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Innherred debitorlag og Bygdefolkets krisehjelp – ikke størrelsen som avgjorde



f. 1941, cand.philol. 1994, forfatter.

hmyst@online.no

  • Side: 385-405
  • Publisert på Idunn: 2012-10-02

Bygdefolkets krisehjelp vart grunnlagt på Østlandet høsten 1931 for å tvinge fram statlige tiltak mot gjeldsbyrden i jordbruket. Ett år seinere vart det stifta en liknende organisasjon i Nord-Innherred. Målsetting og arbeidsmåte var sammenfallende fra starten. Det var snakk om samarbeid og sammenslutning, men Innherred debitorlag trakk seg da Krisehjelpa utvikla seg i aksjonistisk retning og gikk i samarbeid med Nasjonal Samling. Krisehjelpa vart kritisert av Arbeiderpartiet, mens Debitorlaget fikk positiv oppmerksomhet, særlig fra den viktige regionavisa Arbeider-Avisen i Trondheim. Trass i betydelig mindre medlemsmasse og smalere geografisk utbredelse fikk Debitorlaget meir varig innflytelse på landbrukspolitikken enn Krisehjelpa, noe som understrekes av at en av tillitsmennene ble landbruksminister i Nygaardsvolds regjering.

Bygdefolkets krisehjelp and Innherred debitorlag Size didn’t matter

During the interwar years, large parts of Norwegian agriculture, particularly in south central Norway and Trøndelag, were in severe debt following revaluation of the currency and an international finance crisis resulting in reduced trade in agriculture. Two organisations emerged pressing for government action to remedy the effects of the crisis: the larger, well-known Bygdefolkets krisehjelp based in south central Norway had between 8,000 and 12,000 members, while the smaller and less well-known Innherred debitorlag in Nord-Trøndelag had 600–700 members. Both organisations were founded by members of Bondepartiet (The Farmer’s Party), but also recruited farmers from Venstre (The Liberals) and Arbeiderpartiet (Labour). Statements from the founders, together with the statutes and laws of both organisations show that their aims and modes of operation were largely the same, i.e. to influence the government within the framework of democratic practice. A merger of the two organistations was discussed, but Innherred debitorlag withdrew early in 1933 when Bygdefolkets krisehjelp chose a more aggressive and activist mode of operation. During the summer of 1933, the latter joined forces with the newly established Nasjonal samling, the National Socialist party of Vidkun Quisling and thus lost support among the established parties. The labour press was particularly negative in accusing Bygdefolkets krisehjelp of having fascist sympathies and of being a Norwegian Lappo movement in the making. At the same time, increasing attention was being paid to the Innherred debitorlag, particularly by the regional labour newspaper Arbeider-Avisen in Trondheim. The paper referred the organisation’s decisions and inquiries to the government and printed texts by one of its leading trustees. In March 1935, Arbeiderpartiet formed a minority government in cooperation with Bondepartiet, precisely on the background of the economic problems in agriculture. At this point, both debtor organisations were falling apart. However, the smaller Innherred debitorlag in a way saw its life extended, when its Deputy Chairman became Minister of Agriculture in the new Labour government. By contrast, the larger activist Bygdefolkets krisehjelp had at the same time lost all its influence.

Keywords: Agricultural debt crisis, debtor organization, influence, interwar years.
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