In the general election of October 1951 the Conservatives under Churchill were returned to power with a small majority. While the Tories were keen to live down their reputation of the 1930s as the party of unemployment, they were also committed to the dismantling of controls and the freeing of the economy from what they saw as the rigidities and bureaucracy of Labour rode. Moreover, Churchill was anxious to cast off the stigma of his actions during the General Strike of 1926 and to pursue a policy of industrial conciliation and appeasement. Thus the Tories wanted to maintain full employment if the external account would allow it, but were reluctant to use direct controls and to embroil themselves in any labour market intervention which might result in costly strikes and industrial disputes.