Labour government, 1974–1979


The Labour Party governed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1974 to 1979. During this period, Harold Wilson and James Callaghan were successively appointed as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by Queen Elizabeth II. The end of the Callaghan ministry was presaged by the Winter of Discontent, a period of serious industrial discontent. This was followed by the election of Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher in 1979.

Harold Wilson led the Government from 1974 to 1976, and was succeeded by James Callaghan.
Callaghan led the Government from 1976 onward. He was defeated at the 1979 general election.

Historian Kenneth O. Morgan states:

The fall of James Callaghan in the summer of 1979 met, according to most commentators across the political spectrum, meant the end of an ancien régime, a system of corporatism, Keynesian spending programmes, subsidised welfare, and trade union power.[1]

The government consisted of three ministries: the third and fourth Wilson ministry, and then the Callaghan ministry.

History


Formation

After the February 1974 general election, no party had a majority of seats. The incumbent Conservative Party won the popular vote, but Labour took a plurality of seats. Edward Heath, the Conservative Prime Minister, attempted to negotiate a coalition agreement with the Liberal Party, but resigned as Prime Minister after failing to do so. The Labour Party, led by Harold Wilson, then established a minority government, which took office on 4 March 1974.

It was recognised that this had no long-term stability, and that another general election was likely within a few months. On 20 September Wilson called another general election for 10 October, which resulted in a narrow victory for the Labour Party with a majority of three seats.

The economy was in recession by the time of the February 1974 election, but economic growth was re-established by 1976—although inflation, which had run into double digits before Labour came to power, was now above 20%. It would remain high for the rest of this ministry, rarely falling below 10%. Unemployment was now well in excess of 1,000,000 people, whereas it had been less than 600,000 at the start of the decade. This was the result of the economic decline, as well as advancing engineering techniques which required fewer personnel, along with other factors including the closure of unprofitable factories and coalmines.

In March 1976, having just turned sixty years old, Wilson resigned as Prime Minister, ending his leadership of the Labour Party after thirteen years, and a total of nearly eight years as Prime Minister. He was replaced by James Callaghan, who had held senior government positions during both of Wilson's ministries, and had served as a Shadow Cabinet member in the early 1960s.

In 1976, Britain faced financial crisis. The Labour government was forced to apply to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of nearly $4,000,000,000. IMF negotiators insisted on deep cuts in public expenditure, greatly affecting economic and social policy.

Within a year of Callaghan taking office, the narrow Labour majority was eliminated due to by-election defeats, prompting a vote of confidence which prevented the government's collapse and a general election from being called. In order to sustain the government, Labour formed the Lib-Lab pact in March 1977 and this remained in force for sixteen months. This minority government also managed to stay in power with unofficial deals with the Ulster Unionist Party and Scottish National Party.

By September 1978, economic growth was firmly re-established and inflation was below 10%, although unemployment now stood at a post-war high of 1,500,000. With most of the opinion polls showing a clear Labour lead, it was widely expected that Callaghan would call a general election that autumn, despite having another year to do so, in order to gain a majority and give his government the chance of surviving in office until 1983.

However, he resisted these calls and Britain began 1979 with Labour still in power and Callaghan still in charge, but his failure to call a general election during the autumn of 1978 would prove to be the end of this Labour government.

Major contributions

Although the 1974–79 Labour Government faced a number of economic difficulties, it was nevertheless able to carry out a broad range of reforms during its time in office. During Harold Wilson's final premiership, from 1974 to 1976, a number of changes were carried out such as the introduction of new social security benefits and improvements in the rights of tenants. In March 1974, an additional £2,000,000,000 was announced for benefits, food subsidies, and housing subsidies, including a record 25% increase in the state pension. Council house rents were also frozen. Council house building continued on a substantial scale, although there was now a greater emphasis on modernising older properties rather than replacing them with new ones.

That year, national insurance benefits were increased by 13%, which brought pensions as a proportion of average earnings "up to a value equivalent to the previous high, which was reached in 1965 as a result of Labour legislation." In order to maintain the real value of these benefits in the long term, the government introduced legislation which linked future increases in pensions to higher incomes or wages.[2] In 1974–75, social spending was increased in real terms by 9%. In 1974, pensions were increased in real terms by 14%, while in early 1975 increases were made in family allowances. There were also significant increases in rate and rent subsidies, together with £500,000,000 worth of food subsidies.[3]

An independent Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (now simply called Acas) (regarded as the brainchild of the trade union leader Jack Jones) was set, which according to Robert Taylor continues to provide "an impartial and impressive function in resolving disputes and encouraging good industrial relations practice." A Manpower Services Commission was set up to encourage a more active labour market policy to improve job placements and deal with unemployment. The Pay Board was abolished, while the Price Commission was provided with greater powers to control and delay price increases. In addition, the Housing Rents and Subsidies Act 1975 gave power over rents back to local authorities.[4]

To help those with disabilities, the government introduced an Invalid Care Allowance, a Mobility Allowance, a Non-Contributory Invalidity Pension for those unable to contribute through national insurance, and other measures. To combat child poverty, legislation to create a universal Child Benefit was passed in 1975 (a reform later implemented by the Callaghan government). To raise the living standards of those dependent on national insurance benefits, the government index-linked short-term benefits to the rate of inflation, while pensions and long-term benefits were tied to increases in prices or earnings, whichever was higher.[5]

In 1975, a State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) was introduced. A new pension, which was inflation-proofed and linked to earnings, was added to the basic pension which was to increase in line with earnings for the first time ever. This reform assisted women by linking pensions to the 'twenty best years' of earnings, and those who worked at home caring for children or others were counted as contributors. This scheme was reformed by the subsequent Thatcher ministry. The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 gave women the right in principle to equal access to jobs and equal treatment at work with men, while the Employment Protection Act 1975 introduced Statutory Maternity Leave.[6] That same year, the wage stop was finally abolished.[7] In addition, differentials between skilled and unskilled workers were narrowed as a result of egalitarian pay policies involving flat-rate increases.

