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Emanuel Shinwell

Emanuel Shinwell


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Emanuel Shinwell, the son of a tailor, was born in London in 1884. One of thirteen children, Shinwell and his family moved to Glasgow and at the age of 11 began working for his father. Later he worked as a message boy and in a factory making chairs but eventually returning to the clothing trade.

In 1903 Shinwell became interested in politics. Neil Maclean gave him a pamphlet by Karl Marx entitled Wages, Labour and Capital. As his later explained in his autobiography: "I was not the first nor the last young man to discover that Marx is hard going, and his arguments on the theory of surplus value, his explanation of labour's part, and his castigation of the exploitation of the working class, were difficult for my mind to grasp. I read and re-read that pamphlet and eventually succeeded in extracting some worth-while material for discussion."

Elected to the Glasgow Trades Council in 1911, Shinwell worked closely with other socialists in Glasgow including David Kirkwood, John Wheatley, James Maxton, William Gallacher, John Muir, Tom Johnston, Jimmie Stewart, Neil Maclean, George Hardie, George Buchanan and James Welsh. .

After the war Shinwell was involved in the struggle for a 40 hour week. The police broke up an open air trade union meeting at George Square on 31st January, 1919. The leaders of the union were then arrested and charged with "instigating and inciting large crowds of persons to form part of a riotous mob". Shinwell was sentenced to five months and Willie Gallacher got three months. The other ten were found not guilty.

A member of the Labour Party, Shinwell was elected to the House of Commons in November 1922. Also successful were several other militant socialists based in Glasgow including John Wheatley, David Kirkwood, James Maxton, John Muir, Tom Johnston, Jimmie Stewart, Neil Maclean, George Hardie, George Buchanan and James Welsh.

Defeated in the 1924 General Election, Shinwell returned to Parliament in April 1928. When Ramsay MacDonald became prime minister following the 1929 General Election, he appointed Shinwell as Financial Secretary War Office. He later served as Secretary for Mines (June 1930 - August 1931).

The election of the Labour Government in 1929 coincided with an economic depression and Ramsay MacDonald was faced with the problem of growing unemployment. MacDonald asked Sir George May, to form a committee to look into Britain's economic problem. When the May Committee produced its report in July, 1931, it suggested that the government should reduce its expenditure by £97,000,000, including a £67,000,000 cut in unemployment benefits. MacDonald, and his Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Snowden, accepted the report but when the matter was discussed by the Cabinet, the majority voted against the measures suggested by Sir George May.

Ramsay MacDonald was angry that his Cabinet had voted against him and decided to resign. When he saw George V that night, he was persuaded to head a new coalition government that would include Conservative and Liberal leaders as well as Labour ministers. Most of the Labour Cabinet totally rejected the idea and only three, Philip Snowden, Jimmy Thomas and John Sankey agreed to join the new government.

Shinwell, a strong opponent of MacDonald's new government, lost his seat at Linlithgow in the 1931 General Election. In 1935 Shinwell returned to the House of Commons after defeating Ramsay MacDonald at Seaham.

In 1936 Shinwell attempted to persuade the British government to supply military aid to help support the Popular Front government in Spain. Along with Aneurin Bevan, George Strauss, Sydney Silverman and Ellen Wilkinson he toured the country during the Spanish Civil War. He later wrote: "The reason for the defeat of the Spanish Government was not in the hearts and minds of the Spanish people. They had a few brief weeks of democracy with a glimpse of all that it might mean for the country they loved. The disaster came because the Great Powers of the West preferred to see in Spain a dictatorial Government of the right rather than a legally elected body chosen by the people."

After the Labour Party won the 1945 General Election the new prime minister, Clement Attlee appointed Shinwell as Minister of Fuel and Power (July 1945 - October 1947). He also served as Secretary of State for War (October 1947 - February 1950) and Minister of Defence (February 1950 - October 1951). He lost office after the Conservative Party victory in the 1951 General Election but held his seat in the House of Commons and between November 1964 and March 1967 was Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Shinwell wrote three volumes of autobiography, Conflict Without Malice (1955), I've Lived Through it All (1973) and Lead With the Left (1981). Emanuel Shinwell, who was created Baron Shinwell in 1970, died aged 101, of bronchial pneumonia, on 8th May 1984.

When I was eleven years old my father moved to another part of Glasgow and I had to leave the Adelphi Terrace school. My father then employed me as an errand boy in his business, and my organized education was over. Many times I have referred to this when I have addressed meetings where the audience was on a somewhat high intellectual level and the subject of a commensurate standard. I have disclaimed any intellectual pretensions, on the grounds of leaving school at so early an age. I have spoken of my melancholy reflections because of this, and how I was only consoled when years afterwards I arrived at the House of Commons and there saw some of the products of the universities and high scholastic institutions.

But how I regret those early years and the loss I sustained! It has been a long and costly struggle ever since: the lack of direction in my studies, the need for intellectual discipline, the agony of composition, the reading of many books on many erudite subjects that I failed to understand. I know all about those famous people in history who, despite the lack of education, rose to great heights in the field of politics, literature, art, and in world affairs, but it is easier to smooth out the problems of living when one is endowed with all that a good education can give.

By the time I was fourteen the Boer question was the chief source of discussion. It even banished Home Rule from the scene, and by the time war broke out, a day or two before my fifteenth birthday, I was a fervid Tory, ready and willing to go to Africa and fight Kruger with my bare hands. Considering that the war was bitterly opposed by most Liberals and all Socialists it was not surprising that my father banished me from the workroom except on business at this period.

