The Labour Governments of 1924 and 1929-31 Demonstrated that the Labour Party was Fit to Govern

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The Labour Governments of 1924
and 1929-31 Demonstrated that the Labour Party was Fit to Govern

In March 1924, the Conservative party lost of vote of confidence, and
a minority Labour government came into power for the first time in
their history. Again, in 1929, the Labour government came in to power
as a minority government. The main focus of their reigns in power, was
not as complicated as how well they improved the country, but just,
simply whether they could rule at all. By 1931, and the fall of the
Labour government, after the Wall street crash, the country was in
serious economic problems, and appeared that the Labour government had
failed, but was it there fault, was there anything they failed to do
to stop the depression, and did they succeed in proving that they had
become a major political force, which could directly compete with the
Conservative party.

Labour, the party set up for the working class, by trade Unionists,
was an idealistic Socialist party. It was a centre-left party, who
were not as extreme as the Socialists or Communists, and not as
central as the shattered Liberals. This meant, that although, their
efforts would primarily be aimed at improving the lower classes
standards of living, they would not persecute or destroy the upper
echelons of society. This won them support from several, socialist
middle and upper class voters.

The Labour governments had many domestic achievements, which did
primarily help the poor. The obvious examples are the John Wheatley's
Housing Act and the Hadow report in the first Labour governments. The
first, providing £9 million p.a. to pay local councils to build homes.
This led to half-a-million houses being built by 1933. The Hadow
report, introduced the principals of a break between primary and
secondary schools at 11, and established the principle of secondary
education for all. Other notable achievements in the first Labour
government include, restoring state scholarships to Universities;
abolishing the gap between the 2, 16-week periods of unemployment
benefit and increasing unemployment benefit and pensions.

The second Labour government also had a limited range of success. The
Coal Mines Act in 1930, reduced miners working hours, from 8 hours to
7 and-a-half hours a day. The other notable success was Arthur
Greenwood's Housing act of 1930. This renewed the abolished subsidies
for council house building and organised slum clearance.

These domestic policies, all proved to be very useful for a country
suffering a recession since the end of war, and provided much needed
houses, and improved the standard of living for Britain's poorest
people. With further education becoming available universally, even
the poor, who could previously not been able to afford university,
could now become skilled and highly competitive...

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