Why did DLG fall from power in 1922?


Why did DLG fall from power in 1922? 

Nature of the coalition 

  • DLG's contingent of 133 Coalition Liberals were described as the 'stage army' and provided DLG with little support. They were monstrously outweighed by 383 Conservatives and Ulster Unionists. LG could not afford to delegate so bore a greater workload and responsibility for any policy failures. 
  • Conservatives held a workable majority of 70% of parliamentary seats so LG stayed on as PM on the sufferance on the Conservatives Party and his ability to satisfy Tory backbenchers. 
  • However, there were only 9 Conservatives in the Cabinet compared to 12 Liberals; Conservatives fell they were ill-represented. 
  • The failure of Fusion in 1920 menat LG was a 'prisoner of the Tories' (Constantine) and a 'prime minister without a party' (Lord Beaverbrook). LG was thus unable to have the support of a working party machine when tackling increasingly difficult problems and his dependence on the Conservatives meant he had to follow a more Conservative line in roder to retain his position. 
  • This is shown by LG's decision to reject the proposals of the Sankey Commission and the calls for nationalisation of the mines. LG was personally sympathetic to the miners but Tory backbench opposition meant LG failed to implement the report. As a result, LG lost large amounts of working-class and trade-union support. 
  • LG seemed to be conflicting with his Liberal principles, the ending of reconstruction and £64 million of cuts by the Geddes Axe meant he lost Addison, Liberal Housing Minister in 1921 and his reputation as the man who championed progressive government spending and a social reformer never recovered. 

LG's own mistakes 

  • He made promises he couldn't keep- his proposed 'homes fit for heroes' was proptly ended by the Geddes Axe and slum housing remained despite Addision's 1913 Housing Act building 100,000 homes. The economic effects of war and the desire of Tory backbenchers to see an end to Reconstruction made


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