I soon found a better source of education: the Glasgow Public Library. As soon as my father's friends had effectively put a stop to further work I would hurry off and remain there until I was turned out at ten o'clock. The daring theories of evolution by Darwin I found absorbing reading, and I expanded my knowledge by reading such works of his as The Origin of Species and Descent of Man. On the same shelves were books concerned with similar scientific subjects of the day. I read works on zoology, geology, and palaeontology, for example, and was thereby encouraged to study the specimens of stuffed animals and birds, skeletons, rocks, and fossils in the Glasgow museums. I used to spend every

Saturday afternoon testing myself on the knowledge I had gained from the verbose and serious works which were the forerunners of the popular scientific works of later years.

The working-class people of Glasgow lived in the grimy and ugly tenements of the Gorbals, Townhead, and Gallowgate, and the dockside areas of Anderton and Finnieston. The luckier families had two rooms: with a recessed bed - set in a hole in the wall in the kitchen for the boys and another in the parents' room for the girls. More usually the family had one room. One of Glasgow's medical officers, Dr. J. B. Russell, who attempted the well-nigh hopeless task of arousing landlords' consciences about housing conditions in the last two decades of the century, had declared that a quarter of Glasgow's 760,000 inhabitants lived in one room. One in seven of such one-room tenants took in a lodger in order to pay the rent. Another quarter of the city's population lived in two-room tenements.

Improvements and new buildings since the middle of the nineteenth century had not kept pace with the growth of population, principally due to the heavy immigration into the city. Large numbers of Irish had been coming over for years. Competition between the shipping companies made it possible for a man to cross the Irish Sea for a few shillings.

At the Central Police Station some of my friends were also being charged. Willie Gallagher was there, despite the fact that he had actually been given police protection so that he could bawl out to the crowd: "March off, for God's sake." David Kirkwood had also been arrested. He was excitable but was really a peaceable soul and had, as a matter of fact, been hit on the head by a policeman almost as soon as he ran down the steps of the City Chambers, being attacked from the back as he raised his hand to quieten the crowd. That might not have meant his discharge at the subsequent trial except for the lucky fact that a press photographer took a picture of the policeman's baton raised and Kirkwood collapsing - evidence which, of course, meant his dismissal from the case when the picture was exhibited.

To dismiss MacDonald as a traitor to Labour is nonsense. His contribution in the early years was of incalculable value. His qualities as a protagonist of Socialism were of a rare standard. There has probably never been an orator with such natural magnetism combined with impeccable technique in speaking in the party's history. Before the First World War his reputation in international Labour circles brooked no comparison. Keir Hardie, idolized by the theorists in the movement, did not have the appeal to European and American Socialists that MacDonald had. There is no doubt that his international prestige equalled that of such men as Jaures and Adler. Among his people in Scotland he could exert almost mesmeric influence.

No one has ever completely explained the magnetism of MacDonald as a young man. He was the most handsome man I have ever known, and his face and bearing can best be described by the conventional term "princely." Partly this was due to the spiritual qualities which are so often found in the real Northern Scottish strain, with its admixture of Celtic and Norse blood. Some of it probably came from the paternal ancestry which gave him aristocratic characteristics and marked him as a leader of men. Lesser men might despise this suggestion of heredity; the people who loved him in those early days recognized it as an inborn quality. It also put him in Parliament. Leicester was intrigued about this Labour candidate who was the sole opponent of the Tory in 1906. If he had been an uncouth firebrand it is unlikely that he would have found much favour. The immense Liberal vote was his from the start. The Liberals and sentimentalists were utterly charmed by this handsome idealist whose musical voice wove gently round their spell-bound hearts. He won that election by emotionalism rather than intellect - as others before and since have won elections.

When the Spanish Republican Government was formed in 1936 the news was received enthusiastically by Socialists in Britain. Many of the new Government members were well known in the international Socialist movement. The emergence of a democratic regime in Spain was a bright light in a gloomy period when war had raped Abyssinia, and Germany had repudiated the Locarno Treaty. On the sudden outbreak of civil war in July, 1936, Socialist movements in all those European countries where they were allowed to exist immediately took steps to consider whether intervention should be demanded.

The Fascist attack was regarded as aggression by the majority of thinking people. Leon Blum, at the time Prime Minister of France, was greatly concerned in this matter. As political head of a nation which was bordered by Spain he had to consider the danger of some of the belligerents being forced over the border; as a Socialist he had a duty to go to the help of his comrades, members of a legally elected Government, who had been attacked by men organized and financed from outside Spanish home territory.

In Britain, although the Government was against intervention, the Labour Party had to face the strong demands from the rank-and-file for concrete action. The three executives met at Transport House to consider the next move, and I was present as a member of the Parliamentary Executive. We were largely influenced by Blum's policy. He had decided that he could not risk committing his country to intervention. Germany and Italy were supplying arms, aircraft, and men to the Spanish Fascists, and Blum considered that any action on the Franco-Spanish border on behalf of the Republican Government would bring imminent danger of retaliatory moves by Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany on France's eastern flank. As a result of this French attitude Herbert Morrison's appeal in favour of intervention received little support. Although, like him, I was inclined towards action I pointed out that if France failed to intervene it would be a futile gesture to advise that Britain should do so. We had the recent farce of sanctions against Italy as a warning.

