Churchill's positions

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George C. Diamantopulos' letter ("Liberal Travesty," Nov. 8) seriously misrepresents Winston Churchill's position on both social and economic issues. Churchill (along with David Lloyd George) proposed legislation establishing minimum wages (1908), labor exchanges (1909) and unemployment insurance (1911). These were to be funded, in part, through increased income taxes on the wealthy and instituting an estate tax (1909-1910).

Churchill accepted the Beveridge Commission Report's recommendation for establishing a national health service; the Labor government established the NHS (National Health Service) in 1946. When the Conservative Party returned to power in 1950, Prime Minister Churchill asked Claude Guillebaud, a Cambridge economist, to review the NHS's operations. The review found the NHS both reasonably efficient and cost-effective. The Conservative government thereupon increased its funding. No Conservative government ever attempted to repeal the NHS.

While Churchill was a member of the Conservative Party for most of his political career (he served in several Cabinet positions in both Liberal Party and Coalition governments from 1904 until he rejoined the Conservative Party in 1924), he was never a reactionary on economic and social issues.

Mount Washington

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