Closing of the Mines - Context

The, General Strike developed from a strike in the coal mines and from the determination of both sides to bring the class struggle to a showdown.

The British mines were in bad condition because of the nature of the coal deposits and because of mismanagement which left them with inadequate and obsolete technological equipment.

Most of them were high-cost producers compared to the mines of northern France and western Germany. The deflation resulting from the effort to stabilize the pound hit the mines with special impact, since prices could be cut only if costs were cut first, an action which meant, for the mines above all, cutting of wages.

The loss of the export trade resulting from Germany’s efforts to pay reparations in coal, and especially the return of the Ruhr mines to full production after the French evacuation of that area in 1924 made the mines the natural focal point for labor troubles in England.

[Carroll Quigley]
Tragedy and Hope, p.307

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