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Asquith coalition ministry

H. H. Asquith formed a wartime coalition government on 25 May 1915. The change of government resulted from intense attacks on the Liberal government claiming it badly mishandled the war effort, especially regarding the Gallipoli Campaign against Constantinople and the Shell Crisis regarding shortage of ammunition on the Western Front. The Conservatives demanded cabinet seats, but they only received lesser positions. The new Cabinet included nine Conservatives and one Labour minister, but the Liberals continued to hold most of the important posts.[1] The Conservatives were not at all satisfied and their leader Bonar Law continued the attacks. The government collapsed in December 1916 as a result of the resignation of the Conservatives, who refused to serve any longer under Asquith. Asquith and most of the Liberals then moved into opposition, while the Conservatives formed a new coalition with a minority of the Liberals, under the leadership of Liberal David Lloyd George on 6 December 1916.

Asquith coalition ministry
1915–1916
Herbert Henry Asquith.jpg
Date formed 25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)
Date dissolved 5 December 1916 (1916-12-05)
People and organisations
Monarch George V
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Prime Minister's history 1908–1916
Total no. of ministers 85 appointments
Member parties
Status in legislature Majority (coalition)
Opposition party
Opposition leader
Sir Edward Carson
(1915–1916)
History
Legislature term(s) 30th UK Parliament
Predecessor Third Asquith ministry
Successor Lloyd George war ministry

Contents

CabinetEdit

Portfolio Minister Took office Left office Party
 H. H. Asquith*5 April 1908 (1908-04-05)5 December 1916 (1916-12-05)Liberal
Chancellor of the Exchequer Reginald McKenna27 May 1915 (1915-05-27)10 December 1916 (1916-12-10)Liberal
Lord Chancellor The Lord Buckmaster25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)5 December 1916 (1916-12-05)Liberal
 The Marquess of Crewe25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)10 December 1916 (1916-12-10)Liberal
Lord Privy Seal The Earl Curzon of Kedleston25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)December 1916 (1916-12)Conservative
Secretary of State for the Home Department Sir John Simon27 May 1915 (1915-05-27)12 January 1916 (1916-01-12)Liberal
 Herbert Samuel12 January 1916 (1916-01-12)7 December 1916 (1916-12-07)Liberal
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sir Edward Grey10 December 1905 (1905-12-10)10 December 1916 (1916-12-10)Liberal
Secretary of State for the Colonies Bonar Law25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)10 December 1916 (1916-12-10)Conservative
Secretary of State for War The Earl Kitchener5 August 1914 (1914-08-05)5 June 1916 (1916-06-05)Independent
 David Lloyd George6 July 1916 (1916-07-06)5 December 1916 (1916-12-05)Liberal
Secretary of State for India Austen Chamberlain25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)17 July 1917 (1917-07-17)Conservative
First Lord of the Admiralty Arthur Balfour25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)10 December 1916 (1916-12-10)Conservative
President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries The Earl of Selborne25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)11 July 1916 (1916-07-11)Conservative
 The Earl of Crawford11 July 1916 (1916-07-11)5 December 1916 (1916-12-05)Conservative
Minister of Blockade Lord Robert Cecil23 February 1916 (1916-02-23)18 July 1918 (1918-07-18)Conservative
President of the Board of Education Arthur Henderson25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)18 August 1916 (1916-08-18)Labour
 The Marquess of Crewe18 August 1916 (1916-08-18)10 December 1916 (1916-12-10)Liberal
President of the Local Government Board Walter LongMay 1915 (1915-05)December 1916 (1916-12)Conservative
Chief Secretary for Ireland Augustine Birrell23 January 1907 (1907-01-23)3 May 1916 (1916-05-03)Liberal
 Henry Duke31 July 1916 (1916-07-31)5 May 1918 (1918-05-05)Conservative
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Winston Churchill25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)25 November 1915 (1915-11-25)Liberal
 Herbert Samuel25 November 1915 (1915-11-25)11 January 1916 (1916-01-11)Liberal
 Edwin Samuel Montagu11 January 1916 (1916-01-11)9 July 1916 (1916-07-09)Liberal
 Thomas McKinnon Wood9 July 1916 (1916-07-09)10 December 1916 (1916-12-10)Liberal
Minister of Munitions David Lloyd George25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)9 July 1916 (1916-07-09)Liberal
 Edwin Samuel Montagu9 July 1916 (1916-07-09)10 December 1916 (1916-12-10)Liberal
Paymaster General Arthur Henderson18 August 1916 (1916-08-18)10 December 1916 (1916-12-10)Labour
Minister without Portfolio The Marquess of Lansdowne25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)December 1916 (1916-12)Conservative
Postmaster General Herbert Samuel26 May 1915 (1915-05-26)18 January 1916 (1916-01-18)Liberal
 Joseph Pease18 January 1916 (1916-01-18)5 December 1916 (1916-12-05)Liberal
Secretary for Scotland Thomas McKinnon Wood13 February 1912 (1912-02-13)9 July 1916 (1916-07-09)Liberal
 Harold Tennant9 July 1916 (1916-07-09)5 December 1916 (1916-12-05)Liberal
President of the Board of Trade Walter Runciman5 August 1914 (1914-08-05)5 December 1916 (1916-12-05)Liberal
First Commissioner of Works Lewis Harcourt25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)10 December 1916 (1916-12-10)Liberal
Attorney General Sir Edward Carson25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)19 October 1915 (1915-10-19)Irish Unionist
 Sir F. E. Smith3 November 1915 (1915-11-03)10 January 1919 (1919-01-10)Conservative