The 1975 Social Security Pensions Act provided for equal access by men and women to employers' pension schemes and also included a home responsibilities provision ensuring that parents and those looking after elderly dependents could retain their pension rights in spite of employment breaks. As a means of combating sex discrimination within the social security system, the Act provided that in future married women would receive the same level of personal sickness or unemployment benefit.[8] The Housing Finance Act 1974 increased aid to local authorities for slum clearance, introduced a system of "fair rents" in public and private sector unfurnished accommodation, and introduced rent rebates for council tenants. The Housing Act 1974 improved the Renovation Grants scheme, provided increased levels of aid to housing associations (which emerged as a popular alternative to council housing for people seeking to rent a home), and extended the role of the Housing Corporation. The Rent Act 1974 extended security of tenure to tenants of furnished properties, and allowed access to rent tribunals. The Community Land Act 1975 allowed for the taking into public control of development land, while the Child Benefits Act 1975 introduced an extra payment for single parents.[9] A Resource Allocation Working Party was also set up to produce a formula for a more equitable distribution of healthcare expenditure.[10] Anthony Crosland, while serving as a minister during Wilson's second ministry, made a decision to reform the level of Rate Support Grant, introducing a standard level of relief across the country to benefit poorer urban areas.[4]

Circular 4/74 (1974) renewed pressure for moves towards comprehensive education (progress of which had stalled under the Heath ministry), while the industrial relations legislation passed under Edward Heath was repealed. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 set up a Health and Safety Commission and Executive and a legal framework for health and safety at work. The Employment Protection Act 1975 set up the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Services (ACAS) to arbitrate in industrial disputes, enlarged the rights of employees and trade unions, extended the redundancy payments scheme, and provided redress against unfair dismissal. The legislation also provided for paid maternity leave and outlawed dismissal for pregnancy. The Act also obliged employers to pay their workers a minimum guaranteed payment "if they are laid off through no fault of their own."[8] The Social Security Act 1975 introduced a maternity allowance fund, while the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 set up an Equal Opportunities Commission and outlawed gender discrimination (both indirect and direct).[9] In addition, the Social Security Act of 1975 included progressive noise-induced hearing loss "in the list of prescribed diseases covered by the Industrial Injuries Scheme as Occupational Deafness."[11]

The Woodworking Machines Regulations 1974, replacing the 1922 Regulations, came into operation on in November 1974. These regulations raised the standard of guarding of the most dangerous machines.[12] Improvements were made to mineworkers' pensions, while the Coal Mines (Respirable Dust) Regulations 1975, which came into operation in October that year, were aimed at reducing the incidence of coal miners' pneumoconiosis. They prescribed permitted amounts of respirable dust at workplaces in coal mines as well as arrangements for the suppression and continuous sampling of dust, and they include a scheme for the medical supervision of workers at risk. The Protection of Eyes Regulations 1974 and 1975, replacing the 1938 Regulations, extended protection to those employed on construction sites as well as in factories.[13] In addition, the Policyholders Protection Act 1975 introduced safeguards for customers of failed insurance companies.[14]

Wilson's successor Callaghan, together with his ministers, also introduced a number of reforms during their time in office. The Supplementary Benefits Act 1976 gave every person over the age of sixteen, whose resources were not enough to meet his or her basic needs, the right to claim a supplementary pension if he or she had reached state pension age, and a supplementary allowance if he or she was less than this age.[15][16] The Rent (Agricultural) Act 1976 provided security of tenure for agricultural workers in tied accommodation, while the Bail Act 1976 reformed bail conditions with courts having to explain refusal of bail. The Police Act 1976 set up a Police Complaints Board "to formalise the procedure for dealing with public complaints". The Education Act 1976 limited the taking up of independent and direct grant school places and required all local authorities who had failed to do so "to submit proposals for comprehensive schools", while the Housing (Homeless Persons) Act 1977 extended local council responsibility "to provide accommodation for homeless people in their area,"[9] and instituted the right of homeless families to a permanent local council tenancy.[17] In addition, efforts were made under the Environment Secretary Peter Shore to redistribute resources toward deprived urban areas.[18] The Inner Urban Areas Act 1978 allowed local authorities to assist declining industrial areas and central government provided new subsidies to those inner city areas with the most problems,[4] while the 1978 Finance Act introduced profit-sharing schemes.[19] In April 1976, a Child Interim Benefit for single-parent families was introduced,[20] followed by a universal Child Benefit scheme the following year.[21]

The Callaghan Government also introduced a range of measures aimed at moderating pressures for wage rises and to create a favourable climate "for an orderly restoration of collective bargaining". These included the granting of family income supplements to bring the incomes of lower-paid workers up to the level of social security benefits, the lowering of marginal tax rates on smaller incomes by rises in personal allowances, and increases in children's allowances (which were payable to the mother). However, child tax allowances were lowered, which had the effect of reducing the take-home pay of fathers. The impact of consumer price rises was also mitigated by higher income limits for free school meals, an increased milk subsidy, and a substantial reduction in the duty on petrol. In addition, electricity prices were lowered for families in receipt of supplementary benefits.[22]