While the war was at its height several of us were invited to visit Spain to see how things were going with the Republican Army. The fiery little Ellen Wilkinson met us in Paris, and was full of excitement and assurance that the Government would win. Included in the party were Jack Lawson, George Strauss, Aneurin Bevan, Sydney Silverman, and Hannen Swaffer. We went by train to the border at Perpignan, and thence by car to Barcelona where Bevan left for another part of the front.

We travelled to Madrid - a distance of three hundred miles over the sierras - by night for security reasons as the road passed through hostile or doubtful territory. It was winter-time and snowing hard. Although our car had skid chains we had many anxious moments before we arrived in the capital just after dawn. The capital was suffering badly from war wounds. The University City had been almost destroyed by shell fire during the earlier and most bitter fighting of the war.

We walked along the miles of trenches which surrounded the city. At the end of the communicating trenches came the actual defence lines, dug within a few feet of the enemy's trenches. We could hear the conversation of the Fascist troops crouching down in their trench across the narrow street. Desultory firing continued everywhere, with snipers on both sides trying to pick off the enemy as he crossed exposed areas. We had little need to obey the orders to duck when we had to traverse the same areas. At night the Fascist artillery would open up, and what with the physical effects of the food and the expectation of a shell exploding in the bedroom I did not find my nights in Madrid particularly pleasant.

It is sad and tragic to realize that most of the splendid men and women, fighting so obstinately in a hopeless battle, whom we met have since been executed, killed in action - or still linger in prison and in exile. The reason for the defeat of the Spanish Government was not in the hearts and minds of the Spanish people. The disaster came because the Great Powers of the West preferred to see in Spain a dictatorial Government of the right rather than a legally elected body chosen by the people. The Spanish War encouraged the Nazis both politically and as a proof of the efficiency of their newly devised methods of waging war. In the blitzkrieg of Guernica and the victory by the well-armed Fascists over the helpless People's Army were sown the seeds for a still greater Nazi experiment which began when German armies swooped into Poland on 1st September, 1939.

It has been said that the Spanish Civil War was in any event an experimental battle between Communist Russia and Nazi Germany. My own careful observations suggest that the Soviet Union gave no help of any real value to the Republicans. They had observers there and were eager enough to study the Nazi methods. But they had no intention of helping a Government which, was controlled by Socialists and Liberals. If Hitler and Mussolini fought in the arena of Spain as a try-out for world war Stalin remained in the audience. The former were brutal; the latter was callous. Unfortunately the latter charge must also be laid at the feet of the capitalist countries as well.

An incident in the House of Commons. Mr Shinwell made himself highly objectionable, and unfortunately, Commander Bower, the (Conservative) member for the Cleveland Division of Yorks shouted 'Go back to Poland' - a foolish and provocative jibe, though no ruder than many that the Opposition indulge in every day. Shinwell, shaking with fury, got up, crossed the House, and went up to Bower and smacked him very hard across the face! The crack resounded in the Chamber - there was consternation, but the Speaker, acting from either cowardice or tact, seemed to ignore the incident and when pressed, refused to rebuke Shinwell, who made an apology, as did Bower, who had taken the blow with apparent unconcern. He is a big fellow and could have retaliated effectively. The incident passed; but everyone was shocked. Bower is a pompous ass, self-opinionated, and narrow, who walks like a. pregnant turkey. I have always disliked him, and feel justified in so doing since he once remarked in my hearing 'Everyone who even spoke to the Duke of Windsor should be banished - kicked out of the country'. But the incident does not raise Parliamentary prestige, especially now, when it is at a discount throughout the world.


SHINWELL, EMANUEL, BARON

SHINWELL, EMANUEL, BARON (1884–1986), British Labour politician. Born in London, the son of a small clothing manufacturer, Shinwell was brought up in South Shields and in Glasgow, where he lived for many years. He joined the British Labour Party at the age of 19 and was active in trade union work, often as a militant, becoming a member of the Glasgow Trades Council in 1906. During World War i he worked as an official of the Seamen's Union. He denied that he was a conscientious objector, claiming that his job was a reserved occupation. Nevertheless he supported J. Ramsay MacDonald's campaign in 1917 for a negotiated peace. In the immediate post-1918 period Shinwell was seen as an extreme leftist, one of the so-called "Red Clydesiders." This impression proved inaccurate: he was a consistent Labour moderate who became even less extreme over most issues as the years passed.

Shinwell entered Parliament in 1922 and was minister for mines in the short-lived Labour government of 1924. He lost his seat at the general election of that year, but returned to Parliament in 1928, and was a junior member of the Labour government of 1929 to 1931. Shinwell refused to follow Ramsay MacDonald into the 1931 national coalition and defeated Mac-Donald in his constituency of Seaham Harbour in 1935. Following the Labour election victory of 1945, Shinwell became minister of fuel and power with a seat in the cabinet. He was widely criticized for his apparent complacency during the severe winter of 1947–48 and was demoted to a post outside the cabinet in 1948, as minister for war. In 1950–51 he reentered the cabinet as minister for defense. From 1964 to 1967 he was chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party. "Manny" Shin-well was for several years a veteran member of the House of Commons where he was a popular figure. In 1970, on his retirement, he was created a life peer. In his later years Shinwell vehemently opposed British entry into the European Economic Community. His writings include The Britain I Want (1943), When the Men Come Home (1944), Conflict Without Malice (1955), and The Labour Story (1963).

