74 Facts About Stanley Baldwin


Stanley Baldwin joined the family iron and steel making business and entered the House of Commons in 1908 as the member for Bewdley, succeeding his father Alfred.


Stanley Baldwin served as Financial Secretary to the Treasury and President of the Board of Trade in the coalition ministry of David Lloyd George and then rose rapidly: in 1922, Baldwin was one of the prime movers in the withdrawal of Conservative support from Lloyd George; he subsequently became Chancellor of the Exchequer in Bonar Law's Conservative ministry.


Stanley Baldwin called an election in December 1923 on the issue of tariffs and lost the Conservatives' parliamentary majority, after which Ramsay MacDonald formed a minority Labour government.


Stanley Baldwin's government saw the General Strike in 1926 and introduced the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act 1927 to curb the powers of trade unions.


Stanley Baldwin narrowly lost the 1929 general election and his continued leadership of the party was subject to extensive criticism by press barons Lord Rothermere and Lord Beaverbrook.


In 1935, Stanley Baldwin replaced MacDonald as prime minister and won the 1935 general election with another large majority.


Stanley Baldwin retired in 1937 and was succeeded by Neville Chamberlain.


At that time, Stanley Baldwin was regarded as a popular and successful prime minister, but for the final decade of his life and for many years afterwards he was vilified for having presided over high unemployment in the 1930s and as one of several British public figures who had tried to appease Adolf Hitler and who had supposedly not rearmed sufficiently to prepare for the Second World War.


Stanley Baldwin was born at Lower Park House in Worcestershire, England, to Alfred and Louisa Stanley Baldwin, and through his mother was a first cousin of the writer and poet Rudyard Kipling, with whom he was close for their entire lives.


Stanley Baldwin's schools were St Michael's School, at the time located in Slough, Buckinghamshire, followed by Harrow School.


Stanley Baldwin's father sent him to Mason College for one session of technical training in metallurgy as preparation.


Stanley Baldwin required facial reconstruction surgery from the pioneering surgeon Archibald MacIndoe.


Stanley Baldwin proved to be adept as a businessman, and acquired a reputation as a modernising industrialist.


Stanley Baldwin was appointed to the Privy Council in the 1920 Birthday Honours.


The Conservatives now had a clear majority in the House of Commons and could govern for five years before holding a general election, but Stanley Baldwin felt bound by Bonar Law's pledge at the previous election that there would be no introduction of tariffs without a further election.


Stanley Baldwin expected to unite his party but he divided it, for protectionism proved a divisive issue.


Stanley Baldwin remained prime minister until the opening of the new Parliament in January 1924, when his administration was defeated in a vote on its legislative programme set out in the King's Speech.


Stanley Baldwin successfully held on to the party leadership amid some colleagues' calls for his resignation.


Stanley Baldwin cooperated with MacDonald over Irish policy to stop it becoming a party-political issue.


Stanley Baldwin campaigned on the "impracticability" of socialism, the Campbell Case, the Zinoviev letter and the Russian Treaties.


Stanley Baldwin created the Organisation for the Maintenance of Supplies, a volunteer body of those opposed to the strike which was intended to complete essential work.


Stanley Baldwin deployed the military and volunteers to keep essential services running.


Stanley Baldwin's government was widely credited for such an effective response to the strike.


Stanley Baldwin accepted Weir's recommendations and they became law by the end of 1926.


In opposition, Stanley Baldwin was almost ousted as party leader by the press barons Lords Rothermere and Beaverbrook, whom he accused of enjoying "power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages".


Ramsden argues that Stanley Baldwin made dramatic permanent improvements to the organisation and effectiveness of the Conservative Party.


Stanley Baldwin enlarged the headquarters with professionals, professionalised the party agents, raised ample funds, and was an innovative user of the new mass media of radio and film.


Stanley Baldwin did not advocate total disarmament but believed that, as Lord Grey of Falloden had stated in 1925, "great armaments lead inevitably to war".


However between mid-September 1933 and the beginning of 1934 Stanley Baldwin's mind changed from hoping for disarmament to favouring rearmament, including parity in aircraft.


On 8 March 1934 Stanley Baldwin defended the creation of four new squadrons for the Royal Air Force against Labour criticisms and said of international disarmament:.


Stanley Baldwin rejected the "belligerent" views of those like Churchill and Robert Vansittart because he believed that the Nazis were rational men who would appreciate the logic of mutual and equal deterrence.


Stanley Baldwin believed war to be "the most fearful terror and prostitution of man's knowledge that ever was known".


Neville Chamberlain advised Stanley Baldwin to make rearmament the leading issue in the election campaign against Labour and said that if a rearmament programme was not announced until after the election, his government would be seen as having deceived the people.


However, Stanley Baldwin did not make rearmament the central issue in the election.


Stanley Baldwin said that he would support the League of Nations, modernise Britain's defences and remedy deficiencies, but he said: "I give you my word that there will be no great armaments".


Stanley Baldwin's motion was known eight days before it was moved, and a special Cabinet meeting decided how to deal with the motion, which dominated two other Cabinet meetings.


