The Conservative Government 1922-23

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Bonar Law as Prime Minister

  • Very difficult for ABL as most leading Tories from the coalition refused to participate: Wiston Churchill-"Government of the second eleven"
  • Called an immediate election, effectively the dynamic DLG vs. the tired (and ill) ABL
  • Most commentators confused by the affair: Manchester Evening News-'Never perhaps has a general election been held where the issues were less clear and the electors recieved less guidance'
  • 78 different party labels
  • ABL expected that no party would gain a majority an it did prove to be one of the closest elections on record, with the three main parties each gaining a third of the vote
  • Over 100 MPs had a majority of less than 1000
  • FPTP distorted results, Cons. gained a 77 seat majority
  • Favourable beginnings. Minister of Health, Neville Chamberlain, introduced legislation to encourage house building. A £6 a year for 20 years subsidy given for each new house
  • Curzon negotiated the Treaty of Lausanne 
  • Tension in France and Germany ruined this apperent prosperity when the French occupied the Ruhr in Jan. '23 due to lack of reparations payments
  • Relations with the US also poor due to war debts. Baldwin, the Chancellor, managed to negotiate a deal of full payment over 62 years at more than 3% interest per year
  • Main problem for the gov't. was ABL's throat cancer, diagnosed in April '23. When this was announced he was expected to announce a successor but declined to do so
  • The…


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