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General Strike - Diary 11th May

11th May 1926

 

The strike was now nearing its conclusion. The TUC announced another bulletin declaring,

The number of strikers has not diminished; it is increasing. There are more workers out today than there have been at any moment since the strike began.

The purpose of this announcement was to alleviate concerns and dispel rumours claiming that the number of workers returning to their jobs was on the increase. The Unions were trying to compete in the propoganda war, resuming presses for local papers to combat government announcements.

However, events in the High Court would override these actions and place the strike actions in a new, and wholly unfavourable, light for the Unions. Mr Justice Astbury delivered a damaging result for the Unions, announcing that the strike was indeed illegal, despite not being required to pronounce on the strike itself, whilst granting an injunction to the National Sailors' and Firemen's Union. They had voted against the strike on the eve of its start, and now requested an injunction to prevent their members being further embroiled in the current strike actions.

Leonard Woolf was attempting to release a strike edition of his weekly newspaper, the Nation, which included an article written by Virginia. The printers, who Virginia dubbed,

a little clutch of the Government throttle

were, however, refusing to print this edition. Virginia's article argued that the strike was not, in fact, illegal.

Despite efforts by Bevin, Samuel, and the TUC to resolve the strike action, the Miners' Federation remained intransigent in their stance. A fresh proposal for resolution was tabled by Samuel to the TUC, which appeared to include support and insights into the position of the government, and suggested that Baldwin and his cabinet was eagerly awaiting a response to the proposed resolution. As Bevin was to discover later in the evening, this was not the case. Baldwin was determined to stand by his call for a swift resolution of the strike, but the only acceptable resolution was an unconditional surrender. The miners deliberated the current situation, and rejected the current proposal. The TUC could accept the proposal, but it would be their own authority and not the miners.