Prime ministers & Civil Service reform 1960-74
This thesis anatomises the high watermark of belief in administrative and institutional remedies to the deeply-felt relative economic and absolute military decline of Britain in the years after the Second. World War. It analyses the second half of the Macmillan years, the administration of Sir Alec Douglas-Home, the first two premierships of Harold Wilson (but not the period from 1974-76 which saw little reformist activity) and the three-and-a-half years that Edward Heath occupied No. 10 Downing Street. The approach has been to look at the prime ministers' plans, examine how these were embraced by the Civil Service and analyse the results. The period 1960-74 saw a great many major reforms to the machinery of government, all of which are analysed. Significant new findings include the struggle over the demarcation `concordat' between the Treasury and the Department of Economic Affairs in 1964; the way that the Prime Minister's Principal Private Secretary acted against the senior civil servant handling the reception of the Fulton Report; the fact that Harold Wilson developed a keen interest in the `hiving off' of parts of the public sector in 1969; how, after the Heath Government was elected in 1970, the Civil Service took the massive political planning undertaken prior to government and effectively cherry-picked what it wanted, turning the dynamism for reform to its own advantage; the remarkable lack of interest in Programme Analysis and Review; and the way that the Central Policy Review Staff was sidelined in Heath's last weeks.
AuthorsDavis, Jon Malcolm
- Theses