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The relationship between the Conservative Party and the trade unions has been at best uneasy and more often than not hostile. This study examines the attitudes and policies of the Conservative Party towards the trade unions from the 19th century onwards, linking these to wider political and economic circumstances and the key personalities involved. Peter Dorey shows that there has always been disagreements within the Conservative Party as to how it should deal with the trade unions. These disagreements have in large part reflected divisions within British Conservatism itself, between the paternalist, "one nation" strand which has traditionally favoured a conciliatory approach to the trade unions, and the "economic liberal/social authoritarian" strand, which has always hankered after the virtual suppression of trade unionism.