- Richard Crossman
The Right Honourable
Secretary of State for Social Services In office
1 November 1968 – 19 June 1970
Prime Minister Harold Wilson Preceded by Office Created Succeeded by Sir Keith Joseph, Bt Lord President of the Council
Leader of the House of Commons
11 August 1966 – 18 October 1968
Prime Minister Harold Wilson Preceded by Herbert Bowden Succeeded by Fred Peart Personal details Born Richard Howard Stafford Crossman
15 December 1907
Died 5 April 1974(aged 66)
Banbury, Oxfordshire, England
Nationality British Political party Labour Alma mater New College, Oxford Occupation Politician, author
Richard Howard Stafford (Dick) Crossman OBE (15 December 1907 – 5 April 1974) was a British author and Labour Party politician who was a Cabinet Minister under Harold Wilson, and was the editor of the New Statesman. A prominent socialist intellectual, he became one of the Labour Party's leading Zionists and anti-communists. Crossman is noted for his colourful if highly subjective three-volume Diaries of a Cabinet Minister.
The son of a judge, Crossman was born in either Cropredy, Oxfordshire, or Bayswater, London, and grew up in Buckhurst Hill, Essex. He was educated at Twyford School, and at Winchester College, where he became head boy. He excelled academically and on the football field. He studied Classics at New College, Oxford, receiving a double first and becoming a Fellow in 1931. He taught philosophy at the university before becoming a lecturer for the Workers' Educational Association. He was a councillor on Oxford City Council, and became head of the Labour group in 1935.
At the outbreak of World War II Crossman joined the Political Warfare Executive under Robert Bruce Lockhart, where he headed the German Section. He produced anti-Nazi propaganda broadcasts for Radio of the European Revolution, set up by the Special Operations Executive. He eventually became Assistant Chief of the Psychological Warfare Division of SHAEF and was awarded an OBE for his wartime service. In the spring of 1945 he was one of the first British officers to enter the Dachau concentration camp.
Crossman entered the House of Commons in 1945, as Member of Parliament (MP) for Coventry East, a seat he would hold until shortly before his death in 1974. During 1945-46 he served, on the nomination of the Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin, as a member of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry into the Problems of European Jewry and Palestine. The committee's report, submitted in April 1946, included a recommendation for 100,000 Jewish "displaced persons" to be permitted to enter Palestine. The recommendation was rejected by the British government, after which Crossman led the socialist opposition to the official British policy for Palestine. This incurring Bevin's enmity, and may have been the primary factor which prevented Crossman from achieving ministerial rank during the 1945-51 government.
He was a member of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party from 1952 until 1967, and Chairman of the Labour Party in 1960-61. Crossman cemented his role as a leader of the left wing of the Parliamentary Labour Party in 1947 by co-authoring the Keep Left pamphlet, and later became one of the more prominent Bevanites.
In 1957, Crossman joined Aneurin Bevan and Morgan Phillips in a controversial lawsuit for libel against The Spectator magazine, which had described the men as drinking heavily during a socialist conference in Italy. Having sworn that the charges were untrue, the three collected damages from the magazine. Many years later, Crossman's posthumously published diaries confirmed the truth of The Spectator 's charges.
Crossman was Labour's spokesman on Education before the 1964 general election, but upon forming the new Government Harold Wilson appointed Crossman Minister of Housing and Local Government. In 1966 he became Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons.
He was Secretary of State for Health and Social Security from 1968 to 1970, in which position he worked on an ambitious proposal to supplement Britain's flat state pension with an earnings-related element. The proposal had not, however, been passed into law at the time the Labour Party lost the 1970 general election. During the months of political turmoil that led up to the election loss, Crossman had been considered, however briefly, as a last-minute option to replace Wilson as Prime Minister.
Books and journalism
After the general election defeat, Crossman resigned from the Labour front bench in 1970 to become editor of the New Statesman, where he had been a frequent contributor and assistant editor from 1938 until 1955. He left the New Statesman in 1972.
Crossman was a prolific writer and editor. In Plato Today (1937) he imagines Plato visiting Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. Plato criticizes Nazi and communist politicians for misusing the ideas Plato set forth in the Republic. He is perhaps now best known for his colourful and highly subjective three-volume Diaries of a Cabinet Minister. Covering his time in government from 1964 to 1970, they appeared despite a legal battle by the government to block publication. One of Crossman's legal executors was Michael Foot, then a cabinet minister, who opposed his own government's attempts to suppress the diaries. Crossman's backbench diaries later appeared in book form. Much earlier, he had edited The God That Failed, a collection of anti-communist essays published in 1949.
Crossman's diaries were an acknowledged source for the highly successful TV comedy series Yes, Minister.
Crossman died of liver cancer in April 1974 at his home in Oxfordshire.
- The Civil Service is profoundly deferential – 'Yes, Minister! No, Minister! If you wish it, Minister!'
- Government and the Governed (A History of Political Ideas and Political Practice) London: Cristophers (1939).
- Plato Today New York: Oxford University Press (1939).
- Palestine Mission: A Personal Record New York: Harper (1947).
- The God That Failed New York: Harper (1950). (editor)
- The Politics of Socialism New York: Atheneum (1965).
- The Myths of Cabinet Government Cambridge: Harvard University Press (1972).
- Anthony Howard (1990) Crossman: The Pursuit of Power, Jonathan Cape
- Tam Dalyell (1989) Dick Crossman: A Portrait
- Victoria Honeyman (2006) Richard Crossman; A Reforming radical of the Labour Party, I B Tauris
- ^ Dalyell, 2002
- ^ Howard, 2008
- ^ Mayne, Richard (1 April 2003). In Victory, Magnanimity, in Peace, Goodwill. pp. 6. ISBN 0714654337.
- ^ London Gazette: . 12 October 1945. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- ^ Goldhill, Simon, Love, Sex and Tragedy, U. Chicago Press, 2004, p. 202
- ^ Anthony Howard "Michael Foot: The last of a dying breed ", Daily Tel;egraph, 5 March 2010
- ^ Crossman, Richard (1979). Diaries of a Cabinet Minister: Selections, 1964–70. London: Hamish Hamilton Ltd. ISBN 0-241-10142-5.
- Dalyell, Tam (13 December 2002). "Tam Dalyell on Richard Crossman". Great Lives. BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/greatlives/dalyell_crossman.shtml. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
- Howard, Anthony (January 2008). "Crossman, Richard Howard Stafford (1907–1974)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/30987. http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/30987. Retrieved 2009-08-30. Subscription or UK public library membership required
- Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, London
- Clive James on Richard Crossman
Parliament of the United Kingdom New constituency Member of Parliament for Coventry East
1945 – February 1974
Constituency abolished Party political offices Preceded by
Chairman of the Labour Party
1960 – 1961
Political offices Preceded by
Sir Keith Joseph, Bt
Minister of Housing and Local Government
1964 – 1966
Lord President of the Council
1966 – 1968
Leader of the House of Commons
1966 – 1968
as Minister of Health
Secretary of State for Social Services
1968 – 1970
Sir Keith Joseph, Bt
as Minister of Social Security
Media offices Preceded by
Editor of the New Statesman
1970 – 1972
