Labour Economic Problems 1945-1951

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  • Created on: 04-02-13 12:13
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1945 election
July first election for 10 years - 393 labour victory, 209 cons, 12 Liberals
Why Labour Won
What Labour did right What Conservatives did wrong
Labour had been getting popular since People remembered unemployment of
the mid 30s. 30s (when cons in power)
Trade Unions got stronger in war. Appeasement.
People had liked the planning + war time WC accused Labour of being like the
controls and thought Labour would Gestapo (Nazi secret police)
continue that, and would implement Cons were not enthusiastic of the 1942
Beveridge report. Beveridge report.
People could see Labour did a good job WC- too old 70 in 1945, more wartime
in war time coalition e.g. Bevin + Attlee. than peacetime PM, spoke in Broad
Grass roots (local) party+ campaign times with appeals to great historic
better organised. events.
Focused too much on WC.
1945-51 Labour Government
Attlee PM, no coalition most socialist (left wing) gov ever had. >Huge economic problems >Many
social reforms.
Economic Problems Solutions
Too many overseas commitments. 1. Gave India
1. Huge empire needed to be independence
maintained. 1947
2. Us wanted UK to help to 2. Told US couldn't
stop communism spreading. help fight against
communism e.g.
Greece.
3. Attlee developed
nuc. Weapons (with
US help)
Cheaper than soldiers
etc.
2. GB in debt to US, Canada, 1. Labour kept many of
India. the taxes of war time.
2. More loans at
favourable interest
rate, Canada loaned
$1,500m low interest
rates.

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US loaned
$3,700m over 50
years but we had to
pay the interest in
dollars. Which lead
to the Convertibility
Crisis where there
was not enough $
physically in Bank of
England.
1948 US lent
`Marshall Aid' even
more generous
interest rates-
`saved' British
economy.
3. GB not exporting enough to 1. Government kept
pay for imports we needed wartime control on
e.g. Timber to rebuild. industry, forcing firms
to produce the export
market. Known as
export drive.
2.…read more

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Some growth e.g 1. Compensation
electricity. cost £2700m
2. Cons kept most of it.
2. Some nat Ind didn't
make a profit so had to
be subsidised from other
parts of gov't budget.
Devaluation 1949 Due to brief US recession, Us
demand for GB exports and
therefore £ = Brit forced to
bring the value of £ down (only
1 other time in British history)
public humiliation damaged
labour reputation.
Feb 1950 election
Lab overall majority dropped to 5 due to poor economy and devaluation.…read more

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