Backbench Debate within the Conservative Party and its by S. Onslow

By S. Onslow

This publication examines Conservative backbench debate on eu integration and British kinfolk within the center East among 1948 and 1957. In looking to evaluate the impression of a unfastened association of Conservative MPs, an prepared faction of longstanding and an ad-hoc strain staff, the textual content concentrates upon the Europeanists, the Suez staff and the Anti-Suez workforce and considers their makes an attempt to persuade British international coverage, utilizing interviews with former parliamentarians and modern assets, released and unpublished.

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Additional info for Backbench Debate within the Conservative Party and its Influence on British Foreign Policy, 1948–57

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Like MacDonald, Roberts was originally involved (as Secretary) in Ronald Mackay's British Group of European Parliamentary Union (EPU). Considerable tension developed within this committee between Mackay's band of federalists and those Conservatives and National Liberals who favoured a looser British association with Europe. Roberts resigned from the British Group of EPU in December 1948 and, when the autonomous all-party parliamentary group was established up in February 1949, Roberts was elected Honorary Secretary.

3 These were, of course, also the ideas to which Churchill was giving such prominence. Although Bevin's move towards Europe was welcomed by the Conservative Europeanists, they remained impatient at the Government's caution in seizing the lead in Europe. 5 Using his contacts with the federalists, Sandys successfully tapped Continental despair of the British Government joining some kind of federal Europe; 6 together with Joseph Retinger, he lobbied so effectively that the 'counter show'7 at the Hague was organized 33 S.

Even the enthusiasts had been concerned by the division at the Hague between those who favoured a confederal Europe and the majority who wanted to press ahead with federal arrangements. 55 Although great care had been paid to the wording of the various articles to bridge the gap,56 they realized if the Conservative party intended to stay inside European Parliamentary Union, which was heavily involved on the side of federation, it would have to work very hard to control that view. 57 The pervading backbench desire was for an urgent clarification of policy - it is revealing of the confusion within the Tory ranks that Butler thought it necessary to state his understanding of Churchill's conception - and leading Tories appreciated the electoral necessity of sustaining a positive party line, 'which could be used by members, speakers and candidates'.

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