Reducing the National Debt in 1928 – by Voluntary Contributions from the Public

Posted on August 14th, 2013 by The British Newspaper Archive

Lord and Lady Inchcape donate £500,000 to the UK government in 1928 to help reduce the national debt

Inspired by this week’s big story about the amazing donation made by Joan L.B. Edwards to the UK government (‘the party in government of the day’, to quote the exact phrase in Ms Edwards’ will), we thought we’d try and find stories in The Archive about massive donations made by altruistic individuals to governments in previous years.

After a quick search, we discovered a fascinating story about a massive donation made by Lord and Lady Inchcape in 1928, to reduce the national debt – ‘to be placed in trust in reduction of the national debt’, was how the Inchcapes modestly described their terrific act of generosity. The £500,000 donated by the Inchcapes to the government in 1928 would be equivalent to £26.5 million in today’s money. Winston Churchill, Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, expressed “the thanks of his Majesty’s Government for these gifts to the nation, and their appreciation of the patriotism which has inspired them”.

historical newspaper report on lord and lady inchcape

A photograph of Lord and Lady Inchcape

This is a story with tragedy at its heart, however, as it was the disappearance of the Inchcapes’ daughter, Elsie Mackay, when trying to fly across the Atlantic in 1928, that inspired the “we’re all in this together” generosity of the Inchcapes. In tribute to their daughter, this gift to the nation was known as ‘The Elsie Mackay Fund’. As well as being an incredibly moving story, the effort to reduce the UK’s deficit by today’s government means that this story is also highly topical.

To find out more about the amazing gift to the nation made by Lord and Lady Inchcape in 1928, click on the link below to view a newspaper page for FREE.

If you see any other stories in The Archive about massive donations of money made by individuals to help governments reduce their debts, please give us a shout on Twitter or Facebook.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 at 4:49 pm and is filed under Headlines from History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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