By John Charmley (auth.)
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Extra resources for A History of Conservative Politics, 1900–1996
But if this suggests that the policy was unpopular with the wider electorate, then such persistence implies that it enjoyed the support of the party activists; there can be no doubt that it was as popular inside the party as it was unpopular elsewhere. As one long-time supporter of tariffs, the future High Commissioner of Egypt and Colonial Secretary, Lord Lloyd, put it: 'I should never have come into politics at all had it not been for Mr Chamberlain's personality and politics'; 5 he was not alone in this view.
The result of this situation was to create a deep chasm between 'hedgers' and 'ditchers', with the latter coming to see the former as little better than traitors; the former Viceroy of India, Curzon, became an object of particular detestation because he changed sides. The constitutional crisis was the severest test yet of Balfour's leadership, but it drew forth from him no hitherto unsuspected qualities; he sought to handle it, as he had the Tariff Reform question, by a series of adroit tactical devicesonce more revealing how little he appreciated the passion which drove other politicians.
25 On 7 July Birmingham gave a great celebration for its most famous adopted son: MP for the city for thirty years, its former Lord Mayor and the Chancellor of its university; it was the apotheosis of Joseph Chamberlain. On 11 July, resting from the exertions of the previous few days, Chamberlain suffered a massive paralytic stroke. Uncertain at first of the extent of his infirmities, and not wishing to jeopardise the cause for which he had given so much, Chamberlain's family kept the matter quiet, issuing bulletins saying that he was suffering from unusually severe attacks of gout.
A History of Conservative Politics, 1900–1996 by John Charmley (auth.)