The government came under fire from the British public in November 1977, when the Fire Brigades Union called its first national strike, in response to the government's refusal to grant firefighters a 30% pay rise. The strike lasted until after Christmas, and for its duration, Britain's fire services were operated by hastily trained army troops, whose Green Goddess vehicles dated from the 1950s and were considerably slower than the fire engines of the 1970s, and the troops lacked the breathing equipment available to fire brigades.[23] Well over 100 people died in fires during the strike, with the worst tragedy occurring in Wednesbury, where four children died in a house fire.[24]

The Training Opportunities Scheme, under which more than 90,000 people completed their training in 1976 and which catered mainly for people over 19 years old, was extended during 1977 to include provisions for training persons for self-employment. In addition, technician training was extended and the network of skillcentres continued to expand. In August 1977, a scheme for voluntary early retirement was introduced in the coal industry for men aged 62+ with at least twenty years of underground service, with weekly payments up to normal pensionable age. In January 1977, unions became authorized to lodge a claim on behalf of workers with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service for an improvement in terms and conditions of employment on the grounds that existing terms and conditions were less favourable than the relevant recognized terms and conditions for the trade in the area or, where these did not exist, the general level. In February, sections of the Employment Act 1975 were brought into operation dealing with the qualifying hours for part-time work, thereby entitling large numbers of part-time workers to the same rights and job security as full-time workers. Also in February, employees became entitled to receive guarantee payments from their employers when laid off or on short time, while in April sections of the 1975 Employment Act were activated giving employees the right to paid time off work in order to perform certain public duties. The main provisions of the Race Relations Act 1976 came into force in June 1977, making it unlawful for an employer to discriminate in recruitment or dismissal or in the treatment of existing employees in matters of promotion, transfer, training or other benefits on the grounds of nationality, race, colour, colour, or ethic or national origins. A Commission for Racial Equality was established to work towards the elimination of discrimination the promotion of equality of opportunity, and good relations between persons of different racial groups.[25]

In Scotland, the Community Service by Offenders Act 1978 introduced provisions whereby offenders might, under certain circumstances, be ordered by courts to undertake community work as an alternative to a prison sentence. This legislation brought Scotland in line with England and Wales where similar provisions already apply. The Mines (Precautions Against Inrushes) Regulations 1979 applied to all types of mines and made provision for measures to be taken against the hazard of inrushes of water or gas or material which flows when wet.[26]

In housing policy, a shift of emphasis in housing policy towards rehabilitation was evident in the further increase in the number of General Improvement Areas and the number of Housing Action Areas declared. An Act of March 1977 makes provision, for a limited period, for benefits to be paid from the age of 64 to workers who agree to retire in order to free jobs for young unemployed people, in response to the rise of youth unemployment. A number of other improvements were introduced in 1977, with Attendance Allowances extended to cover handicapped foster children and non-contributory disablement pensions extended to married women whose invalidity prevented them from carrying out their household tasks. In January 1977, regulations were issued which brought about a change in the administration of legislation governing fire precautions at places of work. Under these regulations the Health and Safety Executive retained full responsibility for fire safety in certain 'special' premises such as nuclear installations, coalmines and chemical plants, whereas responsibility for general fire precautions at places of work was transferred to local fire authorities.[25] In July 1977, an experimental Job Introduction Scheme was introduced to provide financial assistance enabling certain disabled people to undertake a trial period of employment with an employer, where there was reasonable doubt as to the person's ability to perform a particular job. In July 1978, a revised and simplified scheme designed to assist severely disabled people with their travel-to-work costs was introduced.[27]

The Safety Representatives and Committees Regulations of 1977 made provision for recognised trade unions to appoint health and safety representatives "and gave such representatives rights to representation and consultation on health and safety as well as rights to access to training and facilities to support them in undertaking these tasks."[28] The Homes Insulation Act 1978 provided for grants to occupiers towards the cost of thermal insulation of their dwellings, while under the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations recognized trade unions were allowed to appoint safety representatives who would have certain rights and functions. As part of an extension in external consultation on the prevention of industrial accidents and occupationally induced diseases the Health and Safety Commission established three Industry Advisory Committees for construction, railways and oil and regulations were issued in March 1978 dealing with the packaging and labelling of some 800 dangerous chemicals commonly used at work and in the home. Improvements to the Mineworkers Sick Pay Scheme were also introduced from 1978, with improvement in the formula for calculating benefit improved and the period of 'waiting days' reduced from seven to three.[29] The Home Purchase Assistance and Housing Corporation Guarantee Act 1978 gave help to first-time home buyers.[30] The Consumer Safety Act 1978 protected consumers from purchasing potentially harmful goods,[31] while the 1979 Credit Unions Act, the last piece of legislation passed by the Labour government,[32] set up a legal structure for credit unions.[33]

Fate

The union strikes affected Britain during the Winter of Discontent (1978–79) as public services ground to a halt. Furthermore, inflation was back in double digits. The House of Commons passed a vote of no confidence in late March 1979, by one vote. That vote necessitated a general election, which the Conservatives won decisively even though polls showed Callaghan was personally more popular with the voters than Conservative leader Margaret Thatcher. The problem was that many Labour voters swung away from Labour.[34]

Callaghan continued to lead Labour in opposition for eighteen months; his friendliest biographers take a negative view of the period. He stepped down to make way for Michael Foot, the leader of the leftist faction. Callaghan remained in parliament as an MP until 1987, having served in parliament for 42 years.

