undercover, MI5 agents infiltrated the organization. This included Joan Miller who provided information on the spy network: "How did these people (members of the Right Club) set about obstructing the war effort? They used to sneak about late at night in the blackout, groping for smooth surfaces on which to paste the pro-German, anti-Semitic notices they carried.... Passersby who observed the Right Club's papers adhering to lamp posts, telephone kiosks, belisha beacons, church boards and so on, were informed that the war was a Jews' war.... They also used greasepaint to deface ARP and casualty station posters. Jeering at Winston Churchill when he appeared on cinema newsreels was another of their practices." (9)

Maxwell Knight, the head of B5b, a unit within MI5 that conducted the monitoring of political subversion, told the British government that the organization was involved in passing secret information to Nazi Germany. Archibald Ramsay was interned under Defence Regulation 18B and Anna Wolkoff and Tyler Kent were arrested, charged and convicted under the Official Secrets Act. (10)

Labour Party poster
Conservative Party poster (May 1945)

Left-wing candidates pointed out that in the 1930s that the Conservative Party, led by the Neville Chamberlain, the prime minister, and Lord Halifax, the foreign secretary, had promoted the appeasement of Adolf Hitler and were responsible for signing the Munich Agreement. One Labour Party candidate, Konni Zilliacus, claimed that "most Tories have never regarded Fascism as an enemy". (11) Roy Jenkins pointed out: "Let us remember, that hiding behind Mr Churchill's war record are hundreds of Tory members of parliament, men who sought to buy off Nazism and Fascism with loans and friendship." (12)

Others pointed out that the government had used state control and planning during the Second World War. During the election campaign Labour candidates argued that without such planning Britain would never have won the war. Sarah Churchill told her father in June, 1945: "Socialism as practised in the war did no one any harm, and quite a lot of people good." Arthur Greenwood argued that state planning had proved its value in wartime and would be necessary in peacetime. (13)

The Media and the Election

The Labour Party received the support of the Daily Herald, News Chronicle and The Daily Mirror. For the first time, the party enjoyed virtual parity of readership with the Tories in terms of national daily newspapers. During the war these newspapers published socialist writers such as William Mellor, Michael Foot, J. B. Priestley, G. D. H. Cole, H. G. Wells, Hannen Swaffer, Vernon Bartlett, Evelyn Sharp, Margaret Storm Jameson and Morgan Philips Price. It has been pointed out that throughout the war Michael Foot, used his "his Herald column... he argued that for the first time... the Labour Party... was about "to embark on the task of achieving socialism by full parliamentary and democratic means." (14)

Daily Mirror
The Daily Mirror on the 1945 General Election (5th June, 1945).
A copy of this newspaper can be obtained from Historic Newspapers.

The Labour Party also received the support from political cartoonists such as David Low, James Friell, Victor Weisz (Vicky) and Philip Zec. Low admitted that he came under constant pressure from Lord Beaverbrook, the owner of his newspaper, The Evening Standard, to attack the Labour Party and especially the socialist, Professor Harold Laski, "the bogey of a scare campaign." Despite this, he "consistently supported the Labour Party and ridiculed Churchill." (15)

Army Bureau of Current Affairs

Some historians have claimed that the Army Bureau of Current Affairs (ABCA) encouraged servicemen to vote Labour. (16) The man behind this was Alexander Dunlop Lindsay, the former vice-chancellor of Oxford University (1935-38). Denis Healey knew him during this period: "He was a tall, shambling, bear of a man. Wisps of white hair floated round a large innocent pink head. He lectured in a light, sing-song voice, twisting the ends of his gown in front of him. As the first confessed socialist to head a college in Oxford, he was regarded as a dangerous revolutionary by many of his colleagues, particularly when he stood as the Popular Front candidate in the 1938 by-election." (17)

Reports emerged during the war that not all servicemen were totally opposed to fascism. One Jewish soldier complained of anti-Semitism and accused some officers of being pro-Hitler. In August 1941, it was decided that the men should receive classes in political education. Lindsay, who was considered to be the leader of the Adult Education movement, was appointed to take charge of the development of ABCA. As one colleague pointed out: "He had spent a lifetime expounding democracy as a philosophy men could carry into fields, factories and workshops." (18)

The Times Educational Supplement reported on these educational classes and compared them to the Putney Debates that had taken place in the New Model Army in 1647: "These men wanted to argue and discuss and they were being encouraged to do it. There was almost universal testimony that discussion was free and felt to be free, that men, N.C.O.s and officers discussed together. I got the impression that there had not been an Army in England which discussed like this one since the famous Puritan Army which produced the Putney Debates and laid the foundation of modern democracy." (19)

