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Title: The House of Lords and the Nationalisation Programme of the 1945-50 Labour government
Author: Ross, Adam
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 8598
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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The 1945-50 Labour Government introduced one of the most extensive legislative programmes of the twentieth century, including a number of measures to take a wide range of industries into public ownership, which werc publicly opposed by the Conservatives. The Conservatives still had a permanent and insurmountable majority in the largely unreformed House of Lords, yet unlike the period of 1906-14 when they had last faced a large majority in the Commons of another political colour, they did not undertake a campaign of obstruction. The Lords challenged the final decision of the Commons only once, by insisting that the enactment of the controversial Iron and Steel Nationalisation Bill be delayed until after the 1950 general election. The period following the Second World War has been described as witnessing a political consensus between the parties, which was forged by their co-operation in the Wartime Coalition and although the policy of nationalisation has been seen as' a dividing line between Labour and the Conservatives, it has been argued that little real difference existed in principle even with regard to state ownership. This thesis will consider whether the Lords' cooperation was the result of little real conflict between the parties or whether the timidity of the peers might be better explained by the weak constitutional position they occupied. It will also assess the extent to which the Lords had become a revising chamber and the extent to which its members were still prepared to a party-political role. In doing so, it will consider the dramatic shift in the British political landscape that occurred in 1947 and suggest that the Lords' apparent constitutionalism should be understood within the context of a wider Conservative effort to regain the centre.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available