As you look back and learn about the times surrounding World War II, you don’t come across the name Hore-Belisha, well at least I have not. Who was this man? What was his role, if he had one at all? My article digs into the presence of Hore-Belisha. I will hopefully be able to give you a good understanding of who this man was and what he did. His name was Isaac Leslie Hore-Belisha (1893-1957).
Isaac was the son of a Sephardic Jew and became a major in the Royal Army Service Crops during World War I. As a college student, he was educated at Clifton and St. John’s College. He also became first post war president of the Union. Hore-Belisha, furthermore, worked as a journalist for Beaverbrook until winning Devonport for the Liberals in 1923.
Isaac then went on to dividing the Liberal Party by organizing a new National Liberal Party to support The Ramsay Macdonald-Baldwin National Government. Hore-Belisha soon became a big name in the government as he became Financial Secretary to the Treasury. That position impressed Chamberlain, which would prove good later. Isaac then became Minister of Transport (1934-1937), in which he reduced road accidents by simply introducing a driving test, a Highway code, and pedestrian crossing.
Isaac was a great governmental figure. Looking back at all his accomplishment, Hore-Belisha has done a lot for his English country. Therefore in May of 1937, Chamberlain chose Isaac for War Office. Chamberlain choice was quite unusual because of the fact that Hore-Belisha was Jewish, but Chamberlain had good reason.
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Chamberlain looked for a man to be Secretary of State that would stick to Chamberlain’s policy of limited liability. This policy would cause England to have no involvement in Europe. England wanted to stay a neutral country and this was its plan. In addition to staying a neutral country, limited liability would also reduce the cost of the Army to benefit the Navy, the RAF, and the taxpayer. So Chamberlain promoted Duff Cooper, present war minister, to the Admiralty and replaced he with Hore-Belisha. Now being young Jewish man in the cabinet, Hore-Belisha depended on Chamberlain’s support.
Trying to prove he was more then Chamberlain’s little toy monkey, Isaac started to make some improvement in the military. Isaac improved recruitment by inaugurating reforms known as the radicalization of the Army. He then went on to make army life more attractive. He wanted a soldier to be look at as a worthwhile career. Hore-Belisha raised pay and promotion in all ranks, in addition, gave generous pensions. Isaac went on to improve living conditions.
He built heated barracks with showers, and available recreation rooms. In addition he raised catering quality and allowed married men over the age of twenty-one to live with their family. Finally, stupid, petty regulations were thrown out. Although improving conditions of the military, Isaac’s reforms did not address the increasing probability of British military intervention in Europe.
War was now knocking on England’s door. Hitler’s absorption of Austria in March of 1938 should have thrown out the limited liability policy. Hore-Belisha did not change his mind until September during the Czechoslovakia crisis. As a result, Hore-Belisha defied his Prime Minister, who have totally rejected throwing out the limited liability policy, by pressing for conscription and Ministry of Supply, which angered Chamberlain extremely. Hore-Belisha finally abandoned the Chamberlain’s policy and authorized a British Expeditionary Force of force divisions.
Although a smart maneuver, Isaac’s actions were too little, too late. Therefore, the outbreak of war caused Hore-Belisha’s downfall. On a tour of the front in November 1939, Hore-Belisha caused problems when he criticized the lack of pillboxes due to the failure to exploit civilian expertise. This resulted as a huge blow to Isaac.
Foreign Policies on Human Rights Foreign Policy, refers to a consistent course of actions followed by one nation to deal with another nation or region, or international issue. A countrys foreign policy may reflect broad national objectives or be a very specific response to a particular situation. A country can achieve its foreign policy goals in several ways. It can use diplomacythat is, peaceful ...
It damaged his reputation and caused Chamberlain to look down on Hore-Belisha. Chamberlain still rejecting throwing out the limited liability policy and administering the coup de grace, Hore-Belisha demoted himself and wanted no part. Hore-Belisha’s career was ruined even though Churchill, the successor or Chamberlain, appointed Isaac minister for a brief while. In my book, Hore-Belisha was a smart man. He rose in the English government and proved to be a quality war minister. Isaac did the right thing by initializing a British force and throwing regarding Chamberlain’s policy, but it was strongly opposed by the Prime Minister himself and commanded way to late.
I feel also being a Jewish person, added to the opposition of the Cabinet and War Office. A man of English power even quoted, ” He (Isaac) is an oily Jew.” He religious ties and opposition of Chamberlain caused the downfall of a great man who would have produced ten fold to his country if only listened.