The Long Road To The 1944 Education Act – Part 2

Great Education Secretaries

Today’s post continues on from Part 1…..

Rab Butler faced a dilemma. After 40 years of waiting he was now being offered the chance of his dream job as Viceroy of India. Turn it down and the job would unlikely be offered again. Take it and the 1944 Education Act, a bill he had toiled at, might fall apart.

In the end, the decision was simple. Churchill and Butler had never been good friends, with the two clashing on issues of Empire and India. Butler was unconvinced he could implement any satisfactory changes when they would need to pass via Churchill. Butler also thought it unlikely that he was Churchill’s first choice for the role, meaning there was always the possibility it would be pulled away in the last minute. Hence, he declined.

Unfortunately, Churchill would still prove to be a blockade for Butler: he needed his approval…

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