Manual Balfour: The Last Grandee

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In — he became one of the most effective public speakers of the age. Impressive in matter rather than delivery, his speeches were logical and convincing, and delighted an ever-wider audience.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration #Balfour100

On the death of W. After the fall of the government in he spent three years in opposition. His management of the abortive education proposals of showed a disinclination for the drudgery of parliamentary management, yet he saw the passage of a bill providing Ireland with improved local government under the Local Government Ireland Act and joined in debates on foreign and domestic questions between and During the illness of Lord Salisbury in , and again in Salisbury's absence abroad, Balfour was in charge of the Foreign Office , and he conducted negotiations with Russia on the question of railways in North China.

As a member of the cabinet responsible for the Transvaal negotiations in , he bore his share of controversy and, when the war began disastrously, he was first to realise the need to use the country's full military strength. His leadership of the House was marked by firmness in the suppression of obstruction, yet there was a slight revival of the criticisms of The Liberal party was still disorganised over the Boers. In foreign affairs, Balfour and his Foreign Secretary, Lord Lansdowne , improved relations with France, culminating in the Entente cordiale of On the whole, Balfour left the conduct of foreign policy to Lansdowne, being busy himself with domestic problems.

Balfour, who had known Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann since , opposed Russian mistreatment of Jews and increasingly supported Zionism as a programme for European Jews to settle in Palestine. The budget was certain to show a surplus and taxation could be remitted. Yet as events proved, it was the budget that would sow dissension, override other legislative concerns and signal a new political movement. Charles Thomson Ritchie 's remission of the shilling import-duty on corn led to Joseph Chamberlain 's crusade in favour of tariff reform. These were taxes on imported goods with trade preference given to the Empire, to protect British industry from competition, strengthen the Empire in the face of growing German and American economic power, and provide revenue, other than raising taxes, for the social welfare legislation.

As the session proceeded, the rift grew in the Unionist ranks. Hoping to split the difference between the free traders and tariff reformers in his cabinet and party, Balfour favoured retaliatory tariffs to punish others who had tariffs against the British, in the hope of encouraging global free trade.

This was not sufficient for either the free traders or the extreme tariff reformers in government. With Balfour's agreement, Chamberlain resigned from the Cabinet in late to campaign for tariff reform. At the same time, Balfour tried to balance the two factions by accepting the resignation of three free-trading ministers, including Chancellor Ritchie, but the almost simultaneous resignation of the free-trader Duke of Devonshire who as Lord Hartington had been the Liberal Unionist leader of the s left Balfour's Cabinet weak.

By few Unionist MPs were still free traders Winston Churchill crossed to the Liberals in when threatened with deselection at Oldham , but Balfour's act had drained his authority within the government. Balfour resigned as Prime Minister in December , hoping the Liberal leader Campbell-Bannerman would be unable to form a strong government. The Conservatives were defeated by the Liberals at the general election the following January in terms of MPs, a Liberal landslide , with Balfour losing his seat at Manchester East to Thomas Gardner Horridge , a solicitor and king's counsel.

Only Conservatives were returned to the Commons, at least two-thirds followers of Chamberlain, who chaired the Conservative MPs until Balfour won a safe seat in the City of London. According to historian Robert Ensor , writing in , Balfour can be credited with achievement in five major areas: [24] : The Education Act lasted four decades and eventually was highly praised.

Eugene Rasor states, "Balfour was credited and much praised from many perspectives with the success [of the education act]. His commitment to education was fundamental and strong. Ensor said the Act ranked:. For most of the 19th century, the very powerful political and economic position of the Church of Ireland Anglican landowners blocked the political aspirations of Irish nationalists, who by included both Catholic and Presbyterian elements.

The British government purchased 13 million acres 53, km2 by , and sold farms to the tenants at low payments spread over seven decades. It would cost money, but all sides proved amenable. Balfour's introduction of Chinese coolie labour in South Africa enabled the Liberals to counterattack, charging that his measures amounted to "Chinese slavery". In the long-run it did reduce the great oversupply of pubs, while in the short run Balfour's party was hurt. Balfour failed to solve his greatest political challenge - the debate over tariffs that ripped his party apart.

