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General Strike - Diary 10th May

10th May 1926

 

The strike was now a week old, with the propoganda war in full swing. One aspect of great importance to all working people was the restoration, or semblance at least, of a functioning, viable transport network. Volunteers continued to register as drivers, signal men and conductors in an effort to expediate a return to some notion of a normal working transport network.

The rail network was particularly important to government efforts to restore public confidence. The railway companies already had prior experience of strike action, most notably in smaller scale strikes since 1919, and were prepared to support the government in restoration of the network. The BBC broadcast a claim that an increased number of railwaymen were returning to work. Although this was proved shortly after the strike to be wholly inaccurate, only about 3 per cent broke strike action, the importance of sustained propoganda was vital to the maintenance of public opinion.

Government was also exploring other avenues of action to resolve the strike. They became preoccupied with the idea of legislation and legality. Legislation to deprive the Unions of funds, already seriously stretched by the strike action, and the very question of the legality of the strike, which had been raised only a few days earlier.