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Labour Government 1929-31

Mr. J.H. Thomas and the Unemployed

Mr. Thomas has proved himself once more the friend of the employers. How grateful they must feel to good old Jimmy.
 
The "Daily News” of May 5th, 1930, reports a part of a speech given by him to his constituents at Derby. Speaking of rationalisation, he says; "It will temporarily result in unemployment, but if I am satisfied that it is a remedy, and that the ultimate effects will be of lasting benefit, then my policy is not to refuse anything that is temporarily unpopular or unpleasant. I am prepared to risk the unpopularity, knowing | it must succeed.” Furthermore he says:
 
"We have to have a drastic process of rationalisation,” and then, "Protection has been suggested as a remedy for unemployment, but protectionist countries were suffering the same trouble.

Life and Laughter

Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and so does humour. For instance: Magistrate (at Willesden, of course) :
 
"What is your occupation?"
 
Prisoner: "Unemployment!"
 
This was selected by the newspapers as a police court joke. So it is, but there is more humour than meets the eye. Another magistrate:
 
"What is your occupation?"
 
Prisoner (or should we say defendant here): "I am a gentleman.” No! there is no laughter here, not even a smile.
 
Here is a Labour Government in the seats of the mighty, pledged to abolish unemployment. They are not a sad-eyed, melancholy party. Jollity oozes from their joints and mirth gushes from their mouths.

A Diary of Labour Government

 Here in Great Britain, about twenty-seven years ago, there was a sharp difference of opinion. There were those who held that there was but one cause of working-class poverty, and one only, and but one way to end it. These formed the Socialist Party of Great Britain, with the aim and object of capturing political power and achieving Socialism. There were others who denounced this as a dream, too far removed from present needs to be practicable. What was wanted, they said, was something now, something tangible, something realisable, something which we could see in our time. These supported immediate reforms, palliatives, and the Labour Party. They have been wonderfully fortunate. In a mere twenty-five years they have achieved their practical object and seated a Labour Government in Parliament.

The I.L.P. in Parliament

 It is argued on behalf of the I.L.P. that their propaganda methods are justified by their success. As proof of this they point to a relatively large membership and to the fact that more than 200 of their members are Labour Party M.P.'s. How hollow is this success can be seen from the inability of the I.L.P. to control its members in the House of Commons. Mr. Maxton, Chairman of the I.L.P., criticised the Labour Government’s Unemployment Insurance . Bill, and threatened to oppose its second reading. The prompt result, as reported in the Daily Herald of November 19th, was that,

    between 50 and 60 I.L.P. M.P.s last night signed a memorial repudiating the right of the I.L.P. officials to speak on their behalf.

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