|The Right Honourable
Gaitskell in 1958
|Leader of the Opposition|
14 December 1955 – 18 January 1963
|Prime Minister||Anthony Eden
|Preceded by||Clement Attlee|
|Succeeded by||George Brown|
|Leader of the Labour Party|
14 December 1955 – 18 January 1963
|Preceded by||Clement Attlee|
|Succeeded by||Harold Wilson|
|Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer|
26 October 1951 – 14 December 1955
|Preceded by||Rab Butler|
|Succeeded by||Harold Wilson|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer|
19 October 1950 – 26 October 1951
|Prime Minister||Clement Attlee|
|Preceded by||Stafford Cripps|
|Succeeded by||Rab Butler|
|Minister of Fuel and Power|
24 October 1947 – 15 February 1950
|Prime Minister||Clement Attlee|
|Preceded by||Manny Shinwell|
|Succeeded by||Philip Noel-Baker|
|Member of Parliament
for Leeds South
5 July 1945 – 18 January 1963
|Preceded by||Henry Charleton|
|Succeeded by||Merlyn Rees|
|Born||Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell
9 April 1906
London, United Kingdom
|Died||18 January 1963
London, United Kingdom
|Spouse(s)||Anna Dora Frost (née Creditor)|
|Alma mater||New College, Oxford|
Hugh Todd Naylor Gaitskell, CBE, PC (9 April 1906 – 18 January 1963) was a British Labour politician who held Cabinet office in Clement Attlee's governments. He won bitter leadership battles to become the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1955 until his death in 1963, when he was on the verge of becoming prime minister. He was loved and hated for his confrontational leadership and brutal frankness. He is best known as being founder of the right-wing revisionism in the Labour Party known as Gaitskellism. It was the Labour Party version of the Post-war consensus through which the major parties largely agreed on the main points of domestic and foreign policy until the 1970s. His Conservative Party counterpart was Rab Butler, so their common outlook was dubbed "Butskellism."
Facing the need to increase military spending in 1951 he proposed introducing prescription charges in the National Health Service, prompting Aneurin Bevan to resign from the Cabinet. Gaitskell opposed many of the economic policies of the labour unions, especially regarding nationalisation and controlling the economy for the benefit of unions. His Gaitskellism was based on two policies that repudiated the long-standing orthodox position of the Labour Party. First he repudiated the orthodoxy that socialism was identified with public ownership of the means of production, and that such ownership was essential to achieve all major socialist objectives. Second, he emphasised the goals of personal liberty, social welfare, and above all social equality. It downplayed loyalty to the labour movement as a central ethical goal, and argued that the new goals could be achieved if the government used appropriate fiscal and social policy measures within the context of a market-oriented mixed economy. Public ownership was not specifically rejected, but was seen as merely one of numerous useful devices.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Academic and early political career
- 3 Marriage and personal life
- 4 Wartime civil servant and early ministerial career
- 5 Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1950–51
- 6 Opposition: the Bevanite split 1951–1955
- 7 Leader of the Opposition, 1955–1963
- 8 Death
- 9 Legacy
- 10 References
- 11 Bibliography
- 12 External links
He was born in Kensington, London, the third and youngest child of Arthur Gaitskell (1869–1915), of the Indian Civil Service, and Adelaide Mary Gaitskell, née Jamieson (died 1956), whose father, George Jamieson, was consul-general in Shanghai and prior to that had been Judge of the British Supreme Court for China and Japan. He was known as “Sam” as a child.
He was educated at the Dragon School from 1912 to 1919, where he was a friend of the future poet John Betjeman. He then attended Winchester College from 1919 to 1924 and New College, Oxford, from 1924 to 1927. His serious interest in politics came about as a result of the General Strike of 1926. Studying under G. D. H. Cole, he wrote a long essay on Chartism, arguing that the working class needed middle class leadership. He graduated with a first class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1927.
