Sir Richard Stafford Cripps was a British Labour Party politician, barrister, and diplomat.
42 Facts About Stafford Cripps
Stafford Cripps became a leading spokesman for the left-wing and co-operation in a Popular Front with Communists before 1939, in which year he was expelled from the Labour Party.
Stafford Cripps later served as Minister of Aircraft Production, an important post but outside the inner War Cabinet.
Stafford Cripps rejoined the Labour Party in 1945, and after the war; served in the Attlee ministry, first as President of the Board of Trade and between 1947 and 1950 as Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Stafford Cripps kept the wartime rationing system in place to hold down consumption during an "age of austerity", promoted exports and maintained full employment with static wages.
Stafford Cripps was born in Chelsea, London, the son of Charles Stafford Cripps, a barrister and later Conservative MP, and the former Theresa Potter, the sister of Beatrice Webb and Catherine Courtney.
Stafford Cripps grew up in a wealthy family and was educated at Winchester College, where the Headmaster described him as "a thoroughly good fellow" and at University College London, where he studied chemistry.
Stafford Cripps left science for the law, and in 1913 was called to the bar by the Middle Temple.
Stafford Cripps served in the First World War as a Red Cross ambulance driver in France, and then managed a chemical factory producing armaments.
Stafford Cripps practised as a barrister during the 1920s, where he specialised in patent cases, and was reported to be the highest paid lawyer in England.
Stafford Cripps was a member of the Church of England and in the 1920s became a leader in the World Alliance to Promote International Friendship through the Churches, as his father had been.
From 1923 to 1929 Stafford Cripps was the group's treasurer and its most energetic lecturer.
In 1931, Stafford Cripps was elected in a by-election for Bristol East.
In 1932, Stafford Cripps helped found and became the leader of the Socialist League, which was composed largely of intellectuals and teachers from the Independent Labour Party who rejected its decision to disaffiliate from Labour.
In 1936, Labour's National Executive Committee dissociated itself from a speech in which Stafford Cripps said he did not "believe it would be a bad thing for the British working class if Germany defeated us".
Stafford Cripps was an early advocate of a united front against the rising threat of fascism and he opposed an appeasement policy towards Nazi Germany.
Rather than face expulsion from Labour, Stafford Cripps dissolved the Socialist League in 1937.
In early 1939 Stafford Cripps was expelled from the Labour Party for his advocacy of a Popular Front with the Communist Party, the Independent Labour Party, the Liberal Party and anti-appeasement Conservatives.
In 1938 Stafford Cripps visited Jamaica to investigate violence which took place during mass strikes.
When Hitler attacked the Soviet Union in June 1941, Stafford Cripps became a key figure in forging an alliance between the western powers and the Soviet Union.
In 1942, Stafford Cripps returned to Britain and made a broadcast about the Soviet war effort.
The popular response was phenomenal, and Stafford Cripps rapidly became one of the most popular politicians in the country, despite having no party backing.
Stafford Cripps was appointed a member of the War Cabinet, with the jobs of Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons, and was considered for a short period after his return from Moscow as a rival to Churchill in his hold on the country.
Stafford Cripps designed the specific proposals himself, but they were too radical for Churchill and the Viceroy, and too conservative for the Indians, who demanded immediate independence.
In November 1942, Stafford Cripps stepped down from being Leader of the House of Commons and was appointed Minister of Aircraft Production, a position outside the War Cabinet in which he served with substantial success until May 1945, when the wartime coalition ended.
Stafford Cripps was unhappy with the British black propaganda campaign against Germany.
In Britain's desperate post-war economic circumstances, Stafford Cripps became associated with the policy of "austerity".
The Stafford Cripps Learning and Teaching Centre on Cranfield's campus is named after him.
Also in 1946, Stafford Cripps returned to India as part of the "Cabinet Mission", which proposed formulae for independence to the Indian leaders.
In 1947, amid a growing economic and political crisis, Stafford Cripps tried to persuade Attlee to retire in favour of Ernest Bevin; however, Bevin was in favour of Attlee remaining.
Stafford Cripps was instead appointed to the new post of Minister for Economic Affairs.
Six weeks later Hugh Dalton resigned as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Stafford Cripps succeeded him, with the position of Minister for Economic Affairs now merged into the Chancellorship.
Stafford Cripps increased taxes and continued strategic rationing which muted consumption to boost the balance of trade and stabilise the Pound Sterling seeing Britain trade its way out of a real risk of fiscal and economic gloom.
Stafford Cripps was among those who brought about the nationalisation of strategic industries such as coal and steel.
Amid financial problems from 1948 to 1949, Stafford Cripps maintained a high level of social spending on housing, health, and other welfare services, while maintaining the location of industry policy.
Stafford Cripps had suffered for many years from colitis, inflammation of the lower bowel; a condition aggravated by stress.
Stafford Cripps was the sororal nephew of Beatrice Webb and Catherine Courtney.
Stafford Cripps's mother died when he was four years old.
Stafford Cripps was married to Isobel Swithinbank, who became the Honourable Lady Cripps, daughter of Harold William Swithinbank, better known as Dame Isobel Cripps, and had four children.
Stafford Cripps was a vegetarian, certainly for health reasons and possibly for ethical reasons.
Stafford Cripps died aged 62 of cancer on 21 April 1952 while in Zurich, Switzerland.
Stafford Cripps's ashes are buried in the churchyard in Sapperton, Gloucestershire, and his wife is buried beside him.