Denis Healey was a junior officer who became involved in these classes: "I am only one of the hundreds of young men, now in the forces, who long for the opportunity to realise their political ideals by actively fighting an election for the Labour Party. These men in their turn represent millions of soldiers, sailors and airmen who want socialism and who have been fighting magnificently to save a world in which socialism is possible. Many of them have come to realise that socialism is a matter of life and death for them." (20)

Several future Labour politicians, including George Wigg, Richard Crossman and Stephen Swingler taught these courses. (21) One of the most important subjects discussed by servicemen was the Beveridge Report. Published In December 1942, William Beveridge proposed that all people of working age should pay a weekly contribution. In return, benefits would be paid to people who were sick, unemployed, retired or widowed. Beveridge argued that this system would provide a minimum standard of living "below which no one should be allowed to fall". The Labour Party promised to introduce these measures if elected.

Margaret Thatcher also thought that the Army Bureau of Current Affairs: "The command economy required in wartime conditions had habituated many people to an essentially socialist mentality. Within the Armed Forces it was common knowledge that left-wing intellectuals had exerted a powerful influence through the Army Education Corps." She quoted her friend Nigel Birch as saying the ABCA was "the only regiment with a general election among its battle honours". (22) However, Martin Pugh, the author of Speak for Britain: A New History of the Labour Party (2011), has argued that the influence of these lectures was probably exaggerated. (23)

Winston Churchill's Radio Broadcast

On 4th June, 1945, Winston Churchill made a radio broadcast where he attacked Clement Attlee and the Labour Party: "I must tell you that a socialist policy is abhorrent to British ideas on freedom. There is to be one State, to which all are to be obedient in every act of their lives. This State, once in power, will prescribe for everyone: where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say, what views they are to hold, where their wives are to queue up for the State ration, and what education their children are to receive. A socialist state could not afford to suffer opposition - no socialist system can be established without a political police. They (the Labour government) would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo." (24)

Henry (Chips) Channon, a Conservative Party candidate, thought it was an excellent broadcast: "The PM delivered a Broadside against the Socialists over the wireless last night: it was heavy pounding, certainly; and today the Labour boys seem very depressed and dejected by Winston's trouncing. I met Attlee in the lavatory, and he seemed shrunken and terrified, and scarcely smiled, though Bevin seemed gay and robust enough. I personally feel that the prevalent Conservative optimism in the Commons is overdone: everyone today was chattering of another 1931 or at least another 1924. Everyone is cock-a-hoop." (25)

Ian Mikardo, a Labour Party candidate, believes that the Churchill broadcast helped his election campaign: "In his first election broadcast on the radio he warned the country that if they elected a Labour government they would find themselves under the jackboots of a socialist gestapo. The British people just wouldn't take that. They looked at Clem Attlee, the timid, correct, undemonstrative, unaggressive ex-public-schoolboy, ex-major, and couldn't see an Adolf Hitler in him." (26)

Attlee's response the following day caused Churchill serious damage: "The Prime Minister made much play last night with the rights of the individual and the dangers of people being ordered about by officials. I entirely agree that people should have the greatest freedom compatible with the freedom of others. There was a time when employers were free to work little children for sixteen hours a day. I remember when employers were free to employ sweated women workers on finishing trousers at a penny halfpenny a pair. There was a time when people were free to neglect sanitation so that thousands died of preventable diseases. For years every attempt to remedy these crying evils was blocked by the same plea of freedom for the individual. It was in fact freedom for the rich and slavery for the poor. Make no mistake, it has only been through the power of the State, given to it by Parliament, that the general public has been protected against the greed of ruthless profit-makers and property owners. The Conservative Party remains as always a class Party. In twenty-three years in the House of Commons, I cannot recall more than half a dozen from the ranks of the wage earners. It represents today, as in the past, the forces of property and privilege. The Labour Party is, in fact, the one Party which most nearly reflects in its representation and composition all the main streams which flow into the great river of our national life." (27)

Labour candidates pointed out that the government had used state control and planning during the Second World War. During the election campaign Labour candidates argued that without such planning Britain would never have won the war. Sarah Churchill told her father in June, 1945: "Socialism as practised in the war did no one any harm, and quite a lot of people good." Arthur Greenwood argued that state planning had proved its value in wartime and would be necessary in peacetime. (28)

