How successful were the National Government (1931-39) in dealing with social/economic problems

The key successes and failures 

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  • Created by: jenna
  • Created on: 11-05-12 10:56

Government Success

  • Devaluation of the Pound
    • Government devauled the £ by 20%
      • Boosted foreign trade
      • Made British goods affordable
  • Cut interest rates (cheap money)
    • 1932
      • interest rates cut from 6% (1931) to 2%
      • Aimed to help those in finacial difficulties 
      • Encouraged small enterprises/businesses to open
        • Willing to borrow more from banks - repayments less due to interest cut = encouraging people to spend
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Government Successes (cont)

  • Cut Backs
    • May Comittee (July 1931)
      • suggested £97million cut back in expenditure
      • £67million cut in employment benefit 
      • Ramsay & Snowden agreed, however rest of Cabinet seemed to reject it
        • Snowden suggest 10% cut backs in unemployment benefit - too many people on the dole = strain on Government 
      • Government believed less expenditure = less inflitration = British goods sold cheaper
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Government less successful/unsucessful

  • Special Areas Act, 1932
    • £2million availible to poorest areas of the country
    • Aimed to revive industry & create jobs
    • Idea was realistic & could have been a great succes
      • Too small scale to have a real impact on unemployment
  • Protection
    • Chamberlain already introduced Import Duties Bill - 10% Duty on foreign exports coming to Britain 
      • National government wanted greater protection 
        • Arranged Ottawa Conference 
          • Chamberlain, Baldwin hoped British Empire would become self-supporting economic unit
          • Canada & Australia wouldn't accept free-trade & didn't abolish tax on British goods - raised tariffs on non-British goods 
        • High hopes for protection but was a false promise
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Factors out of Government control that boosted Bri

  • Late 1930s - Housing Boom 
    • led to industries such as electricty beginning to prosper well (towns such as Jarrow)
  • Increase in motor vechile industry
    • creating 400,000 jobs 
  • Rearment began when Hitler invaded the Rhineland, 1936
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