Mr. Michael Foot is one of the six candidates standing for election to succeed Mr.?
CU & MCU stills Foot and family
CUS (2 shots) Foot at Oxofd
CU still foot with Lord Beaverbrook
MV Foot accompanies by wife talking to constituents (2 shots)
SV & MV Welsh industrial complex (3 shots)
MCU Foot leading protest march
CU Foot speaking
MCU Cabinet ministers, headed by Jankins down steps
CU Foot speaking "Its certainly a tough..."
SV Foot boards bus
MCU Foot takes seat in bus.
FOOT: "It would mean that a small number of people, certainly a minority of the people of this country, would have been able to dictate their will to the majority of the people of this country. That is what would have happened....that is what would have happened if we were defeated. But, friends, we are not going to defeated".
Mr. Foot was offered a post in the Labour government in 1966, but refused it. When Labour returned to power again in February 1974, however, he agreed to become Minister for Employment, a post he still holds. He is generally regarded as the man who got the miners back to work after the strike that brought down the Conservative government in 1974, and he has just piloted through Parliament a bill restoring to the trades unions certain rights, such as the "closed shop" which they lost under legislation passed by the last Conservative government. He is a firm believer in the importance of co-operation between the British government and the trades unions. Just after he announced his candidature for the Premiership, he had this to say:
FOOT: "It's certainly a tough job. The country faces a very great economic crisis. I believe that we've got to sustain a Labour government carrying out Labour policies in order to overcome the crisis. I think we've made a good start in the past two years, especially because of our strong agreement with the trade unions, and I think that strong agreement is absolutely necessary in order to enable this country to overcome its difficulties. I think I've made some contribution at any rate to that agreement, and I hope we can make it even stronger in the years ahead."
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Background: Mr. Michael Foot is one of the six candidates standing for election to succeed Mr. Harold Wilson as leader of the British Labour Party, and therefore as Prime Minister. He is regarded as the most likely of the two candidates on the left of the party (the other is Mr. Anthony Wedgwood Benn) to do well in the first ballot next Thursday, and is probably the second favourite at the moment to the front-runner, the Foreign Secretary, Mr. James Callaghan.
Mr. Foot is 62 -- older than the retiring Prime Minister. All the other candidates, except Mr. Callaghan, are under 60. Mr. Foot comes from a well-known British west-country Liberal family, and is the younger brother of Lord Caradon, the former British representative at the United Nations.
He broke with the family's Liberal tradition and turned Socialist at Oxford University, where he was President of the Union (the leading debating society) in 1933. After leaving the university, he became a journalist -- first with the left-wing weekly paper Tribune. Then, in 1942, Lord Beaverbrook, the independent but far from left-wing proprietor of a newspaper group, made him editor of the London Evening Standard. Later, he returned to Tribune, as editor and managing director.
Mr. Foot first entered Parliament as Labour member for one of the Plymouth seats in 1945; lost it again ten years later; and was elected for the Welsh mining constituency of Ebbw Vale in 1960, which he has held ever since. This was an unusual achievement for one who was not a Welshman; but he had succeeded to the mantle of the late Aneurin Bevan, the leader of the left in the 1940s and 1950s, and took over the seat on Bevan's death. He also wrote a biography of Bevan.
He made a reputation as a fiery orator and public protester. He was often seen heading orderly demonstrations, such as the Aldermaston marches against nuclear weapons. He is a popular broadcaster and television personality. He was an outspoken opponent of Britain's becoming a member of the European Economic Community. Film includes and extract from one of his speeches to a mass rally against Common Market membership, held in Trafalgar Square in London: