• [11/03 CM 06]

     [11/03 CM 06]


    > Situation between 1920s and 1930s [High unemployment. A lot of policies had to be reduced.]

    In 1922 there was a decision to reduce state spending: the economics was slowing down. Because of “booms and slumps”: the economics starting to grow and then slump. Welfare provisions in particular (supply, benefits). The unemployment insurance act in 1920 was modified.

    Similarity with the same period in France: reduced gvt spending, policy of deflation, leads to the salary of civil servants reduced or sometimes frozen.

    1926 National Strike: mass protest mouvement → not a great success for the trade-unions. Deal with the gvt to reestablish social policies, the workers back to work. Still it was a huge mouvement.

    1929: economics crisis. Severe recession. All towns, all industrial area became suddenly depressed by unemployment. In some places the rate of unemployment is to 30, 40, 50%, or even 60%. Under-developed economy.

    1940s was a period where the situation was going even worse. Poverty increase, all the problems, people were living in the street. “Down & Out in Paris and London” (book). The Conservatives and the Liberals weren't seen as adaptable to the situation.


    > During the war

    The UK enter at war against Germany. Under Churchill a coalition-war government was formed. Propaganda was supposed to boost the moral of British people.


    > Situation in 1942 and the Beveridge report

    William Beveridge: task of doing a report about a possibility of establishing a system of national insurance for all the people in the UK: universal system of insurance. All the different major risks which have been identified before, had to have a social insurance coverage. Churchill was anti-socialist and didn't want to establish something like this. This report which is very technical, established that yes, it would be possible to put in place a system of universal insurance coverage. “The Report on Social Insurance and Allied Service.”

    Beveridge was a civil servant (high functionnary). He wasn't supposed to be a member of a political party: they were supposed to be independent-minded. Beveridge himself wasn't a member of the liberal party but he was a liberal. In 1906 he had been part of the new liberal ideas, he wrote a book: “Unemployement: a Problem of Industry”. He was part of the mouvement in favor of the government social intervention. Because his main idea was that unemployment was not a problem of individual laziness or inadaption, but a problem of distribution of industry in territory. All industrial places were established close to coal mines, rivers, which were adapted to the conditions of the time. So other areas did not developped in the same way. Question of geographical problem: people did not especially lived where the work was. The Labour Exchanges in 1909 was an effort to resolve it. Central government had to decentralize institutions, had to do something about the critical problem of unemployment.

    So in 1942 the same man produced the Beveridge Report. People bought thousands copies of this report. This was a proposal to organize a system of national insurance, based on general taxations and contribution. So it was something which did attract a lot of people. Some of the Lords didn't want to be taxed to pay for the poor of course. But the Labour party quickly said that if they were elected after the war they would adopt the ideas of the Beveridge report. So the Labour party for the first time in the UK won a landslide victory in the 1945 elections.


    > After the war: economic crisis

    After the war, Lloyd George was PM again. Minister of reconstruction. An extension of the policies adopted before the war. But because of the crisis the attempt to build more houses for workers in particular did not produced what was expected. The level of state intervention in social-economic matters is a continuation of what we've seen between 1906 and 1930.

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