In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

REVIEWS 471 FarEast andconcludes withWest Germany's military integration intoNATO. Perhaps understandably for avolumeof thisscope, BritishandAmericanstatearchives have notbeen consulted forpossible amendments totheofficial documentary record. The utilityof thevolume isenhanced byanappended selection of documents ranging fromtheYaltaProtocol totheSoviet-Japanese Declaration ofPeace of •956. The authors havenodifficulty in demonstrating thePericlean proposition that menrarelyadhere tothesame views during thecourse ofawarwhich theyheldupon entering it.Theirinsights arecongruent withtheorthodox Western historiography of the period.The sources of the Cold War are tracedfrom the territorial claims advanced by StalinasearlyasDecember •94•, througha series of haphazard Westernresponses that amountedto injudiciousappeasement, to Stalin'soverwhelmingsuccess in achieving the old Tsaristdreamof preponderance in EastCentralEuropeandpartsof Asia.TheynotethattheWest's bargaining position was weakened bytheexclusion of theSoviet Unionfrom theItalianarmistice negotiationsandbyStalin 's embarrassingly scrupulous fulfilmentof theGreekclause in his notorious percentage dealwithChurchill. The newmenace from theEast'germinatedfrom an unholymatingof Marxistideologywith Tsaristimperialismand Pan-Slavism, a truly fearsomeamalgam,with an inexorabledrive for domination' (P.554).Their furtherconclusion, thatthesubsequent policies oftheWestern powers were 'a brave and essentialresponseof free men againstaggression,' is a rather ingenuousreductionof what were complexcalculations of nationalinterest.It reflectsan ideological certitudethat will be refreshingto some,disappointing to others whoseek deliverance atanycost fromthesimplistic equations oftheColdWar. Revisionist historiography isdismissed in twopages,and thosewhorequiremore specific critiques of this'school' arebetterservedby the recentstudies of Tucker, Maddox, and Siracusa. The breadthand fine literary styleof TheSemblance of Peacemakeit a useful reference workonthepolitics of peacemaking, anditsfundamental orthodoxy may wellstandthetestof time.All themorereprehensible, then,isitspublisher's decision to setan outrageous pricethatcalculatedly restricts itssaleto the captivemarketof university libraries. BENNETT KOVRIG University ofToronto The Myths qfCabinet Government. RICI-I^RI) •.S.CROSSM^•4. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, •, •26.$5.95. In his Anatomy ofBritain, Anthony Sampson includes Richard Crossman among those graduates ofWinchester whorepresent the'toughambition andsingle-mindedness' of thatelitistpublicschool. CertainlyCrossman's dedication to a singlethemeis evidentin thisstimulating book.In •963 he wrotea longintroduction to a new edition ofWalterBagehot's The English Constitution. There,Crossman acknowledged hisdebttoJ.P.Mackintosh's The British Cabinet whichhadbeenpublished theyear before.He tookfromthatcomprehensive andlucidstudytheargument thatthe collective cabinet government of Bagehot's dayhadgivenwaytotheprimeminis- 472 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW terial government ofthe•96os. In •97 o,when hewas invited togive theGodkin Lectures at Harvard,CrosSman onceagaintookthisthemeashissubject, supplementingand modifyinghisearlierargumentfrom hissixyears'experience asa cabinetministerin theLabourgovernment of Harold Wilson. Thisbookisaneditedtranscript of thetapedlectures, togetherwiththequestions and answers that followedthem.The resultisa personaland livelycommentary, informedthroughoutby the concise analysis of one who,beforeservingin the cabinet,wassuccessively an Oxford don, a backbench M•,,and a memberof the NationalExecutiveCommitteeof the Labourparty. All of thesecircumstances illuminatethethreemainpartsofthecentralthesis-onthecabinet secretariat, onthe civilservice, andonthemandateof theparty. Lookingfrom theoutside atNo •o DowningStreet,Crossman tendstoexaggerate thepowers of theprimeministerandhiscontrolof thesecretariat. At least,thatwas thereplyof HaroldWilsonhimself whenhereviewed thisbookfortheNewStatesman (5 May •97•,).The primeministerhastodrivethecabinet, saidWilson,buthismain task'isto geta consensus ... or he cannotreasonably askfor loyaltyandcollective responsibility ... ' Fundamentally, however,Crossman's judgmentsare soundand relevant whenhesays thatministers nowmustaccept decisions atthedirection of the prime ministerwithouttheir beingcollectively involved.'Collectiveresponsibility nowmeans...that...manymajordecisions maybetakenbytwo,three,four,or five Ministers. Butthemoment theyhave beentaken,andminuted, theyhave theforceofa decision takenby the wholeCabinet... It isby thistransformation that Cabinet Government, in my view,hasbeenevolvedinto what I call"PrimeMinisterial Government."' Behindthisevolution hasbeenthesteady growthin thepowerof thepermanent civilservants, whohavetheirownmachinery of politics. They providethemeans of continuityandflexibility,evento thepointof havingwrittendraftsof policies ready for theincomingminister,according tothemanifesto of hisparty.At thesametime, theymaintainamonopoly onpositions of realpower,andtheirholdisenhanced by the procedureof change-over in governments. The entrenchedhold of the civil servants isthen contrasted with the ideasand policies of the politicalpartyas'the batteringramof change.' Allowingfor hisreferences onlytotheLabourparty,this chapteronthesource of change isamongthemostoriginalinthebook.The annual conference, theNationalExecutive Committee, andtheparliamentary partyareall linkedtogetherinformulatingandenforcinga mandateongovernment, whichthe politician asministerisrequiredto press throughthemachinery of thecivilservice. SomeLabourpoliticians establish their strengththroughthe parliamentary party; others throughtheExecutive Committee; onlyafew,such asHaroldWilson, straddle bothand therebysustain a dominantposition bothaspartyleaderandasprime minister. Crossman wasspeaking toanAmerican audience andhislectures areinterspersed withcomparisons, againon the modelof Bagehot, betweentheparliamentary and congressional systems. FortheCanadian readertheparallels between Ottawaand Westminister are far more striking.It is a pity that neitherthe Liberal nor the Conservative partiesin thiscountryhaveyetproducedthecounterpartof aRichard REVIEWS 473 Crossman whocould give ussohonest andreflective aviewfromtheinside ofhigh parliamentary politics. ALBERT TUCKER Glendon College TheMakingoftheAustralian Constitution: Studies inAustralian Federation. j.A. LANAUZE. Melbourne,MelbourneUniversityPress[Portland,Ore., InternationalScholarly BookServices], •972. Pp.x, 369,illus.$2o.oo. Historiansseldompossess the breadthof knowledgeand detachmentnecessary to copewithhindsight.Its temptations andpitfallsare numerous, conditioning selection of facts,determiningwinnersand losers,and revealingpatterns,cycles, or trends,all of whichcombine toproducea distortedaccount of theperceptions and problems of...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 471-473
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.