Historians Alan Sked and Chris Cook have summarized the consensus of historians regarding Labour in power in 1974–79:[35]

If Wilson's record as Prime Minister was soon felt to have been one of failure, that sense of failure was powerfully reinforced by Callaghan's term as premier. Labour, it seemed, was incapable of positive achievements. It was unable to control inflation, unable to control the unions, unable to solve the Irish problem, unable to solve the Rhodesian question, unable to secure its proposals for Welsh and Scottish devolution, unable to reach a popular modus vivendi with the Common Market, unable even to maintain itself in power until it could go to the country and the date of its own choosing. It was little wonder, therefore, that Mrs. Thatcher resoundingly defeated it in 1979.[36]

Cabinets


Wilson ministry

Wilson ministries
  • March–October 1974
  • 1974–1976
Wilson (1967)
Date formed
  • Third: 4 March 1974 (1974-03-04)
  • Fourth: 10 October 1974 (1974-10-10)
Date dissolved
  • Third: 10 October 1974 (1974-10-10)
  • Fourth: 5 April 1976 (1976-04-05)
People and organisations
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
Prime MinisterHarold Wilson
Prime Minister's history1974–1976
Deputy Prime Minister[note 1]
Member party  Labour Party
Status in legislature
Opposition cabinet
Opposition party  Conservative Party
Opposition leader
History
Election(s)
Legislature term(s)
PredecessorHeath ministry
SuccessorCallaghan ministry
OfficeNameTerm
Prime Minister
First Lord of the Treasury
Minister for the Civil Service
Harold Wilson1974–1976
Chancellor of the ExchequerDenis Healey1974–1976
Lord High Chancellor of Great BritainThe Lord Elwyn-Jones1974–1976
Leader of the House of Commons
Lord President of the Council
Edward Short1974–1976
Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
The Lord Shepherd1974–1976
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth AffairsJames Callaghan1974–1976
Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentRoy Jenkins1974–1976
Secretary of State for DefenceRoy Mason1974–1976
Secretary of State for Education and ScienceReg Prentice1974–1975
Fred Mulley1975–1976
Secretary of State for EmploymentMichael Foot1974–1976
Secretary of State for EnergyEric Varley1974–1975
Tony Benn1975–1976
Secretary of State for the EnvironmentAnthony Crosland1974–1976
Secretary of State for Social ServicesBarbara Castle1974–1976
Secretary of State for IndustryTony Benn1974–1975
Eric Varley1975–1976
Minister for Overseas DevelopmentReg Prentice1975–1976
Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer ProtectionShirley Williams1974–1976
Secretary of State for Trade
President of the Board of Trade
Peter Shore1974–1976
Secretary of State for ScotlandWilliam Ross1974–1976
Secretary of State for WalesJohn Morris1974–1976
Secretary of State for Northern IrelandMerlyn Rees1974–1976
Chancellor of the Duchy of LancasterHarold Lever1974–1976
Parliamentary Secretary to the TreasuryRobert Mellish1974–1976
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodFred Peart1974–1976
Minister for Planning and Local GovernmentJohn Silkin1974–1976

Callaghan ministry

Callaghan ministry
1976–1979
Callaghan (1977)
Date formed5 April 1976 (1976-04-05)
Date dissolved4 May 1979 (1979-05-04)
People and organisations
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
Prime MinisterJames Callaghan
Prime Minister's history1976–1979
Deputy Prime Minister[note 2]
Member party  Labour Party
Status in legislature
Opposition cabinetThatcher Shadow Cabinet
Opposition party  Conservative Party
Opposition leaderMargaret Thatcher
History
Outgoing election1979 general election
Legislature term(s)
PredecessorFourth Wilson ministry
SuccessorFirst Thatcher ministry
OfficeNameTerm
Prime Minister
First Lord of the Treasury
Minister for the Civil Service
James Callaghan1976–1979
Chancellor of the ExchequerDenis Healey1976–1979
Lord High Chancellor of Great BritainThe Lord Elwyn-Jones1976–1979
Leader of the House of Commons
Lord President of the Council
Michael Foot1976–1979
Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal
The Lord Shepherd1976
The Lord Peart1976–1979
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth AffairsAnthony Crosland1976–1977
David Owen1977–1979
Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentRoy Jenkins1976
Merlyn Rees1976–1979
Secretary of State for DefenceRoy Mason1976
Fred Mulley1976–1979
Secretary of State for Education and ScienceFred Mulley1976
Shirley Williams1976–1979
Secretary of State for EmploymentAlbert Booth1976–1979
Secretary of State for EnergyTony Benn1976–1979
Secretary of State for the EnvironmentPeter Shore1976–1979
Secretary of State for Social ServicesDavid Ennals1976–1979
Secretary of State for IndustryEric Varley1976–1979
Minister for Overseas DevelopmentReginald Prentice1976
Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer ProtectionShirley Williams1976
Roy Hattersley1976–1979
Secretary of State for Trade
President of the Board of Trade
Edmund Dell1976–1978
John Smith1978–1979
Secretary of State for TransportBill Rodgers1976–1979
Secretary of State for ScotlandBruce Millan1976–1979
Secretary of State for WalesJohn Morris1976–1979
Secretary of State for Northern IrelandMerlyn Rees1976
Roy Mason1976–1979
Chancellor of the Duchy of LancasterHarold Lever1976–1979
Chief Secretary to the TreasuryJoel Barnett1977–1979
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodFred Peart1976
John Silkin1976–1979
Minister for Social SecurityStanley Orme1976–1979
Minister for Local Government and PlanningJohn Silkin1976

Full list of ministers


Members of the Cabinet are in bold face.

