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MacMillan's Memoir "Riding the Storm, 1956-1959" : A Critical Analysis


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Cho, Naan
Term Paper, AP European History Class, December 2010



Table of Contents


I. Introduction
II. Brief Introduction of Macmillan's Memoir
III. Different Means of Approach when Dealing the Major Theses in Macmillan's Memoir
III.1 Detecting Omission
III.2 Rebutting the commonly accepted criticism targeted at Macmillan
III.3 Interpreting certain characteristics of Macmillan
IV. Historical Interpretation of Major Theses
IV.1 Nuclear deterrent
IV.1.1 Macmillan's account of Britain's nuclear deterrent
IV.1.2 Omission of the Windscale accident
IV.2 The Suez Crisis
IV.2.1 Macmillan's tone when he writes about the Suez Crisis
IV.2.2 Macmillan's role during the Suez Crisis and the impact of his irresponsible attitude
IV.2.3 Macmillan's omission of the detailed circumstances of the Suez Crisis
IV.3 Premium Bond
IV.3.1 Macmillan's account of his premium bond scheme
IV.3.2 Macmillan's unflappability in his propulsion of the premium bond scheme and its success
IV.4 Foreign Policy
IV.4.1 A rebuttal of the commonly accepted criticism targeted at Macmillan regarding his French policies based on the contents of his memoir
IV.4.2 Macmillan's wrong interpretation of Britain's status in its relationship with America
IV.5 Resignation of Macmillan's three Treasury ministers
IV.5.1 Macmillan's account of the resignation of three Treasury ministers in 1958
IV.5.2 Macmillan's way of handling his ministers and the impact it had throughout his life
IV.6 Macmillan's condemnation of the Soviet Union's immoral acts
IV.6.1 Macmillan's condemnation of the Soviet Union's immoral acts towards the Hungarians
IV.6.2 Criticism towards Macmillan for condemning the Soviet Union's morality when he himself engaged in immorality towards the Cossacks
IV.6.3 A rebuttal of the above criticism targeted at Macmillan
V. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography



I. Introduction
            While a memoir derives its authenticity and power from lived experience, it is explicit that the author benefits from hindsight and thus can impose a degree of coherence on a fragmented past. Thus, it is necessary to maintain a closer look towards the memoir and interpret the contents by historical research in order to check the vagaries of memory and discern the scenes and conversations unlikely to have been preserved intact in memory and thus hinder the reader from getting closer to the essential truth of the event. This also applies to the memoir that will be dealt throughout this paper: Macmillan's 'Riding the Storm' which covers the period when he was at the peak of his power. Like the man himself, Macmillan's 'Riding the Storm' is ambiguous and tends to pose a shadowy screen that prevents the reader from approaching closer to the truth. Thus, the purpose of this paper would be to uncover the ambiguous layers that Macmillan's memoir has laid out by maintaining a distant stance from the memoir itself. However, due to this ambiguity, there are also certain theses that have been wrongly subject to misinterpretation and criticism. Therefore, this paper will also rebut to the some of the commonly accepted criticisms that have their target on Macmillan. Thus, different approaches will be applied when dealing with the major theses that appear in Macmillan's memoir in order to view these theses from a historical point of view. Therefore, a brief introduction of Macmillan's memoir will be first given in order for a better understanding of the memoir itself. Next, the different means of approach that have been applied when dealing with the major these will be briefly explained. Then, major theses that appear in Macmillan's memoir will be elaborated using those different means of approach. Finally, an evaluation of Macmillan's memoir from a historical point of view shall be given.