Academic and early political career
Gaitskell helped to run the New Fabian Research Bureau, set up by GDH Cole in March 1931. He was selected as Labour candidate for Chatham in autumn 1932. Gaitskell moved to University College London in the early 1930s at the invitation of Noel Hall. In 1934 he joined the XYZ Club, a club for Labour financial experts (e.g. Hugh Dalton, of whom he became a protégé, and Evan Durbin) and City people.
In 1934 Gaitskell was in Vienna on a Rockefeller scholarship. He was attached to the University of Vienna for the 1933–4 academic year and witnessed first-hand the political suppression of the social democratic workers movement by the conservative Engelbert Dollfuss's government in February 1934. This event made a lasting impression, making him profoundly hostile to conservatism but also making him reject as futile the Marxian outlook of many European social democrats. This placed him in the socialist revisionist camp.
In the 1935 General Election, he was defeated at Chatham. Gaitskell helped to draft “Labour’s Immediate Programme” in 1937. This had a strong emphasis on planning, although not as much as his mentor Dalton would have liked, with no plans for the nationalisation of banks or the steel industry. He also drafted documents which would have been used in the election due in 1939-40.
Gaitskell became head of the Department of Political Economy at UCL when Hall was appointed Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research in 1938. He also became a University Reader. He opposed the appeasement of Nazi Germany.
Marriage and personal life
Whilst a WEA lecturer in the late 1920s Gaitskell lived for a time with a local woman in Nottinghamshire. This is thought to have been his first adult relationship.
He was married from 1937 to Anna Dora Gaitskell, who became a Labour life peer one year after his death. They had two daughters: Julia, born in 1939, and Cressida, born in 1942. Gaitskell had a number of affairs, including with the socialite Ann Fleming, the wife of James Bond creator Ian Fleming.
In private, Hugh Gaitskell was humorous and fun loving, with a love of ballroom dancing. This contrasted with his stern public image. He was a member of the Steering Committee of the Bilderberg Group.
Wartime civil servant and early ministerial career
During World War II, from the formation of Churchill's coalition government in May 1940 Gaitskell worked with Noel Hall and Hugh Dalton as a senior civil servant for the Ministry of Economic Warfare which gave him experience of government. Along with Dalton Gaitskell was moved to the Board of Trade in February 1942, where for the first time he came into contact with the leaders of the miners’ unions, who were later to support him in his struggles against Aneurin Bevan in the 1950s. For his service, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1945.
Gaitskell was elected Labour Member of Parliament (MP) for Leeds South in the Labour landslide victory of 1945, and after an initial delay in 1945-6 caused by illness he quickly rose through the ministerial ranks under the influence of his patron Hugh Dalton. In May 1946 he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Fuel and Power, serving under Emmanuel "Manny" Shinwell. He played an important role steering the Coal Nationalisation Bill through the House of Commons, bearing the brunt of the committee stage and winding up the final debate. In the fuel crisis of February 1947 Shinwell, who had ignored Gaitskell’s warnings, had to ask the Cabinet for permission to shut down power stations; Gaitskell was put on the key committee which decided where coal should be sent. In 1947 he once again played an important role steering electricity nationalisation through the House of Commons, winding up the debate on the second reading.
In October 1947 Gaitskell was promoted to Minister of Fuel and Power in Shinwell's place, although he was not made a member of the Cabinet. He made himself very unpopular by abolishing the basic petrol ration for private motorists, but encouraged the building of oil refineries, a move little-noticed at the time which would have important repercussions for the future.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 1950–51
In the summer of 1949, with Chancellor Stafford Cripps seriously unwell, Gaitskell emerged as the leader of the group of young, financially able, ministers (another was Harold Wilson, President of the Board of Trade) who won Cabinet approval for devaluation of the Pound Sterling from $4.03 to $2.80. In February 1950, in the reshuffle after the 1950 General Election, he was appointed Minister for Economic Affairs, effectively Deputy Chancellor but still outside the Cabinet.
