DOMESTIC POLITICS 1940-51

  • Created by: tadiwa
  • Created on: 13-07-17 19:46

WINSTON REPLACES CHAMBERLAIN 1940

  • CHAMBERLAIN'S AFFECTED POSITION
  • Chamberlain realised how limited action had been, and this meant he'd be a weak leader with no military experience and tarnished by appeasement as his 'peaceful' view.
  • uninspiriring leadership during 'phoney war' period and Churchill's increased enthusiasm in spite of problems.
  • brought in Churchill as 1st Lord of Admiralty to quieten criticsm and build up support.Chamberlain had low chances and beliefs of success, 
  • PHONEY WAR
  • period saw little acts of active conflict
  • Evacuation of children, Blackouts. Closing of cinemas. Increased armed forces. Conscription. Production of supplies. 
  • War effort not as rigorous as expected during 1939-40. Plans were carried out expecting a great war immediately, but the gov't made only one small attempt at attacking, and only used the Expeditionary Force. 
  • Germany began with attack on Poland with quick occupation as they feared a 2 sided plan.
  • Churchill as main driving force, and insistent on direct vigorous action. 
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CHURCHILL REPLACES CHAMBERLAIN

NORWEGIAN CAMPAIGN

  • norwegian waters were vital to German routes to get to Swedish iron ore, which would prove very useful for German war effort. Churchill called for action by using mines to stop Hitler.
  • 28 March 1940- Chamberlain agrees but is too late as Hitler manages to undertake invasion on 1st April in Oslo, where he captures territory but loses 14 ships. Britain had failed and had been poorly managed. 

CONSEQUENCES FOR CHAMBERLAIN-RESIGNATION ON 10TH MAY

  • prompted much debate and this was over the war record in its entirety. many felt the war wsas being gravely mismanaged.
  • 7-8 May- Chamberlain recieved many attacks from his own side as a heated commons debate caused concerns, but didn't indicate a split.
  • LAB took a vote of confidence in HOC, but Chamberlain lost this (281 CON AGAINST, 200 FOR, 40 AGAINST AND 4O ABSTAIN)
  • many wanted a new leader so Chamberlain resigns on 10th as he was also unwell. 
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CHURCHILL REPLACES CHAMBERLAIN

  • WHY CHURCHILL SUCCEEDED CHAMBERLAIN
  • Lord Halifax had been concidered to next PM, but labour wouldnt serve him and he had no backbench confidence and his peerage caused him to refuse.
  • King chose Churchill as PM against better judgment as Churchill was seen to cause wartime crisis. Churchill then formed WARTIME COALITION with LAB LIB. Key posts remained CON. chosen due to
  • CHAMBERLAIN WEAKNESS
  • proved right over failure of appeasement
  • country needed someone relatable and unconnected to appeasment
  • could regain public trust
  • CHURCHILL ABILITIES
  • stuck up for and stayed loyal to chamberlain in crisis
  • determined war minister
  • popular personality figure
  • proved right over Hitler threat
  • previous war experience
  • LAB support
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THE BEVERIDGE REPORT DEC. 1942

  • Committee formed to discuss NI scheme, and returned with welfare state blueprint.Basic assumptions of *NHS, *maintenance of full employment *system of family allowances
  • WANT
  • 'from cradle to grave''no-one fell below a certain standard'. unified existing schemes and introduced family allowance. Old Age Pensions, Maternity Grants, Funeral Grants.contributary benefits for minimum standards, extended NI scheme
  • DISEASE
  • a new national health service to be established(1946). giving free treatment and service. 
  • IGNORANCE
  • 1944 Butler Education Act, compulsory schooling up to 15, and tripartate system. Local authorities had to provide education 5-15. 
  • SQUALOR
  • destroyed houses = homelessness. aimed to buil 200k new homes each year. New Towns Act 1946- 14 new towns made. Post-war shortage. temporary homes for homeless ppl. 
  • IDLENESS
  • indefinite period to claim payment, post war 2.5% unemployment. LAB committed to re-employment in 1944 White Paper.
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1945 GENERAL ELECTION LAB WIN

  • CHANGE OF MOOD IN COUNTRY
  • nation thought that CON focused too heavily on churchill and his personailty, instead of focusing on the countrys needs. Didn't want to regress into pre-war times and workings following Beveridge. only upper classes loved churchill 
  • LABOUR WELL ORGANISED AND POPULAR POLICIES

collectivism and breaking down social barriers, promised comprehensive welfare system and had appealing slogans and were seen as efffective wartime leaders. many didn't trust churchill in peacetime and he was seen as too old,  with a poorly funded ca,paign and lack of local officers in constituencies. 

