Do you agree with the view that the National Health Service was the most important domestic reform passed by Clement Attlee’s Labour government of 1945-1950?
Post war Britain was in shambles. Altogether, 50-70 million people were dead as a result of World War 2 and 33% of all houses were lost in the war. However, Labour shocked Britain when they overtook the Conservative Party in the 1945 elections. Historians argue Churchill’s laid back attitude was the cause of the war leaders’ failure in the elections. Attlee passed many reforms during his reign. The NHS, the National Insurance Act, Industrial Injury Act, National Assistance Act and the Family Allowance Act are some of the reforms passed. I will expand on the key reforms and highlight the most important reform passed in government in between 1945-1950.
Many historians argue that the NHS was the most important reform in Attlee’s government. The NHS was introduced in 1948 and “From cradle to grave” expressed the aims of the NHS. Peter Calvocoressi in source 5 wrote in The British Experience, published in 1978. He says the new National Health Service was a “godsend”, the “most beneficial reform ever enacted in England” and that “a country in which such a service exists is utterly different from a country without it.” From the sources you can refer that the NHS was important. It relieved many people of pain and suffering. It provided for everyone regardless of their class of their economic situation. It provided free hospital treatment, drug prescription, dental and optical care. Source 5 was published in 1978 which suggests the writer, Peter, may have not had a first-hand experience of the NHS during 1948
Another major reform was the nationalisation of the key industries. It was important as it provided funds to support and improve the NHS. In general, it helped to improve the welfare system currently in place. Clement Attlee said in a speech, “They are the essential part of a planned...
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