Advertisement

The Formation of the Liberal Ministry, December 1905

  • Ronald Hyam

Abstract

The resignation of Mr Balfour’s Unionist ministry was announced on 4 December 1905. Sir Henry CampbellBannerman, leader of the Liberal party since 1898, became prime minister on the next day. Lord Selborne, recently appointed high commissioner in South Africa, had begged Balfour to carry on until February or March of the following year, but to no purpose.1 Balfour had resigned, rather than seek a dissolution of parliament. This meant that another ministry could be formed before a general election could be held. In this way he avoided the embarrassment of a Conservative and Unionist ministry being defeated at the polls, and he hoped to give the electors the policy of a Liberal government to attack. The procedure conceivably led to the formation of a more right-wing Liberal government than might have been the case if an election had preceded the formation of a ministry:2 once free trade had been secured by an overwhelming electoral decision in its favour, Grey would almost certainly not have taken office.

Keywords

Prime Minister Free Trade High Commissioner Liberal Party Ofpartisan Speech 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Footnotes

  1. 2.
    J. E. Tyler, ‘Campbell-Bannerman and the Liberal Imperialists 1906–1908’, History, xxiii (1938), 257.Google Scholar
  2. 1.
    A. M. Gollin, Proconsul in politics (1964), p. 59.Google Scholar
  3. 1.
    Asquith to J. A. Spender, 15 Jun 1912, quoted by B. B. Gilbert, Historical Journal, vol. x, no. 3 (1967), 458.Google Scholar
  4. 1.
    A. MacCallum Scott, Winston Spencer Churchill (1905), Methuen, 266 pp. ‘Already he has won for himself a foremost place among the politicians of the day’ and was ‘confidently spoken of by his admirers as a future prime minister.’ (p. I).Google Scholar
  5. 2.
    WSC, Lord Randolph Churchill (1905).Google Scholar
  6. 1.
    Violet Bonham Carter, Winston Churchill as I knew him (1965), p. 15.Google Scholar
  7. 2.
    C. Parkinson, The Colonial Office from within, 1909–(1947), p. 29.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ronald Hyam 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Hyam
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CambridgeUK

Personalised recommendations