Churchill as Chancellor: The Gold Standard
Between 1922 and 1924 Churchill found himself in a political wilderness, exiled from Parliament after losing his seat in Dundee. He was now without affiliation to any of the main parties. In October 1924 he won the Epping Division seat as a Constitutionalist, although he had been reconciled with former Conservative colleagues. This reconciliation was confirmed when Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin asked Churchill to join the Cabinet and become Chancellor of the Exchequer. After accepting the post his first major decision was the restoration of the Gold Standard at its pre-First World War parity of $4.86 to the pound which he announced in his first Budget statement in April 1925. This decision was greeted with much delight by the Bank of England and his party colleagues but economists such as John Maynard Keynes warned that such a measure could seriously damage British export industries such as coal. As a result of this, the following year the TUC called a General Strike that lasted for ten days. Churchill remained at the Treasury until the Conservatives lost office at the 1929 General Election.