on, but the Government knew the cowardice of the labour leaders and refused to allow them a way out. Baldwin knew the T.U.C. and Labour Party leaders hated and feared the General Strike.
"He (Baldwin) turned on us and quoted an article written some time before by Ramsey MacDonald in The New Leader:
'All my life I have been opposed to the sympathetic strike. It has no practical value; it has one certain result - a binding reaction. Liberty is far more easily destroyed by those who abuse it than by those who oppose it.'
'I agree with every word of that', commented Baldwin to the hushed and crowded house." - Memoirs: Clynes.
So Baldwin led the employers to battle with an I.L.P. test inscribed on their banners. Midnight, Monday, May 3rd, 1926 the General Strike was on.
LIONS LED BY RATS
Britain awoke on the morning of Tuesday, May 3rd, to find the General Strike in being. The railways were still and silent, buses and trams has disappeared, no newspaper was on sale. Unfortunately the strike was nor really general. Indeed the T.U.C. wished it to be known as the National Strike instead of the old syndicalist name. The General Concil, apparently on the initiative of Bevin, decided to divide the workers' forces into two sections, front line and reserves. The front line composed of the printing trades, railmen, busmen, tramwaymen and other road transport workers and dockers were called out from midnight May 3rd. The "reserve line" of engineers and shipyard workers, iron and steel and chemical workers, the textile industry and the building trade were not called out until the last day of the strike, after the stricke has been called off. This division of the unions' forces is a particularly stupid case of the attempted application of military rules to a social conflict.
The result of the division was to isolate the strikers in certain towns where they formed a min-