II. Brief Introduction of Macmillan's 'Riding the Storm'
            The memoir 'Riding the storm' starts with Macmillan's appointment as Chancellor of Exchequer in the year of 1955. He gives an overall candid account of his days as Chancellor of Exchequer such as his negative views about his predecessor Rab Butler whom he describes as "naturally sensitive" (1) in his memoir. However, his notable omission of the truth of the Suez Crisis leaves this incident heavily veiled and ambiguous more than ever. After his appointment as prime minister of Britain in the year of 1957, Macmillan states six objectives. His top priority among these was "to restore the confidence of the people in their government and themselves" (2); since Britain had never proven to be so weak, Macmillan stipulated the restoration of the national pride of the British people as his first objective above others. Thus, it can be seen that Macmillan thought himself as a figurehead of confidence in which his political nickname the Great Entertainer is fitting. He gives a rather detailed account of his endeavors to restore amiable relationships with America starting from the Bermuda Conference in 1957. However, by analyzing his accounts of the Bermuda Conference, it can be seen that he enjoyed plenty of luck within his foreign policies; his intimate friendship with Eisenhower, president of America played a key role in his success. His style of writing is elegant; thus, his economic policies appear to have had a positive response among his government although some ministers even resigned (3) in order to protest against his policies. Nevertheless, Macmillan brought true domestic success towards the nation which he states explicitly in his Bedford speech of July 1958 (4) when he told the nation they had "never had it so good". Additionally, Macmillan does not elaborate on the Windscale fire in his memoir although it was his decision to increase demands in the Windscale nuclear plant which contributed to the accident. Finally, the memoir ends with Macmillan elaborating about the dissolution of his government.

III. Different Means of Approach When Dealing the Major Theses in Macmillan's Memoir

III.1 Detecting Omission
            For theses that have an intentional major omission in order to avoid responsibility or criticism, this mean of approach shall be applied. Constant skipping over of certain issues that have the possibility of raising criticism can be regarded as an inherent nature of a memoir. Therefore, for certain theses in Macmillan's memoir that have major events or issues omitted, this mean of approach shall be taken in order to get a step closer to the truth. The omitted details shall be elaborated along with an in depth analysis of how elegantly Macmillan glosses over the exact details.

III.2 Rebutting the commonly accepted criticisms targeted at Macmillan
            A closer look at certain theses that have been elaborated in Macmillan's memoir reveals certain aspects of Macmillan that have been subject to excessive criticism. In other words, the prime minister seems to be receiving more criticism than he deserves, especially in circumstances where the outcome was to some degree inevitable. Thus, by maintaining a keen eye towards the steps of process that have been elaborated in Macmillan's memoir, this paper will take a novel approach towards certain aspects of Macmillan in order to take a step closer to the truth.

III.3 Interpreting Certain Characteristics of Macmillan
            Examining certain theses that appear in Macmillan's memoir reveals certain characteristics of Macmillan that shaped his way of thinking in economics or politics. Rather than relying on the pejorative adjectives that certain biographers use when describing Macmillan's characteristics, this paper will focus on interpreting certain characteristics of Macmillan and how they appeared in his policies. This will serve as a useful tool to take a step closer to the essential truth of the many events that happened during Macmillan's life.

IV. Historical Interpretation of Major Theses

IV.1 Nuclear Deterrent

IV.1.1 Macmillan's Account of Britain's Nuclear Deterrent
            Macmillan gives a relatively detailed account of his support for the British nuclear deterrent. In Chapter 28 'Russia and the Bomb', he stresses the importance of the development of the British nuclear deterrent. He gives two main principles that the defence of Europe should be based on. First was that there must be sufficient conventional forces to repel a minor attack to ensure that they can succeed upon a basis of avoidance of the main risks against the enemy's infiltrations and erosions into European territory. Second was that if such an attack was to occur, there must be sufficient following action by forces tactically armed with the strength to hold them at bay until such time. (5) Macmillan firmly states that the solution to these two principles was the development of nuclear deterrents. However, he stresses in his memoir that Bulganin's letter was formidable in the sense that it emphasized disarmament and Anglo-Soviet co-operation over the whole field of these immense problems. Macmillan writes elegantly that despite these obstacles posed by the Soviet Union, he successfully undertook nuclear tests in Britain which would contribute to Europe's peace and harmony in the long run. However there is a notable omission within Macmillan's account regarding Britain's nuclear deterrent. Although Macmillan gives a detailed explanation of the motives that made him develop Britain's nuclear deterrent along with a certain amount of self-praise towards his actions that did not comply to Bulganin's requests, he seems to slither away from the exact details of how Britain undertook its nuclear tests. In other words, he avoids an explanation of his nuclear deterrent plans. Contemplation of this issue reveals a major omission which would have probably been intentional.