In October 1950, Cripps was finally forced to resign as Chancellor of the Exchequer due to failing health, and Gaitskell was appointed to succeed him at the young age of 44. His time as Chancellor was dominated by the struggle to finance Britain's part in the Korean War which put enormous strain on public finances. The cost of the war meant that savings had to be found from other budgets, and he made the controversial decision to introduce charges for prescription glasses and dentures on the National Health Service in his spring 1951 budget.
In addition, purchase tax was increased from 33% to 66% on certain luxury items such as cars, television sets, and domestic appliances, while entertainment tax was increased on cinema tickets. At the same time, however, taxation on profits was raised and pensions increased to compensate retirees for a rise in the cost of living, while the allowances for dependent children payable to widows, the unemployed, and the sick, together with marriage and child allowances, were also increased. In addition, a number of small items were removed from purchase tax, while the amount of earnings allowed without affecting the pension was increased from 20 shillings to 40 shillings a week.
Prime Minister Attlee’s initial reaction to the draft budget was that there weren’t likely to be many votes in it – Gaitskell replied that he could not expect votes in a rearmament year. In February 1951 the Cabinet agreed in principle to charges on teeth and spectacles. The budget caused a split in the government and was seen by a very angry Aneurin Bevan as a blow to the principle of a free health service. Herbert Morrison, who was chairing the Cabinet whilst Attlee was being treated in hospital, proposed a compromise that there be an agreed ceiling on public spending but no NHS charges. Gaitskell was determined that there would not be an open-ended commitment to welfare spending at the expense of economic investment or rearmament, and rejected Morrison’s proposal. The affair brought Gaitskell close to physical and emotional collapse. After much argument Bevan resigned in April 1951, as did Harold Wilson and John Freeman. However, the split contributed to Labour's loss of power to the Conservatives in the 1951 election later that year.
Historian Brian Brivati believes that the importance of the charges was “irrelevant” to the huge cost of rearmament, which damaged Britain's recovery in the years which followed by absorbing earnings from exports.
Opposition: the Bevanite split 1951–1955
In opposition, Gaitskell’s house at Frognal Gardens, Hampstead, became a centre for political intrigue. At first Herbert Morrison still seemed likely to succeed Attlee as leader. This period was characterised by factional infighting between the 'Bevanite' left of the Labour party led by Aneurin Bevan, whose strength lay mainly in the constituency Labour Parties ("CLP"s) and the 'Gaitskellite' right who had the upper hand in the Parliamentary Party (Labour MPs - known collectively as the "PLP").
At the 1952 Morecambe Conference the Bevanites took over the constituency section of Labour's National Executive Committee (the "NEC"), whilst veteran right-wingers such as Herbert Morrison and Hugh Dalton were voted off (Shinwell, who as Minister of Defence was seen as responsible for the rearmament programme, had been voted off the previous year). Gaitskell gave a speech at Stalybridge (5 October 1952) alleging communist infiltration of constituency parties and arguing that Labour was threatened by “mob rule” got up by “frustrated journalists” (a number of Bevanites, including Michael Foot and Tom Driberg, were journalists). He received strong backing from the TGWU whose block vote was of immense importance at the Labour Conference and which was able to exert pressure on its sponsored MPs to toe the party line.
In October 1954 Gaitskell defeated Bevan for party treasurer with strong union backing (including Bevan’s own miners’ union, to the latter's dismay). In March 1955 in order to keep his union support Gaitskell had to take the lead in the attempt to expel Bevan from the Labour Party; he thought it “dirty work” (April 1955). In October 1955 he was re-elected Treasurer by a wider margin.
The apparent congruence between Gaitskell's economic policies and those of his Conservative successor as chancellor Rab Butler, who retained and extended NHS charges, was sometimes labelled "Butskellism" by the press. This view was not shared by Gaitskell himself, and he attacked Butler strongly for allegedly misleading the electorate over his emergency "Pots and Pans" budget in October 1955, in which he reversed tax cuts made prior to the General Election earlier that year, at which the Conservatives had been re-elected.
After the retirement of Attlee as leader in December 1955, Gaitskell defeated Bevan (the ageing Herbert Morrison also stood but came a poor third) in the party leadership contest. At that time (and until 1981) the Labour Party leader was elected solely by MPs.