Chamberlain proposed to turn the Empire into a closed trade bloc protected by high tariffs against imports from Germany and the United States. He argued that tariff reform would revive a flagging British economy, strengthen imperial ties with the dominions and the colonies, and produce a positive programme that would facilitate reelection.

He was vehemently opposed by Conservative free traders who denounced the proposal as economically fallacious, and open to the charge of raising food prices in Britain. Balfour tried to forestall disruption by removing key ministers on each side, and offering a much narrower tariff programme. It was ingenious, but both sides rejected any compromise, and his party's chances for reelection were ruined.

Balfour may have been personally sympathetic to extending suffrage, with his brother Gerald, Conservative MP for Leeds Central married to women's suffrage activist Constance Lytton 's sister Betty [34]. But he accepted the strength of the political opposition to women's suffrage, as shown in correspondence with Christabel Pankhurst , a leader of the WSPU. Balfour argued that he was 'not convinced the majority of women actually wanted the vote', in A rebuttal which meant extending the activist campaign for women's rights. Balfour refused on the grounds of her militancy. Historians generally praised Balfour's achievements in military and foreign policy.

The local Conservative campaigns in focused mostly on a few domestic issues. Balfour created and chaired the Committee of Imperial Defence , which provided better long-term coordinated planning between the Army and Navy. He wrote, "It is impossible to overrate the services thus rendered by Balfour to the Country and Empire Balfour was appointed Prime Minister on 12 July while the King was recovering from his recent appendicitis operation.

Changes to the Cabinet were thus not announced until 9 August, when the King was back in London. After the general election of Balfour remained party leader, his position strengthened by Joseph Chamberlain's absence from the House of Commons after his stroke in July , but he was unable to make much headway against the huge Liberal majority in the Commons. An early attempt to score a debating triumph over the government, made in Balfour's usual abstruse, theoretical style, saw Campbell-Bannerman respond with: "Enough of this foolery," to the delight of his supporters.

Balfour made the controversial decision, with Lord Lansdowne , to use the heavily Unionist House of Lords as a check on the political programme and legislation of the Liberal party in the Commons. Legislation was vetoed or altered by amendments between and , leading David Lloyd George to remark that the Lords was "the right hon. Gentleman's poodle. It fetches and carries for him. It barks for him. It bites anybody that he sets it on to.

And we are told that this is a great revising Chamber, the safeguard of liberty in the country. After the Unionists lost the general elections of despite softening the tariff reform policy with Balfour's promise of a referendum on food taxes , the Unionist peers split to allow the Parliament Act to pass the House of Lords, to prevent mass creation of Liberal peers by the new King, George V.

The exhausted Balfour resigned as party leader after the crisis, and was succeeded in late by Bonar Law. Balfour remained important in the party, however, and when the Unionists joined Asquith 's coalition government in May , Balfour succeeded Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty. When Asquith's government collapsed in December , Balfour, who seemed a potential successor to the premiership, became Foreign Secretary in Lloyd George's new administration, but not in the small War Cabinet, and was frequently left out of inner workings of government.

Balfour's service as Foreign Secretary was notable for the Balfour Mission , a crucial alliance-building visit to the US in April , and the Balfour Declaration of , a letter to Lord Rothschild affirming the government's support for the establishment of a "national home for the Jewish people" in Palestine , then part of the Ottoman Empire. Balfour resigned as Foreign Secretary following the Versailles Conference in , but continued in the government and the Cabinet after normal peacetime political arrangements resumed as Lord President of the Council.

He put forward a proposal for the international settlement of war debts and reparations the Balfour Note , but it was not accepted. Bonar Law became Prime Minister. Like many Coalition leaders, he did not hold office in the Conservative governments of —4, but as an elder statesman, he was consulted by the King in the choice of Baldwin as Bonar Law's successor as Conservative leader in May When asked whether "dear George" the much more experienced Lord Curzon would be chosen, he replied, referring to Curzon's wealthy wife Grace, "No, dear, George will not but while he may have lost the hope of glory he still possesses the means of Grace.