IV.1.2 Omission of the Windscale accident
            On 10 October 1957, the graphite core of a British nuclear reactor at Windscale, Cumberland (now Sellafield, Cumbria) caught fire, releasing substantial amounts of radioactive contamination into the surrounding area. The event, known as the Windscale fire, was the worst nuclear accident in Great Britain. However, Macmillan does not elaborate on the Windscale fire in his memoir although it was his decision to increase demands in the Windscale nuclear plant which contributed to the accident. The reactors were built in a short time near the tiny village of Seascale, Cumberland, and were known as Windscale Pile 1 and Windscale Pile 2, housed in large, concrete buildings a few hundred feet from one another. The reactors were graphite-moderated and air-cooled. Because nuclear fission produces large amounts of heat, it was necessary to cool the reactor cores by blowing cold air through channels in the graphite (6). Although the plant's initial purpose was to produce plutonium for the British atom bomb, the successful explosion of the British atom bomb resulted in the USA designing a thermonuclear bomb that required tritium. Since Britain did not have any facility to produce tritium, they decided to use the Windscale piles. This change of purpose led to a major pressure towards increasing demands; it is said that this pressure resulted in these reactor cores not being sufficiently cooled. Although the release of radiation by the Windscale fire was greatly exceeded by the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, the fire has been described as the worst reactor accident until Three Mile Island in 1979. Nonetheless, Macmillan does not even mention this incident although it is quite obvious that he played a certain role since the Windscale plant was constructed for purely military purposes. Therefore, the omission of this incident in Macmillan's memoir could be viewed as intentional in order for him to avoid responsibility.

IV.2 The Suez Crisis

IV.2.1 Macmillan's tone when he writes about the Suez Crisis
            Macmillan writes about the Suez Crisis in his memoir but gives a very limited amount of information. Moreover a tone of trying to avoid responsibility can be discerned. In his account after he was 'suddenly' appointed as prime minister of Britain, he writes that the clearing of the Canal, the indignities which would, no doubt, be imposed upon him and his cabinet due to former prime minister Anthony Eden's mishandling of the crisis must be solved. Moreover, the problem of oil and the dangers of fresh interruptions in the flow, and the question of whether, when the Canal was ready for use, the Egyptian authorities would accept sterling in payment or try to demand gold or dollars had been handed down to him and thus, relied on his capacity. Taking a closer look towards his accounts, one can easily discern Macmillan's tone of trying to avoid responsibility; in other words, he is striving to make it sound like the Suez Crisis had nothing to do with him and that the aftermath of the crisis had been handed down to him because of former prime minister Eden's deficiency. However, historical documents reveal that Macmillan did indeed play a certain role during the Suez Crisis.

IV.2.2 Macmillan's role during the Suez Crisis and the impact of his irresponsible attitude
            One of the most important and controversial events in British history since the Second World War, the Suez Crisis resulted in deep political and public division in Britain. Documents reveal that Harold Macmillan was one of the protagonists during the Suez Crisis and must have been aware of the concealed circumstances of the crisis. Moreover, he is well known for changing his stance as soon as the British and French incorporated military forces. Initially, he had been one of the strongest supporters of resolute action. However, in a meeting of the British cabinet on 6 November when the British invaded Port Said, he raised stark warnings of economic peril as a result of the action. (7)
            In Harold Wilson's caustic phrase, Macmillan at Suez was "first in, first out." Records reveal that it was he who had hysterically insisted that he would pawn every picture in the National Gallery rather than accept humiliation at the hands of Nasser. Moreover, it was he who had pressed for military action without any assurance of American support : and eventually it was he who, having miscalculated the financial position, had threatened to resign if there was not an immediate cease-fire. Despite his miscalculations, Macmillan parceled himself to look like a resolute figure emerging from the wreckage and severely criticized his predecessor Anthony Eden's dealing of the Suez Crisis. Since the public would not have known of the exact details during the Suez Crisis at that time, Macmillan's parceling of himself as the minister who would clean up the mess his predecessor had left the country in would have been understandable and welcoming to the public. However, it would have certainly appeared cunning and irresponsible to his fellow politicians which would have resulted in his decrease in popularity. Moreover, after this incident, many judged him as a politician who endeavored to distance himself from the consequences-in one word, irresponsible. Thus, Macmillan should have been more deliberate of his actions during this timid period since the ability to gain popularity from party members is also an important element in a politician's life.

