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The People’s PeaceBritish History 1945-1989$
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Kenneth O. Morgan

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198227649

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198227649.001.0001

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Labour’s Final Term 1974–1976

Labour’s Final Term 1974–1976

(p.358) 10 Labour’s Final Term 1974–1976
The People’s Peace

Kenneth O Morgan

Oxford University Press

Harold Wilson was re-elected in March 1974 with a Labour Party minority administration and immediately took steps to deal with the price explosions and inflationary pressures stemming from the oil crisis. Foreign policy involved strengthening relations with the United States and trying to renegotiate Britain's terms of entry into the European Common Market. The government also contended with issues of devolution in Scotland and Wales, and the violent conflicts in Northern Ireland. Headway was made in appeasing the trade unions through compromise agreements that ensured some measure of industrial peace. Wilson stepped down in the middle of his term and was replaced by James Callaghan who was forced to use public spending and budget cuts coupled with a loan from the International Monetary Fund to stabilize the pound and calm the markets. Britain's debtor status, coupled with continued divisiveness within the two political parties continued to drag morale down.

Keywords:   Harold Wilson, devolution, Labour Party, minority administration, oil crisis, James Callaghan, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, European Common Market

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