Current Trends in British Party Politics
Political affairs in Great Britain are attracting more than ordinary attention in the United States. Uncertainties surrounding the leadership of each of Britain's two major parties have opened up the possibility of changes, sooner or later, which may have far-reaching effects on the political direction of the nation which is this country's closest and strongest ally.
The Conservative Party currently faces the prospect that Prime Minister Churchill at any time may feel obliged, however reluctantly, to step down from office and turn over leadership of the party and the government to Foreign Secretary Eden. The Labor Party is torn by internal conflicts and subject to periodic testings of strength between the moderate leadership of Clement Attlee and the nonconformity of the rebellious Aneurin Bevan and his left-wing followers.
Some political tacticians have pointed to the possibility of an early general election as a follow-up to Churchill's resignation or as a result of the split in Labor's ranks. Should elections be held this year, the judgment on major issues of foreign and domestic policy might be affected in no small measure by relations between Britain and the United States. Events in Asia have put new strains on British-American cooperation in that area, while advent of the hydrogen bomb has raised doubts and fears among the British people that in time may lead to differences with the United States on defense policies and international control measures.