  • association to Russia became a positive socailist connection, and the political ethos of the time favoured LAB motive as they were viewed as the social equality party.
  • LABOUR LEADERSHIP AND WARTIME EXPERIENCE
  • Attlee- served in War Cabinet and Bevin- Minister of Labour. LAB had good wartime experience and this enabled them to gain useful ministerial experience and gain popularity and public knowledge
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LAB ECONOMY CHALLENGES

USA LOAN 1946

  • USA supply Britain with a 3750M loan as the country is nearing downfall, to be paid back 1951-2001. Makes LAB look weak as they had to limit empire and give up empirical preference, but saved country from complete 'financial dunkirk'

CUTTING BACK EMPIRE

  • some were rebelling, others had to be relinquished, such as india, pakistan and middle eastern territories. lost profitable areas and weakened international power, gave them bad rep as party who 'lost' empire

CONVERTIBILITY CRISIS 1947

  • Pound sterling fully convertible into United States Dollars, leading to loss of currency reserves due to lak of confidence. Talk of replacing Attlee with Bevin and needed to restore lost confidence, as well as the clear message of austerity being emphasised
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LAB ECONOMY CHALLENGES

SEVERE 1947 WINTER AND CRIPPS AUSTERITY

  • In 1949 Stafford Cripps devalued the pound by over 30%, giving a rate of $2.80 

MARSHALL AID 1948

DEVALUATION OF £ 1949

  • In 1949, Britain devalued the pound sterling by 30%. This was a major world economic event given that the pound was a one of the major currencies in the world. In fact, 9 other countries followed suit then. Interestingly, several among those who devalued were former British colonies.Given that savings are destroyed in a currency devaluation, it should be interpreted as a disaster and outrage. Introduced prescription charges

WAR IN KOREA 1951

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LAB POLICY OF NATIONALISATION

CLAUSE IV: To secure for th orkers, the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upn the basis of common ownership...'

  • SUCCESS
  • key staple industries and vital infratructure and a national bank= socialsit ideals
  • 20% of economy nation'ed
  • nationalisation was popular with miners and other workers
  • state controls basic industries meant fair treatment and better conditions
  • public ownership implied shared ntl wealth
  • lower gas and electric chsrges and greater development
  • FAILURE
  • owned by 'people' but still ran like a private business with no worker involvement (public corps.)
  • no industrial demoracy
  • substantial sums to be paid to previous owners (eg, 164M for mine owners)
  • made combined state policy dfficult
  • needed a lot of investment before being able to be fixed
  • made little difference as gov't had already been in control, and didn't change much
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THE NEW JERUSALEM?

HEALTHCARE

AIMS

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • important change between 1945-51 by bevan. poor people recieved relief as they were able to get newfound medical help.high demand for prescrition medication costs £187M 1948-49.
  • malnutrition based illness become rarer. reuced loss of life from TB, measles, diptheria
  • infant mortality fell by 50%
  • NHS allowed widespread antibiotic treatment 

LIMITATIONS

  • costs were higher than expected (from £140m a year to 358m by 1959)
  • social divisions between those who could and couldnt afford continued to grow
  • faced resistance from medical community, and had to allow private practice as a sacrifice
  • first year, cost over 400m
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THE NEW JERUSALEM?

  • EDUCATION
  • AIMS
  • education reforms school numbers and tripartite system. grammar, technical, secondary modern. 

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Wilkinson gains 35k returning service people to be trained and housed as teachers
  • nearly 1K new primary schools constructed by late 1940s
  • labour workers granted uni grants to study when returning from war
  • insured grants for school and education expansion means its level with new leaving age

LIMITATIONS

  • not enough schools built by gov't
  • tripartite system became a preferential two-tier system that only benefitted upper classes with social barriers
  • alternative complusory schools barely expanded by 1950- only 50 built
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END OF WAR AND WOMEN

SIGNIFICANT CHANGES

  • removal of marriage bar , which restricted married women from working 1945 (10& female workers to 22%)
  • Bevin reluctantly instated conscription in National Service Act 1941. 
  • 37.5% of women in employment by 1951, compared to 34% in 1931
  • family allowances act 1945 meant women gained first independent income of 25p per child

VERY LITTLE CHANGES

  • continued in industry, but gov't remved nursery grants making it difficult for women
  • pressure to vacate mens jobs, considere their war work as temporary
  • lack of equal pay- paid 59% less than men for same work
  • trade union leaders unwilling to fight for women as men were the priority
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HOME FIRES- WAR EXPERIENCES