Though never officially associated with Jewish or Zionist organizations, Shinwell always prided himself on his Jewish origin. In 1938 he was involved in an incident in the House of Commons when a member uttered an antisemitic threat. He crossed the floor and delivered a resounding smack to the member in front of the whole House. In 1948, when Britain surrendered the mandate for Palestine and withdrew her forces, Shinwell, as minister for war, took measures so that Jews would not be discriminated against in the disposal of surplus military supplies. In later years he enthusiastically supported Israel's cause and took pride in her ability to defend herself. He wrote two volumes of autobiography, I've Lived Through It All (1973) and Lead With the Left: My First Ninety-Six Years (1981). A respected elder statesman, Shinwell died at the age of 101.


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Political career

An Independent Labour Party (ILP) member, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Linlithgowshire at the 1922 general election. He lost his seat in 1924, but was re-elected for Linlithgowshire at a by-election in 1928. In 1929 Ramsay MacDonald appointed him Financial Secretary to the War Office: Cowling says that MacDonald believed he had rescued Shinwell's ministerial career when no minister would take him. From 1930 Shinwell served as Secretary for Mines, an office he had previously held in 1924. He became a critic of Ramsay MacDonald's National Government, and in 1931 he again lost his seat. [ citation needed ]

He returned to the Commons in 1935 for Seaham, County Durham, after defeating MacDonald, whereafter he campaigned vigorously, along with left-wingers such as Aneurin Bevan, for Britain to support the Popular Front government in Spain against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. On 4 April 1938, during a heated House of Commons debate in which he had been criticising the government's foreign policy, he slapped the face of the Conservative MP Commander Robert Tatton Bower after Bower told him to "go back to Poland". [2] Shinwell had taken this to be an anti-semitic remark. [3] In May 1940 he refused a position in Winston Churchill's Coalition Government in the Ministry of Food. He became chairman of the Labour Party in 1942. He served in Clement Attlee's government after the Labour victory in 1945 as Minister of Fuel & Power, and he presided over the nationalisation of the mining industry. He insistence on the open cast mining of the park of the Wentworth Woodhouse estate, to the footsteps of the house, when the quality of the coal was poor, was viewed by its owners and the local mining community which opposed it as pure vindictiveness - an act of class warfare. [4]

In 1947, Britain experienced, in an exceptionally severe winter, a serious coal shortage. He was widely criticised for his failure to avert this crisis. Shortly afterwards he took up the position of Secretary of State for War which he held until 1950. In November 1947 an MI5 report alleged that Shinwell had passed secret information to a man named "Stanley" who had passed it on to Zionist paramilitary group Irgun. Shinwell knew self-styled "contact man" Sidney Stanley whom he had approached for help in finding employment for his son Ernie, and Stanley had obtained information on the disbandment of the Transjordan Frontier Force from some government source. [5] His seat became Easington in 1950, at which point he became Minister of Defence.

Towards the end of his Commons career, he served as Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, 1964-67. Shinwell was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour in the 1965 Birthday Honours [6] and was created a life peer as Baron Shinwell, of Easington in the County of Durham, on 19 June 1970. [7] He continued to be active in the House of Lords until shortly before his death. [8]

Shinwell died in May 1986, aged 101, holding the record for the second longest-lived British MP (after Theodore Cooke Taylor) until overtaken by Bert Hazell in November 2008. He became the longest lived peer on 26 March 1986, dying little over a month later on 8 May.

Shinwell sat for sculptor Alan Thornhill for a portrait [9] in clay.

The correspondence file relating to the Shinwell portrait bust is held as part of the Thornhill Papers (2006:56) in the archive [10] of the Henry Moore Foundation's Henry Moore Institute in Leeds and the terracotta remains in the collection of the artist. A bronze (accession number S.309) was purchased into the Collection of Glasgow City Art Gallery in 1973. [11]


--> Shinwell, Emanuel, 1884-1986

Emanuel Shinwell, 1884-1986, was born in Spitalfields, London, but began work at the Scottish Wholesale Co-operative Society in 1909. By 1912, he had become chairman of the Glasgow Trades Council, a position that he held again from 1916 to 1919. His involvement with the 40 hours strike committee in 1919 led to his imprisonment for 5 months. Shinwell entered politics in 1922, becoming the Labour MP for Linlithgow, and rising to become Parliamentary Secretary for the Department of Mines in 1924, Financial Secretary for the War Office, 1929-1930, and Parliamentary Secretary for the Department of Mines, 1930-1931. In 1935, he defeated J Ramsey Macdonald in the election for Seaham. Lord Shinwell declined to serve in Churchill's wartime government, preferring to remain an independent backbencher, active in broadcasting and opposing ship production policy. During this time he was chairman of the Central Committee for Reconstruction. He joined the post-war Labour government as Minister of Fuel and Power, and was given the task of nationalising the mines. The difficulties and failures of this task led to his demotion from the cabinet and transfer to Defence as Secretary of State for War, 1947-1950. He returned to the cabinet as Minister of Defence, 1950-1951, and maintained an interest in defence issues for the rest of his career. He was also chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party 1964-1967.

From the guide to the SHINWELL, Emanuel, 1884-1986, Baron Shinwell, politician, 1900-1985, (British Library of Political and Economic Science)

Lord Emanuel Shinwell (1884-1986) was born in London. A member of the Independent Labour Party from 1903 and later a Labour politician, he worked with the Seamen's Union and in recruitment with the Admiralty during the First World War.

