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Glossary - H

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Hailsham, Lord

Conservative MP and Peer. Held various high ministerial offices from 1956-1964. Gave up his peerage in 1963 and re-entered the Commons in a failed bid to become Tory leader. Became Lord Chancellor between 1970-1974 and 1979-1987 when he retired.

H.A.L Fisher

An English historian and liberal politician. Elected to Parliament in 1916. Joined David Lloyd George's government as President of the Board of Education. Responsible for the 1918 Education Act which made school attendance compulsory up to the age of 14.


A small, independent American oil company, the first to bring ashore North Sea Oil in 1975.

Han River

River in South Korea which flows through Seoul before joining the Yellow Sea on what is now the border between the two Koreas

Harold Macmillan

Conservative politician and Prime Minister. Held a succession of senior ministerial posts before becoming Prime Minister. Made memorable speeches; the 'never had it so good' speech in 1957, the 'winds of change' speech in 1960 about de-colonisation. Also famous for the 'Night of the Long Knives' Cabinet reorganisation in 1962. Ill-health forced him to resign in 1963.

Harold Wilson

Labour Prime Minister from 1964-1970 and 1974-1976. He led a very divided party, that limited scope for action. Faced with economic problems, powerful trade unions and small majorities, his administrations are regarded as not living up to the expectations his election victory of 1964 generated. Retired in 1976.

Harry Dexter White

American economist and Treasury official, made an important contributions to the Bretton Woods agreement and setting up the World Bank. First head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) some evidence suggests he may have been a Soviet secret agent.

Harry Truman

American President from 1945-1952. Responsible for the decision to drop atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. Extended loans to Britain and Western Europe after the Second World War (the Marshall Plan). Famous for the Truman Doctrine, which stated the US would support free nations anywhere if they were threatened by communism.

Hastings Banda

Malawian nationalist and independence leader. Trained as a doctor before returning and leading the Opposition to the Central African Federation. Became Prime Minister and then President when Malawi became independent. Set up a one-party state but growing opposition led to a referendum in 1993 and defeat in 1994

Henry Brooke

Conservative politician and Minister and defender of Neville Chamberlain. He became Home Secretary in 1962. He was involved in the passage of new anti-drug laws. He was the last Home Secretary to allow a death sentence to go ahead

Henry Willink, Sir

A Conservative politician from 1940, he was appointed Special Commissioner for those made homeless by the London Blitz. He became Minister of Health in 1943 and was partly responsible for the Beveridge Report which proposed a fully-comprehensive and free health-care system for all

Henry Wilson, Sir

General on the Western Front in the First World War, becoming a close advisor to Lloyd George in the last year of the war. As the British military advisor at Versailles, he increasingly disagreed with Lloyd George. Resigned and was elected as a Conservative MP. Assassinated in 1922 by IRA volunteers in London

Herbert Asquith

Liberal politician and Prime Minister from 1908-1916. Faced confrontation with the suffragettes, Irish demands for Home Rule, and the crisis that led to the First World War. Created the Parliament Act 1911, limiting the power of the Lords. Asquith declared war on the German Empire on 4 August 1914 in response to the German invasion of Belgium. Formed coalition government in 1915  but was replaced by Lloyd George in 1916

Herbert Morrison

Labour politician of immense influence. Leader of London County Council from 1934, largely responsible for the 'Green Belt' and transport reforms. Home Secretary in Churchill's wartime coalition government. Deputy Prime Minister between 1945-1951. Defeated by Hugh Gaitskell in the Labour leadership election of 1955

Herbert Samuel, Sir

Liberal MP and diplomat. Controversial choice as High Commissioner for Palestine 1920-1925. Baldwin asked him to investigate the problems of the mining industry. He recommended reorganising - but not nationalising - the coal industry, and withdrawing the subsidy on coal. His report was one of the factors that caused the General Strike

Hindenburg Line

Built in late 1916, the line was a vast system of seemingly impregnable German defences in north eastern France. It was the brainchild of General Hindenburg and was built behind the existing front line, shortening the German front by 50km and releasing 13 divisions for service elsewhere

Home Fleet

Traditional name of the Royal Navy fleet that protects the United Kingdom's territorial waters. During the First World War the Home Fleet was combined with the British Atlantic Fleet to form the Grand Fleet. In the Second World War the Home Fleet was the Royal Navy's main battle force in European waters

Home Guard

A British defence organisation, active between 1940-1944 during the Second World War. Initially known as 'Local Defence Volunteers' and commonly known as 'Dad's Army', it comprised 1.5 million local volunteers, mostly too old for military conscription. It guarded Britain's coasts, factories and explosive stores in case of invasion by Nazi Germany


Strategic Ottoman city on the route to the Mediterranean Sea that became part of the French Mandate after the First World War, before becoming part of Syria


Largest island of Japan, including the cities Tokyo and Hiroshima

Horace Joules, Dr

Medical Director at the Central Middlesex County Hospital and member of the Central Health Services Council. Appointed to the Standing Advisory Committee (Cancer & Radiotherapy) December 1948. Brought to the committee's attention in 1951 preliminary research linking smoking and cancer. Strong advocate of widely publicising the link

Hugh Dalton

Labour politician who was Minister of Economic Warfare and President of the Board of Trade in the wartime coalition government. He became Chancellor in Attlee's 1945 government, nationalised the Bank of England in 1946 but was implicated in a budget leak to a journalist in 1947 and resigned

Hugh Gaitskell

Labour MP from 1945-1951, holding various government posts, including Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1950-1951. Elected Labour leader, defeating Bevan, in 1955. Opposed Eden over Suez and refused to accept as binding Labour's conference resolution in favour of unilateral nuclear disarmament in 1960. Died in 1963

Hugh Scanlon

Leader of the Amalgamated Engineering Union from 1968-1978, he worked closely with Jack Jones, leader of the Transport and General Workers Union, to resist any attempts to restrict union power, brokering the 'Social Contract', which introduced strict wage controls and limits on strike action, culminating in the 'Winter of Discontent' 1978-1979

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