The Struggle against State Intervention 1962–70

  • Henry Pelling


Changes of public opinion even at the highest levels do not always coincide with changes of government, and if we are to choose a date for the beginning of widespread concern about the need for a national incomes policy, then 1962 is a better year to choose than 1964, when the Conservative Government was defeated in a general election. In 1962 the strong opposition that the ‘pay pause’ had encountered suggested that for the future some more flexible and less negative approach to the control of incomes was essential. The government therefore proposed to follow the ‘pause’, which was due to end in March 1962, with a period of moderate and orderly advance which it hoped to substitute for a ‘free-for-all’ of rapid increases in wages by the stronger unions designed to compensate for the period of the standstill. Selwyn Lloyd, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, therefore informed the T.U.C. ’s Economic Committee that for the rest of the year wage settlements should conform to a ‘guidinglight’ of a 2½ per cent increase. He invited the T.U.C. to join in sponsoring this policy and to agree to representation on a new body, to be called the National Economic Development Council, which would examine the long-term prospects for growth in the economy and advice on the processes for securing it.


Collective Bargaining Industrial Relation Labour Party Union Official Income Policy 
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Further Reading

  1. The Donovan Report and its associated research papers are of especial importance for this period. The story of the Rookes case, from the point of view of the plaintiff, is convincingly told in D. Rookes, Conspiracy (1968). For changes in the structure of trade unionism see G. S. Bain, Growth of White-Collar Unionism (Oxford, 1970). W. E. J. McCarthy, Closed Shop in Britain (Oxford, 1964) is relevant for the period. H. A. Turner, G. Clack and G. Roberts, Labour Relations in the Motor Industry (1967) discusses the problems of the most strike-prone of British industries. But Professor Turner is sceptical of the term’ strike-prone’ as applied to British industry generally: see his Is Britain Really Strike-Prone? (Cambridge, 1969). T. Lane and K. Roberts, Strike at Pilkingtons (1971) is a study of a seven-week unofficial strike. The views of the Oxford school of industrial relations experts will be found in a series of essays by A. Flanders, Management and the Unions (1970); it might be said to reveal the philosophy behind the Donovan Report. P. Jenkins, Battle of Downing Street (1970) is an able journalist’s account of the Labour Government’s attempt to pass an Industrial Relations Act. W. W. Paynter, British Trade Unions and the Problem of Change (1970) is a plea for industrial unionism uttered by a very experienced trade unionist. Among biographies and memoirs of leading union officers A. Moffat, My Life with the Miners (1965) and W. W. Craik, Sydney Hill and the National Union of Public Employees (1968) deserve mention. For the attitude of the unions to coloured immigration see S. Patterson, Race Relations in Britain, 1960–1967 (1969); E.J. B. Rose (ed.), Colour and Citizenship (1969); and B. Radin, ‘Coloured Workers and British Trade Unions’, Race, viii (1966).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Henry Pelling 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Pelling
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.St John’s CollegeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.The Queen’s CollegeOxfordUK

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