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To many people 1926 is synonymous with the General Strike. In that year there were some 5 million trade-union members in Britain out of a wage-earning population of 15 millions, for the first time a direct confrontation arose between the Trades Union Congress and the Conservative government under Stanley Baldwin.
The general strike started off with a miners’ strike against less pay for longer hours. The mine owners would not climb down, and the TUC sanctioned a general strike throughout the country. Rail, transport, building, printing, iron and steel production all ground to a halt. The press closed down, and both the Government and TUC published their own newspapers. The government was determined not to give in. Baldwin called in troops and armed special constables. Hundreds of strikers were
arrested. After nine days a peace was negotiated, but it was bitterly resisted by the miners who remained on strike for the whole Summer, until economic conditions forced them to submit.
On May 15th 1926, the ILN published a special ‘Emergency Number’

(Appendix List No. 90). It covers the strike from its start on May 4th to its end on May 12th. It emphasises “the spirit of England at work” amongst the volunteers who “carried on” throughout the trouble and lays great stress on the military force which was displayed but not used, although the mention of “hooligan incidents” did hint that all was not as snooth running as the Government announcements made out. This truncated issue illustrates incidents and personalities during and after the end of the strike and praises the London press for producing strike emergency issues throughout its duration.
The cover, in blue, shows a photo etching of the Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin. This is issue number 4543, vol. 168, pages 853-868, measuring 37 x 27 cm and priced at one shilling.
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