Concept

Gouvernement national (Royaume-Uni)

Résumé
In the politics of the United Kingdom, a National Government is a coalition of some or all of the major political parties. In a historical sense, it refers primarily to the governments of Ramsay MacDonald, Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain which held office from 1931 until 1940. The all-party coalitions of H. H. Asquith and David Lloyd George in the First World War and of Winston Churchill in the Second World War were sometimes referred to as National Governments at the time, but are now more commonly called Coalition Governments. The term "National Government" was chosen to dissociate itself from negative connotations of the earlier Coalitions. Churchill's brief 1945 Caretaker Government also called itself a National Government and in terms of party composition was very similar to the 1931–1940 ones. Great Depression in the United Kingdom The Wall Street Crash heralded the global Great Depression and Britain was hit, although not as badly as most countries. The government was trying to achieve several different, contradictory objectives: trying to maintain Britain's economic position by maintaining the pound on the gold standard, balancing the budget, and providing assistance and relief to tackle unemployment. The gold standard meant that British prices were higher than its competitors', so the all-important export industries did poorly. In 1931, the situation deteriorated and there was much fear that the budget was unbalanced, which was borne out by the independent May Report which triggered a confidence crisis and a run on the pound. The Labour government agreed in principle to make changes in taxation and to cut expenditure to balance the budget and restore confidence. However, the Cabinet could not agree on the two options available: either introduce tariffs (taxes on imports) or make 20% cuts in unemployment benefit. In the end, MacDonald and Snowden drafted a proposal that would cut benefits by 10%. Trade unions rejected this proposal.
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