Joseph and Seebohm Rowntree were successful businessmen, pioneers of social investigation and committed Liberals.
Discuss their careers and political legacy at the History Group’s meeting at the Liberal Democrat spring conference, with Ian Packer (Lincoln University), Tina Walker and Lord Shutt (Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust).
Chair: Lord Kirkwood.
In 1928 the Liberal Party published the Yellow Book, the report Britains Industrial Future. While the report made a compelling case for state intervention in the economy and planning and advocated great programmes of public works, it also contained detailed proposals for profit-sharing and co-ownership.
Unlike socialists, Liberals did not seek the abolition of private ownership. Unlike Conservatives, Liberals were not ideologically hostile to public control of natural monopolies or the great national industries.
Liberals favoured diffused popular ownership in industry, everyone having some stake in their industrial future and looked to profit sharing, collaboration and co-ownership as a means to that end.
This years Liberal Democrat History Group summer meeting will revisit the Liberal Partys commitment to co-ownership with Dr Tudor Jones, author of the recently published, The Revival of British Liberalism (Palgrave Macmillan) and Andrew Gamble, Professor and Head of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge and author of the chapter on Liberals and the Economy in Vernon Bogdanor’s book Liberal Party Politics. Chair: Chris Nicholson, Special Adviser to Ed Davey MP.
This meeting looked at Joseph Chamberlain and the unauthorised programme, and how this led to the loss of the Whigs from the Liberal Party and paved the way for the New Liberalism of the 1905 government.