Interdepartmental Committee on Physical Deteriorat
The Interdepartmental Committee on Physical Deterioration delivered a report in parliament in 1904. Some of their recommendations included:
- Appointing full time medical officers and health visitors in urban areas
- Local authorities setting purity standards for all food and drinks
- Giving all school children free medical examinations
- Addressing urban overcrowding
- Introducing laws to limit smoke pollution
- Teaching basic hygiene in schools
- Local authorities providing free school meals
Britain's 'new' industries
In 1910, 44% of Britain's workforce was in 7 'new' industries :
- Transport and communication
- Distributive trades
- Hotels and Catering
- Financial Services
- Health provision
- Public administration
Taff Vale Decision
In June 1900, employees of the Taff Vale Railway Company in south Wales went on strike. They were backed by their union, the ASRS (Associated Sociey of Railway Servants).
The company tried to stop them by employing new, non-union labour and taking the ASRS to court for picketing (strikers standing at gates to a workplace to stop new workers from entering)
The workers eventually returned with no gain, and the ASRS was taken to court for damages from the financial loss.
The first hearing was in favour of the company, but after the ASRS appealed in November, a higher court reversed this. The company appealed to the House of Lords, who reversed it again to be in favour of the company.
The ASRS had to pay £42,000 to the company (equivalent of about £3 million today) The Lords decision seemed to destroy the workers right to strike and picket, and this could only be altered by an act of parliament.
In 1902, Balfour announced that he had no intention of reversing the decision again, which reinforced the belief that the Conservatives were unsympathetic to the workers interests.
Balfour's Education Act
Baflour's name was put on the 1902 Education Act as he played a big part in drafting it, and it became regarded as a progressive step towards helping povery. It included:
- Raising the school leaving age to 12 years
- Local rates paid for subsidies for chirch schools
- Passed authority from local school boards (which were abolished) to county or borough councils
Lots of Balfour's credit was lost die to the row that started between the Anglican Church, the nations official religion, and the Nonconformists, a protestant church who rejected the Anglican Churches authority and was influential in the Victorian era.
Most schools in England and Wales were run by the Anglican church, and the 19th century reformists had to use existing Anglican schools to extend state education. This offended nonconformists who believed that heresy was being taught on rates and Anglicans who believed that they would lose their traditional hold over education. This was intensified by the 1902 Education Act.