Stanley Baldwin - Leader of The Opposition

Leader of The Opposition

Baldwin successfully held on to the party leadership despite calls for his resignation by some in the party. For the next ten months, an unstable minority Labour government under Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald held office. On 13 March 1924 the Labour government was defeated for the first time in the Commons, although the Conservatives decided to vote with Labour later that day against the Liberals.

During a debate on the naval estimates the Conservatives opposed Labour but supported them on 18 March in a vote on cutting expenditure on the Singapore military base. Baldwin also cooperated with MacDonald over Irish policy in order to stop it becoming a party-political issue.

The Labour government was negotiating with the Soviet government over what was called the Russian Treaties: a commercial treaty with most favoured nation privileges and diplomatic status for their trade delegation; and a treaty that would settle the claims of pre-revolutionary British bondholders and holders of confiscated property, after which the British government would guarantee a loan to the Soviet Union. Baldwin decided to vote against the government over the Russian Treaties, which brought the government down on 8 October.

The general election held in October 1924 brought a landslide majority of 223 for the Conservative party, primarily at the expense of the now terminally declining Liberals. Baldwin campaigned on the "impracticability" of socialism, the Campbell Case, the Zinoviev Letter (which Baldwin thought was genuine) and the Russian Treaties. In a speech during the campaign Baldwin said:

It makes my blood boil to read of the way which Mr. Zinoviev is speaking of the Prime Minister today. Though one time there went up a cry, "Hands off Russia", I think it's time somebody said to Russia, "Hands off England".

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Famous quotes containing the words leader of, opposition and/or leader:

    If you would be a leader of men you must lead your own generation, not the next. Your playing must be good now, while the play is on the boards and the audience in the seats.... It will not get you the repute of a good actor to have excellencies discovered in you afterwards.
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