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Slide 1

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How successful were the
National Governments of 1931-
1939 in dealing with the social
and economic problems they
faced?…read more

Slide 2

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Successful Less or Unsuccessful
· 1 Devaluation of the pound: Government · 4 1934 Special Areas Act: made £2 million
devalued the pound by 20% - helped to boost available to poorest areas in country, aimed to
foreign trade, made British goods affordable. revive industry & create jobs, idea was realistic
· 2 Cut interest rates (cheap money): 1932 ­ & it could have been great success ­ too small a
interest rates cut from 6% (1931) to 2%, aimed scale to have real impact on unemployment,
to help those struggling with debt & financial especially the intractable million.
loans, encouraged small enterprises & · 5 Protection: Chamberlain already implemented
businesses to open as they were more willing to Import Duties Bill ­ 10% duty on foreign exports
borrow money from bank ­ repayments less due coming to Britain, National Government wanted
to interest cuts, encouraged people to spend. greater protection so they arranged Ottawa
· 3 Cut backs: May committee ­ report in July conference, Chamberlain, Baldwin & others
1931 suggested £97,000,000 cut back in hoped British empire would become self-
expenditure & £67,000,000 cut in employment supporting economic unit, free trade between
benefit, MacDonald & Snowden accepted report dominions & tariff barriers against rest of world,
but Cabinet generally rejected it, Snowden dominions (Canada & Australia) feared if free
suggested 10% cut backs in unemployment trade introduced to empire their small industries
benefit ­ too many people on the dole putting would suffer competition against Britain,
unnecessary strain on Government ­ mutiny in Dominions wouldn't accept free trade & didn't
Scotland, Snowden changed tax system ­ rich abolish tax on British goods ­ raised tariffs
taxed more & poor taxed less (coming off gold against non-British items (small compromise) ­
standard), Government believed less there was such high hopes for protection but it
expenditure = less inflation = British goods sold was a false promise.
cheaper.…read more

Slide 3

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Factors out of Government
control that boosted British
· Late 1930s there was a housing boom ­
led to industries such as electricity
beginning to prosper well (towns like
· Increase in motor vehicle industry ­
employing 400,000 people.
· Rearmament began when Hitler invaded
the Rhineland 1936 ­ these factors were
more important that Government actions.…read more


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