GOODWILL GREETS ATTLEE CABINET
Ministerial Appointments Arouse Interest N.Z.P.A. Special Correspondent Rec. 11.30 a.m. LONDON, Aug. 1. Comment on Mr. Attlee's selection of his Ministry is generally approving. There is Kttle doubt that the new Government will set about its giant task in an atmosphere of goodwill. This present absence of criticism is due to two facts:—(l) That Labour has the clearest possible mandate from the country and there is no mood to indulge in petty obstruction. (2) It is realised that the result of the election caused considerable surprise abroad and there is a general desire to avoid any suggestion that the country is divided against itself, but rather to emphasise that it is united in facing the difficult dsys ahead.
Criticism will, of course, be heard in the House of Commons in due time from the Opposition benches, but there is a lot in common between the programmes of the Labour and Conservatives, and much of the Labour legislation will merely be implementing the Coalition Government's White Paper.
Where criticism from the Opposition can be expected will be on the proposals for nationalisation. There is no doubt that trie Opposition will fight, and fight hard, on the occasions when these measures are being discussed.
It is remarked that Mr. Attlee has been orthodox in appointing his Ministry and that, contrary to expectations, he has not set up a Ministry of Housing or transferred the India Office to the Dominions Office. A notable feature is the reversion from the .small war Cabinet to the larger Cabinet of the prewar type. It is. not a youthful Cabinet, the average age being 61, but, with a number of younger men among the junior Ministers, the average age of the administration is reduced to 54. It is commented that the preference evidently given to established Parliamentarians and well-tried trade union officials shows that Mr. Attlee has been content for the present, not to stray far from the well beaten path.
Choice of Ministers Interest has been aroused by several appointments, for instance, that of Mr. George Isaacs to the Ministry of Labour. He is a trade union leader with a reputation for courage and conciliation. Another is that of Mr. Chuter Ede, who goes to the .Home Office with the reputation of an acknowledged expert in the work of the Ministry of Education.
Mr. Aneurin Bevan's appearance at the Ministry of Health is regarded as unconventional. He is noted for his talent for destructive criticism and it is considered that if his ability for administration is as good, he should go far.
Mrs. Ellen Wilkinson is regarded as an interesting experiment at the Ministry of Education. She has both drive and courage. Mr. George Tomlinson at the Ministry of Works, is declared to have earned his promotion, since he was an unqualified success as Parliamentary Secretary at the Ministry of Labour. While Mr. Lewis Silkin, who is the new Minister of Town and Country Planning, has a wide knowledge of local government with a wealth of experience as chairman of the Town Planning Committee of the London County Council. Special attention has been called to the appointment of Mr. Philip Noel Baker as Minister of State, and it is presumed that he will be concerned with Britain's relationship to the United Nations, also to the appointment of Mr. G. A. Griffiths, who is Minister of National Insurance. He is stated to have long been earmarked as one of Labour's coming men. It is considered that Lord Winster will not be any "dummy" Minister of Civil Aviation, for he has both wit and high intelligence. Notable New Arrivals Notable new arrivals at Whitehall are Professor H. B. Marquand, Professor of Industrial Relations at the University College, Cardiff, who is Secretary for Overseas Trade, and Mr. Harold Wilson, the young Oxford economist, who is Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Works. It is considered that Dr. Edith Summerskill will be a tonic for the Ministry of Food, while Mr. Hector McNeil, who is only 35, is given an excellent start as Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs. The most picturesque appointment is that of Mr. Edwards, who is an ex-stoker and is now Civil Lord of the Admiralty. He is the first sailor from the lower deck to hold a political office at the Admiralty. He is stated to have been a popular and efficient back-bencher.
An interesting fact' is, judging from the calling of the Labour members returned to Westminster, that the party has passed through its metamorphosis. It now includes a considerable number of men drawn from the middle classes. Trade union officials represent only 19 per cent of Labour in the House and the greater part, of the Socialist members are lawyers, doctors, technicians, teachers, journalists and civil servants. Among the Conservatives lawyers, civil servants and the mother professional classes arid men associated with property, finance and industry -are represented in almost equal proportions.
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GOODWILL GREETS ATTLEE CABINET, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945
GOODWILL GREETS ATTLEE CABINET Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 186, 8 August 1945
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