From the guide to the Interview with Lord Emanuel Shinwell, 1976, (GB 206 Leeds University Library)


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About Manny Shinwell

Emanuel Shinwell, Baron Shinwell CH, PC (18 October 1884 – 8 May 1986), best known as Manny Shinwell, was a British trade union official, Labour politician and one of the leading figures of Red Clydeside.

Contents [show] Early life, career and trade union activities[edit] Shinwell was born in Spitalfields, London, but his family moved to Glasgow, Scotland. His father was a Polish Jew who had a small clothing shop and his mother𠅊 Dutch Jew—was a cook from London.[1] He educated himself in a public library and at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. He enjoyed sport, particularly boxing, and he was the trainer of a local football team. He began his working life as a machinist in a clothing workshop. In 1903 he became active in the Amalgamated Union of Clothing Operatives, and joined the Glasgow Trades Council in 1906 as a delegate of that union.[citation needed]

In May 1911, he was seconded to help organise the seamen of Glasgow at the request of Havelock Wilson of the National Sailors' and Firemen's Union (NSFU). He played a prominent role in the six-week Glasgow seamen's strike which began on 14 June and which was part of a nationwide strike. He subsequently became the secretary of the Glasgow branch of the NSFU. In August 1912, he participated in a revolt against the union, which resulted in the Glasgow branch becoming part of the Southampton-based British Seafarers' Union (BSU). He was the local secretary of the BSU until it became part of the Amalgamated Marine Workers' Union (AMWU) in 1922, after which he served as National Organiser of the new organisation. In 1919, he gained national notoriety through his involvement in the Glasgow 40 Hours' Movement. This movement culminated in clashes between police and protesters in Glasgow's George Square. He was afterwards tried for incitement to riot and was sentenced to five months' imprisonment.[citation needed]

Shinwell (standing) at an election meeting in 1918 An Independent Labour Party (ILP) member, he was elected as Member of Parliament (MP) for Linlithgowshire at the 1922 general election. He lost his seat in 1924, but was re-elected for Linlithgowshire at a by-election in 1928. In 1929 Ramsay MacDonald appointed him Financial Secretary to the War Office: Cowling says that MacDonald believed he had rescued Shinwell's ministerial career when no minister would take him. From 1930 Shinwell served as Secretary for Mines, an office he had previously held in 1924. He became a critic of Ramsay MacDonald's National Government, and in 1931 he again lost his seat.[citation needed]

He returned to the Commons in 1935 for Seaham, County Durham, after defeating MacDonald, whereafter he campaigned vigorously, along with left-wingers such as Aneurin Bevan, for Britain to support the Popular Front government in Spain against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. On 4 April 1938, during a heated House of Commons debate in which he had been criticising the government's foreign policy, he slapped the face of the Conservative MP Commander Robert Tatton Bower after Bower told him to "go back to Poland".[2] Shinwell had taken this to be an anti-semitic remark.[3] In May 1940 he refused a position in Winston Churchill's Coalition Government in the Ministry of Food. He became chairman of the Labour Party in 1942. He served in Clement Attlee's government after the Labour victory in 1945 as Minister of Fuel & Power, and he presided over the nationalisation of the mining industry.

Shinwell in the 1940s In 1947, Britain experienced, in an exceptionally severe winter, a serious coal shortage. He was widely criticised for his failure to avert this crisis. Shortly afterwards he took up the position of Secretary of State for War which he held until 1950. In November 1947 an MI5 report alleged that Shinwell had passed secret information to a man named "Stanley" who had passed it on to Zionist paramilitary group Irgun. Shinwell knew self-styled "contact man" Sidney Stanley whom he had approached for help in finding employment for his son Ernie, and Stanley had obtained information on the disbandment of the Transjordan Frontier Force from some government source.[4] His seat became Easington in 1950, at which point he became Minister of Defence. Towards the end of his Commons career, he served as Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party, 1964-67. Shinwell was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour in the 1965 Birthday Honours[5] and was created a life peer as Baron Shinwell, of Easington in the County of Durham, on 19 June 1970.[6] He continued to be active in the House of Lords until shortly before his death.[7]

Shinwell died in May 1986, aged 101, holding the record for the second longest-lived British MP (after Theodore Cooke Taylor) until overtaken by Bert Hazell in November 2008. He became the longest lived peer on 26 March 1986, dying little over a month later on 8 May.

Shinwell sat for sculptor Alan Thornhill for a portrait[8] in clay. The correspondence file relating to the Shinwell portrait bust is held as part of the Thornhill Papers (2006:56) in the archive[9] of the Henry Moore Foundation's Henry Moore Institute in Leeds and the terracotta remains in the collection of the artist. A bronze (accession number S.309) was purchased into the Collection of Glasgow City Art Gallery in 1973.[10]


Conflict without malice

'I've Lived Through It All Emanuel Shinwell (Gollancz £4.00) With this second bite at the cherry—followers of Emanuel Shinwell's rumbustious career will recall his earlier apologia pro vita sua eighteen years ago—Lord Shinwell offers a study in political causality together with a short history of the follies of twentieth century Prime Ministers.

Lord Shinwell certainly has had a unique vantage point from which to observe the political arena during the past seven decades. tlie age of eighty-nine, he writes with the clarity and humour he has always used to such effect both in speech and in his earlier books. The contents of this volume, as he explains in his foreword, apart from comments on the Salisbury and Balfour Administrations culled from memoirs, "are associated with my own experience since I entered the political and trade union area."