Brivati writes that Gaitskell's 1951-5 “political performance … has not received the credit it deserves, for energy, for strategy, and for sheer nerve”.
Leader of the Opposition, 1955–1963
In 1956 the Egyptian dictator Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalised the Suez Canal Company, beginning the Suez Crisis. Gaitskell initially told the Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer Harold Macmillan at a dinner with King Faisal II of Iraq on 26 July 1956, that he would support the use of military action against Nasser, but warned Eden he would have to keep the Americans closely informed.
Gaitskell's position became more cautious during the summer, and he had suggested the dispute with Egypt should be referred to the United Nations. His first speech on Suez (2 August 1956) attacked Nasser and was welcomed by many Conservatives, and implied that he would support the use of force, but in Brivati's view did not give enough emphasis to his stipulation that it be done through the United Nations. In two letters to Eden sent on 3 and 10 August Gaitskell condemned Nasser, but warned that he would not support any action that violated the United Nations charter. In his letter of 10 August, Gaitskell wrote: "Lest there should be any doubt in your mind about my personal attitude, let me say that I could not regard an armed attack on Egypt by ourselves and the French as justified by anything which Nasser has done so far or as consistent with the Charter of the United Nations. Nor, in my opinion, would such an attack be justified in order to impose a system of international control over the Canal - desirable though this is. If, of course, the whole matter were to be taken to the United Nations and if Egypt were to be condemned by them as aggressors, then, of course, the position would be different. And if further action which amounted to obvious aggression by Egypt were taken by Nasser, then again it would be different. So far what Nasser has done amounts to a threat, a grave threat to us and to others, which certainly cannot be ignored; but it is only a threat, not in my opinion justifying retaliation by war."
Gaitskell passionately condemned the eventual Anglo-French military intervention to secure the Suez Canal, supposedly launched to enforce international law and to separate the Egyptian and Israeli combatants; the Israeli attack had in fact been launched in collusion with the British and French to supply a pretext for the invasion. On 31 October he publicly called the invasion “an act of dishonest folly” which threatened the Atlantic Alliance, the United Nations and Commonwealth solidarity. On 4 November 1956 Gaitskell gave a powerful broadcast, attacking Eden now that it was clear Eden had been lying to him in private. Gaitskell was (wrongly) accused by the Conservatives of trimming to appeal to the Labour Left, and for betrayal.
Gaitskell’s stance on Suez attracted some Liberal support. The pollster Mark Abrams convinced him of the need to broaden Labour’s appeal by picking up anti-colonialist votes, but this would be a development of longer-term importance to the Labour Party. At the time Gaitskell was much-criticised in the press, especially for his ill-judged and unsuccessful plea for Tory dissidents to remove Eden from power.
Nationalisation and political philosophy
Gaitskell had initially believed nationalisation to be both morally right and economically efficient, and hoped in vain that manager-worker relations would be transformed. But in 1956 he published a Fabian pamphlet “Socialism and Nationalisation” (actually written three years earlier), arguing that there was no need for greater public ownership, and that his goals were full employment, industrial democracy and a greater spread of economic power. Gaitskell still supported physical controls and his views were a little to the left of those expressed by Anthony Crosland in “The Future of Socialism” (1956).
Gaitskell' political philosophy became known as Gaitskellism, and from the late 1950s brought him into increasing conflict with the trade unions over nationalisation. Besides repudiating the unquestioned commitment to public ownership of the means of production, now seen as merely one of numerous useful devices, he emphasised the goals of personal liberty, social welfare, and above all social equality. Gaitskellism tended to downplay loyalty to the Labour Movement as a central ethical goal, and argued that the new goals could be achieved if the government used appropriate fiscal and social policy measures within the context of a market-oriented mixed economy. Gaitskell's cadre of supporters included Anthony Crosland, Roy Jenkins, Douglas Jay, and Patrick Gordon Walker and James Callaghan.