IV.2.3 Macmillan's Omission of the Detailed Circumstances of the Suez Crisis
            The Suez Crisis, whih escalated into the Tripartite Aggression, a war fought by Britain, France, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. The attack followed Egypt's decision of 26 July 1956 to nationalize, without compensation, the Suez Canal, after the withdrawal of an offer by Britain and the United States to fund the building of the Aswan Dam, which was partly in response to Egypt recognizing the People's Republic of China during the height of tensions between China and Taiwan. The three allies, especially Israel, were mainly successful in attaining their immediate military objectives, but pressure from the United States and the USSR at the United Nations and elsewhere forced them to withdraw. Britain and France completely failed in their political and strategic aim of controlling the canal (8). Thus Britain not only failed to accomplish its objective but lost its status of one of the leading powers of the world. Like many other British historical documents that write about this crisis, Macmillan's memoir only mentions about the ostensible details during the Suez Crisis or the actions that he undertook in order to settle the aftermath of the crisis. Whether it is because that revealing the underlying circumstances might jeopardize Britain's honor or that Macmillan himself played a certain role in the failure of the invasions remains as mysterious as ever. Thus it can be seen that Macmillan's omission of the detailed circumstances of the Suez Crisis despite him being a protagonist in the process retains importance.

IV.3 Premium Bond

IV.3.1 Macmillan's Account of his Premium Bond Scheme
            In his memoir, Macmillan elaborates about his later days as Chancellor of Exchequer throughout three chapters. One of the major themes in these three chapters is his premium bond scheme which was announced in his budget of 17 April 1956 and was one of his major innovations at the Treasury. He gives a detailed account of his motives of making this scheme and elaborates on the process which eventually became a big hit in the public. Premium bond proved to be extremely successful during the aftermath of the Suez Crisis since it stimulated the stagnated customers. The major advantage of premium bonds is that you could win a large prize and many shrewd investors will invest in premium bonds in the hope of winning the large 1 million Pound Sterling prize and along the way they often win the smaller prizes. Moreover premium bonds can be cashed in at any time and the full value of the redemption can be given. There are no penalty clauses for cashing in premium bonds and there is no minimum length that people must keep. Moreover, although some claim that there is the danger of personal information leaking out, the government guarantees that the NS&I will keep the personnel information of all winners confidential. In other words, the NS&I does not reveal any details, not even the identity of the 1 million Pound Sterling premium bond winners. Thus, Macmillan's scheme of premium bond inevitably thrived during the aftermath of World War II as he himself proudly elaborates in his memoir. However, he does have the right to be proud of his premium bond success because it indeed brought economical success to the British economy.

IV.3.2 Macmillan's unflappability in his propulsion of the premium bond scheme and its success
            When first announced, Macmillan's premium bond scheme stimulated great confusion and shock. The idea itself was unprecedented and innovational especially for a conserved British society. It also brought up resistance among government members; Labour spokesman Harold Wilson urged the chancellor to take the sale of premium bonds out of his financial proposals and allow MPs to examine the idea in more detail as part of the government's bill on gambling and betting. Gibson, secretary of the Churches' Committee on Gambling said he understood the chancellor's aim but rejected the plan. "As the prizes are distributed by chance the deal therefore becomes a gamble, because the gains of the few are at the loss of the whole body of investors, whether they want to gamble or not," he said (9). Nonetheless, Macmillan propelled his scheme of premium bonds with his unique unflappability. He withstood the mockery and skepticism of the other party members. Eventually he proved that the premium bond with its tax-free prizes brought millions of people who had so far not found the conventional forms of savings attractive into the fold. Thus, Macmillan's success due to his unflappability and strong conviction that did not waver under external conditions can be seen throughout this example. Thus, although many criticize Macmillan for his unflappability, one can realize that a certain amount of unflappability may have proven useful during Macmillan's time when the aftermath of World War II and the Suez Crisis had rocked Britain.