Sadly, the book falls far short of, for example, Conflict Without Malice. It is not that this is just a revision of the earlier work, though the ground covered is remarkably similar. Nor is it that his aim "has been to interpret the actions of our political leaders, and to portray their character, with moderate severity, so as to ensure that errors of judgment, which have led to what I hope is a temporary decline in the prestige of our country, can in future be avoided." This is not history, for Lord Shinwell's style is definitely not to stand back cooMy to appraise people and events. Nor is it the racy memoir apparently so popular at the present time. Regrettably, I believe, Lord Shinwell has fallen into the obvious trap set for Grand Old Men — when, not being content with recording political events, he asks "where do we g0 from here?" His answer is contained in the conclusion to the book.

In his'judgments, Lord Shinwell is not noticeably consistent. He berates Hugh Gaitskell for performing a somersault over the Suez issue "for party and personal ends" and yet there is no mention of Harold Wilson's about-turn on Europe, though of course Mr Wilson would no doubt protest that party and personal ends had nothing to do with his conversion on the road to Brussels.

With his facts, Lord Shinwell is not alwaYs accurate. In the all too brief pages on recent events, he remarks that people are prone to remember errors. He then refers to Edward Heath's promise to cut prices "at a stroke'. and to John Davies's coining of the phrase "lame ducks" in industry. Lord Shinwell's researchers really should have reminded him that the Prime Minister never used the famous words — they appeared in a press handout of his speech just before the 1970 Election, but he never actually said them. And Mr Davies, after his meteoric rise to thei Cabinet, simply inserted in one of his speeches the mellifluous metaphor devised by Sir Keith Joseph when he was a shadow spokesman in the last'Parliament.

Nonetheless, Lord Shinwell offers some Fascinating insights of the life of a rookie

i!-abour MP at Westminster. The record of the rtY-twoof them at the outbreak of the Great thar "gives no cause for satisfaction, either on e grounds of Socialist principles or with a regard for the people they purported to ,represent," he says. That, of course, was 'efore he was elected to their midst. After the War, and after his election, the ,Y,c)ong Manny Shinwell is clearly dismayed by "le lack of understanding, by the sheer sense °I unreality, of the Tory hierarchy. He picks ''n Lady Curzon tor saying of Bonar Law "he 'ooks more like a Labour MP than 'a Tory "An understandable description from IS exalted lady who had, however, studiously avoided meeting any Labour MPs," Lord Shinwell comments.

He enjoys recalling how Stanley Baldwin regarded him as one of the 'wild men' and he

n no way underestimates his own influence on

the first Labour Government. Many of his.

iriends in the Parliamentary Labour Party were of the view that "we should all remain cm the back benches and have nothing to do with ministerial office." His own feeling was

that "party unity was more important than the narrower interests of one area of the country or one facet of Socialist policy." He, therefore, remained true and was reasonably optimistic about the future fortunes of Ramsay MacDonald's ill-fated administration. Having been so closely involved with Labour leaders since the last War, it would have been good to read something really new and revealing about the crises within the Party since then Lord Shinwell's special view of these events. Instead, he offers the now totally predictable comment of Clement Attlee about Richard Crossman being a "clever fool.".

No one can doubt that Lord Shinwell has lived through it all. The trouble with his new book is that at the end of it I have the unmistakable feeling that I have read through it all, before. And four pounds seems a great deal to pay for the privilege of doing so again. Still, most libraries have copies of Lord Shinwell's earlier version which, to my mind, is much the better.


What did Emanuel Shinwell mean by &ldquohis country&rdquo?

On 30th of October 1956, during the Suez Canal crisis, 17 Jewish MPs voted to censure the government on a resolution which did not explicitly mention Israel1.

Former Jewish Minister of Defence, Emanuel Shinwell who was absent from the vote, said he had

The utmost contempt for those Jews, including British MPs who, though professional Zionists, claim to see in Israel's action an offence against international law. They ought to be ashamed. Jews defending themselves against persecution and aggression have my full support . I was reluctant to defy party decisions but I preferred upholding my country's interests."

When he says, his country's interests, what does that mean? Also in Jewish Chronicles, Jewish MPs were reminded that "The Jewish representatives in the Houses of Parliament should not allow themselves to forget their racial origins, irrespective of their political affiliations" (J.C., 16 November 1956)

What was this person then on about in 2011?

Mr Halfon later commented on the matter in an article in the Jewish Chronicle:

‘The subtext, of course is that Jews by nature are not loyal to the country that they serve but are working for foreign powers, This has been the habitual accusation of anti-Semitism throughout the ages.’


WENTWORTH WOODHOUSE

Wentworth Woodhouse, photographed from the air in 1946. The house itself is the largest private residence in England, and was built for the first Marquis of Rockingham in the spacious days of the middle-eighteenth century. The gardens and park were open-cast mined, to the tune of 20 and 90 acres respectively. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

In years to come we might once again consider Wentworth Woodhouse, near Rotherham, to be one of our majestic stately homes. ‘The largest privately-owned house in Europe is finally awaking from its slumber’ heralds the mansion’s website. After years of decline and decay, its fortunes are finally changing restoration work is underway, the roof is being replaced, while Phase II is planned for the autumn when repairs start on the Palladian east front, the chapel and grand staircase. With millions of pounds of work outstanding it is going to be a long journey.

Wentworth Woodhouse’s problems, like many other country houses, started at the beginning of the 20 th century. Too big, too expensive and with dwindling family finances, it was severely affected by two World Wars. However, in February 1946, the house reached its lowest ebb.

