Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Labour and the proletarian city : a study of politics in Salford 1919-1932
Author: Henry, John Felice
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2005
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The Salford Labour Party seldom appears in studies of the Labour Party during the inter-war years. This thesis seeks to add to the historiography by offering a study of the role of Salford Labour Party in municipal politics during the years 1919-1932. Following discussions of the local and national literature, the thesis explores local election performance and provides in-depth analysis of the politics of housing, religion and ethnicity, and unemployment. A final chapter considers these in comparative perspective with a number of urban centres of comparable size. Salford Labour made significant progress in two phases. The first from 1919-1921 saw the Party establish itself as a force in local politics for the first time while the second, from 1924 to 1929, witnessed a serious challenge for power. Studies of Labour's urban advance in this period have variously emphasised the feminization of Labour politics and a pro-active housing policy. Neither of these factors was found to be of great significance in Salford. Here there was little evidence of any burgeoning focus on women's issues. Moreover, the thesis argues that rate-payers, slum dwellers and council house tenants found at best limited appeal in Salford Labour's housing policy. For all Labour's campaigning on the housing issue, the party was slow to make progress in wards where housing density was especially high. Salford Labour was more successful in its handling of unemployment and the complex local politics of religion The Party's policies on unemployment appear to have attracted voters far more readily than did their efforts on housing. Control of the Board of Guardians provided Labour with a valuable platform to implement elements of its programme. The Party also steered a broadly successful course between a predominantly Protestant working class and the strong support it received from the sizeable Catholic minority. Debates over birth control and, especially, education placed severe strains on Labour's relations with the sizeable Catholic community. Nonetheless, these created only temporary and limited reductions in Catholic electoral support for Labour. Labour's failure to gain control of the Borough Council during this period is attributed to the following factors: the solidity of the anti-socialist alliance between Conservatives Liberals and Independents; their ruthless manipulation of the Aldermanic bench; extensive local casual labour markets; and the continued purchase of Conservatism in Protestant working class communities where sectarian concerns figured large. The thesis concludes that although less prominent than many other urban Labour Parties, Salford did as much to further working-class welfare as many of its contemporaries. Many of its experiences and struggles make it a worthy of a prominent place in the historiographies of the inter-war Labour movement.
Supervisor: Dr Tony Adams Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available