Who Was Maurice Harold Macmillan?
Who Was Maurice Harold Macmillan? Maurice Harold Macmillan (10 February 1894 – 29 December 1986), was a British statesman. He was Foreign Secretary briefly in 1955, and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1955 to 1957. He succeeded Sir Anthony Eden as Prime Minister in 1957 and helped to restore the morale of the Conservative Party after the Suez Crisis (1956). During his period of office many British colonies were granted independence, and he tried unsuccessfully to negotiate Britain’s entry into the EEC.
The British politician and prime minister was one of the outstanding Conservative leaders of the 20th century in terms of achieving both unity in his party and electoral success. During his World War I service in the Grenadier Guards he was wounded three times. From 1919-1920 he was an aide to the governor general of Canada. In 1920 he married into one of the most deeply rooted Conservative aristocratic families—the Cavendishes (Lady Dorothy Cavendish, daughter of the 9th Duke of Devonshire). She died in 1966. They had three daughters and one son.
In 1963 a downturn in the economy coupled with a sex scandal involving one of the prime minister’s aides resulted in Macmillan’s resignation from office. When he left public life, Macmillan returned to his family’s publishing business, Macmillan Ltd., of which he became president in 1974. After years of refusing his peerage, he was created Earl of Stockton in 1984. Macmillan died of pneumonia, December 29, 1986, in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, England.
In October 1963, after Harold Macmillan’s resignation as Prime Minister, Douglas-Home was chosen to succeed him. By the 1960’s, it was unacceptable for a prime minister to sit in the House of Lords, so Home disclaimed his hereditary peerage and successfully stood for election to Parliament as Sir Alec Douglas-Home.