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Flashcards in Labour Government Of Wilson And Callaghan Deck (15):

What was the economic position of Britain in 1974 when Wilson came back into power

Inflation was at 15 percent
The balance of payments deficit was 3 billion.
Trade union needed to be dealt with
The Northern Ireland situation was precarious


What was relationship within the Labour Party when Wilson came back into power in 1974

The party was less United than even and Wilson himself was older and less energetic .


What did Wilson do in October 1974 which suggested he was confident

Called a new election. Voters still associated health with the three day week. Labour gained 18 seats, the conservative 21 seats. Labour had 42 more seats than the conservatives


How was industrial relations between 1974-76

Wilson wanted to demonstrate that the labour was better equipped than the conservatives to work with the trade union.
The trade union was sent a message that the government was not looking for any confrontation. Agreements were quickly reached with the national union of miners allowing Wilson to end the state of emergency and the three day week.
Denis Healy (chancellor) issues two budgets to deal with the economic crisis without disturbing the unions


What were some of the economic reforms between 1974-76

Major problem: surge in inflation due to the rush of large wage increases.
1975- Denis Healy: speech warning of dangers: wage inflation caused unemployment, vital to control public spending.
1975- healeys budget imposed steep rises in taxation and public spending was cut.
1974 the national enterprise board (NEB) was set up under Tony Benn to administer the governments share holders into private companies. To increase investment by 1975 its effectiveness was being questioned.
1975 formal pay restraint policy was introduced intensifying party division.
1976 Wilson resigned


Comment on callaghans premiership 76-79

Callaghan had long experience and good links to the union = ideal leader to maintain part unity.
1976- the poor balance of payments was putting pressure on the sterling and there was concerns that Britain did not have enough reserves of currency to support it .
1976 Callaghans speech warned the party the 'cosy world' where the government could ensure full employment was gone. - productivity would have to improve to avoid "the twin evil" of employment and inflation.
This speech help prepare the Labour Party for the fact that the government was planning to apply for an emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Healy received a loan of 3 billion so the government had to make big spending cuts.
Callaghan handled the IMF crisis well and the economy recovered.
Callaghan maintained unity amount the labour MP


When did the economic situation of Britain begin to improve

As North Sea oil came on stream. By 1978 there were nine oilfields in production. Inflation rates fell to 10 percent. Unemployment at 1.6 million was still considered high but had started to fall and the number of days lost to industrial disputes had fallen to a ten year low.


How did the balance of payments change between 1974- 79

1974- -3565
1979- -902


What was the lib lab pact

A pact that Callaghan brought in to strengthen the government. In this he was able to defeat a vote of no confidence tabled by the Conservative party. This deal meant that the 12 liberal MPs agreed to vote with the government in parliament and in return Callaghan promised to move ahead with devolution in Wales and Scotland.


What what act was passed in 1978

Devolution act do Scotland and Wales were passed opening the way for referendums.


How happened as a result of the vote towards devolution

Wales voted against
More Scottish voters voted for
But devaluation was defeated. This disappointed Scottish MPs withdrew their support from the Labour Party. This was to prove decisive in the after as of the event of the winter 1978-1979


What was the winter of discontent
What was the wave of industrial action
How did it effect the government

Autumn of 1978 the trade unions reacted the labour governments proposed wage increase limit of 5%. This encouraged trade unions to put in higher demands. Lorry drivers received a 15% increase after nine week strike.

Disruption to transport, through Lorry drivers and train drivers Union ASLEF. Strikes by public sector workers- hospital porters and clerical staff in local councils and dustmen and grave diggers.

Not as a serious challenge as the miner strikes of 1974. They were brought to an end in 1979 and the average pay increase was 10 percent. But it had a negative impact of the customer mood.


Why was the general election of 1979 a bad time

Political landscape had been shaped by the winter of discontent. Economic situation had deteriorated and the reputation of the trade unions had been damaged- even many skilled and unskilled workers considered voting conservative.


What were some of the events in Northern Irish troubles in 1974-79

14th may 1974- Ulster workers council strike
17th may- loyalist car bomb killed 26 in Dublin and 7 in Monaghan
28 May- sunningdale agreement collapses
October 1974- Guildford bomb kills 5
November- Birmingham pub bomb kills 19
October 1975- 12 people killed in Northern Ireland in a series of UVF attacks
October 1976- republican prisoners began the blanket protest
March 1979- the conservative spoke man of Northern Ireland killed by IRA car bomb in the House of Commons car park.


What happened in 1976 to special category status

It was removed from terrorist prisoners, this meant they were no longer considered political prisoners but criminals. This was disliked by parliaments who believed that they engaged in war. As criminals they had to wear the prisoner uniform their refusal led to what was known as the 'blanket protest' where the INLA and IRA prisoners whereby prisoners were either naked or only wore blankets. This escalated to become the 'dirty protest' after 1978. By 1979 250 prisoners were taking part in the protest and demands were growing for them to regain their political status.