Secretaries of State for Health of the United Kingdom Ministers of HealthChristopher Addison · Alfred Mond · Arthur Griffith-Boscawen · Neville Chamberlain · William Joynson-Hicks · John Wheatley · Neville Chamberlain · Arthur Greenwood · Neville Chamberlain · Edward Hilton Young · Kingsley Wood · Walter Elliot · Malcolm MacDonald · Ernest Brown · Henry Willink · Aneurin Bevan · Hilary Marquand · Harry Crookshank · Iain Macleod · Robin Turton · Dennis Vosper · Derek Walker-Smith · Enoch Powell · Anthony Barber · Kenneth Robinson Secretaries of State for Social Services Secretaries of State for Health Leaders of the House of CommonsWalpole · Sandys · Pelham · Robinson · H Fox · Pitt the Elder · Vacant (Caretaker Ministry) · Pitt the Elder · Grenville · H Fox · Grenville · Conway · North · C Fox · Townshend · (C Fox/North) · Pitt the Younger · Addington · Pitt the Younger · C Fox · Howick · Perceval · Castlereagh · Canning · Huskisson · Peel · Althorp · Peel · Russell · Disraeli · Russell · Palmerston · Disraeli · Palmerston · Gladstone · Disraeli · Gladstone · Northcote · Gladstone · Hicks-Beach · Gladstone · R Churchill · Smith · Balfour · Gladstone · Harcourt · Balfour · Campbell-Bannerman · Asquith · Bonar Law · A Chamberlain · Bonar Law · Baldwin · MacDonald · Baldwin · MacDonald · Baldwin · MacDonald · Baldwin · N Chamberlain · W Churchill · Cripps · Eden · Morrison · Chuter Ede · Crookshank · Butler · Macleod · Lloyd · Bowden · Crossman · Peart · Whitelaw · Carr · Prior · Short · Foot · St John-Stevas · Pym · Biffen · Wakeham · Howe · MacGregor · Newton · Taylor · Beckett · Cook · Reid · Hain · Hoon · Straw · Harman · Young
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Richard Crossman — Richard Howard Stafford Crossman, auch Dick Crossman bzw. R.H.S. Crossman, (* 15. Dezember 1907 in Cropredy, Oxfordshire; † 5. April 1974 in Banbury) war ein britischer Autor, Spezialist für Psychologische Kriegführung und Politiker. Als… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Crossman — may refer to: People Abdiel Crossman Craig Crossman Doug Crossman Frank Crossman Garrett Crossman Kimberley Crossman Mervyn Crossman Pat Crossman Richard Crossman Samuel Crossman William Crossman Places Crossman, Western Australia Crossman Pond … Wikipedia
Crossman — ist der Name folgender Personen: Jason Crossman (* 1990), französischer Eishockeyspieler Richard Crossman (1907–1974), britischer Autor und Politiker Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit dem … Deutsch Wikipedia
Richard Groenendaal — Richard Groenendaal … Wikipédia en Français
Richard Wright (author) — Infobox Writer name = Richard Nathaniel Wright imagesize = 200px caption = Richard Wright photographed in 1939 by Carl Van Vechten pseudonym = birthdate = birth date|1908|9|4|mf=y birthplace = Rucker Plantation, Adams County, Mississippi, United… … Wikipedia
Crossman — Recorded in several spellings including Cross, Crosse, du Cross and Crossman, this is an English surname. It derives from the pre 7th century Old Norse word kross , which in Middle English comprehensively displaced the Olde English form of cruc … Surnames reference
R.H.S. Crossman — Richard Howard Stafford Crossman, auch Dick Crossman bzw. R.H.S. Crossman (* 15. Dezember 1907 in Cropredy, Oxfordshire; † 5. April 1974 in Banbury) war ein britischer Autor, Spezialist für Psychologische Kriegführung und Politiker. Als… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Pascal Richard — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Richard. Pascal Richard … Wikipédia en Français
Labour Broadcasting Comitee — Der Sender der europäischen Revolution (SER) war ein unabhängiger sozialistischer Hörfunksender in London, der vom 7. Oktober 1940 bis zum 30. April 1942 eine rätesozialistische Neuordnung propagierte. Eröffnet wurde der Sender mit folgenden… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Sender der europäischen Revolution — Der Sender der europäischen Revolution (SER) war ein unabhängiger sozialistischer Hörfunksender in London, der vom 7. Oktober 1940 bis zum 30. April 1942 eine rätesozialistische Neuordnung propagierte. Eröffnet wurde der Sender mit folgenden… … Deutsch Wikipedia