IV.4 Foreign Policy

IV.4.1 A rebuttal of the commonly accepted criticism targeted at Macmillan regarding his French policies based on the contents of his memoir
            The French veto of Britain's entrance to the EEC is regarded as Macmillan's greatest failures during his time in the office. Many biographers have severely criticized Macmillan's failure of British entrance to the EEC; they claim that it was Macmillan's tactical deficiency that led to this loss. However, by taking a closer look at Macmillan's memoir, one can realize that Britain's failure of entering the EEC had its roots in other reasons. Therefore, this paper will rebut the commonly accepted criticism towards Harold Macmillan that Britain's failure of entering the EEC was due to his deficiency.
            The British bid for membership did not fail, as many argue, due to tactical errors on the part of the British government, but because of fundamental conflicts of interest. Since de Gaulle viewed the EEC as the potential vehicle for his ambitions of France, he was supportive only on his own terms and rejected anything that had the possibility of expanding American or Soviet influence. Moreover, he was suspicious of enlargement itself since it would have the possibility of threatening French power. Since Macmillan had stipulated one of his major objectives as restoring an amiable relationship with the U.S. after the Suez Crisis and had successfully fulfilled his goal, it was inevitable for his diplomatic measures to clash with those of de Gaulle's. Moreover, while some biographers contend that Macmillan was too pro-French and had danced after de Gaulle's tune, deeper analysis reveals that this was not the case between Macmillan and de Gaulle. Peter Magnold writes in his book that few if any British ministers like Harold Macmillan had exercised so much influence in the political affairs of modern France: one French historian described him as that of "confidant, adviser, temporizer, arbiter, and spur" (10). Thus, the friendship between Macmillan and de Gaulle was feline and sensitive-Macmillan was not weak or thoughtless when he negotiated with de Gaulle as it is often portrayed in many biographies.
            Moreover, while many claim that Britain's failure to enter the EEC resulted in its economic or politic growth being stagnated, deeper analysis reveals that this is not the case. British industry remained protected and avoided head-to-head competition during the sixties is based on misleading statistics. The most common statistics that are used to back up the claim that British industry was heavily protected and was the worst than that of elsewhere on the continent are those of Broadberry's (11). Broadberry gives statistics that show the simple ratio of total duties to total imports and claims that these ratios prove the level of protection imposed by the British government. However, it is clear that the simple ratio of total duties to total imports cannot offer absolute guidance to the level of protection given to manufacturers prior to the 1970s. Moreover, recent research by Wendy Asbeek Brusse and Richard Griffiths has found out that international cartels were re-established in Europe after World War II on a far more extensive basis. Therefore, it is hard to see British practice as any worse than that of elsewhere on the continent (12). Moreover, although many claim that economic growth was stagnated in Britain due to its failure to enter the EEC, he lacks logical reasoning that proves the link between open competition and growth since in some countries, cartels coincided with high rates of growth. Therefore, it is uncertain whether earlier entry would have resulted in greater economic growth and stimulated the various sectors of the British economy. Thus, a revaluation of the commonly accepted view of Macmillan regarding his foreign policies in Europe is needed.

