The Conservative Case

The Conservative Case

The Conservative Case

The Conservative Case

Excerpt

When I first produced The Case for Conservatism in 1946 the fortunes of our Party were at a low ebb, and what was written then was largely an act of faith in the future. But it was also partly a contribution to the strictly contemporary politics of opposition. On reading it through again after twelve years I find remarkably little which I would have wished unsaid, but a good deal which has ceased to be topical.

On the whole I believe that the theoretical exposition of the Conservative outlook has worn well, and after eight years of Conservative rule I feel tempted to say that what was then asserted defiantly as a statement of faith can now be put forward even more confidently as the fruit of experience. These Conservative ideas have proved themselves in practice.

Clearly, however, the book needed rewriting and bringing up to date. As part of this process it has been possible to shorten it, since I had not the time nor leisure to replace the more ephemeral parts with anything like so detailed an analysis of the current situation. Indeed, the work would not have been possible without the help of Mr Peter Goldman, C.B.E., and, if justice were done, his name might well appear beside mine as joint author. The result is in no sense an election manifesto or a party programme. Were I preparing such a document, or were I writing in place of the present volume a full defence of eight years of Conservative Government, there is much of the theoretical material I would omit, and much of more immediate interest I would include. What I have attempted is no more than a new edition of a work on the Conservative outlook on British politics, which I hope has not yet quite lost its contemporary message.

HAILSHAM

June 1959 . . .

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