  • HOMES DESTROYED
  • over 2m damaged as civilian warfare was popular with hitler
  • CITIES BOMBED
  • main industrial cities to weaken british war effort. london, coventry, bristol, plymouth
  • BENEFITS OF COALITION GOV'T
  • non-party divide and united war effort. overbearing state control Emergency Powers Act 1939- workforce directed to war by Ministry of Labour
  • BEVIN?
  • focused on workers and held their trust and support. domineering attitude, and concerned with efficiency. added women to concription in 1941.
  • BY-ELECTIONS DURING WAR
  • coalition gov't faced many losses, and rebel MPs voted no confidence and used Tobrik issue as propaganda for themselves. 
  • FOOD SUPPLY AND SHORTAGE
  • many amenities were in short supply, and the rationing system didnt change between classes,  eggs, fruit, beer, sugar, meat, cheese
  • popular black market, gov't fought against racketeering and encouraged 'grow your own' 
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1945 GENERAL ELECTION LAB WIN

CON FAILURES- LEADERSHIP

  • churchill failed to judge  national mood change and made missteps during campaign- churchill compared LAB enforcement to 'gestapo' post-war insensitivity
  • POOR CON CAMPAIGN
  • based camapign on churchills record and success, ad highlighted LAB weakness as a low-brow tactics. didn't highlight any particular policies and didnt conjur up an appeal
  • CON POLICY WAS UNINSPIRING
  • ideologically on the defensive and had no clear plan or policies to attrct voters with
  • CON LABELLED 'NASTY PARTY' 
  • few CON MPs made themselves well-known as they were heavily involved in foreign which annoyed many. associated with restrictive measures of 30s, Means Test, High income tax, Lowered benefits
  • Campaign based factors- short term issues  
  • Mood and LAB factors, long term issues
  • LAB post-war policies as they based them on popular and logical Beveridge report and managed to create attractive forward-thinking ideology acting as a catalyst to their election success
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1945 GENERAL ELECTION

Labour

Clement Attlee 393

Conservative

Winston Churchill 197

Liberal

Sir Archibald Sinclair, Bt 12

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LAB ECONOMY CHALLENGES

  • 1945
  • 50% income tax, 3.5BN in debt, and dependent on US aid, heavy costs of war.
  • chancellor aimed to establish trade balance. US Aid useful with 2% interest. but had to lose empire preferences.
  • 1946-7
  • amidst a huge fuel crisis in severe winter, Shinwell didnt solve coal problems, convertablitity crisis major problem.
  • CON took over in opinion polls. Talk of Bevin replacing Attlee. 
  • 1948-9
  • continued dependency on USA and signs of US depressin coming, reduced British exports
  • devaulation of pound problematic for market and investors.
  • 1950-51
  • high spending oversees, korean war =costly participation, defence spending +to 4.7M in 1951-54
  • reduced welfare spending and provisions, so bevan resigns in protest
  • they did the best possible actions they could as they were in a restricted position, but cleverly managed to stay away from complete downfall, had to agree to non-beneficial terms
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THE NEW JERUSALEM?

  • SOCIAL SECURITY
  • AIMS
  • from cradle to grave. introduced child benefits and strengthened national insurance scheme. benefits tobe administered by one ministry. and given as one payment.all entitled = no means test

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • kept unemployment under 3%, which was lower than their goal
  • FAMILY ALLOWANCE ACT 1945-25p a week per child from Treasury
  • NATIONAL INSURANCE ACT 1946-extension makes it compulsory and weekly
  • NATIONAL ASSISTANCE ACT 1948- safety net of payments for those who werent covered by insurance act(handicapped, unmarried,mothers)

LIMITATIONS

  • poverty remains a persistent problem despite progressive reforms and benefit schemes
  • many lived below poverty line in sipte of state intervention
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THE NEW JERUSALEM?

  • HOUSING
  • AIMS

'let us face our future'. proceed with a housing programme that would  be practical and fastto a agood standard for 1.25M in need

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • policy to foster the building of new council houses for workers with 10s rent/week
  • financed by exchequor and rents. council houses and private houses built 4:1
  • shortage of 1946 meant 500k prefab houses built  for £1k each
  • town and country planning act 1947, use of land to build communities and homes

LIMITATIONS

  • shortage of affordable building materials and labourers meant home building was halted
  • ratio limited house building and was slow to progress.
  • only 55k built in 1946 and 250k by 1948
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THE NEW JERUSALEM?

