Asquith coalition ministry

Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith formed a wartime coalition government in May 1915.[a]

Asquith coalition ministry
1915–1916
Herbert Henry Asquith.jpg
Date formed25 May 1915 (1915-05-25)
Date dissolved5 December 1916 (1916-12-05)
People and organisations
MonarchGeorge V
Prime MinisterH. H. Asquith (pictured)
Prime Minister's history1908–1916
Total no. of members85 appointments
Member parties
Status in legislatureMajority (coalition)
Opposition party
Opposition leader
Sir Edward Carson
(1915–1916)
History
Legislature term(s)30th UK Parliament
PredecessorThird Asquith ministry
SuccessorLloyd George war ministry

HistoryEdit

The new Cabinet included nine Conservatives and one Labour minister, but the Liberals continued to hold most of the important posts;[R. 2003] the Conservatives had demanded Cabinet seats, but they only received lesser positions. Not at all satisfied, Conservative Party leader Bonar Law continued the verbal attacks.

The ministry collapsed on 5 December 1916 as a result of Conservative resignations, who refused to serve under Asquith's leadership. Asquith and most of the Liberals then moved into opposition, while the Conservatives formed a new coalition with a minority of Liberals, under the leadership of Liberal David Lloyd George, the next day.

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
H. H. Asquith 25 May 1915 – 5 Dec 1916 Liberal
Chancellor of the Exchequer Reginald McKenna 25 May 1915 Liberal
John Gulland 30 May 1915 – 5 Dec 1916 Liberal
Lord Edmund Talbot 30 May 1915 – 5 Dec 1916 Conservative
Financial Secretary to the Treasury Edwin Montagu[b] 26 May 1915 Liberal
Thomas McKinnon Wood 9 Jul 1916 Liberal
Junior Lords of the Treasury Geoffrey Howard 30 May 1915 – 5 Dec 1916 Liberal
George Roberts 30 May 1915 – 5 Dec 1916 Labour
William Bridgeman 30 May 1915 – 5 Dec 1916 Conservative
Walter Rea 30 May 1915 – 5 Dec 1916 Liberal
Lord Chancellor The Lord Buckmaster 25 May 1915 Liberal
The Marquess of Crewe 25 May 1915 Liberal
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 Jan 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[c] 25 May 1915 Liberal
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Lord Robert Cecil[d] 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 Jul 1916 Liberal
Under-Secretary of State for War Harold Tennant 30 May 1915 Liberal
The Earl of Derby 6 Jul 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 Macnamara 30 May 1915 Liberal
Civil Lord of the Admiralty The Duke of Devonshire[e] 9 Jun 1915 Conservative
The Earl of Lytton 26 Jul 1916 Conservative
President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries The Earl of Selborne 25 May 1915 Conservative
The Earl of Crawford 11 Jul 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 Feb 1916 Conservative
President of the Board of Education Arthur Henderson 25 May 1915 Labour
The Marquess of Crewe[f] 18 Aug 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 Jul 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 Nov 1915 Liberal
Edwin Montagu 11 Jan 1916 Liberal
Thomas McKinnon Wood 9 Jul 1916 Liberal
Minister of Munitions David Lloyd George 25 May 1915 Liberal
Edwin Montagu 9 Jul 1916 Liberal
Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Munitions Christopher Addison 30 May 1915 – 8 Dec 1916 Liberal
Arthur Lee 11 Nov 1915 – 9 Jul 1916 Conservative
Paymaster General The Lord Newton 9 Jun 1915 Conservative
Arthur Henderson 18 Aug 1916 Labour
Minister without Portfolio The Marquess of Lansdowne 25 May 1915 Conservative
Postmaster General Herbert Samuel 26 May 1915 Liberal
Joseph Pease 18 Jan 1916 Liberal
Assistant Postmaster-General Herbert Pease 30 May 1915 Conservative
Secretary for Scotland Thomas McKinnon Wood 25 May 1915 Liberal
Harold Tennant 9 Jul 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 Nov 1915 Conservative
Solicitor General Sir F. E. Smith 2 Jun 1915 Conservative
Sir George Cave 8 Nov 1915 Conservative
Lord Advocate Robert Munro 8 Jun 1915 Liberal
Solicitor General for Scotland Thomas Brash Morison 8 Jun 1915 Liberal
Attorney-General for Ireland John Gordon 8 Jun 1915 Conservative
James Campbell 9 Apr 1916 Conservative
Solicitor-General for Ireland James O'Connor 8 Jun 1915 Irish Parliamentary
Lord Steward of the Household The Lord Farquhar 9 Jun 1915 Conservative
Lord Chamberlain of the Household The Lord Sandhurst 9 Jun 1915 Liberal
Vice-Chamberlain of the Household Cecil Beck 30 May 1915 Liberal
Master of the Horse The Earl of Chesterfield 9 Jun 1915 Liberal
Treasurer of the Household James Hope 30 May 1915 Conservative
Comptroller of the Household Charles Roberts 30 May 1915 Liberal
The Lord Colebrooke 9 Jun 1915 Liberal
Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard The Lord Suffield 9 Jun 1915 Conservative
Lords-in-Waiting The Lord Herschell 9 Jun 1915 Liberal
The Viscount Allendale 9 Jun 1915 Liberal
The Lord Stanmore 9 Jun 1915 Liberal
The Lord Ranksborough 9 Jun 1915 Liberal
The Viscount Valentia 9 Jun 1915 Conservative
The Lord Hylton[g] 9 Jun 1915 Conservative

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The move resulted from intense attacks on his government claiming it had badly mishandled the war effort, especially regarding the Gallipoli campaign (against Constantinople) and the Shell Crisis (regarding shortage of ammunition on the Western Front).
  2. ^ Montagu entered the cabinet on 16 January 1916.
  3. ^ Grey was created the 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon on 27 July 1916.
  4. ^ Cecil joined the Cabinet on 23 February 1916.
  5. ^ Devonshire also served as Joint Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords.
  6. ^ Crewe also served as Leader of the House of Lords.
  7. ^ Hylton served as Joint Government Chief Whip in the House of Lords from 26 July 1916.

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.
  •  ———  (1997). "Andrew Bonar Law and the fall of the Asquith Coalition: The December 1916 cabinet crisis". Canadian Journal of History. 32 (2): 185–200.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Butler, David and Gareth Butler (2010). British Political Facts (tenth 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. Retrieved 19 October 2020.
  • Gollin, Alfred; S. W. Whitehall; D. Lloyd George; and J. L. Garvin (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. pp. 78–79. ISBN 0-230-62913-X.
  • 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