List of ministersEdit

Cabinet members are listed in bold face.

Office Name Date Party
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith 25 May 1915 –
5 December 1916
Liberal
First Lord of the Treasury
Leader of the House of Commons
Chancellor of the Exchequer Reginald McKenna 25 May 1915 Liberal
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury
& Government Chief Whip in the House of Commons
John Gulland 30 May 1915 –
5 December 1916
Liberal
Lord Edmund Talbot 30 May 1915 –
5 December 1916
Conservative
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Edwin Samuel Montagu[note 1] 26 May 1915 Liberal
Thomas McKinnon Wood 9 July 1916 Liberal
Junior Lords of the Treasury Geoffrey Howard 30 May 1915 –
5 December 1916
Liberal
George Henry Roberts 30 May 1915 –
5 December 1916
Labour
William Bridgeman 30 May 1915 –
5 December 1916
Conservative
Walter Rea 30 May 1915 –
5 December 1916
Liberal
Lord Chancellor The Lord Buckmaster 25 May 1915 Liberal
Lord President of the Council The Marquess of Crewe 25 May 1915 Liberal
Leader of the House of Lords
Lord Privy Seal The Earl Curzon of Kedleston 25 May 1915 Conservative
Secretary of State for the Home Department Sir John Simon 25 May 1915 Liberal
Herbert Samuel 10 January 1916 Liberal
Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department William Brace 30 May 1915 Labour
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sir Edward Grey[note 2] 25 May 1915 Liberal
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord Robert Cecil[note 3] 30 May 1915 Conservative
Secretary of State for the Colonies Bonar Law 25 May 1915 Conservative
Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies Arthur Steel-Maitland 30 May 1915 Conservative
Secretary of State for War The Earl Kitchener 25 May 1915 independent
David Lloyd George 6 July 1916 Liberal
Under-Secretary of State for War Harold Tennant 30 May 1915 Liberal
The Earl of Derby 6 July 1916 Conservative
Financial Secretary to the War Office Henry Forster 30 May 1915 Conservative
Secretary of State for India Austen Chamberlain 25 May 1915 Conservative
Under-Secretary of State for India The Lord Islington 30 May 1915 Liberal
First Lord of the Admiralty Arthur Balfour 25 May 1915 Conservative
Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Admiralty Thomas James Macnamara 30 May 1915 Liberal
Civil Lord of the Admiralty The Duke of Devonshire[note 4] 9 June 1915 Conservative
The Earl of Lytton 26 July 1916 Conservative
President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries The Earl of Selborne 25 May 1915 Conservative
The Earl of Crawford 11 July 1916 Conservative
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries Francis Dyke Acland 30 May 1915 Liberal
Minister of Blockade Lord Robert Cecil 23 February 1916 Conservative
President of the Board of Education Arthur Henderson 25 May 1915 Labour
The Marquess of Crewe[note 5] 18 August 1916 Liberal
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education Herbert Lewis 30 May 1915 Liberal
President of the Local Government Board Walter Long 25 May 1915 Conservative
Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Board William Hayes Fisher 30 May 1915 Conservative
Chief Secretary for Ireland Augustine Birrell 25 May 1915 –
3 May 1916
Liberal
Henry Duke 31 July 1916 Conservative
Vice President of the Department of Agriculture for Ireland Thomas Russell 30 May 1915 Liberal
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Winston Churchill 25 May 1915 Liberal
Herbert Samuel 25 November 1915 Liberal
Edwin Samuel Montagu 11 January 1916 Liberal
Thomas McKinnon Wood 9 July 1916 Liberal
Minister of Munitions David Lloyd George 25 May 1915 Liberal
Edwin Samuel Montagu 9 July 1916 Liberal
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions Christopher Addison 30 May 1915 –
8 December 1916
Liberal
Arthur Lee 11 November 1915 –
9 July 1916
Conservative
Paymaster General The Lord Newton 9 June 1915 Conservative
Arthur Henderson 18 August 1916 Labour
Minister without Portfolio The Marquess of Lansdowne 25 May 1915 Conservative
Postmaster General Herbert Samuel 26 May 1915 Liberal
Joseph Pease 18 January 1916 Liberal
Assistant Postmaster-General Herbert Pease 30 May 1915 Conservative
Secretary for Scotland Thomas McKinnon Wood 25 May 1915 Liberal
Harold Tennant 9 July 1916 Liberal
President of the Board of Trade Walter Runciman 25 May 1915 Liberal
Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade E. G. Pretyman 30 May 1915 Conservative
First Commissioner of Works Lewis Harcourt 25 May 1915 Liberal
Attorney General Sir Edward Carson 25 May 1915 Conservative
Sir F. E. Smith 3 November 1915 Conservative
Solicitor General Sir F. E. Smith 2 June 1915 Conservative
Sir George Cave 8 November 1915 Conservative
Lord Advocate Robert Munro 8 June 1915 Liberal
Solicitor General for Scotland Thomas Brash Morison 8 June 1915 Liberal
Attorney-General for Ireland John Gordon 8 June 1915 Conservative
James Campbell 9 April 1916 Conservative
Solicitor-General for Ireland James O'Connor 8 June 1915 Irish Nationalist
Lord Steward of the Household The Lord Farquhar 9 June 1915 Conservative
Lord Chamberlain of the Household The Lord Sandhurst 9 June 1915 Liberal
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Cecil Beck 30 May 1915 Liberal
Master of the Horse The Earl of Chesterfield 9 June 1915 Liberal
Treasurer of the Household James Hope 30 May 1915 Conservative
Comptroller of the Household Charles Henry Roberts 30 May 1915 Liberal
Captain of the Gentlemen-at-Arms The Lord Colebrooke 9 June 1915 Liberal
Joint Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Lord Suffield 9 June 1915 Conservative
Lords-in-Waiting The Lord Herschell 9 June 1915 Liberal
The Viscount Allendale 9 June 1915 Liberal
The Lord Stanmore 9 June 1915 Liberal
The Lord Ranksborough 9 June 1915 Liberal
The Viscount Valentia 9 June 1915 Conservative
The Lord Hylton[note 6] 9 June 1915 Conservative