OfficeNameDatesNotes
Prime Minister,
First Lord of the Treasury
and Minister for the Civil Service
Harold Wilson4 March 1974 – 5 April 1976 
James Callaghan5 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Minister of State, Civil Service DepartmentRobert Sheldon7 March 1974 
Charles Morris18 October 1974 
Parliamentary Secretary, Civil Service DepartmentJohn Grant7 March 1974 – 18 October 1974 
Lord ChancellorThe Lord Elwyn-Jones5 March 1974 
Lord President of the Council
and Leader of the House of Commons
Edward Short5 March 1974 
Michael Foot8 April 1976 
Minister of State for the Privy Council OfficeGerald Fowler18 October 1974 
The Lord Crowther-Hunt23 January 1976 
John Smith8 April 1976 
The Baroness Birk3 January 1979 
Parliamentary Secretary to the Privy Council OfficeWilliam Price18 October 1974 
Lord Privy Seal
and Leader of the House of Lords
The Lord Shepherd7 March 1974 
The Lord Peart10 September 1976 
Chancellor of the ExchequerDenis Healey[37]5 March 1974 
Chief Secretary to the TreasuryJoel Barnett7 March 1974In Cabinet from Feb 1977
Parliamentary Secretary to the TreasuryRobert Mellish5 March 1974 
Michael Cocks8 April 1976 
Financial Secretary to the TreasuryJohn Gilbert7 March 1974 
Robert Sheldon17 June 1975 
Minister of State for TreasuryRobert Sheldon18 October 1974 
Denzil Davies17 June 1975 
Lords of the TreasuryDonald Coleman8 March 1974 – 6 July 1978 
James Dunn8 March 1974 – 14 April 1976 
John Golding8 March 1974 – 18 October 1974 
Tom Pendry8 March 1974 – 18 January 1977 
James Hamilton8 March 1974 – 28 June 1974 
Michael Cocks28 June 1974 – 8 April 1976 
Jack Dormand18 October 1974 – 4 May 1979 
David Stoddart4 April 1976 – 18 November 1977 
Edward Graham14 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Tom Cox19 January 1977 – 4 May 1979 
Peter Snape23 November 1977 – 4 May 1979 
Albert Stallard5 July 1978 – 17 January 1979 
Alfred Bates17 January 1979 – 4 May 1979 
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth AffairsJames Callaghan5 March 1974 
Anthony Crosland8 April 1976 
David Owen21 February 1977 
Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth AffairsDavid Ennals7 March 1974 – 8 April 1976 
Roy Hattersley7 March 1974 – 10 September 1976 
The Lord Goronwy-Roberts4 December 1975 – 4 May 1979 
Ted Rowlands14 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
David Owen10 September 1976 – 21 February 1977 
Frank Judd21 February 1977 – 4 May 1979 
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth AffairsJoan Lestor8 March 1974 – 12 June 1975 
The Lord Goronwy-Roberts8 March 1974 – 4 December 1975 
Ted Rowlands12 June 1975 – 14 April 1976 
John Tomlinson17 March 1976 – 4 May 1979Also Overseas Development
Evan Luard14 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Minister for Overseas DevelopmentJudith Hart7 April 1974Subordinated to Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 10 June 1975
Minister of Overseas DevelopmentReginald Prentice10 June 1975 
Frank Judd21 December 1976 
Judith Hart21 February 1977 
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Overseas DevelopmentWilliam Price11 March 1974 
John Grant18 October 1974 
Frank Judd14 April 1976 
John Tomlinson3 January 1977 
Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentRoy Jenkins5 March 1974 
Merlyn Rees10 September 1976 
Minister of State for Home AffairsThe Lord Harris8 March 1974 – 3 January 1979 
Alex Lyon8 March 1974 – 14 April 1976 
Brynmor John14 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
The Lord Boston3 January 1979 – 4 May 1979 
Under-Secretary of State for Home AffairsShirley Summerskill8 March 1974 
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodFred Peart5 March 1974 
John Silkin10 September 1976 
Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodNorman Buchan8 March 1974 
Edward Stanley Bishop18 October 1974 
Parliamentary Secretary to Agriculture, Fisheries and FoodRoland Moyle11 March 1974 
Edward Stanley Bishop28 June 1974 
Gavin Strang18 October 1974 
Secretary of State for DefenceRoy Mason4 March 1974 
Frederick Mulley10 September 1976 
Minister of State for DefenceWilliam Rodgers4 March 1974 
John Gilbert10 September 1976 
Under-Secretary of State for the NavyFrank Judd8 March 1974 
Patrick Duffy14 April 1976 
Under-Secretary of State for the Air ForceBrynmor John8 March 1974 
James Wellbeloved14 April 1976 
Under-Secretary of State for the ArmyDesmond Brayley4 March 1974 
Robert Brown18 October 1974 
Secretary of State for Education and ScienceReginald Prentice5 March 1974 
Frederick Mulley10 June 1975 
Shirley Williams10 September 1976 
Minister of State, Education and ScienceGerald Fowler8 March 1974 
Norman Crowther Hunt18 October 1974 
Gerald Fowler23 January 1976 
Gordon Oakes10 September 1976 
Under-Secretary of State, Education and ScienceErnest Armstrong7 March 1974 
Joan Lestor12 June 1975 
Margaret Jackson12 March 1976 
Secretary of State for EmploymentMichael Foot5 March 1974 
Albert Booth8 April 1976 
Minister of State, EmploymentAlbert Booth8 March 1976 
Harold Walker14 April 1976 
Under-Secretary of State, EmploymentJohn Fraser8 March 1974 – 14 April 1976 
Harold Walker8 March 1974 – 14 April 1976 
John Golding14 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
John Grant14 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Secretary of State for EnergyEric Varley5 March 1974 
Tony Benn10 May 1975 
Minister of State, EnergyThomas Balogh7 March 1974 
John Smith4 December 1975 
Dickson Mabon14 April 1976 
Under-Secretary of State, EnergyGavin Strang7 March 1974 – 18 October 1974 
Alex Eadie7 March 1974 – 4 May 1979 
John Smith18 October 1974 – 4 December 1975 
The Lord Lovell-Davis4 December 1975 – 14 April 1976 
Gordon Oakes14 April 1976 – 10 September 1976 
Jack Cunningham10 September 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Secretary of State for the EnvironmentAnthony Crosland5 March 1974 
Peter Shore8 April 1976 
Minister of State, Urban AffairsCharles Morris7 March 1974 – 18 October 1974 
