Saturday, February 21, 2009

Arthur Skeffington - Hayes & Harlington 1970

Arthur Skeffington
Election Address 1970
Hayes & Harlington

Dear Friends and Electors,

Having had the privilege of being your M.P. for 17 years, I have got to know many of you personally, either at my fortnightly advice service or at innumerable other meetings or as a result of the many thousands of fetters I have written for you. Many of you will, therefore, know me and where I stand on the great issues which face our Britain.

I have devoted my life to public service and tried to make myself fit for it. I have never disguised my belief that the solutions to our problems cannot be found alone in material factors. Policy must be based on sound moral principles; on the ideals of justice, fair play, the worth of the individual and, indeed, the whole Christian ethic.

Thus I have never asked for support on easy promises of unlimited material benefits. In 1966 I said in my message, "The way ahead for Britain in this troubled world will be tough and challenging." And it has been! But we have — people and Government — triumphed. Britain is, for the first time since 1945, paying her way; is able to pay for the food and raw materials she has to import.

So the way ahead is better than ever before if we don't desert, on June 18th, the principles which have brought us world success. This is the basic issue in this election.

And remember, in cash terms, we have secured our strong position in the world with a £550 million surplus from the massive deficit of £800 million inherited in 1964 from the Conservative Government. No wonder it has been called the "economic miracle". Yet as I show on the page opposite, we have been steadily building Britain at home; more schools, homes, hospitals and roads; social benefits, and pensions; more opportunities than ever before and the cheapest food in Europe. If we have a fault, it may be we have tried to do too much.

Now having made Britain strong we can go forward on the basis of that strength to continue our social policies of making Britain a better and finer place for all our people.

I hope you will help on June 18th by voting for this policy.

Sincerely yours,

Arthur Skeffington

Election Agent R.J. Came

Arthur Skeffington

Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington since 1953 (By-election death of Walter Ayles).

M.P for West Lewisham 1945-50.

Joint Parliamentary Secretary,

Ministry of Land and National Resources since 1964.

Contested Streatham 1935.

West Lewisham by-election 1938, reduced Tory vote by 7,000. L.C.C. (Peckham).

Born 1909.

Educated Streatham Grammar .'School and London University,

B.Sc. Economics (Hons.).

Teacher, economist and barrister.

Joined Labour Party 1923.

P.P.S. to John Hynd, M.P., and to George Buchanan, M.P.,

when Minister of Pensions 1945-47.

Passed into Law Enforcement of Contracts Act.

Member of Executive Committee of Fabian Society,

Chairman 1956.

Socialist Societies representative since 1953 on the National Executive of the Labour Party:

Chairman of its Local Government Sub-Committee.

Joint President, British Section of the Council of European Municipalities. Member of Political Purposes Committee, R.A.C.S (Co-op).

Member of National union of Teachers and National Union of Municipal & General Workers Union General & Manciple Workers Union

Board of Trade 1941.

Worked on "concentration of industry" policy under Professor G. C. Alien.

Assistant Director of Medical Supplies, Ministry of Supply, 1943-45.'

Member of Parliamentary delegations to East Africa 1948 and 1957 and U.S.A.

1949 and 1958.

Won League of Nations Scholarship to Prague; visited U.S.S.R.

and many other European countries.

Sometime member of the Civil Service

Arbitration Tribunal, Chairman of the Expert Working Surveys on Land and


Specially interested in education, land, law, local government.

Married, two sons. Hobbies: cricket, bee-keeping, gardening.