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It would be much better for Britain if either party had been elected by a sizable majority, three faculty members agreed last night. Samuel H. Beer, associate professor of Government, said that Labor's small majority was "a had result ... it will make for an unstable government."
Arthur N. Holcombe '06, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government, David E. Owen, professor of History, and Beer concurred that the Labor government could not keep control of Parliament for long. "A snap vote is bound to defeat them," and Beer.
Beer added that without a decent majority it will be difficult for Prime Minister Attlee to prevent inflation. "Splinter groups will give him trouble," he said.
Another difficulty was pointed out by Owen, who said that the Labor Party will not be able to carry out its full nationalization program.
Beer and Owen agreed that a two-party coalition is unlikely as both parties have as yet remained adamant in their refusal to consider such a proposal. Beer declared that "a new election in the near future is the most likely possibility."
Holcombe was more optimistic about the results of the British election. He pointed out that America is interested in having Britain's foreign policy remain the same, and that as long as the Socialist party is in power, it probably will.
Both Beer and Owen agreed that the complete defeat of the Communist party in the election is not of great significance since the Communists have never been a factor of much significance in Britain. Beer added, however, that they do have "much more power than the vote indicates. They control key positions in the Trade Union Movement."
Beer commented that it was difficult to predict what the results of such a close election would be since there has been no precedent in the history of the British Parliament. He cited the election of 1892, when the Liberals under Gladstone won by a narrow majority, as the closest parallel that he could think of.
One outcome of Labor's narrow margin, Beer predicted, would be a difficulty in directing foreign affairs, the result of an unstable government.
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