Election Result

When the poll closed the ballot boxes were sealed for three weeks to allow time for servicemen's votes (1.7 million) to be returned for the count on 26th July. It was a high turnout with 72.8% of the electorate voting. With almost 12 million votes, Labour had 47.8% of the vote to 39.8% for the Conservatives. Labour made 179 gains from the Tories, winning 393 seats to 213. The 12.0% national swing from the Conservatives to Labour, remains the largest ever achieved in a British general election. It came as a surprise that Winston Churchill, who was considered to be the most important figure in winning the war, suffered a landslide defeat. Harold Macmillan commented: "It was not Churchill who lost the 1945 election; it was the ghost of Neville Chamberlain." (29)

Daily Herald
Daily Herald (27th July, 1945)

Henry (Chips) Channon recorded in his diary what happened on the first day of the new Parliament: "I went to Westminster to see the new Parliament assemble, and never have I seen such a dreary lot of people. I took my place on the Opposition side, the Chamber was packed and uncomfortable, and there was an atmosphere of tenseness and even bitterness. Winston staged his entry well, and was given the most rousing cheer of his career, and the Conservatives sang 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow'. Perhaps this was an error in taste, though the Socialists went one further, and burst into the 'Red Flag' singing it lustily; I thought that Herbert Morrison and one or two others looked uncomfortable." (30)

Political Parties

Total Votes

%

MPs

Conservative Party

9,101,099

36.2

197

Liberal Party

2,252,430

9.0

12

National Liberals

737,732

2.9

11

Labour Party

11,967,746

48.0

393

Communist Party

102,780

0.4

2

Independent Labour Party

46,769

0.2

3

National Party

133,179

0.2

3

Irish Nationalists

148,078

0.4

2

Primary Sources

(1) Denis Healey, letter to Ivor Thomas (February, 1945)

A man pushed blindfold into a courtroom with cotton wool in his ears, obliged to plead for his life without knowing where the jury was sitting or even whether it was in the room at all, would nicely represent my position at this moment... I am only one of the hundreds of young men, now in the forces, who long for the opportunity to realise their political ideals by actively fighting an election for the Labour Party. These men in their turn represent millions of soldiers, sailors and airmen who want socialism and who have been fighting magnificently to save a world in which socialism is possible. Many of them have come to realise that socialism is a matter of life and death for them. But too many others feel that politics is just another civilian racket in which they are always the suckers . .. We have now almost won the war, at the highest price ever paid for victory. If you could see the shattered misery that once was Italy, the bleeding countryside and the wrecked villages, if you could see Cassino, with a bomb-created river washing green slime through a shapeless rubble that a year ago was homes, you would realise more than ever that the defeat of Hitler and Mussolini is not enough, by itself to justify the destruction, not just of twenty years of fascism, but too often of twenty centuries of Europe. Only a more glorious future can make up for this annihilation of the past.

(2) Winston Churchill, election broadcast (4th June, 1945)

I must tell you that a socialist policy is abhorrent to British ideas on freedom. There is to be one State, to which all are to be obedient in every act of their lives. This State, once in power, will prescribe for everyone: where they are to work, what they are to work at, where they may go and what they may say, what views they are to hold, where their wives are to queue up for the State ration, and what education their children are to receive. A socialist state could not afford to suffer opposition - no socialist system can be established without a political police. They (the Labour government) would have to fall back on some form of Gestapo.

(3) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (5th June, 1945)

The PM delivered a Broadside against the Socialists over the wireless last night: it was heavy pounding, certainly; and today the Labour boys seem very depressed and dejected by Winston's trouncing. I met Attlee in the lavatory, and he seemed shrunken and terrified, and scarcely smiled, though Bevin seemed gay and robust enough. I personally feel that the prevalent Conservative optimism in the Commons is overdone: everyone today was chattering of another 1931 or at least another 1924. Everyone is cock-a-hoop.

(4) Clement Attlee, election broadcast (5th June, 1945)

The Prime Minister made much play last night with the rights of the individual and the dangers of people being ordered about by officials. I entirely agree that people should have the greatest freedom compatible with the freedom of others. There was a time when employers were free to work little children for sixteen hours a day. I remember when employers were free to employ sweated women workers on finishing trousers at a penny halfpenny a pair. There was a time when people were free to neglect sanitation so that thousands died of preventable diseases. For years every attempt to remedy these crying evils was blocked by the same plea of freedom for the individual. It was in fact freedom for the rich and slavery for the poor. Make no mistake, it has only been through the power of the State, given to it by Parliament, that the general public has been protected against the greed of ruthless profit-makers and property owners.

