Winston Churchill Is Promoted To President Of The Board Of Trade

He [Churchill] was also, like Lloyd George before him, very willing to adopt a high profile in trying to resolve industrial disputes.

Soon after taking office he set out to strengthen the board of trade's powers of intervention beyond the powers in the 1896 Conciliation Act. One proposal considered was the introduction of a version of the Canadian Lemieux Act, so that the board of trade could appoint a court of inquiry and introduce a cooling-off period while a settlement was sought. While this failed to gain support from either side of the industry, Churchill pressed on with the formation of a standing court of arbitration, which he saw as 'consolidating, expanding and popularising the working of the Conciliation Act.

Following his deselection in the seat of Oldham, Churchill was invited to stand for Manchester North West. He won the seat at the 1906 general election with a majority of 1,214 and represented the seat for two years, until 1908. When Campbell-Bannerman was succeeded by Herbert Henry Asquith in 1908, Churchill was promoted to the Cabinet as President of the Board of Trade. Under the law at the time, a newly appointed Cabinet Minister was obliged to seek re-election at a by-election; Churchill lost his seat but was soon back as a member for Dundee constituency. As President of the Board of Trade he joined newly appointed Chancellor Lloyd George in opposing First Lord of the Admiralty, Reginald McKenna's proposed huge expenditure for the construction of Navy dreadnought warships, and in supporting the Liberal reforms. In 1908, he introduced the Trade Boards Bill setting up the first minimum wages in Britain, In 1909, he set up Labour Exchanges to help unemployed people find work. He helped draft the first unemployment pension legislation, the National Insurance Act of 1911.