BH - Politics + confusion

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Lloyd George

-Representation of the People Act meant 6 million women and 2 million extra male voters

-Decision to continue with coalition, Labour left it though - also most constituencies had seperate candidates for Lloyd George coalition Lib and Asquith Liberal

-Bonar Law + LG issues coupons to candidates so electorate was aware of authentic 

-Coalition won - LG led Britain to victory and promised 'a fit country for heroes to live in', and to make Germany pay

-Opposition consisted of Labour, Asquith Libs, anti-coalition Conservatives, Sinn Feiners

-LG dependant on Cons due to Cons having 335 seats within coalition

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Lloyd George problems

- difficulties demobilizing troops w/ troops with important civilian jobs being released first, but by 1919 4 mil had returned and found jobs

- inflation at the end of the war, as government removed wartime control of prices and wage levels - prices grew and wages didnt

- 1917 russian revolution publicised nationalization and worker control, 2000 strikes by 1920

- strikes in Scotland by ship builders demanding less hours + more pay + nationalization, leaders of strikes were arrested and LG consolidated by offering 7 hour days, and set up Sankey commission to investigate problem

- slump in 1921, 2 mil out of work, end of war meant demand for coal/steel reduces - demands of British exports reduced -> 1911 National Insurance act was extended in 1920, all workers earning less than £250 recieved 15 weeks payment

- 1921 industries came out on strike because Sankey Commission didnt deal with the issue of nationalization, LG eventually privitised mines again - miners wages were reduced but Triple Alliance abandoned idea of general strike -> referred to as 'Black Friday

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Lloyd George problems #2

- reduction in government revenue from taxation, expenses on welfare and slump effected businesses - cuts in expenditure occured saving 64 mil, this is called 'the Geddes Axe'

- 72 Sinn Fein MPs set up own parliament in Ireland, and proclaimed Republic of Ireland - Black and Tans were unpopular and LG partitioned Ireland into N.I. and Irish Free State -> HIGHLY unpopular from Cons and Republicans

- due to Cons, LG sent troops to fight Bolsheviks in Civil War, highly unpopular w/ working class and troops

-The Chanak Incident (1922) - Turks threatened to break Versailles settlement by moving troops into neutral zone, LG warned if Turks violated the British empire would be at war against them, comprimise of 'treaty of Lausanne' was met but LG failed to consult PMs of the Commonwealth before committing them to a possible war

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Coalitions important reforms

- The Sex Diaqualification Removal Act (1919) women could stand for parliament

- The Addison Housing Act (1919) 200,000 houses built, though they were overpriced

- extension of The National Insurance

- Increased old age pensions

Fall of LG - lost working class support, Labour won 13 by-elections, in the Carlton Club meeting, 185 Cons MPs were in favour of ending coalition, Bonar Law took over in 1923 after LG resigned

WHY Cons betrayed him? handing of Ireland, the Chanak incident, sale of knighthoods and other honours, believed he could potentially split Cons party w/ anti + pro coalition Cons

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Cons and tariffs

- 1922 election won a majority w/ 354 seats, Labour 142, Asquith Libs 62, LG Libs 54

- Bonar Law resignation through ill health, Stanley Baldwin became PM and called another election, Cons retained large majority

- Chamberlain suggested tariff reform, Bonar Law had earlier promised against tariff reforms... Baldwin thought it was only fair to let voters express their view

- Baldwin argued for tariffs - foreign goods become more expensive in Britain, would boost British industry

- Liberal party reunited under Asquith and campaigned for free trade

- Libs/Labs argued free trade and foreign imports would sustain the cost of living for workers

- Results were - Cons 258 seats, Labs 191, Libs 159

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1st Lab Government

- Cons lost overrall majority, Lab + Libs would vote against Cons bills to introduce tarriffs

- Baldwin let Labour government go ahead, if MacDonald did anything unacceptable Cons + Libs could vote Labour out

- Asquith promised Lib support for a Labour government, Baldwin knew it would outrage righty Libs such as Winston Churchill

- MacDonald was working class, lack of education, lost seat in 1918 as he opposed the war, re-elected 1922 and gained leadership of Labour

- MacDonalds cabinet were moderates, and he brought in 2 Libs... Snowden reduced taxes rather than a wealth tax

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Why Lab governments lacked success

- both minority governments, so dependent on Libs to stay in office

- had to pursure moderate policies, nationalization and disarmament would lose support of Libs

- Lab image was the party of industrial workers, it was distrusted and lacked a national image

- relied on trade unions for funding, the trade unions didnt support 1924 Lab government due to its 'half measures' nature

- doctor strikes demanding 2 extra shillings, London Transport strike... MacDonald unnecessarily declared a state of emergency, relationships w/ unions were sour

- Lab and trade unions weren't cohesive, Bevin claimed left wing intelecttuals didnt understand the working class

- circumstances included unemployment, world economic problems i.e. Wall Street Crash, they lacked any answer to the economic situation

-  MacDonald wanted moderate policies, this was criticised by the leftys of Labour

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Reforms + achievements of Lab government

- Wheatley Housing Act... 9 mil annually for the building of council houses

- Old age pensions + unemployment benefits increased

- Increased the amount of free places in grammar schools, and scholarships to universities

Foreign affairs 

- Dawes Plan (1924) solved Franco-German relations, French occupied Ruhr after Germany refused to pay reperations... Agreement made that German pays annually what it could afford though reperations not reduced, and USA grants Germany a £40 mil loan

- Recognised the USSR and signed a trade treaty

- attended League of Nations meeting, introduced 'Geneva Protocol' - arbritatration of internal disputes compulsory

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Fall of 1924 Lab government

- Campbell Case, communist journalist J.R. Campbell was charged w/ incitement to mutiny, he wrote an article urging soldiers not to fire on fellow workers during strikes

- Labour Attourney General withdraw his prosecution

- Cons + Libs were alarmed and accused the government of being sympathetic to the communists

- Suspicions furthered due to Labour recognising the USSR and having open relations w/ them

- Libs demanded an enquiry carried in the Commons, 364 votes meant MacDonalds resigned as he observed it as a 'vote of no confidence'

- Zinoviev Letter, addressed to the British Communist Party contained instructions on organizing a revolution, although a hoax at the time it caused a sensation - Labour sympathy towards Russia was encouraging British communists

- Conservatives won a huge majority w/ 419 seats... Noticeably Libs dropped to 40 seats and Lab to 151... Labs blamed defeat on Zinoviev Letter, made by the Whites + Cons

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