Presentation on theme: "Britain 1951 - 1955. 1951 Britain had been victorious in WW2. Festival of Britain was held. We had 22.5% of world trade (exports of manufactures) The."— Presentation transcript:
1951 Britain had been victorious in WW2. Festival of Britain was held. We had 22.5% of world trade (exports of manufactures) The NHS was three years old, but prescription charges and charges on spectacles and false teeth had been introduced. School leaving age had been increased to 15. The 1944 Education Act (Grammar, Sec Modern, Technology) was now ensuring increasing numbers of young people were going to university. 14 major industries had been nationalised. Unemployment was 253,000 in 1951. (2008 = 1,950,000, 1932 = 2.8m) Rationing on meat, bacon, butter, tea and sugar. Basic rate of income tax at almost 50% Government had recently embarked on a £4.7 billion re- armament programme due to the Korean War.
Conservatives – 1951: “We must set the people free”
Election Results Conservatives 321 Liberal Party 6 Labour 295
Publicly Churchill called for "several years of quiet steady administration". Privately he declared that his policy was "houses, red meat and not getting scuppered". http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/films/1945to1951/film page_bc.htm Link to Festival of Britain movie reel The Conservative Government found a set of circumstances in which its room for political manoeuvre was severely limited. Some might argue that it had taken the idea that revolutions - in this case, the democratic socialist revolution of 1945 - constituted progress, and should not be undone. In fact, it left the welfare state largely intact, was running scared of organised labour, and left almost all the nationalised industries under state ownership.
Party unity and leadership Confidence gained from the victory. Experienced figures from the war – Eden, Butler, Macmillan. The party became increasingly dissatisfied with Churchill’s refusal to stand aside for Eden Churchill was aged 80 in 1954
Welfare State Maintained the charges introduced by Attlee’s Labour Government in 1950 The level of benefits increased but not at the same rate as wages. Began a new surge in building schools and universities. By 1964, 6000 new schools and 11 new universities had been built. Very few new hospitals built.
Rab Butler and economic recovery As Chancellor, Butler was determined to improve Britain’s balance of payments, maintain full employment and control inflation – a difficult balancing act. 1953 Budget (RA Butler) A budget designed to promote expansion of the economy by increasing the potential for consumerism. It cut taxes and liberalised other economic controls such as interest rates. 1955 (April) Budget (RA Butler) A tax cutting budget in advance of the general election. (The date of the election was already known at the time of the budget). It cut income tax and raised personal allowances. 1955 (July) Mini-Budget (RA Butler) Post-election deflationary measures introduced by RA Butler.
De-nationalisation? “Nationalisation has proved itself a failure which has resulted in heavy losses to the taxpayer and the consumer” - Rab Butler in 1952 Iron and Steel was de-nationalised by the Conservatives in 1952. Road Haulage also denationalised in 1952.
An end to rationing?....finally Food rationing began on 8 January 1940, four months after the outbreak of war, when limits were imposed on the sale of bacon, butter and sugar. Then on 11 March 1940 all meat was rationed. Clothes coupons were introduced and a black market soon developed while queuing outside shops and bartering for extra food became a way of life. Allowances were made for pregnant women who used special green ration books to get extra food rations. Breastfeeding mothers had extra milk. Restrictions were gradually lifted three years after war had ended, starting with flour on 25 July 1948, followed by clothes on 15 March 1949. On 19 May 1950 rationing ended for canned and dried fruit, chocolate biscuits, treacle, syrup, jellies and mincemeat. Petrol rationing ended in May 1950. (Back after Suez Crisis for 5 months) Soap - September 1950. 3 October 1952 – tea rationing ended. Feb 1953 - sugar rationing ended. (yes!!!!) February 1954 - the Ministry of Food stopped controlling the sale of pork and announced it would end all food rationing this summer. May 1954 - butter rationing ended. 4 July 1954 - Sale and purchase of meat and bacon were lifted.