Harold Macmillan 1894-1986
Maurice Harold Macmillan was not only
the Earl of Stockton and the Viscount of Ovenden, but also the conservative British Prime Minister from 1957 to
Harold Macmillan fought in
He became prime minister on January 10,
On February 3, 1960, a gutsy Macmillan gave his
Wind of Change speech
before members of both Houses of Parliament in the Parliamentary
Dining Room, Cape Town, South Africa, and, more importantly, before the creator of
apartheid, Hendrik Verword.
Macmillan had already delivered this
same speech a month earlier in Ghana.
In South Africa, Macmillan's speech was
not embraced by everyone, some members of the audience refused to
applaud after he had finished.
In particular, South Africa's Prime
Minister Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd politely begged to differ.
Verwoerd thanked Macmillan for his speech, but said he could not
Macmillan's speech rocked the political
boat of many contemporaries, as it marked a significant shift in
British foreign policy towards decolonization.
According to BBC, this speech
"was the first sign that the British
government accepted that the days of Empire were over, and it
dramatically speeded up the process of African independence."
At home, Macmillan got heat from right-wingers as well.
On September 6, 1966, as Verwoerd sat
presiding over parliament, he was stabbed to death by a temp.
Demetrio Tsafendas, also called Dimitri Tsafendas, pretended to
deliver a message but presented a blade instead. Tsafendas, a
Mozambique immigrant, was later judged to be insane.
Assassinations in History.
Back to Harold Macmillan.
Macmillan had to resign his post on
October 18, 1963, because of ill-health.
MAURICE HAROLD MACMILLAN