Minister of State (Sport, Recreation and Water Resources)Denis Howell7 March 1974 – 4 May 1979 
Under-Secretary of State, EnvironmentGerald Kaufman8 March 1974 – 12 June 1975 
Neil Carmichael8 March 1974 – 4 December 1975 
Gordon Oakes8 March 1974 – 14 April 1976 
Alma Birk18 October 1974 – 3 January 1979 
Ernest Armstrong12 June 1975 – 4 May 1979 
Guy Barnett5 December 1975 – 4 May 1979 
Kenneth Marks14 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Phyllis Stedman3 January 1979 – 4 May 1979 
Minister for Planning and Local GovernmentJohn Silkin7 March 1974In Cabinet from 18 October 1974. Office abolished 10 September 1976
Minister for TransportFred Mulley7 March 1974 
John Gilbert12 June 1975Separate department and Cabinet Minister from 10 September 1976
Minister for Housing and ConstructionReg Freeson7 March 1974 
Secretary of State for Social ServicesBarbara Castle5 March 1974 
David Ennals8 April 1976 
Minister of State, Health and Social SecurityBrian O'Malley8 March 1974 – 6 April 1976 
David Owen26 July 1974 – 10 September 1976 
Stan Orme8 April 1976 – 4 May 1979In Cabinet as Minister for Social Security from 10 September 1976
Roland Moyle10 September 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Under-Secretary of State, Health and Social SecurityDavid Owen8 March 1974 – 26 July 1974 
Robert Brown8 March 1974 – 18 October 1974 
Alec Jones18 October 1974 – 12 June 1975 
Michael Meacher12 June 1975 – 14 April 1976 
Eric Deakins14 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
The Lord Wells-Pestell3 January 1979 – 4 May 1979 
Under-Secretary of State, Disabled IndustryAlf Morris11 March 1974 – 4 May 1979 
Secretary of State for IndustryTony Benn5 March 1974Also Minister for Posts and Telecommunications 7–29 March 1974
Eric Varley10 June 1975 
Minister of State, IndustryEric Heffer7 March 1974 – 9 April 1975 
The Lord Beswick11 March 1974 – 4 December 1975 
Gerald Kaufman4 December 1975 – 14 April 1976 
Alan Williams14 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Under-Secretary of State, IndustryGregor Mackenzie7 March 1974 – 10 June 1975 
Michael Meacher7 March 1974 – 12 June 1975 
Gerald Kaufman12 June 1975 – 4 December 1975 
The Lord Melchett4 December 1975 – 10 September 1976 
Neil Carmichael4 December 1975 – 14 April 1976 
Les Huckfield4 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Bob Cryer10 September 1976 – 20 November 1978 
Chancellor of the Duchy of LancasterHarold Lever5 March 1974 
Secretary of State for Northern IrelandMerlyn Rees5 March 1974 
Roy Mason10 September 1976 
Minister of State, Northern IrelandStan Orme7 March 1974 – 8 April 1976 
Roland Moyle27 June 1974 – 10 September 1976 
Don Concannon14 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
The Lord Melchett10 September 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Under-Secretary of State, Northern IrelandThe Lord Donaldson of Kingsbridge4 March 1974 – 5 April 1976 
Don Concannon27 June 1974 – 5 April 1976 
James Dunn5 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Raymond Carter5 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Tom Pendry11 November 1978 – 4 May 1979 
Paymaster GeneralEdmund Dell7 March 1974
Shirley Williams5 April 1976 
Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer ProtectionShirley Williams4 March 1974 
Roy Hattersley10 September 1976 
Minister of State, Prices and Consumer ProtectionAlan Williams4 March 1974 
John Fraser5 April 1976 
Under-Secretary of State, Prices and Consumer ProtectionRobert Maclennan4 March 1974 
Secretary of State for ScotlandWilliam Ross4 March 1974 
Bruce Millan5 April 1976 
Minister of State for ScotlandBruce Millan4 March 1974 – 5 April 1976 
The Lord Hughes4 March 1974 – 8 August 1975 
The Lord Kirkhill8 August 1975 – 15 December 1978 
Gregor Mackenzie5 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Under-Secretary of State for ScotlandRobert Hughes4 March 1974 – 22 July 1975 
Hugh Brown27 June 1974 – 4 May 1979 
Harry Ewing18 October 1974 – 4 May 1979 
Frank McElhone22 July 1975 – 4 May 1979 
Secretary of State for TradePeter Shore4 March 1974 
Edmund Dell5 April 1976 
John Smith11 November 1978 
Under-Secretary of State for TradeEric Deakins4 March 1974 – 5 April 1976 
Clinton Davis4 March 1974 – 4 May 1979 
Michael Meacher5 April 1976 – 4 May 1979 
Secretary of State for TransportWilliam Rodgers10 September 1976 
Under-Secretary of State for TransportJohn Horam10 September 1976 
Secretary of State for WalesJohn Morris4 March 1974 
Under-Secretary of State for WalesTed Rowlands4 March 1974 – 12 June 1975 
Barry Jones4 March 1974 – 4 May 1979 
Alec Jones12 June 1975 – 4 May 1979 
Attorney GeneralSamuel Silkin4 March 1974 
Solicitor GeneralPeter Archer4 March 1974 
Parliamentary Secretary to the Law OfficersArthur Davidson4 March 1974 
Lord AdvocateRonald King Murray4 March 1974 
Solicitor General for ScotlandJohn McCluskey4 March 1974 
Treasurer of the HouseholdWalter Harrison4 March 1974 
Comptroller of the HouseholdJoseph Harper4 March 1974 
James Hamilton6 July 1978 
Vice-Chamberlain of the HouseholdDon Concannon4 March 1974 
James Hamilton27 June 1974 
Donald Coleman6 July 1978 
Captain of the Gentlemen at ArmsThe Baroness Llewellyn-Davies4 March 1974 
Captain of the Yeomen of the GuardThe Lord Strabolgi4 March 1974 
Lords-in-WaitingThe Lord Jacques4 March 1974 – 19 January 1977, 11 January 1979 – 4 May 1979 
The Lord Garnsworthy4 March 1974 – 4 September 1974 
The Baroness Birk4 March 1974 – 18 October 1974 
The Lord Wells-Pestell4 March 1974 – 11 January 1979 
The Lord Winterbottom18 October 1974 – 27 October 1978 
The Lord Lovell-Davis18 October 1974 – 4 December 1975 
The Lord Melchett18 October 1974 – 4 December 1975 
The Baroness Stedman4 December 1975 – 11 January 1979 
The Lord Oram23 January 1976 – 23 March 1978 
The Lord Wallace of Coslany19 January 1977 – 4 May 1979 
The Lord Leonard27 October 1978 – 4 May 1979 
The Baroness David of Romsey27 October 1978 – 4 May 1979 