Frank Cousins became General Secretary of the TGWU in 1956, beginning the process whereby the unions began to shift left. The 1957 Conference endorsed the document “Industry and Society”, which called for more flexibility, including state purchase of shares in small private firms. This was loudly condemned by Bevan’s wife Jennie Lee and by Michael Foot, editor of “Tribune” but out of Parliament at the time.
1959 General Election
At Newcastle, with a General Election clearly imminent, Gaitskell pledged that Labour’s spending plans would not require him to raise income tax, for which he was attacked by the Tories for supposed irresponsibility.
The Labour Party had been widely expected to win the 1959 general election, but did not. The Conservatives increased their majority, a fact partly attributable to the post-war prosperity that Britain was now experiencing. Gaitskell was undermined by public doubts about the credibility of proposals to raise pensions and by a highly effective Conservative campaign run by Harold Macmillan under the slogan "Life is better with the Conservatives, don't let Labour ruin it." This election defeat led to questions being asked as to whether Labour could ever win a general election again, but Gaitskell remained as leader.
Following the election defeat, bitter internecine disputes resumed. Gaitskell blamed the Left for the defeat and attempted unsuccessfully to amend Labour's Clause IV—which its adherents believed committed the party to further nationalisation of industry, while Gaitskell and his followers believed it had become either superfluous or a political liability.
The November 1959 Conference, postponed because of the election, was already divided by rumours that Gaitskell was planning action over Clause IV. Ignoring advice from his allies, and partly motivated by detailed polling by Mark Abrams which showed that younger voters regarded Labour as old-fashioned, Gaitskell pushed for reform. Brivati writes that Clause IV was irrelevant in practice but Gaitskell had made “a frontal assault on … a Labour equivalent of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England”. In March 1960 the NEC agreed a new statement of Labour’s aims as an addition to Clause IV rather than a replacement. Throughout the summer of 1960 union conferences, many of whose rule books had their own equivalent to Clause IV, were hostile to the new proposal, and in the end four of the six largest unions opposed Gaitskell's plans. The new proposal was demoted to a “valuable expression”.
Unilateral nuclear disarmament was increasingly popular amongst union activists and was also debated in several union conferences in the spring and summer of 1960. The great majority of the PLP supported NATO and multilateral disarmament.
Gaitskell took on Frank Cousins and wanted to show that Labour were a party of government, not just of opposition. At the October 1960 Scarborough Conference two resolutions in favour of unilateral disarmament – proposed by the TGWU and the Engineers’ Union – were carried, whilst the official policy document on defence was rejected. Gaitskell roused his supporters by promising to “Fight and Fight and Fight and Fight Again” to reverse the decision. Labour doctrine was that the Parliamentary Party had discretion over the timing of implementation of conference policy. In practice, in the 1940s and 1950s, the unions, whose block votes dominated conference, had been broadly supportive of the PLP, but this was now beginning to change. Bevan, who had opposed unilateral disarmament and who had been relatively supportive of Gaitskell's leadership in recent years, had died in July, but Gaitskell was challenged unsuccessfully for the leadership by Harold Wilson in November 1960.
The Blackpool Conference of October 1961 saw a narrow conference vote in favour of multilateral disarmament. Unilateral nuclear disarmament remained a divisive issue, and many on the Left continued to call for a change of leadership. Gaitskell was again challenged unsuccessfully for the Labour leadership in November 1961, this time by Anthony Greenwood.
The Campaign for Democratic Socialism was founded to promote the Gaitskellite cause - it never acquired much influence in the ranks of the trade unions, but achieved some success in promoting the selection of friendly Parliamentary candidates. Many of the younger CDS members would later be among the founding members of the breakaway Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1981.
Gaitskell alienated some of his supporters by his apparent opposition to British membership of the European Economic Community, which Macmillan had been seeking since July 1961. He believed that the EEC was resistant to reform and that membership would hurt Britain’s relations with the Commonwealth.
In a speech to the party conference in October 1962, Gaitskell claimed that Britain's participation in a Federal Europe would mean "the end of Britain as an independent European state, the end of a thousand years of history!" He added: "You may say, all right! Let it end! But, my goodness, it's a decision that needs a little care and thought."