Balfour was not initially included in Stanley Baldwin 's second government in , but in , he returned to the Cabinet, in place of the late Lord Curzon as Lord President of the Council , until the government ended in With 28 years of government service, Balfour had one of the longest ministerial careers in modern British politics, second only to Winston Churchill. Balfour had generally good health until and remained until then a regular tennis player. At the end of , most of his teeth were removed and he suffered the unremitting circulatory trouble which ended his life.

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In the past, he had suffered occasional phlebitis and by late he was immobilised by it. Balfour died at Fishers Hill House on 19 March At his request a public funeral was declined, and he was buried on 22 March beside members of his family at Whittingehame in a Church of Scotland service although he also belonged to the Church of England.

By special remainder , the title passed to his brother Gerald. His obituaries in The Times , The Guardian and the Daily Herald did not mention the declaration for which he is most famous outside Britain. Early in Balfour's career he was thought to be merely amusing himself with politics, and it was regarded as doubtful whether his health could withstand the severity of English winters. He was considered a dilettante by his colleagues; regardless, Lord Salisbury gave increasingly powerful posts in his government to his nephew.

Balfour developed a manner known to friends as the Balfourian manner. Edward Harold Begbie , a journalist, attacked him for his self-obsession:. Churchill compared Balfour to H. Asquith : "The difference between Balfour and Asquith is that Arthur is wicked and moral, while Asquith is good and immoral. Balfour was interested in the study of dialects and donated money to Joseph Wright 's work on the English Dialect Dictionary.

Wright wrote in the preface to the first volume that the project would have been "in vain" had he not received the donation from Balfour. Arthur Balfour was a fan of football and supported Manchester City F. As a philosopher, Balfour formulated the basis for the evolutionary argument against naturalism. Balfour argued the Darwinian premise of selection for reproductive fitness cast doubt on scientific naturalism, because human cognitive facilities that would accurately perceive truth could be less advantageous than adaptation for evolutionarily useful illusions.

From the humblest form of nervous irritation at the one end of the scale, to the reasoning capacity of the most advanced races at the other, everything without exception sensation, instinct, desire, volition has been produced directly or indirectly, by natural causes acting for the most part on strictly utilitarian principles.

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Convenience, not knowledge, therefore, has been the main end to which this process has tended. He was a member of the Society for Psychical Research , a society studying psychic and paranormal phenomena , and was its president from to After the First World War, when there was controversy over the style of headstone proposed for use on British war graves being taken on by the Imperial War Graves Commission , Balfour submitted a design for a cruciform headstone. Balfour occasionally appeared in the popular culture. Balfouria , a moshav in Israel and many streets in Israel are named after him.

The town of Balfour, Mpumalanga in South Africa was named after him. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the British statesman.


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For the steel manufacturer, see Arthur Balfour, 1st Baron Riverdale. The Right Honourable. Further information: Balfour ministry. This section is transcluded from Unionist government, — This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it. Ancestors of Arthur Balfour Robert Balfour, 4th of Balbirnie 8. John Balfour, 5th of Balbirnie Ann Ramsay 4. James Balfour James Gordon of Ellon 9.

Mary Gordon [68] Elizabeth Glen 2. James Maitland Balfour James Maitland, 7th Earl of Lauderdale James Maitland, 8th Earl of Lauderdale Mary Turner 5. Lady Eleanor Maitland Anthony Todd Eleanor Todd Eleanor Smith 1. Arthur Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour James Cecil, 6th Earl of Salisbury James Cecil, 1st Marquess of Salisbury Elizabeth Keat 6. James Gascoyne-Cecil, 2nd Marquess of Salisbury Wills Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire Lady Emily Hill Lady Margaretta FitzGerald 3. Lady Blanche Gascoyne-Cecil Bamber Gascoyne Mary Green 7. Frances Mary Gascoyne Chase Price Sarah Bridget Price When in Scotland he liked to play two rounds of golf a day, to keep his handicap down to ten about the same as Ian Fleming and better than P.

On the links at North Berwick, when he made a bad shot, he would turn away and gaze over the Forth and then turn round again, smiling. At times he sounds like a fully paid-up member of the Drones club. Yet A. He was a minister for longer than anyone else in the 20th century, even Churchill. He remained indispensable to the last. Yet, if brutally summarised, the concrete results of his efforts can only seem pitiful.