IV.4.2 Macmillan's wrong interpretation of Britain's status in its relationship with America
            Macmillan's inaccurate interpretation of Britain's position in the Anglo-American relationship can be seen explicitly in this memoir. This thesis is of an importance since it shows how a series of misinterpretations led to a failure in the future. By reading his accounts of the Bermuda conference, the reader can get the impression that Macmillan believes that it was his diplomatic wit that enabled the restoration of an amiable relationship between America and Britain. However, it can easily be discerned that Macmillan's intimate relationship with Eisenhower played a key role in his diplomatic success. Moreover, Macmillan seems to be misinterpreting Britain's status in the Anglo-American relationship. In his memoir, he states "But it is clear that we are not going to be the suppliants at this conference. It is rather the other way around" which is clearly an overestimation of Britain's status in the international community. Thus, the reader can feel a hint of conceitedness in Macmillan's memoir. Unlike Macmillan's anticipation that Britain would lead the diplomatic measures with America, Britain could not play any role during the Cuba missile crisis of 1962. Thus, it can be concluded that Macmillan had over-estimated Britain's status in his diplomacy with America; it was rather luck that had played an important role in Britain's diplomacy with America. Therefore, by interpreting a memoir while maintaining a certain distance, the reader is able to approach closer to the truth.

IV.5 Resignation of Macmillan's three Treasury ministers

IV.5.1 Macmillan's account of the resignation of three Treasury ministers in 1958
            Macmillan brought the monetary concerns of the Exchequer into office; the economy was his prime concern. His One Nation approach to the economy was to seek high or full employment. This contrasted with his mainly monetarist Treasury ministers who argued that any support of sterling required strict controls on money and hence an unavoidable rise in unemployment. Their advice was rejected and in January 1958 the three Treasury ministers Peter Thorneycroft, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Birch, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, and Enoch Powell, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, resigned. Macmillan, away on a tour of the Commonwealth, brushed aside this incident as 'a little local difficulty' (13).

IV.5.2 Macmillan's way of handling his ministers and the impact it had throughout his life
            One of Macmillan's failures was to gain popularity among his ministers; it is said that he could not gain popularity because he was 'fussy' and 'dogmatic' to his ministers. Macmillan was a shameless intervener in the business of his ministers, especially those he suspected of lacking dash or grip. Moreover, he was ungenerous to his people in the cabinet; no matter how loyal they were to him, if they did not comply to his measures, he either condemned them severely or sacked them. A classic example of this was when he was talking in the early 1980s to his official biographer, Alistair Horne, about Ted Heath: '... Hengist and Horsa were very dull people. Now, as you know, they colonized Kent; consequently the people of Kent have ever since been very slightly-well, you know ... Ted was an excellent Chief Whip ... a first class staff officer, but no army commander ...' (14). Moreover, one of his favorite dismissive epithets for his ministers was 'good chief of staff'. If these condemnations did not have much effect on their attitudes, Macmillan either sacked them or left them no choice but to resign. Moreover, even when his ministers resigned, he brushed away these affairs as 'little local difficulties' which made him gain his reputation as being 'unflappable' in front of the public. Thus, it can be seen that Macmillan's method of handling his ministers resulted in his unpopularity which led to the satire boom in the early sixties. Therefore, it can be seen that Macmillan's inability to handle his fellow politicians resulted in his aspects as a politician being severely dismantled by his successors.

IV.6 Macmillan's condemnation of the Soviet Union's immoral acts

IV.6.1 Macmillan's condemnation of the Soviet Union's immoral acts towards the Hungarians
            In his memoir Macmillan condemns the Soviet Union's immoral acts towards the Hungarians. While exact numbers are not known, it is estimated that up to 600,000 Hungarians were captured altogether, including an estimated 200,000 civilians. An estimated 200,000 citizens perished. It was part of a larger system of the usage of foreign forced labor in the Soviet Union. In addition, an uncertain number of Hungarians were deported from Transylvania to the Soviet Union in the context of the Romania-Hungary Transylvanian dispute. In 1944, many Hungarians were accused by Romanians of being "partisans" and transferred to the Soviet administration. In early 1945, during the "Degermanization" campaign" all Hungarians with German names were transferred to the Soviets in accordance with the Soviet Order 7161 (15). Macmillan's condemns these acts of the Soviet Union as 'immoral' when he mentions about Bulganin's threats towards the British for disarmament.