In the speech Gaitskell summoned up the memory of Vimy Ridge and Gallipoli, where Canadian and ANZAC troops had fought alongside British, mixing his defence of national identity with the tradition of the Commonwealth. The speech dismayed many of Gaitskell's natural supporters but was applauded by many on the Left, causing his wife Dora to observe “all the wrong people are cheering”.
Gaitskell died in January 1963, aged 56, after a sudden flare of lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease. His death left an opening for Harold Wilson in the party leadership; Wilson narrowly won the next general election for Labour 21 months later.
The abrupt and unexpected nature of his death led to some speculation that foul play might have been involved. The most popular conspiracy theory involved a supposed Soviet KGB plot to ensure that Wilson (alleged by the supporters of these theories to be a KGB agent himself) became prime minister. This claim was given new life by Peter Wright's controversial 1987 book Spycatcher, but the only evidence that ever came to light was the testimony of a Soviet defector, Anatoliy Golitsyn. Golitsyn was a controversial figure who also claimed, for example, that the Sino-Soviet split was a deception intended to deceive the West. His claims about Wilson were repeatedly investigated and never substantiated.
Gaitskell's estate was valued for probate at £80,013 10s on 23 April 1963 (around £1.5m at 2015 prices). He is buried in the churchyard of St John-at-Hampstead Church, north London. His wife was buried alongside him following her own death in 1989.
Because he never became prime minister, and because of the great capacity many considered that he had for the post, Hugh Gaitskell is remembered largely with respect from people both within and outside of the Labour Party. Gaitskell is regarded by some as "the best Prime Minister we never had".
Brivati acknowledged that he had “an almost reckless honesty and courage” which could turn into stubbornness. “His leadership was a heroic failure” and “The defining moment of the post-war history of the Labour Party”. Although by 1963 Gaitskell appeared to be on the verge of leading Labour back into power, it still took what Brivati describes as “the greatest performance by a leader of the opposition [last] century” for Harold Wilson to lead Labour back by a narrow majority.
Brivati writes that for Gaitskell “socialism was not an end state … but the reform of institutions and practices for the more effective realisation of preferred values”. Evan Durbin’s “Politics of Democratic Socialism” (1940) was a seminal text. Gaitskell was not, in Brivati’s view, a “progressive” in any modern sense. He favoured equality and thought the free market wasteful. He wanted to incorporate Liberal opinion within the Labour vote. However, the modernising leaders of subsequent generations, Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair, were to a certain extent continuing Gaitskell’s tradition.
Many of the Gaitskellites held leading positions in Harold Wilson's Cabinet of 1964-70. Many of them – e.g. Roy Jenkins and Bill Rodgers but not Anthony Crosland or Douglas Jay – became supporters of British membership of the EEC, an issue on which Labour was split in the 1970s and which helped to precipitate the SDP split of 1981.
Tony Benn contrasted Gaitskell's stand on the Suez Crisis to that of the former British prime minister Tony Blair on the war in Iraq. Margaret Thatcher compared Blair with Gaitskell in a different manner, warning her party when Blair came to power that he was the most formidable Labour leader since Hugh Gaitskell.
His name appears in popular culture from time to time. For example, 'Hugh Gaitskell House' is the building Nicholas Lyndhurst's character Garry Sparrow is looking for in Goodnight Sweetheart when he first stumbles into World War II London. A tower block of that name can be found opposite Stoke Newington railway station in North London.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Hugh Gaitskell|
- Neil Rollings, "‘Poor Mr Butskell: A Short Life, Wrecked by Schizophrenia’?." Twentieth Century British History 5#2 (1994): 183-205.
- "'Bevanism' vs 'Gaitskellites' Labour Party Divisions flashcards". Quizlet. 1956-07-26. Retrieved 2016-03-29.
- Brian Brivati and Richard Heffernan, eds. The Labour Party: a centenary history (Macmillan, 2000) p 301.
