Arthur Balfour's Leadership 1902-1905

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Arthur Balfour's Leadership 1902-1905

Tariff Reform

  • Introduced by Chamberlain in 1903
  • It was a tax on imports into Britain and the Empire
  • A policy of imperial preference 
  • Taxes raised would go towards social reforms e.g. Pensions. 


  • The issue dividided the Conservatives into three groups: 
  • FREE FOODERS- Anti-Protectionism, against tariff reform
  • BALFOURITES- Named after the Conservative leader who sat on the fence and wanted to find middle ground led by Balfour showing his weakness as a leader.
  • WHOLE HOGGERS- Pro-tarriff reform
  • CT Richie, Chancellor of the Exechequer, threatened to resign 
  • Winston Churchill left the Conservatives over the issue and joined the Liberal party. 
  • The Liberal Party said it would lead retaliatory tariffs and rising food prices.
  • 'The issue rocked the party to its foundations'-Derrick Murphy.


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