The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






British Gazette

The British Gazette was a short-lived British newspaper published by the Government during the General Strike of 1926.

One of the first groups of workers called out by the Trades Union Congress when the general strike began on May 3 were the printers, and consequently most newspapers appeared only in very brief and truncated form. The Government therefore decided to replace them with an official publication which was printed on the presses of The Morning Post, a right-wing but traditionalist paper. Winston Churchill, then Chancellor of the Exchequer but formerly a journalist, took the initiative and guided the British Gazette's editorial line.

The Gazette first appeared on the morning of May 5. It was highly patriotic and condemnatory of the strikers, becoming a very effective means of propaganda for the government. The TUC produced its own paper, the British Worker (subtitled Official Strike News Edition) to attempt to counter it. The Gazette ran to only eight editions before the strike collapsed.

Churchill enjoyed his time on the Gazette but did not take it entirely seriously. Many years later, when one Labour MP suggested that an action of his government might provoke "another General Strike", Churchill responded: "If the hon. Gentleman promises me another General Strike, I promise him - another British Gazette!", prompting general laughter.

Last updated: 05-19-2005 00:27:42