There his efforts to secure good relations with Dwight D. Eisenhower, Charles de Gaulle, and other high Allied officers improved his skills as a politician. Harold Macmillan - 1963. Following this, he ventured into politics. The family ensured their children received top-notch education. He joined the ‘Conservative Party’ but exhibited a liberal point of view. Macmillan’s reputation was partly rehabilitated by the successful negotiations (July 1963) among Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union for the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, but demands continued within his own party for a new and younger leader, and, after undergoing surgery, he resigned his office on Oct. 18, 1963. When Eden resigned in 1957 after the Suez Crisis, Macmillan succeeded him as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party. From 1957 to 1962, Macmillan was a good - some would say a great - Prime Minister. The 1930s were crucial for his political career, as this was the time he became ideologically close to Winston Churchill. Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was a British Conservative politician and statesman who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 19 October 1963. This helped him gain significance in national politics. Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, later Lord Salisbury (1830–1903) Party: Conservative. When Winston Churchill formed his World War II coalition government (May 1940), Macmillan, who had bitterly condemned British “appeasement” of Nazi Germany in the late 1930s, was appointed parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Supply. Through war and peace, crisis and calm, the relationship with the Queen has been one that every prime minister has had to nurture. He was known by the nickname ‘Supermac,’ owing to his charismatic attributes. Due to the ongoing political crisis in his party, he resigned in 1963. As a teenager and an adult, Harold was a keen admirer of liberal politicians such as Henry Campbell-Bannerman, who was the prime minister of UK when Harold was growing up. When the World War was at rest in November 1918, Harold was still recovering from his war injuries. Macmillan had flatly denied all reports against his minister, but when the truth emerged his denial was interpreted by some as complicity. Boris Johnson is the Prime Minister since 24 July 2019. He also led his party in the 1959 general elections and made sure that his party had the upper hand in the parliament. Thus, the supreme leaders of his party were unhappy with him. The subsequent French veto (Jan. 29, 1963) of Great Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community was a severe blow to Macmillan. He embarked on a historical tour called the ‘Winds of Change Tour’ across Africa in 1960. Therefore, in practice, what is decided in the House of Commons is the decisive event. Eden's resignation left him as the clear choice of his Cabinet colleagues to become Prime Minister. Harold initially attended ‘Mr. Another setback was an apparent Soviet espionage attempt involving John Profumo, the secretary of state for war, which ended in the latter’s resignation (June 1963). Macmillan served in the Grenadier Guards during the First World War. https://www.biography.com/news/queen-elizabeth-and-her-prime-ministers Harold Macmillan was born Maurice Harold Macmillan, on February 10, 1894, in Chelsea, London, UK. I think it was under him that house building reached record levels. He was deeply moved by mass unemployment; in such works as Reconstruction: A Plea f… Harold served in the World War as one of the grenadier guards in early 1915. Watching the problems in extricating the United Kingdom from the European Union reminded me that a humiliating failure to secure entry to that same entity’s predecessor was one of the things that drove Macmillan from office. For most of his term Macmillan had been held in high esteem by his party. He was the youngest child in the family and had two elder brothers. But in the early phase of his career this background could be seriously misleading. He had several conferences with presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, and he visited Nikita S. Khrushchev in Moscow (February 1959). After the Conservatives regained power in 1951, he was successively appointed minister of housing and local government (October 1951) and minister of defense (October 1954) by Churchill and then served as foreign secretary (April–December 1955) and chancellor of the exchequer (1955–57) under Sir Anthony Eden. On receiving t… No power on earth, except Adolf Hitler, could have done either". Toward the late 1930s, he was made the parliamentary secretary to the ‘Ministry of Supply.’ His job had him visiting major political leaders in North Africa. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. As a result, he rose through the ranks in the ‘Conservative Party’ and became an experienced statesman. Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC, FRS [2] (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986) was Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 10 January 1957 to 18 October 1963.. Nicknamed 'Supermac' and known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability, Macmillan achieved notoriety before the Second World War as a Tory radical and critic of appeasement. By the mid-50s, he had become the fittest prime ministerial candidate from the ‘Conservative Party.’ In 1957, following the resignation of Anthony Eden, Harold became the prime minister. Although he lost in 1929, he came back to power two years later. However, though the advice is technically informal, the monarch would create a constitutional crisis if they did not comply. Great? Rumors claimed that Sarah Heath, their youngest daughter, was not Harold’s biological daughter. However, when the new candidate resigned in 1931, Harold got his seat back. It was a world of consensus politics - now derided as much by Conservatives as by the left. Their family business, ‘MacMillan Publishing,’ was founded by Harold’s grandfather, Daniel Macmillan. His father, Maurice Crawford Macmillan, worked as a publisher. Macmillan presided over a country becoming more affluent (rich), with low unemployment and high (but uneven) economic growth. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. During the later years of the Second World War, he had become very close to Churchill. He then contested as a member of parliament (MP) from Stockton-on-Tees in 1924. Nicknamed "Supermac," he was known for his pragmatism, wit and unflappability. In 1957 Harold Macmillan took over as Prime Minister after Anthony Eden fell on his sword following the disaster of the Suez Crisis, when British troops were forced to withdraw from the Suez Canal and hand it back to Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel … Keystone Pictures USA /Alamy stock photo. By 1962, however, his government was looking tired. After completing school, Harold attended ‘Balliol College,’ one of the colleges of the prestigious ‘University of Oxford’ and joined many political societies. In 1976, Harold Macmillan was awarded with the ‘Order of Merit.’ In addition, he was honored with the ‘Freedom Medal’ from the ‘Roosevelt Study Center’ two years before his death. He supported the decolonization of Africa. Churchill’s government made him the minister of housing and local government in 1951. Born James Harold Wilson on March 11, 1916 in Yorkshire, England, the future Prime Minister wasn't an obvious choice for politics. He openly supported Churchill’s stance on non-appeasement, and this support did not go unrewarded. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Harold-Macmillan, Spartacus Educational - Biography of Harold Macmillan, Harold Macmillan - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). His zone was suffering from a high level of unemployment, which cost him his seat in the parliament. He attended Oxford, studying history, philosophy, politics, and economics, and at 24 married his sweetheart, … He was appointed prime minister on Jan. 10, 1957, following the resignation of Eden in the wake of the Suez crisis, and was elected leader of the Conservative Party 12 days later. Harold died at ‘Birch Grove,’ the family mansion in East Sussex, on December 29, 1986. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. His great career was addressed by US President Ronald Reagan. ... HAROLD MACMILLAN (1957-63) 13. The prime minister was speaking at … During those years, Harold grew as an effective leader and openly criticized nationalist leaders such as Rab Butler and Harold Wilson, as they did not participate in any military service when the country was at war. Harold Macmillan was an English statesman from the ‘Conservative Party’ who served as the prime minister of the UK from 1957 to 1963. Harold MacMillan greets Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow. Harold Macmillan emerged as the top candidate for the job. A Prime Minister months after he had been made Prime Minister by the ‘. 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