The Second Baldwin Government, 1924-29

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Conservative Administration

  • The majority of 200 gave Baldwin the majority that Baldwin wanted
  • Had the advantage of a full strength party following the reunificayion of the party, with A. Chamberlain and Balfour were in the Cabinet despite being leaders of the split
  • Made Churchill Chancellor in one of the strangest and, what would turn out to be, poorest appointments he ever made. Probably made because Churchill was pro-free trade, showing how Baldwin was not about to introduce protection. Also to prevent him returning to the Liberals
  • Foreign affairs (A. Chamberlain): Relations with the USSR deteriorated. The commercial treaty was abandoned and diplomatic relations were eventually broken off due to a spy scandal. Locarno treaty accepted post war borders in Western Europe

The General Strike

  • April '25-Churchill returned Britain to the Gold Standard. Keynes predicted that the pound was 10% overvalued
  • As a result, Keynes thought that British exports would be uncompetitive and this would lead to wage cuts, effecting the coal industry immediately and drastically
  • When wage cuts and a longer working day were announced for miners in June '25, the TUC promised to support the miners and a general strike seemed certain
  • Baldwin-'all the workers of this country must take wage reductions to help put industry back on its feet'
  • Subsidy was given to keep wage levels at pre-gold standard levels while the Samuel Commission enquired into the mining industry
  • This gave the gov't. nine months in which to prepare for the strike
  • Samuel Report of March '26-Called for reorganisation of the coal industry…


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