The Debate in Parliament (June–July 1903)
In the first weeks after his speech at Birmingham, Chamberlain had held the undisputed initiative. The landed interest, the Fair Traders and the Imperialists on the Unionist side had rallied to his standard at once. So had most of the solid centre of the party in the Commons. As Bolingbroke had written long ago: ‘You know the nature of the Assembly. They grow, like hounds, fond of the man who shows them game and by whose halloo they are used to be encouraged.’ Any doubts some may have felt were stilled by the Prime Minister’s seeming approval and by the support of The Times. The Opposition might raise the alarm; but the Free Traders on the Unionist side were leaderless and caught off their guard.
KeywordsPrime Minister Fair Trader Free Trade Fiscal Policy Preferential Tariff
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