EDWARD HUGH JOHN NEALE DALTON, BARON DALTON PC (16 August 1887 – 13
February 1962) was a British Labour Party economist and politician who
Chancellor of the Exchequer
* 1 Early life
* 2 Political career
* 2.1 Foreign policy
* 3 Second World War
* 4.1 Return to cabinet
* 5 Awards and personal life * 6 Contributions in economics * 7 Notes
* 8 Further reading
* 8.1 Primary sources
* 9 References * 10 External links
Dalton was educated at
Summer Fields School
He went on to study at the
London School of Economics
Hugh Dalton, right, Minister of Economic Warfare, and Colin Gubbins, chief of SOE, talking to a Czech officer during a visit to Czech troops near Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
Dalton stood unsuccessfully for Parliament four times: at the Cambridge by-election, 1922 , in Maidstone at the 1922 general election , in Cardiff East at the 1923 general election , and the Holland with Boston by-election, 1924 , before entering Parliament for Peckham at the 1924 general election .
At the 1929 general election , he succeeded his wife
Ruth Dalton as
Member of Parliament (MP) for Bishop Auckland in 1929. Widely
respected for his intellectual achievements in economics, he rose in
the Labour Party's ranks, with the election in 1925 to the shadow
cabinet and, with strong union backing, to the Labour Party national
executive committee (NEC). He gained ministerial and foreign policy
experience as Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office in MacDonald's
Second Government, 1929–31. He lost the position when he, and most
Labour leaders, rejected the national government of Prime Minister
Dalton in 1935 published Practical Socialism for Britain, a bold and highly influential assessment of a future Labour government's policy options. The book revived updated nuts-and-bolts Fabianism, which had been out of favour, and could be used to attack the more militant Left. His emphasis was on using the state as a national planning agency, an approach that appealed well beyond Labour.
Turning his attention to the looming crisis in Europe, he became the
Labour Party's spokesman on foreign policy in Parliament. Pacifism had
been a strong element in Labour Party (and other parties as well), but
Spanish Civil war
SECOND WORLD WAR
When war came, Chamberlain's position became untenable after many
Conservative MPs refused to support him in the
CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER
Main article: Political history of the United Kingdom (1945–present)
After the unexpected Labour victory in the 1945 general election ,
Dalton wished to become Foreign Secretary, but instead the job was
The Treasury faced urgent problems. Half of the wartime economy had
been devoted to mobilizing soldiers, warplanes, bombs and munitions;
an urgent transition to a peacetime budget was necessary, while
minimizing inflation. Financial aid through
During the war most overseas investments had been sold to pay for the
war (thus losing their income), and Britain suffered severe balance of
payments problems. The $3.75 billion 50-year American loan negotiated
John Maynard Keynes
An important goal for Dalton in 1945–47 was cheaper money—that
is, low interest rates. He wanted to avoid the high interest rates and
unemployment experienced after the First World War and to keep down
the cost of nationalization. Dalton gained support for this cheaper
money policy from
John Maynard Keynes
Budgetary policy under Dalton was strongly progressive, as characterised by policies such as increased food subsidies, heavily subsidised rents to council house tenants, the lifting of restrictions of house-building, the financing of national assistance and family allowances, and extensive assistance to rural communities and Development Areas. Dalton was also responsible for funding the introduction of Britain's universal family allowances scheme, doing so "with a song in my heart," as he later put. In one of his budgets, Dalton significantly increased spending on education (which included £4 million for the universities and the provision of free school milk), £38 million for the start (from August 1946) of family allowances, and an additional £10 million for Development Areas. In addition, the National Land Fund was established. Harold Macmillan, who inherited Dalton's housing responsibilities, later acknowledged his debt to Dalton's championing of New Towns, and was grateful for the legacy of Dalton's Town Development Bill, which encouraged urban overfill schemes and the movement of industry out of cities.
Food subsidies were maintained at high wartime levels in order to restrain living costs, while taxation structures were altered to benefit low-wage earners, with some 2.5 million workers taken out of the tax system altogether in Dalton's first two budgets. There were also increases in surtax and death duties, which were opposed by the Opposition. According to one historian, Dalton's policies as Chancellor reflected "an unprecedented emphasis by central government on the redistribution of income".
Walking into the House of Commons to give the autumn 1947 Budget speech, he made an off-the-cuff remark to a journalist, telling him of some of the tax changes in the budget. The news was printed in the early edition of the evening papers before he had completed his speech, and whilst the stock market was still open. This led to his resignation for leaking a Budget secret; he was succeeded by Stafford Cripps . Though initially implicated in the allegations that led to the Lynskey tribunal in 1948, he was ultimately exonerated.
RETURN TO CABINET
The paved surface of the
In 1948 he returned to the Cabinet as Chancellor of the Duchy of
Lancaster , making him a minister without portfolio. He became
Minister of Town and Country Planning in 1950, renamed as Minister of
Local Government and Planning in 1951. An avid outdoorsman, he served
a term as president of the
AWARDS AND PERSONAL LIFE
He was president of the Ramblers\' Association from 1948 to 1950 and Master of the Drapers\' Company in 1958–59. He was made a life peer as BARON DALTON, of Forest and Frith in the County Palatine of Durham in 1960.
Although Dalton was married and had a daughter who died in infancy in
the early 1920s, his biographer
His papers, including his diaries, are held at the London School of Economics Library.
CONTRIBUTIONS IN ECONOMICS
Dalton substantially expanded Max Otto Lorenz 's work in the measurement of income inequality, offering both an expanded array of techniques but also a set of principles by which to comprehend shifts in an income distribution, thereby providing a more compelling theoretical basis for understanding relationships between incomes (1920).
Following a suggestion by Pigou (1912, p. 24), Dalton proposed the
condition that a transfer of income from a richer to a poorer person,
so long as that transfer does not reverse the ranking of the two, will
result in greater equity (Dalton, p. 351). This principle has come to
be known as the
Pigou–Dalton principle (see, e.g.,
Dalton offered a theoretical proposition of a positive functional relationship between income and economic welfare, stating that economic welfare increases at an exponentially decreasing rate with increased income, leading to the conclusion that maximum social welfare is achievable only when all incomes are equal (Rogers, 2004).
* ^ David Loades, ed., Readers Guide to British History (2003) vol
1 p 329
* ^ Pimlott, B.