The First Labour Government, 1924

The First Labour Government, 1924

The First Labour Government, 1924

The First Labour Government, 1924

Excerpt

This book, whose subject lies in the middle ground between contemporary politics and history, clearly makes no claim to be the final word on the first Labour Government. What is attempted here is rather a study of the Labour Party's first tenure of office taken as an episode, and a particularly important one, in the life and development of the party.

One must necessarily approach the publication of a book concerning the political life of a country not one's own with some feeling of inadequacy. There are serious risks in undertaking to speak with any authority on such a subject. One can but hope to substitute some of the virtues of detachment, or at least of a fresh perspective, for those of intimate familiarity.

There are many people to whom I am grateful for help with this book. Professor David E. Owen, who enjoys the gratitude and affection of so many young scholars, I thank for his patience, his wit, and his unfailing kindliness exercised at all stages of the work. Sir Geoffrey Crowther has helped in a score of ways, all of them important and deeply appreciated. Dr. Paul G. Clark gave helpful advice, and sets an example of disinterested scholarship and lively curiosity that is always heartening. To my wife I am grateful for all sorts of assistance, from the chore of checking references to the important matter of believing in the project and its author.

I am obliged to members of the staffs of several libraries: those of Harvard, Yale and Washington Universities in the United States, the British Library of Political and Economic Science, the British Museum, and the Labour Party Library at Transport House, in England. The generosity of the Graduate School and the Social Science Institute of Washington University helped towards the preparation of the manuscript for publication. Miss Ann Mitchell and Miss Marjorie Karlson each gave invaluable assistance that was quite outside her usual line of duty.

Among many others who gave assistance or encouragement . . .

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