References


Notes
  1. Edward Short never acquired the title of Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He did however serve as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.
  2. Neither Edward Short nor Michael Foot acquired the title of Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. They did however serve as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party respectively.
Sources
  1. Kenneth O. Morgan (2001). Britain Since 1945: The People's Peace. p. 437. ISBN 9780191587993.
  2. Taxation, Wage Bargaining, and Unemployment by Isabela Mares
  3. Socialists in the Recession: The Search for Solidarity, Giles Radice and Lisanne Radice
  4. New Labour, Old Labour: The Wilson and Callaghan Governments, 1974–79 edited by Anthony Seldon and Kevin Hickson
  5. Labour in power? A study of the Labour Government 1974–1979, David Coates
  6. Labour's First Century by Duncan Tanner, Pat Thane, and Nick Tiratsoo
  7. Poverty and the development of anti-poverty policy in the United Kingdom: a report to the Commission of the European Communities, Richard Berthoud, Joan C. Brown and Steven Cooper, Commission of the European Communities, Policy Studies Institute
  8. Labour and Inequality: A Fabian Study of Labour in Power, 1974–79, edited by Nick Bosanquet and Peter Townsend
  9. The Longman Companion to The Labour Party 1900–1998, Harry Harmer
  10. Brivati, Brian; Bale, Tim (1997). New Labour in Power: Precedents and Prospects – Google Books. ISBN 9780415179737. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  11. Sataloff, Robert Thayer; Sataloff, Joseph (24 April 2006). Occupational Hearing Loss, Third Edition. CRC Press. ISBN 9781420015478.
  12. Commission of the European Communities (1975). Report on the Development of the Social Situation in the Community in 1974: Addendum to the 'Eighth General Report on the Activities of the European Communities' in accordance with Article 122 of the EEC Treaty (PDF). Brussels / Luxembourg.
  13. Commission of the European Communities (1976). Report on the Development of the Social Situation in the Communities in 1975: Published in conjunction with the 'Ninth General Report on the Activities of the European Communities' in accordance with Article 122 of the EEC Treaty (PDF). Brussels / Luxembourg.
  14. Sweeting, Paul (1 September 2011). Financial Enterprise Risk Management – Paul Sweeting – Google Books. ISBN 9781139501743. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  15. Blake, David (1 January 2003). Pension Schemes and Pension Funds in the United Kingdom. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199243532.
  16. "Supplementary Benefits Act 1976". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  17. British Social Welfare in the Twentieth Century, edited by Robert M. Page and Richard Silburn
  18. Prime Minister: The Conduct of Policy under Harold Wilson & James Callaghan by Bernard Donoughue
  19. Card, David; Blundell, Richard; Freeman, Richard B. (1 December 2007). Seeking a Premier Economy. ISBN 9780226092904. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  20. James, Simon (11 March 2002). British Government: A Reader in Policy Making. Routledge. ISBN 9781134829828.
  21. "Benefits (Hansard, 13 June 1978)". hansard.millbanksystems.com. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  22. Braun, Ms Anne Romanis (15 September 1986). Wage Determination and Incomes Policy in Open Economies. International Monetary Fund. p. 221. ISBN 9781455257836. united%20kingdom%201978%20rise%20income%20limit%20school%20meals%20Wage%20Determination%20and%20Incomes%20Policy%20in%20Open%20Economies%20(EPub).
  23. "BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | The Basics | past_elections | 1974 Oct: Wilson makes it four". news.bbc.co.uk. 5 April 2005. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  24. "Times-Union – Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  25. "Report on the Development of the Social Situation in the Communities in 1977" (PDF). Aei.pitt.edu. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  26. "Report on Social Developments Year 1979" (PDF). Aei.pitt.edu. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  27. Final Term: The Labour Government 1974–1976 by Harold Wilson
  28. Health and Safety at Work and Its Relevance to Employment Relations Research. Emerald Group Publishing. 1 January 2006. ISBN 9781845449902.
  29. "Report on the Development of the Social Situation in the European Community I in 1978" (PDF). Aei.pitt.edu. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  30. Flora, Peter (1986). Growth to Limits. ISBN 9783110111330. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  31. Barrett, Richard (11 March 2003). Teacher Support Pack Edexcel. Nelson Thornes. ISBN 9780748757466.
  32. "The history of credit unions". Abcul.org. Archived from the original on 29 December 2014. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  33. Price, Martin (2009). Social enterprise. ISBN 9781905979011. Retrieved 29 December 2014.
  34. David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh, The British General Election of 1979 (1980)
  35. David Loades, ed., Reader's Guide to British History (2003) 1:213-15.
  36. Alan Sked and Chris Cook, Post-War Britain: A Political History (4th ed. 1993), p. 324.
  37. Edmund * Dell, The chancellors: a history of the chancellors of the Exchequer, 1945–90 (), pp. 304–72.