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Montagu entered the cabinet on 16 January 1916.
  2. ^ Grey was created the 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon on 27 July 1916.
  3. ^ Cecil joined the Cabinet on 23 February 1916.
  4. ^ Devonshire also served as Joint Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords.
  5. ^ Crewe also served as Leader of the House of Lords.
  6. ^ Hylton served as Joint Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords from 26 July 1916.

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ Rubinstein 2003, p. 78–79.

ReferencesEdit

  • Adams, R. J .Q (July 1986). "Asquith's Choice: The May Coalition and the Coming of Conscription, 1915–1916". Journal of British Studies. 25 (3): 243–263. doi:10.1086/385864. JSTOR 175463.
  • Butler, David; Butler, Gareth (2010). British Political Facts (10th ed.). Palgrave Macmillan UK. ISBN 978-0-230-29318-2.
  • Cawood, Ian (10 May 2013). "Liberal–Conservative Coalitions – 'a farce and a fraud'?". History & Policy.
  • Gollin, Alfred; Whitehall, S. W.; et al. (1976). "Freedom or Control in the First World War: (The Great Crisis of May 1915)". Historical Reflections. 2 (2): 135–155. JSTOR 41298664.
  • Grieves, Keith (1988). The Politics of Manpower, 1914–18. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-2253-1.
  • McEwen, J. M. (1978). "The Struggle for Mastery in Britain: Lloyd George versus Asquith, December 1916". Journal of British Studies. 18 (1): 131–156. doi:10.1086/385732.
  • McGill, Barry (1967). "Asquith's Predicament, 1914–1918". The Journal of Modern History. 39 (3): 283–303. doi:10.1086/240083. JSTOR 1876582.
  • Martin, Ged (1985). "Asquith, the Maurice Debate and the Historians". Australian Journal of Politics and History. 31 (3): 435–444. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8497.1985.tb00128.x.
  • Pugh, Martin D. (December 1974). "Asquith, Bonar Law and the First Coalition". The Historical Journal. 17 (4): 813–836. JSTOR 2638558.
  • Rothwell, Victor (1971). British War Aims and Peace Diplomacy, 1914–1918. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Rubinstein, William D. (2003). Twentieth-Century Britain: A Political History. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 023062913X. Retrieved 7 March 2016.
  • Searle, G. R. (1992). "Liberalism and the Great War". The Liberal Party. Macmillan Education UK. pp. 121–140.
Preceded by
Third Asquith ministry
Government of the United Kingdom
1915–1916
Succeeded by
Lloyd George war ministry