Forty years ago the Labour Party might, with some justice, have been called a class Party, representing almost exclusively the wage earners. It is still based on organised labour, but has steadily become more and more inclusive. In the ranks of the Parliamentary Party and among our candidates you will find numbers of men and women drawn from every class and occupation in the community. Wage and salary earners form the majority, but there are many from other walks of life, from the professions and from the business world, giving a wide range of experience. More than 120 of our candidates come from the Fighting Services, so that youth is well represented.

The Conservative Party remains as always a class Party. In twenty-three years in the House of Commons, I cannot recall more than half a dozen from the ranks of the wage earners. It represents today, as in the past, the forces of property and privilege. The Labour Party is, in fact, the one Party which most nearly reflects in its representation and composition all the main streams which flow into the great river of our national life.

Our appeal to you, therefore, is not narrow or sectional. We are proud of the fact that our country in the hours of its greatest danger stood firm and united, setting an example to the world of how a great democratic people rose to the height of the occasion and saved democracy and liberty. We are proud of the self-sacrifice and devotion displayed by men and women in every walk of life in this great adventure. We call you to another great adventure which will demand the same high qualities as those shown in the war: the adventure of civilisation.

We have seen a great and powerful nation return to barbarism. We have seen European civilisation almost destroyed and an attempt made to set aside the moral principles upon which it has been built. It is for us to help to re-knit the fabric of civilised life woven through the centuries, and with the other nations to seek to create a world in which free peoples living their own distinctive lives in a society of nations co-operate together, free from the fear of war.

We have to plan the broad lines of our national life so that all may have the duty and the opportunity of rendering service to the nation, everyone in his or her sphere, and that all may help to create and share in an increasing material prosperity free from the fear of want. We have to preserve and enhance the beauty of our country to make it a place where men and women may live finely and happily, free to worship God in their own way, free to speak their minds, free citizens of a great country.

(5) Konni Zilliacus, Election Address (June, 1945)

Only a British Government friendly to Socialism can join effectively in making peace in Europe.

Throughout Europe the overthrow of Fascism has meant the downfall of capitalism, because the political parties of the Right and the leaders of trade and industry, with a few exceptions, have been associated with the Fascist and Quisling dictatorships and Hitler's economic system.

Throughout Europe, the resistance movements derive their main strength from the workers and their allies, and are largely under Socialist and Communist leadership. Their reconstruction programmes are based on sweeping advances towards Socialism.

Europe can be reconstructed, pacified and united, and democracy can be revived, only on the basis of a new social order.

To that policy the Soviet Union are already committed, and the French people have given their allegiance in the recent elections.

On that basis a Labour Government can work together with the Soviet Union and with the popular and democratic forces in Europe that would be irresistibly encouraged by Labour's coming into power.

That combination of states, bound together by such purposes and policies, would be so strong and so successful as to attract the friendship and cooperation of the American and Chinese peoples.

On these lines Labour would put granite foundations under the flimsy scaffolding erected at the San Francisco Conference, and take the lead in building a world organisation capable of guaranteeing peace and promoting the common interests of nations.

(6) Herbert Morrison, An Autobiography (1960)

The very honesty and simplicity of the campaign helped enormously. We had not been afraid to be frank about our plans. There would be public ownership of fuel and power, transport, the Bank of England, civil aviation, and iron and steel. We proposed a housing programme dealt with in relation to good town planning.

We promised to put the 1944 Education Act into practical operation. We said that wealth would no longer be the passport to the best health treatment. We promised that a Labour Government would extend social insurance over the widest field.

There was no temporizing over our political policy. "The Labour Party is a socialist party and proud of it. Its ultimate purpose at home is the establishment of the Socialist Commonwealth of Great Britain - free, democratic, efficient, progressive, public-spirited, its material resources organized in the service of the British people."

At the meetings I subsequently addressed I saw the large numbers of servicemen and women in the audiences, representatives, who happened to be on leave, of thousands of their comrades. They were old in the art of war but had been children at the time of the previous election. I told myself and I told my colleagues that these people were making up their minds whatever we said, and that therefore what we said must match their intelligence.

(7) Margaret Thatcher, The Path of Power (1995) page 22

The command economy required in wartime conditions had habituated many people to an essentially socialist mentality. Within the Armed Forces it was common knowledge that left-wing intellectuals had exerted a powerful influence through the Army Education Corps, which as Nigel Birch observed was 'the only regiment with a general election among its battle honours'. At home, broadcasters like J.B. Priestley gave a comfortable yet idealistic gloss to social progress in a left-wing direction. It is also true that Conservatives, with Churchill in the lead, were so preoccupied with the urgent imperatives of war that much domestic policy, and in particular the drawing-up of the agenda for peace, fell largely to the socialists in the Coalition Government. Churchill himself would have liked to continue the National Government at least until Japan had been beaten and, in the light of the fast-growing threat from the Soviet Union, perhaps beyond then. But the Labour Party had other thoughts and understandably wished to come into its own collectivist inheritance.