Newspapers of the day reported that unless top level negotiations between the Prime Minister, Clement Attlee (1883-1967), and Peter Wentworth-Fitzwilliam (1910-1948), 8 th Earl Fitzwilliam, resulted in a settlement, Mr Emanuel Shinwell, Minister of Fuel and Power, would seize 110 acres of garden and parkland from Wentworth Woodhouse. The land would be used for open-cast mining with the total yield of coal, considered to be inferior quality, estimated to be about 345,000 tonnes.

Work had already started on the estate, but it was the rapid advance towards the mansion that caused the biggest consternation.

Earl Fitzwilliam had offered Wentworth Woodhouse to the National Trust, together with park and gardens. Meanwhile, the house had become the centre of a bitter controversy on account of the requisitioning of many acres of parkland for open-cast coal-mining. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

In 1946, the Coal Nationalisation Act was making its way through Parliament between January and May. After World War 2 the country had a coal shortage and the nationalisation of the nation’s private collieries was a way of increasing coal production. Earl Fitzwilliam had accepted that the family’s pits would soon be in Government hands, there was compensation for coal owners, but the fate of Wentworth Woodhouse bothered him.

Fitzwilliam had offered the mansion to the National Trust, but the organisation had been nervous at taking on a building that faced ‘imminent destruction’. It had accepted covenants over the park and gardens to ring-fence the house from the mining operation, but was warned off by the Government who were in no mood to listen.

The black tide had already swept towards the boundary walls. In the foreground are the workings, showing how the soil and subsoil were cleared, trench fashion, to expose the coal which was just below the surface. It was promised that the land would be speedily restored. Image: The British Newspaper Archive. Storm over Wentworth Woodhouse. An aerial view of Earl Fitzwilliam’s estate in 1946, showing how devastated it had become by open-cast mining. Earl Fitzwilliam had appealed to Clement Attlee. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

During the negotiations, James Lees-Milne from the National Trust’s Country Houses Committee had visited Wentworth Woodhouse and recorded his visit in his diaries:

‘Left at ten from King’s Cross to Doncaster. Michael (Earl of) Rosse (of the Country Houses Committee) met me and motored me to Wentworth Woodhouse. Had time to walk around the outside and other parts of the inside. It is certainly the most enormous private house I have ever beheld, I could not find my way about the interior and never once knew in what direction I was looking from a window. Strange to think that until 1939 one man lived in the whole of it. All the contents are put away or stacked in heaps in a few rooms, the pictures taken out of their frames. The dirt is appalling. Everything is pitch black and the boles of the trees like thunder. To my surprise the park is not being worked for coal systematically, but in square patches here and there. One of these patches is a walled garden. Right up to the very wall of the Vanbrugh front every tree and shrub has been uprooted, awaiting the onslaught of the bulldozers. Where the surface has been worked is waste chaos and, as Michael said, far worse than anything he saw of French battlefields after D-day. I was surprised too by the very high quality of the pre-Adam rooms and ceilings of Wentworth by the amount of seventeenth-century work surviving by the beautiful old wallpapers and by the vast scale of the lay-out of the park, with ornamental temples sometimes one-and-a-half miles or more away. Lady Fitzwilliam in a pair of slacks, rather dumpy and awkward, came downstairs for a word just before we left. I fancy she is not very sensitive to the tragedy of it all.’

There was little doubt that the National Trust proposal had been rejected by Manny Shinwell himself, as he had also rejected a plan by Mr Joseph Hall, president of the Yorkshire Mineworkers’ Association, to obtain the coal by other methods. The miners themselves, conscious of their local inheritance, had pledged themselves, to no avail, to make good the loss if the scheme could be abandoned. Their pleas fell on deaf-ear, but Shinwell was able to appease them by considering a speedy restoration of the land and possible financial assistance.

Earl Fitzwilliam had already turned to a group of experts from the Department of Fuel and Technology at Sheffield University. They quickly established that open-cast mining would produce poor quality coal and deemed Mr Shinwell’s plans as not being cost-effective.

Responding to Manny Shinwell’s thin promise of restoration after mining ceased, William Batley, a member of the group, wrote to the Secretary of the Georgian Group. ‘Effective restoration. What a cockeyed yarn. These Ministers of State must think we are a lot of simpletons – spinning us the tale. It is just bunkum, sheer bunk.’

The progress of open-cast mining. A view from 1947 showing how the excavation of the property had now reached the very doors of Earl Fitzwilliam’s historic mansion. Over ten months the open-cast workings had been extended from parkland, across the gardens and right up to the historic mansion. Image: The British Newspaper Archive. Wentworth No. 3 site. Manny Shinwell had visited the site and declared at the time that little could be done to reprieve the estate. Mr J.A. Hall, president of the Yorkshire Mineworkers’ Association, had stated that the gardens were among the most beautiful in the country and that it would be sheer vandalism to proceed with the scheme. In the background is the spire of Wentworth Church. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

Earl Fitzwilliam met Clement Attlee in April to appeal against further damage to the property. He urged that work could be done by less destructive methods. The meeting at Downing Street wasn’t a success. Meanwhile, excavators were at work getting out the first 300 tonnes of coal of the promised 345,000 tonnes.

There are those who believe that Manny Shinwell’s actions in 1946 were directed solely at Earl Fitzwilliam, whom he believed was part of the ‘old brigade’ – men who had run the ‘foolish, callous profit-hunting system’ which, he believed had operated before the war.