  • ECONOMIC POLICY
  • AIMS

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • raised income tax to 50% which raised national funds
  • US aid= 3750M 

LIMITATIONS

  • Enormous cost of war and Attlee faced immediate crisis
  • vast scale of destruction
  • crippling financial costs
  • 500M in1939, had already lost 15% of national wealth
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LABOUR REFORMS EVALUATION

the reforms can be viewed as not that comprehensive as there were major problems invovled, despite the major problems with them, they had to collective aim of improving the country for the people,

BUT

were costly and erronous in how LAB implemented them. they also didnt deal with the social disharmony and inequality in the education system and the failed nationalisation. 

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LABOUR REFORMS EVALUATION

  • right wing criticism
  • put too many resources into welfare instead of modernising economy. Japan and Germany quick to outpace Britain
  • no shift in wealth distribution
  • failed to truly introduce socialism, instead propped up capitalism
  • limited nationalism, which was main focus. 
  • welfare benefitted middle class, and not those at the bottom
  • left wing criticism
  • missed out chance to redistribute wealth, and social diviaion remained
  • managed to pass out many of thiier plans and helped create welfare state
  • very accurate as the reforms had large obvious errors and made no attempts at bridging social barriers
  • praise
  • few gov'ts (Bevin and Cripps) worked as hard as this one,died soon after1950/51 
  • delivered what had been promised and gov't did more good
  • achieved virtually full employment and industrial equality, with new natinoal standards gov't worked tirelessly to produce progressive reforms and welfare state
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FACTORS AFFECTING 1950 ELECTION

By 1950, divisions were obvious in LAB. mainstream members focused on election battle while othrs focused on expansion.CON portrayed more untied party image, which churchill in background, despite opposing nationalism but accepted mixed economy nd welfare state. 

  • ELECTORAL SYSTEM AND DISTRIBUTION OF VOTES
  • swing back to CON largely from southern suburbs, while LAB retained core base and found it hard to maintain middle class vote with 'hope and progress'
  • STRENGTHS OF CON PARTY AND PRESENTATION
  • party organised under Lord Woolton, was better ran and more locally active with £1m election fund
  • WEAKNESSES IN LAB PARTY AND THEIR EXPLOITATION
  • churchill accused LAB of prioritising socialism over the people, but stayed away from inflammatory comments this time
  • gov't incompetency over ground nut farming in west africa in 1949( £36m wasted)
  • profitable nationalisation of steel and iron delayed despite being most profitable industry (only a left wing ideal)
  • gov't ended legislative plans to quarrel over left and right divisions 
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1951 ELECTION

  • CON-48% LAB 48.8%
  • basically the same amount of votes, but the vote share and system of constituencies means CON victory

1951 General election results summary PartySeatsVotes Conservative 321 13,717,538 Labour 295 13,948,605 Ulster Unionist 9 Liberal 6 730,556

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1951 ELECTION

  • WEAKNESSES IN LABOUR   harmful shortlived 1950 gov't with costly korean war
  • CONSERVATIVE REVIVAL   modernised themselves as a party
  • shocked by 1945 defeat and were suddenly forced to accept formidable opponent and need to refocus 
  • despite bieng 76, churchill remained popular and allowed popularity by shunning HOC
  • accepted and promised to maintain LAB reforms and NHS
  • ELECTORAL SYSTEM
  • sets declined for LAB despite maintaining most votes, even gianed more than before in record-breaking 45 election   *CON= 40% increase in votes from 45-50
  • COLLAPSE OF LIBERAL VOTE
  • negligible significance by 1951
  • ELECTION CAMPAIGNS
  • churchill named it 'demure' but still got 48% vote share
  • CON used Bevan's "vermin" comment while LAB used Churchill's US and Russia summit
  • seen as a turning point despite no emergency at the time
  • CON pledged 300k houses yearly
  • LAB claimed churchill would 'basically nuclear war' in The Mirror
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1951 ELECTION

IN WHAT WAYS WAS THE 1951 ELECTION A RERUN OF 1950

  • it repeated much of the issues and focuses that the partie fought on in the elction campaign
  • changes in leadership measnt LAB was deeply divided with differing ideologies

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST CONVINCING EXPLANATION FOR CON VICTORY IN 1951

  • a change of mood within the nation as people began to swing back towards their true political ideologies after LAB had fulfilled hopes of reform and improvements.  
  • costly blunders in LAB implementation of reforms meant many were dissuaded away from voting for them
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