He fought three general elections as party leader and lost them all. The premiership he had inherited from his uncle Lord Salisbury, almost as a family heirloom, lasted less than four years and ended in the Liberal landslide of , the greatest electoral humiliation for the Conservatives until At that election, he became the only prime minister in the 20th century to lose his own seat.

Yet with suspicious regularity his policies came to pieces in his hands or in the hands of his successors or even, as his ministerial career was so long, when the pieces were back in his hands again. His first impulses were often borrowed or dictated by more powerful wills than his own. Like many mild-tempered men, Balfour thrilled to the smack of firm government and was not averse to taking a hand in the smacking. At times, it seems, he simply did not think hard enough about political choices and their consequences.

He never thought about them in bed, which was the test. He was unwilling to campaign for his own leadership or for his policies to be seen in a better light. After the Battle of Jutland, the kaiser was quick to declare a German victory, although it was the German fleet which had fled, never to venture out again.

The First Lord of the Admiralty declared nothing at all. One may disapprove of spin, but there are limits. They were both huge landowners in the Lothians, both hypochondriacs, famously charming, subject to fits of indolence, lovers of motor cars and all modern gadgets, believers in popular democracy and votes for women — though decidedly odd in their relations with them.

Naturally, they hated each other. When Rosebery became prime minister, Balfour said that he was unaware of any particular quality that Rosebery had demonstrated save a talent for self-advertisement. It is perhaps over the top for R. Balfour presented himself as a curious mixture of Bertie Wooster and Bertie Russell. Certainly, no British prime minister has been more at the centre of a genuinely intellectual circle. In , he joined his brothers-in-law, along with James Bryce, G.

Chesterton, R. Haldane and Sir Oliver Lodge in founding the Synthetic Society, which, in an age of waning faith, set out to contribute towards a working philosophy of religious belief. Don't Worry about Harry After Denman, the deluge. The downpour which followed the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury reduced my notes to soggy pulp, but no matter.

I will remember almost every stride. Denman's victory, carrying 11st 12lb on sodden ground and beating a field of the It is by no First Past the Post I love the nectar and ambrosia of luxury Christmas hampers but recipients aren't as grateful as they ought to be; partly because they've already bought their Christmas food and partly because their heart sinks at yet another jar of plums in champagne Girl Gadgets Say the words 'gadgets for women' to most men and rather quickly schoolboy humour takes over.

But during the last year we have witnessed a huge change in British female purchasing habits: women now spend three times more on gadgets than on cosmetics; Guess What? Not as exciting as tales of the money trail from David Abrahams to the Labour party's coffers; nor as bloodcurdling as tales of crimes committed by untold numbers of illegal immigrants; As Lennon entered his apartment building, Chapman drew a pistol, called out Stonewall, the gay lobbying group of which I remain a solid supporter, has just sent me a briefing paper urging members to support Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, in his proposals to make inciting hatred of homosexuals A lobby journalist on patrol can once again gather intelligence, whether it be from ministers colluding behind the Speaker's chair Victory for the four-square brickhouse banger from Manchester will, you see, have him headline-hailed back home as Britain's finest Making Records Is Ridiculous People ask me sometimes if I still do any music and I always tell them that music is a garden and, once you've been there, you never stop going back.

Arthur James Balfour

It's true. Then I go and talk to someone else. I know people ask my old band mate Damon the same thing Marital Tensions Bauhaus Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, until 17 February With all the 'boundary-blurring' going on in contemporary art, the old distinction between art and craft ought to be history. But snobbism is apparently so hard-wired into our I want a cellar. A grownup, temperature-controlled, computer-catalogued cellar with lots of racks and bins for bottles, shelves for books, benches for decanting Next to last column before the end of the year one, and of course it has to be about the crisis that has enveloped Pug's, the world's most exclusive of clubs.

For any of you who may have missed it, here, for the benefit of Speccie readers, Pill Popping 'Where are you going? She looked blankly at me. Prepare and Reflect The onset of Advent in the last days of November is supposed to be the herald of great joy at the jollities to come, but for most of us who have left childhood behind it seems to have become a season of dread. How to get through all that shopping and Yet it is approachably humane compared with his famous war photography, where from Vietnam to Beirut the horrors are as terrible as Goya's.