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Harold Macmillan (1894 – 1986)


British Conservative politician and publisher who served six years as Prime Minister (19571963).
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Harold Macmillan
The most striking of all the impressions I have formed since I left London a month ago is of the strength of this African national consciousness. In different places it may take different forms but it is happening everywhere. The wind of change is blowing through this continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact. We must all accept it as a fact.
Macmillan quotes
I'd like that translated, if I may.
Macmillan
It's a good thing to be laughed at. It's better than to be ignored.




Macmillan Harold quotes
So what did they do? They solemnly asked Parliament, not to approve or disapprove, but to 'take note' of our decision. Perhaps some of the older ones among you will remember that popular song: 'She didn't say "Yes", she didn't say "No". She didn't say "stay", she didn't say "go". She wanted to climb, but dreaded to fall, she bided her time and clung to the wall.'
Macmillan Harold
Events, dear boy, events.
Harold Macmillan quotes
The sale of assets is common with individuals and states when they run into financial difficulties. First, all the Georgian silver goes, and then all that nice furniture that used to be in the saloon. Then the Canalettos go.
Harold Macmillan
Up to 1931 there was no reason to suppose that social changes would not, or could not, follow the same evolutionary pattern which had resulted from the increased creation and distribution of wealth during the nineteenth century. Now, after 1931, many of us felt that the disease was more deep-rooted. It had become evident that the structure of capitalist society in its old form had broken down, not only in Britain but all over Europe and even in the United States. The whole system had to be reassessed. Perhaps it could not survive at all; it certainly could not survive without radical change. Something like a revolutionary situation had developed, not only at home but overseas.
Macmillan Harold quotes
Indeed, let us be frank about it. Most of our people have never had it so good.
Macmillan
It breaks my heart to see (I can't interfere or do anything at my age) what is happening in our country today - this terrible strike of the best men in the world, who beat the Kaiser's army and beat Hitler's army, and never gave in. Pointless, endless. We can't afford that kind of thing. And then this growing division which the noble Lord who has just spoken mentioned, of a comparatively prosperous south, and an ailing north and midlands. That can't go on.
Macmillan Harold
It is always a matter of regret from the personal point of view when divergences arise between colleagues, but it is the team that matters and not the individual, and I am quite happy about the strength and the power of the team, and so I thought the best thing to do was to settle up these little local difficulties, and then turn to the wider vision of the Commonwealth.
Harold Macmillan
So there you are you can see what it is like. The camera's hot, probing eye, these monstrous machines and their attendants a kind of twentieth century torture chamber, that's what it is. But I must try to forget about that, and imagine that you are sitting here in the room with me.




Harold Macmillan quotes
When I ventured to criticise, the other day, this system I was, I am afraid, misunderstood. As a Conservative, I am naturally in favour of returning into private ownership and private management all those means of production and distribution which are now controlled by state capitalism. I am sure they will be more efficient. What I ventured to question was the using of these huge sums as if they were income.
Harold Macmillan
Although I am still in favour of a National Government in these difficult times, and shall probably be found in the great majority of cases in the Government Lobby, there are some issues that have arisen, or are likely to arise, upon which I am unable to give the Government the support which it has, perhaps, the right to expect from those receiving the Government Whip. It occurs to me, therefore, that it would perhaps be more satisfactory if I was no longer regarded as being among the supporters of the present Administration.
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