Stanley Baldwin responded by denying that the Luftwaffe was approaching equality and said it was "not 50 per cent" of the RAF.


Stanley Baldwin added that by the end of 1935 the RAF would still have "a margin of nearly 50 per cent" in Europe.


Churchill wrote to a friend: "I have never heard such a squalid confession from a public man as Stanley Baldwin offered us yesterday".


On 8 March 1934, Attlee said, after Stanley Baldwin defended the Air Estimates, "we on our side are out for total disarmament".


Stanley Baldwin still hoped that the King would choose the throne over Mrs Simpson.


Stanley Baldwin would have had to resign, and no other party leader would have served as the prime minister under the King, with the Labour Party having already indicated that it would not form a ministry to uphold impropriety.


Harold Nicolson, an MP who witnessed Stanley Baldwin's speech, wrote in his diary:.


Stanley Baldwin had defused a political crisis by turning it into a constitutional question.


John Charmley argued in his history of the Conservative Party that Stanley Baldwin was pushing for more democracy and less of an old aristocratic upper-class tone.


Stanley Baldwin supported the Munich Agreement and said to Chamberlain on 26 September 1938: "If you can secure peace, you may be cursed by a lot of hotheads but my word you will be blessed in Europe and by future generations".


Stanley Baldwin said the responsibility of a prime minister was not to commit a country to war until he was sure that it was ready to fight.


Stanley Baldwin said he would put industry on a war footing the next day, as the opposition to such a move had disappeared.


Stanley Baldwin did not have a secretary and so was not shielded from the often-unpleasant letters that were sent to him.


Stanley Baldwin applied for exemption for the iron gates of his country home on artistic grounds and his local council sent an architect to assess them.


Stanley Baldwin saw the draft of Churchill's speech and advised against it, which Churchill followed.


Stanley Baldwin's head isn't turned the least little bit by the great position he occupies in the eyes of the world.


Stanley Baldwin had lost his nerve in the House in the last year.


In December 1944, strongly advised by friends, Stanley Baldwin decided to respond to criticisms of him through a biographer.


Stanley Baldwin was cremated in Birmingham, and his ashes were buried in Worcester Cathedral.


Stanley Baldwin was a member of the Oddfellows and Foresters Friendly Society.


Peter Howard, writing in the Sunday Express, accused Stanley Baldwin of deceiving the country of the dangers that faced it in order not to rearm and so win the 1935 general election.


In July 1940, a bestseller Guilty Men appeared, which blamed Stanley Baldwin for failing to rearm enough.


Rowse criticised Stanley Baldwin for lulling the people into a false sense of security and as a practitioner in "the art of taking the people in":.


An index entry in the first volume of Churchill's "History of the Second World War" records Stanley Baldwin "admitting to putting party before country" for his alleged admission that he would not have won the 1935 election if he had pursued a more aggressive policy of rearmament.


In 1948, Reginald Bassett published an essay disputing the claim that Stanley Baldwin "confessed" to putting party before country and claimed that Stanley Baldwin was referring to 1933 and 1934 when a general election on rearmament would have been lost.


Young published an authorised biography of Stanley Baldwin that asserted that Stanley Baldwin united the nation and helped moderate the policies of the Labour Party.


Stanley Baldwin published a biography entitled My Father: The True Story.


In 1969 the first major biography of Stanley Baldwin appeared, of over 1,000 pages, written by Keith Middlemas and John Barnes, both Conservatives who wished to defend Stanley Baldwin.


In 1998, historian Andrew Thorpe wrote that apart from the questions of war and peace, Stanley Baldwin had a mixed reputation.


Stanley Baldwin was moved by social deprivation but not to the point of legislation and systematically avoided intervention in the economy and social system.


Stanley Baldwin's advisors were second rank figures like Davidson and Bridgeman.


Thorpe argued that Stanley Baldwin's handling of the 1926 general strike was "firm and uncompromising" but disliked the harsh Trade Disputes Act that followed because it was too far to the right of Stanley Baldwin's preferred moderation.


Thorpe praised Stanley Baldwin's handling of the Abdication Crisis in 1936, which allowed Stanley Baldwin to leave office in a blaze of glory.


Thorpe said that Stanley Baldwin often lacked drive and was too easily depressed, too pessimistic and too neglectful of foreign affairs.


In 1999, Philip Williamson published a collection of essays on Stanley Baldwin that attempted to explain his beliefs and defended his policies as prime minister.


Stanley Baldwin's defenders argued that with pacifist appeasement the dominant political view in Britain, France and the United States, he felt he could not start a programme of rearmament without a national consensus on the matter.


Williamson argued that Stanley Baldwin had helped create "a moral basis for rearmament in the mid 1930s" that contributed greatly to "the national spirit of defiance after Munich".


Williamson admitted that there was a clear postwar consensus that repudiated and denigrated all interwar governments: Stanley Baldwin was targeted with the accusation that he had failed to rearm Britain in the 1930s, despite Hitler's threat.