Liberal Welfare Reforms
The Liberal Party won the General Election in Britain in 1905 with a huge majority. Although the Liberals did not campaign strongly in favour of welfare measures, some leading figures within the Party felt that it was important to pass new measures to help the poor, the old and the very young. Some of the measures passed were: School Meals for children 1906; School Medical Service 1907; Children and Young Persons Act 1908 (gave protection to children from abusive parents and also set up special remand schools for child criminals); Old Age Pensions 1908; Labour Exchanges 1909 (to help the unemployed find work); National Insurance Act 1911 (to protect workers from unemployment and illness). You might think that all of these measures would be popular and had widespread support. Do the cartoons in our selection support this view?
An overview of all records in the group with annotations (where entered).
Showing records 1 to 4 of 4.
In 1906 the government had a surplus - in other words it had money to spend. This cartoon tries to show all the different groups and causes which felt that they should get money from the government.
1 What impression do you get about how important welfare measures were?
2 What impression do you get about how strong a voice welfare measures had, compared to some other groups?
As you have seen in the previous cartoon, there was a lot of opposition to National Insurance being applied to domestic servants. A lively campaign of opposition to this was launched.
1 This cartoon shows one of the arguments which was made against including servants in the National Insurance scheme. Can you work out what the argument was and how the cartoonist put this argument across?
This cartoon comments on the introduction of National Insurance to domestic servants (this is what is meant by 'The Servant Tax').
1 What does the cartoon reveal about attitudes towards Lloyd George and his National Insurance Act?
2 Does this source prove that Lloyd George was popular or unpopular?