The Carlton Club Meeting

  • Michael Kinnear


On 19 October 1922 a private meeting of Conservative M.P.s brought down one of the most powerful governments since the passage of the First Reform Bill. Much has been written about the Carlton Club Meeting, but few accounts have gone beyond reports of the speeches made at it. Nevertheless a vast amount of material for a detailed examination has been publicly available ever since 1922, and a study of this material leads one to revise some traditional views of the meeting. Among other things it shows that Stanley Baldwin played only a minor role; Baldwin’s later prominence made his actions on 19 October seem more significant than they did at the time. A second thing which has usually been overestimated is the effect of Bonar Law’s speech on the actual vote at the meeting. Bonar Law did not change the vote of many M.P.s, but he had a real importance which has generally been overlooked, in the brief election which the Carlton Club Meeting precipitated. This chapter examines the convergence of forces which resulted in the fall of the Coalition, and it also estimates how far the events at the Carlton Club Meeting itself toppled the Government.


Party Leader Liberal Party Conservative Party Actual Vote Coalition Leader 
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  1. 1.
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  2. 2.
    Ibid. (14 October 1922).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
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  4. 4.
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  5. 5.
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  6. 6.
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  8. 8.
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  9. 9.
    Gleanings and Memoranda (November 1922) 486.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
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  11. 11.
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    The seven were M.P.s (numbered as in Appendix I): 29, 49, 75, 116, 139, 151 and 188. The five faced with independent Conservative opposition were: 99, 110, 121, 203 and 351.Google Scholar
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© Michael Kinnear 1973

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  • Michael Kinnear

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