Further reading


  • Bosanquet, Nick, and Peter Townsend, eds. Labour and Equality: A Fabian Study of Labour in Power, 1974–79 (Heinemann, 1980), 312pp.
  • Butler, D., and G. Butler. Twentieth Century British Political Facts 1900–2000.
  • Childs, David. Britain since 1945: A Political History (7th 2012), pp. 190–212.
  • Conroy, Harry. James Callaghan (Haus, 2006).
  • Dell, Edmund. The chancellors: a history of the chancellors of the Exchequer, 1945–90 (HarperCollins, 1997), pp. 400–48.
  • Donoughue, Bernard. Prime Minister: Conduct of Policy Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, 1974–79 (Jonathan Cape, 1987).
  • Dorey, Peter. "'Should I stay or should I go?’: James Callaghan's decision not to call an autumn 1978 general election." British Politics (2016) 11#1 pp. 95–118. abstract
  • Harmon, Mark D. The British Labour government and the 1976 IMF crisis (St. Martin's Press, 1997).
  • Hay, Colin. "Chronicles of a death foretold: The winter of discontent and construction of the crisis of British Keynesianism." Parliamentary Affairs (2010) 63#3 pp. 446–470.
  • Hay, Colin. "The winter of discontent thirty years on." The Political Quarterly 80.4 (2009): 545–552.
  • Hayter, Dianne. Fightback!: Labour's Traditional Right in the 1970s and 1980s (Manchester University Press, 2005).
  • Heppell, Timothy. Choosing the Labour Leader: Labour Party Leadership Elections from Wilson to Brown (IB Tauris, 2010).
  • Hickson, Kevin, and Anthony Seldon, eds. New Labour, Old Labour: The Wilson and Callaghan Governments 1974–1979 (Routledge, 2004).
  • Holmes, Martin. The labour government, 1974–79: political aims and economic reality (Macmillan, 1985).
  • Horn, Geoff. Crossing the floor: Reg Prentice and the crisis of British social democracy (Manchester University Press, 2013).
  • Jones, Tudor. Remaking the Labour Party: From Gaitskell to Blair (Routledge, 2005).
  • Kerr, Hugh. "Labour's Social Policy 1974–79." Critical Social Policy (1981) 1#1 pp. 5–17.
  • Meredith, Stephen. Labours old and new: the parliamentary right of the British Labour Party 1970–79 and the roots of New Labour (Oxford University Press, 2008).
  • Morgan, Kenneth O. Britain since 1945: The People's Peace (2nd ed. 2001), pp. 358–433.
  • Morgan, Kenneth O. Callaghan: A Life (Oxford University Press, 1997).
  • Pimlott, Ben. Harold Wilson (1992), the standard biography.
  • Pryce, Sue. "James Callaghan 1976–9: A Caretaker." in Sue Pryce, Presidentializing the Premiership (Palgrave Macmillan, 1997), pp. 147–162.
  • Rodgers, William. "Government Under Stress. Britain's Winter of Discontent 1979." Political Quarterly (1984) 55#2 pp. 171–179.
  • Rogers, Chris. "From Social Contract to 'Social Contrick': The Depoliticisation of Economic Policy-Making under Harold Wilson, 1974–751." British Journal of Politics & International Relations (2009) 11#4 pp. 634–651. online
  • Rosen, Greg. Dictionary of Labour Biography (Politico's Publishing, 2001).
  • Rosen, Greg. Old Labour to New (Politico's Publishing, 2005).
  • Shepherd, John. Crisis? what crisis? : the Callaghan government and the British winter of discontent (Manchester University Press, 2013).
  • Sked, Alan and Chris Cook. Post-War Britain: A Political History (4th ed. 1993), pp. 292–312
  • Thomas, James. "'Bound in by history': The Winter of Discontent in British politics, 1979–2004." Media, Culture & Society 29#2 (2007): 263–283.
  • Turner, Alwyn. Crisis? What Crisis?: Britain in the 1970s (2013), pp. 93–204.
  • Wilson, Harold. Final term: the Labour government 1974–1976 (Weidenfeld & Nicolson / Michael Joseph Ltd., 1979).
  • "British Cabinet and Government Membership". Retrieved 20 November 2007.
Preceded by
Heath ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1974–1979
Succeeded by
First Thatcher ministry