Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton (1894-1986) was a British Conservative politician.
As minister of housing (1951-1954) he achieved the construction of 300,000 new houses per year. He was chancellor of the Exchequer (1955-1957), and became prime minister in 1957 on Eden's resignation after the Suez crisis. At home, he furthered domestic expansion. Internationally, he attempted unsuccessfully to negotiate British entry to the European Community, and his realization of the "wind of change" in Africa advanced the independence of former colonies.
Macmillan, a member of a family of publishers, entered Parliament as a Unionist in 1924 and received his first ministerial post in 1951. He led his party to victory in the 1959 elections on the slogan "Yo
u've never had it so good" (the phrase was borrowed from a US election campaign; Macmillan first used it 1957 in a speech warning of the coming danger of inflation).
Much of his career as prime minister was spent trying to maintain a UK nuclear weapon, and he was responsible for the purchase of US Polaris missiles in 1962.
His attempt to take the UK into the European Community in 1963 was blocked by the French president de Gaulle. Macmillan's ill health in 1963 counteracted to some extent the effect at home of the Vassall spy case and the Profumo scandal. His nickname Supermac was coined by the cartoonist Vicky. He was awarded an earldom in 1984.
Why is Harold Macmillan famous?
Harold Macmillan was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963.