Monday, May 07, 2012

Kettering and the 1945 general election

Stephen Tall has also been looking at the British Council Film Collection, which I blogged about the other day and has posted this film from the 1945 general election and posted it on Liberal Democrat Voice.

It is of particular interest to me because of the footage of Kettering and the surrounding countryside. In those days the constituency also included Corby, but at least some of the early shots of ironworks are from Kettering itself.

Gilbert Mitchison held Kettering until he retired from the Commons at the 1964 general election. He then went to the Lords and became a junior minister in Harold Wilson's government. His wife was the novelist Naomi Mitchison, who died in 1999 at the age of 101.

John Profumo had won Kettering in a wartime by-election and spoken against Chamberlain in the Norway debate that led to his resignation and Churchill's premiership. In many ways that was his finest hour.

After losing the election shown in the film he went on to become MP for Stratford-upon-Avon in 1950 before being forced to resign the seat in 1963 because of the notorious scandal. He was Secretary of State for War (outside the Cabinet) at the time, but as the family memoir by his son, the novelist David Profumo, makes clear, this was not the case of a promising career cut short. He had been lucky to get that far.

I cannot discover anything about J.C. Dempsey - Wikipedia describes him as a "Christian Pacifist" - but his 2381 votes was a respectable figure for an independent.

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