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Switch Off Some Power


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Duration 30sec
Release Date 1973
Sponsor Central Office of Information for HM Government 'SOS'
Text version of this film





In late 1973 the Conservative Government was locked in a dispute with coal miners over measures introduced to assist Britain's poorly performing economy. After the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, and subsequent soaring prices for oil, the miners used the economic situation to their advantage, contesting pay freezes. When the miner’s call for pay increases was refused by the Government, they followed the 'work to rule' principle and banned overtime in November 1973.
As the miners refused to work overtime, coal stocks slowly dwindled, provoking the declaration of a state of emergency. From 31 December 1973 to February 1974 the 'Three Day Work Order', otherwise known as the 'Three Day Week', was introduced. Limiting industrial production and reducing electricity usage to just three days per week, efforts were made to prolong the life of the available fuel stocks. Amid this state of emergency the Government used campaigns such as "SOS" or "Switch Off Something" asking people to conserve electricity, and consequently fuel.


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