- Matthew 2004, p.287
- Matthew 2004, p.290
- John Saville. "Hugh Gaitskell (1906-1963): An assessment". The Socialist Register 1980. Socialist Register. pp. 155–158. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
- Brian Brivati, "Gaitskell, Hugh Todd Naylor (1906–1963)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- William Rodgers: Gaitskell , (Anna) Dora, Baroness Gaitskell (1901–1989) rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 17 March 2013
- "FindArticles.com - CBSi". findarticles.com. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "Former Steering Committee Members". bilderbergmeetings.org. Bilderberg Group. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
- Matthew 2004, p.288
- Howse, Christopher (28 December 2012). "Anniversaries of 2013". Daily Telegraph. London.
- Hugh Gaitskell by Brian Brivati
- Henry Pelling, The Labour Governments, 1945-51 (1984).
- Post-Victorian Britain 1902-1951 by Lewis Charles Bernard Seaman
- Denis Nowell Pritt, The Labour Government 1945-51 (1963)
- Matthew 2004, p.289
- Matthew 2004, p.288-9
- Barry Turner, Suez 1956 (2006) pp 231-232.
- Turner, Suez 1956, p 232.
- Matthew 2004, p.291
- Brian Harrison, Seeking a Role: The United Kingdom 1951-1970 (2011) ch 8.
- David E. Butler and Richard Rose, The British General Election of 1959 (1960)
- "Election Battles 1945–1997". BBC News.
- "Election Battles 1945–1997". BBC News.
- Matthew 2004, p.292
- "Where have all the Scots gone, and are they coming back, asks Kevin Meagher? « Labour Uncut". labour-uncut.co.uk. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- Charlton, Michael (1983). The Price of Victory. London: BBC. p. 274. ISBN 0-563-20055-3.
- "1963: Labour leader Hugh Gaitskell dies". bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- Matthew 2004, p.293
- Compute the Relative Value of a U.K. Pound
- "Hugh Gaitskell (1906 - 1963) - Find A Grave Photos". findagrave.com. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "Press releases". nottingham.ac.uk. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "Hugh Gaitskell Primary School". hughgaitskell.leeds.sch.uk. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- Map of LS11 8AB, Hugh Gaitskell Primary School
- Brivati, Brian. "Gaitskell, Hugh Todd Naylor (1906–1963)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011) accessed 26 June 2016 doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33309 (print edition listed under "Matthew" below)
- Brivati, Brian. Hugh Gaitskell: The First Moderniser (2005)
- Davies, A.J. To Build a New Jerusalem: The Labour Movement from the 1880s to the 1990 (1992) Abacus ISBN 0-349-10809-9
- Campbell, John (2010). Pistols at Dawn: Two Hundred Years of Political Rivalry from Pitt and Fox to Blair and Brown. London: Vintage. ISBN 978-1-845-95091-0. (contains an essay on Gaitskell and Bevan)
- Dell, Edmund. The Chancellors: A History of the Chancellors of the Exchequer, 1945-90 (HarperCollins, 1997) pp 135–58, covers his term as Chancellor.
- Dutton, David. British Politics Since 1945: The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Consensus (2nd ed. Blackwell, 1997). excerpt for political history seen from the Post-War Consensus viewpoint.
- Jones, Tudor. Remaking the Labour Party: From Gaitskell to Blair (1996) excerpt and text search
- Matthew (editor), Colin (2004). Dictionary of National Biography. 21. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0198614111., essay on Gaitskell written by Brian Brivati
- Williams, Philip Maynard. Hugh Gaitskell (1985)
- labourhistory.org.uk - Biography of Gaitskell.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Hugh Gaitskell
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Leeds South
|Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fuel and Power
|Minister of Fuel and Power
Sir Stafford Cripps
|Minister for Economic Affairs
Title next held bySir Arthur Salter
|Chancellor of the Exchequer
|Treasurer of the Labour Party
|Leader of the Labour Party
|Leader of the Opposition
|Notes and references|
|1. List of Ministers http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/releases/2006/march/ministers.htm|