In I945 therefore, we Conservatives found ourselves confronting two serious and, as it turned out, insuperable problems. First, the Labour Party had us fighting on their ground and were always able to outbid us. Churchill had been talking about post-war 'reconstruction' for some two years, and as part of that programme Rab Butler's Education Act was on the Statute Book. Further, our manifesto committed us to the so-called 'full employment' policy of the 1944 Employment White Paper, a massive house-building programme, most of the proposals for National Insurance benefits made by the great Liberal social reformer Lord Beveridge and a comprehensive National Health Service. Moreover, we were not able effectively to take the credit (so far as this was in any case appropriate to the Conservative Party) for victory, let alone to castigate Labour for its irresponsibility and extremism, because Attlee and his colleagues had worked cheek by jowl with the Conservatives in government since 1940. In any event, the war effort had involved the whole population.

I vividly remember sitting in the student common room in Somerville listening to Churchill's famous (or notorious) election broadcast to the effect that socialism would require 'some sort of Gestapo' to enforce it, and thinking, "He's gone too far." However logically unassailable the connection between socialism and coercion was, in our present circumstances the line would not be credible. I knew from political argument on similar lines at an election meeting in Oxford what the riposte would be: "Who's run the country when Mr Churchill's been away? Mr Attlee." And such, I found, was the reaction now.

(8) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (1st August, 1945)

I went to Westminster to see the new Parliament assemble, and never have I seen such a dreary lot of people. I took my place on the Opposition side, the Chamber was packed and uncomfortable, and there was an atmosphere of tenseness and even bitterness. Winston staged his entry well, and was given the most rousing cheer of his career, and the Conservatives sang 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow'. Perhaps this was an error in taste, though the Socialists went one further, and burst into the 'Red Flag' singing it lustily; I thought that Herbert Morrison and one or two others looked uncomfortable. We then proceeded to elect Mr Speaker, and Clifton-Brown made an excellent impression. It is a good sign that the Labour Party have decided to elect a Conservative Speaker unanimously.

References

(1) Anne Perkins, Red Queen (2003) page 79

(2) Aneurin Bevan, The Tribune (25th May, 1945)

(3) Let us Face the Future (May, 1945)

(4) Tony Cliff and Donny Gluckstein, The Labour Party: A Marxist History (1988) page 219

(5) Let us Face the Future (May, 1945)

(6) Harold Nicolson, Diaries and Letters: 1939-1945 (1967) page 467

(7) The Daily Mirror (6th January, 1945)

(8) Martin Pugh, Speak for Britain: A New History of the Labour Party (2011) page 293

(9) Joan Miller, One Girl's War (1970) page 26

(10) Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5 (2009) pages 224-226

(11) Konni Zilliacus, Gateshead Labour Herald (April, 1945)

(12) Roy Jenkins, speech, May, 1945

(13) Martin Pugh, Speak for Britain: A New History of the Labour Party (2011) page 274

(14) Simon Hoggart & David Leigh, Michael Foot: A Portrait (1981) page 94

(15) David Low, Autobiography (1956) page 354

(16) Martin Pugh, Speak for Britain: A New History of the Labour Party (2011) page 271

(17) Denis Healey, The Time of My Life (1989) page 29

(18) George Wigg, Autobiography (1972) page 95

(19) The Times Educational Supplement (29th November, 1941)

(20) Denis Healey, letter to Ivor Thomas (February, 1945)

(21) George Wigg, Autobiography (1972) page 97

(22) Margaret Thatcher, The Path of Power (1995) page 22

(23) Martin Pugh, Speak for Britain: A New History of the Labour Party (2011) page 271

(24) Winston Churchill, radio broadcast (4th June, 1945)

(25) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (5th June, 1945)

(26) Ian Mikardo, Back Bencher (1988) page 84

(27) Clement Attlee, radio broadcast (5th June, 1945)

(28) Martin Pugh, Speak for Britain: A New History of the Labour Party (2011) page 274

(29) Harold Macmillan, Tides of Fortunes (1979) page 32

(30) Henry (Chips) Channon, diary entry (1st August, 1945)