IV.6.2 Criticism towards Macmillan for condemning the Soviet Union's morality when he himself engaged in immorality towards the Cossacks
            As a historian of the forced repatriation of Soviet citizens during and after World War II, Tolstoy claims that he had revealed the 'real culprit' who had engineered the handing over of the Cossacks to the USSR. He points out two trails that led him to this revelation in his journal : a quote from a British Foreign Office Official and a revealing report of May 14, 1945 given to him by his 'friendly' Croatian scholar, Jerome Jareb. Tolstoy maintains that the phrase 'ghastly mistake' used in the quote from an official from the British Foreign Office who had said that ¡®the handing over of Slovenes and others by the Eighth Army in Austria to Tito's forces at the end of May was, of course, a ghastly mistake which was rectified as soon as it was reported to headquarters' appeared suspicious to him. He asserts that the phrase 'ghastly mistake' seemed quite unlikely for an official to use unless the Foreign Office had actually committed something guilty and was determined to come up with an alibi. Moreover, he claims that a revealing report given to him by a Croatian scholar made him 'feel who his man was'; however, he does not reveal the exact details written in that report. Conclusively, Tolstoy claims that it was Harold Macmillan who had engineered the whole affair and was wholly responsible for the repatriation of the Cossacks in Lienz, Austria on May 28th, 1945. Thus, he concludes Macmillan as an accessory to mass murder in the repatriation of Cossacks.

IV.6.3 A rebuttal of the above criticism targeted at Macmillan
            Tolstoy's view of Macmillan's role in the repatriation of Cossacks seems to have been magnified. Two points of refutation will be given that are against Tolstoy's view of Macmillan that he was an accessory to mass murder in the repatriation of Cossacks.
            First, Macmillan did not go beyond the Yalta Conference which determined the fate of the Cossacks signed by President Roosevelt, Premier Joseph Stalin, and Prime Minister Churchill. During the conference, Stalin obtained Allied agreement to the repatriation of every Soviet citizen held prisoner because they feared that the Soviets either might delay or refuse repatriation of the Allied POWs whom the Red Army had liberated from Nazi POW camps (17). Thus, it can be seen that the repatriation of Cossacks had been determined during the Yalta Conference and that Macmillan had merely played his role as a member of the British government. Thus, concluding Macmillan as an accessory to mass murder in the repatriation of Cossacks is misleading since the decision to repatriate Cossacks had been made at the cabinet level and that what he did was merely obeying the orders given by the Cabinet as a member of the British government.
            Second, Tolstoy is contradicting himself by pinpointing Macmillan as the greatest war criminal in the repatriation of Cossacks since he himself admits that this period remains as a sinister and strange mystery and that a satisfactory explanation cannot be given. Since it is impossible and illogical to pinpoint the greatest war criminal of an event where reliable evidence is scarce and exact circumstances are unknown, it is contradictory of Tolstoy to pinpoint Macmillan as the greatest war criminal. Moreover, Tolstoy does not prove the reliability of the reports that he claims to have led him towards revealing Macmillan's role in the repatriation of Cossacks. Since reports are prone to be biased, Tolstoy should have given a sufficient explanation of the reliability of those reports he uses against Macmillan in order to strengthen his stance. However, he fails to do so which proves the weakness of his stance.
            Conclusively, it can be seen that Tolstoy's claim of Macmillan as an accessory to mass murder in the repatriation of the Cossacks is an exaggeration of Macmillan's role, considering the international circumstances. Moreover, the steps of analysis Tolstoy displays in his journals and books are unreliable. Thus, reinterpretation and revaluation are needed concerning the claim of Tolstoy that Macmillan was an accessory to mass murder in the repatriation of the Cossacks.