In ‘Black Diamonds – The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty’, Catherine Bailey describes what happened:

‘Peter was convinced that Shinwell’s plans for Wentworth Woodhouse were vindictive. It was the proposal to mine the formal gardens – a site directly behind the Baroque west front – that threatened the house. The magnificent 300-year-old beech avenue that ran down the Long Terrace, the raised walkway along the western edge of the gardens, the pink shale path, with its dramatic floral roundels, together with ninety-nine acres of immaculately tended lawns, shrubbery and luxuriant herbaceous borders, were scheduled to be uprooted. The over-burden from the open-cast mining – top soil, mangled plants and pieces of rubble – was to be piled fifty feet high outside the main entrance to the West front, the top of the mound directly level with Peter’s bedroom window and the guest rooms in the private apartments at the back of the house.’

“Private property must be used for the benefit of the nation… There should be no department of public activity in which Labour has not got to have a finger in the pie.” (Manny Shinwell, in Leeds, April 6 1946). Gardeners are seen uprooting rhododendron bushes before replanting. Image. The British Newspaper Archive. The gardens were among the most beautiful in the country and represented years of care and labour spent in bringing them to a state of perfection. A large slice of them were to become a wilderness of grey clay, with the ever-present risk of subsidence. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.

As we know, Manny Shinwell had his way and Wentworth Woodhouse suffered. In 1948, Peter Fitzwilliam was killed in the same plane crash as Kathleen Kennedy, and shortly afterwards the Ministry of Health attempted to requisition the house as ‘housing for homeless industrial families’.

The move was thwarted by Lady Mabel Fitzwilliam, sister of the 7 th Earl, who brokered a deal with West Riding County Council to turn it into the Lady Mabel College of Physical Education. The college later merged with Sheffield Polytechnic who gave up the lease in 1988 due to high maintenance costs.

Wentworth Woodhouse eventually returned to private ownership, first with Wensley Grosvenor Haydon-Baillie and then Clifford Newbold, both of whom made brave restoration attempts. The house was now subject to subsidence caused by old underground mine-workings, not the 1940’s open-cast mining, but something Manny Shinwell might have taken into consideration had he known. (The Newbold family lodged an unsuccessful £100 million compensation claim with the Coal Authority).

Wentworth Woodhouse was sold to the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust for £7 million in 2017. The cost of repairs to the house were estimated at £40 million, helped by a grant of £7.6 million from the Government, but this figure was reassessed earlier this year and projected restoration work is now likely to be around £100 million.

At the farmyard gate: The open-cast workings had reached almost to the buildings of this farm on the Wentworth estate. It was estimated that there was an annual loss of 126,000 gallons of milk, 300 tons of bread and 50 tons of beef against a total of 2,060,000 tons of coal obtained in three and a half years. This was taken from the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News in July 1947. Image: The British Newspaper Archive. Needlessly derelict: Agricultural land at Warren Vale, which had been used as a stacking site for coal. In 1947, no coal had been placed here for two years and yet the land had not been released and these heaps still covered the ground. Image: The British Newspaper Archive. Bog: This field at Newhill Grange Farm was requisitioned in June, 1943, and restored in summer, 1944. Drainage, water supply and the condition of the soil were some of the worries besetting tenant farmers on the estate. Image: The British Newspaper Archive. The Doric Site: It was proposed to preserve the wall and the avenue of beeches. Mechanical diggers were brought to within 250 yards of the mansion itself, which was virtually isolated. Image: The British Newspaper Archive. Heartbreak at Ashes Farm, where patches of mud and water lay in the field. Cropping was proving a depressing task on restored land which formerly yielded excellent results. In some instances the crops were only fit to be ploughed back in. Image: The British Newspaper Archive. In 1947, the question was asked, how long would it take before the soil regained its previous condition? Under the arrangements only top soil was kept separate. This section of a restored site at Quarry Field showed a few inches of top soil and stone and shale below. Image: The British Newspaper Archive.


Political career

An Independent Labour Party (ILP) member, he became a Member of Parliament for Linlithgow in 1922. He lost his seat in 1924, but was re-elected for Linlithgow in 1928. He became a critic of Ramsay MacDonald's National Government and in 1931 he again lost his seat. He returned to the Commons in 1935 for Seaham, County Durham, whereafter he campaigned vigourously, along with left-wingers such as Aneurin Bevan for the United Kingdom to support the Popular Front government in Spain against Franco in the Spanish Civil War. He became chairman of the Labour Party in 1942.

He served in Clement Attlee's government after the Labour victory in 1945. As Minister of Fuel and Power, he presided over the nationalisation of the mining industry. In 1947, Britain experienced a severe coal shortage. He was widely criticised for his failure to avert this crisis. Shortly afterwards he took up the position of Secretary of State for War which he held until 1950. His seat became Easington in 1950, at which point he became Minister of Defence. Towards the end of his Commons career, he served as Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party 1964-67.

Shinwell was made Baron Shinwell, of Easington in the County of Durham in 1970 and died in 1986, having become the longest-lived British politician on January 1 of that year.

Shinwell's son, Ernest, was for a short period a business associate of the Kray Twins. His brother, M Shinwell, also stood as a Labour candidate.


Watch the video: EMANUEL feat. DON MIJO GROZDANIĆ - NITKO KAO TI living room worship (June 2022).


Comments:

  1. Doulrajas

    This has amazed me.

  2. Maushura

    Between us, I would have acted differently.

  3. Montgomery

    You are mistaken. Write to me in PM.



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