Hungry Thirties

  • Created by: MonsurAli
  • Created on: 15-06-17 11:58
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  • Hungry Thirties
    • 1929 govt
      • Domestic policies
        • 1930's Housing Act - for slum clearance
        • 1930's coal mines act - reduced miners working hours 8 to 7 and half shifts.
        • 1931 Land utilisation act and Agricultural marketing act - marketing boards created which had the power to fix prices and arrange supplies more efficiently
        • 1931 transport bill - public corporations responsible for providing cheap public transport for London.
        • Unemployment benefits increased, however due to no Liberal cooperation other reforms could not be passed.
        • Due to outside events, reforms were neglected. Unemployment rose to 3 million by 1932. British exports fell by a half.
      • Response to the economic crisis
        • Set up economic advisory council; who realised more unemployment benefits made a larger strain on the govt budget.
        • Labour were divided over approach; Snowden wanted to maintain gold standard; Mosely wanted more spending. Macdonald did not believe Mosely's Keynsian ideas would work. Mosely resigned. Cabinets could not agree on size of cuts.
        • May report issued: Predicted £120mn deficit by 1932. Recommended cuts of £96.5mn in the pays of public sector. Also a 20% cut in unemployment benefits followed by heavy taxation.
          • Recommendation caused major outcry due to increase in inequality. Some felt crisis was good so it could lead to a fall in capitalism.
        • The agreed cuts amounted to £56mn but other parties rejected it as they were too small. TUC leaders also rejected it entirely. Cabinet gave approval for unemployment benefits (11 to 9), but cabinet was too split, so Mac could not lead and went to the King to resign.
    • National government 1931
      • Mac went to the king to resign; but the King, Samuel and Baldwin wanted him to stay in power to lead a National Govt. This split Labour - only 3 joined (Sankey Snowden and Thomas).
      • They accused Mac as a traitor due to being too slow to respond to the crisis. He was seen as being selfish and to only advance his own career.
        • May committee was unsuccessful, he did not make the effort to resign from Labour due to it's split.
        • 'The greatest betrayal in the political history of this country'
        • He was ready to ignore the Labour party, and he aligned himself with he enemy.
    • 1931 and 1935 election
      • 1931: 67% of vote and 554 seats. 1935 53.7% of vote and 432 seats. 1935 election showed they maintained their support. It also showed the political destruction of the Labour party.
      • Policies
        • Came off gold standard and aimed to reduce budget deficit. 10% cut in benefits (means test). Cuts in public wages. Lowered interest rates to 2%.
        • Set up 'sterling area' (using pound rather than gold to settle accounts), Import Duties act 1932 (tariffs), Imperial tariff system which meant empire countries were exempt.
        • Govt aid to depressed areas (Special areas act 1934), set up marketing boards for milk, bacon, potatoes providing guaranteed prices for farmers.
        • Chamberlain 1937 continued social reform: 1937 Factory Act extended factory security from 7 to 11 million workers. 1938 holidays with pay act (gave one weeks paid holiday).


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