V. Conclusion
            A memoir can serve as a useful tool when foraging into a fragmented past since it has reconstructed the past events so that a smooth flow can be discerned. However, since the author benefits from hindsight, certain facts may be glossed over; thus, historical research is needed to take a step closer to the truth. In addition to being the subject of examination, a memoir can also serve as a tool to take a different approach towards the commonly accepted views of a certain politician. Further analysis of the memoir can reveal certain facts that have been glossed over by pejorative biographers or historians which can aid the reader towards maintaining a novel approach towards the commonly accepted criticisms targeted at Macmillan. Thus, this paper has focused on taking different approaches to the major theses that appear in Macmillan's memoir and revaluate the ambiguous life of Harold Macmillan. Theses like the Suez Crisis or Britain's nuclear deterrent have been subject to reexamination due to their omissions. In contrast, theses like premium bonds which have been frequently ignored by many biased biographers who contend that Macmillan was a very conservative politician have been revaluated due to their historical value. Moreover, theses like Macmillan's foreign policies toward the French have been subject to a novel approach based on the contents of Macmillan's memoir. Finally, certain theses have been reexamined due to their historical value of revealing Macmillan's certain characteristic that have had an impact on his political way of thinking. Throughout these different means of approach, a revaluation of the ambiguous Harold Macmillan and his memoir has been has been completed. For the purpose of reading a memoir lies in this - a novel approach towards the commonly accepted facts in order to reconstruct a historical interpretation.


Notes
           
(1)      Macmillan 1971 p.31
(2)      Macmillan 1971 p.198.
(3)      When their advice to Macmillan was rejected in January 1958, the three Treasury ministers Peter Thorneycroft, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Birch, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, and Enoch Powell, the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, resigned. Macmillan, away on a tour of the Commonwealth, brushed aside this incident as 'a little local difficulty'.
(4)      Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, in the East of England where Macmillan gave his speech telling the country that they had 'never had it so good' but also warned them of the dangers of inflation.
(5)      Macmillan 1971 p.294
(6)      Article: Windscale Fire from Wikipedia
(7)      Article Harold Macmillan from Wikipedia
(8)      Article: Suez Crisis from Wikipedia
(9)      Article: Harold Macmillan and the Premium Bond from BBC Feb. 22 2005
(10)      Mangold 2006 p.3
(11)      Broadberry wrote 'British Economic Policy and Performance in the Early Post-War Period'(1996) which has statistics regarding the ratio of duties to total imports during the 1960s. His statistics are used by many to back up the claim that Britain was in a worse economical state than the continental countries prior to the 1970s.
(12)      Rollings 1996
(13)      Article Harold Macmillan from Wikipedia
(14)      Horne 1991, p.98
(15)      Article: Forced Labour of Hungarians by the Soviet Union from Wikipedia
(16)      Tolstoy 1988
(17)      Wikipedia : Article 'Repatriation of the Cossacks'



Bibliography The following websites were visited in December 2010

1.      Harold Macmillan, Riding the Storm 1956-1959, New York, Harper & Row, 1971. 1995.
2.      Article: Harold Macmillan, from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Macmillan
3.      Article: The Suez Crisis, from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suez_Crisis
4.      Stephen Broadberry, British Economic Policy and Performance in the Early Post-War Period, London, Business History, 1996
5.      British Industry and European Integration 1961-1973: From First Application to Final Membership, Neil Rollings, Oxford University, 1997
6.      Alistair Horne, Harold Macmillan, New York, Viking, 1991
7.      Article: Harold Macmillan and the Premium Bond from BBC Feb 22 2005 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/4285909.stm
8.      Peter Caterall, The Macmillan Diaries, London, Macmillan, 2003
9.      Article: European Economic Community from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Economic_Community
10.      Article: Charles De Gaulle from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_De_Gaulle
11.      Peter Mangold, The Almost Impossible Ally: Harold Macmillan and Charles De Gaulle, ,New York, Tauris, 2006
12.      Article: Forced Labour of Hungarians by the Soviet Union from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forced Labour of Hungarians by the Soviet Union
13.      Forced Repatriation to the Soviet Union, Nikolai Tolstoy, IMPRIS (monthly journal of Hillsdale College), December, 1988
14.      Article: Repatriation of the Cossacks, from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repatriation_of_Cossacks_after_World_War_II
15.      Article : Windscale Fire, from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windscale_fire




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