This chapter discusses economic policies, public spending (the May committee’s proposals) and the reaction to the fall of the Labour government. The economic problems in the wake of the Wall Street crash were debated in the Macmillan Committee on Finance and Industry on which Bevin sat. He signed both the main report submitted in 1931, (which offered little) and the minority report drafted by Keynes. The May Committee proposed drastic cuts in public spending including cuts in unemployment benefit. Both the TUC and the TGWU rejected these proposals as did many Labour MPs. However MacDonald, Thomas and Snowden supported the cuts and joined with the Tories to form a National Government in order to implement them. The Labour government fell and the number of its MP’s fell to 46 in the 1931 general election.
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