chapter  23
Pages 12

Parliament had refused the government supply, making it impossible for the Liberals to continue in office. In any case, the Lords rejection motion declared ‘That this House is not justified in giving its consent to the Bill until it has been submitted to the judgment of the country’, so proclaiming the Conservative peers’ own stance on constitutional probity. Asquith sought a dissolution from King Edward VII and a general election followed in January 1910, fought by the Liberals on a ‘Peers versus People’ platform, by the Conservatives on the dangerous nature of the budget, described by Lansdowne as ‘a monument of reckless and improvident finance’,12 and on the unwisdom of seeking to please the mass of the voters.13 Asquith announced on 10 December 1909 that it was now insufficient for the Lords to accept the Finance Bill; some means of limiting their power to reject legislation passed by the Commons must follow.