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17-May-2017 02:52

In the lead-up to the first Gulf War, between 19, The Guardian expressed doubts about military action against Iraq: "Frustration in the Gulf leads temptingly to the invocation of task forces and tactical bombing, but the military option is no option at all.

The emergence yesterday of a potential hostage problem of vast dimensions only emphasised that this is far too complex a crisis for gunboat diplomacy.

George Orwell writes in Homage to Catalonia: "Of our larger papers, the Manchester Guardian is the only one that leaves me with an increased respect for its honesty". Wadsworth, so loathed Labour's left-wing champion Aneurin Bevan, who had made a reference to getting rid of "Tory Vermin" in a speech "and the hate-gospellers of his entourage" that it encouraged readers to vote Conservative and remove Attlee's post-war Labour government.

With the pro-Liberal News Chronicle, the Labour-supporting Daily Herald, the Communist Party's Daily Worker and several Sunday and weekly papers, it supported the Republican government against General Francisco Franco's insurgent nationalists. The newspaper opposed the creation of the National Health Service as it feared the state provision of healthcare would "eliminate selective elimination" and lead to an increase of congenitally deformed and feckless people.

"The really ludicrous position is that Mr Lloyd George is fighting to enfranchise seven million women and the militants are smashing unoffending people's windows and breaking up benevolent societies' meetings in a desperate effort to prevent him." Scott thought the Suffragettes' "courage and devotion" was "worthy of a better cause and saner leadership". Scott's friendship with Chaim Weizmann played a role in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and in 1948 The Manchester Guardian was a supporter of the new State of Israel.

In June 1936 ownership of the paper passed to the Scott Trust (named after the last owner, John Russell Scott, who was the first chairman of the Trust). Traditionally affiliated with the centrist to centre-left Liberal Party, and with a northern, non-conformist circulation base, the paper earned a national reputation and the respect of the left during the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939).

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"I still blame myself," said Peter Preston, who was the editor of The Guardian at the time, but he went on to argue that the paper had no choice because it "believed in the rule of law".

The Trust was created in 1936 "to secure the financial and editorial independence of the Guardian in perpetuity and to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of the Guardian free from commercial or political interference." The Scott Trust was converted into a limited company in 2008, with a constitution written so as to project the same protections for the Guardian as were originally built into the very structure of the Trust by its creators.