Fifty Years of British Parliament - Vol. 1

Fifty Years of British Parliament - Vol. 1

Fifty Years of British Parliament - Vol. 1

Fifty Years of British Parliament - Vol. 1

Excerpt

This book deals with events and matters which are within the range of my own memory. For the best part of the first twenty of the years which it covers, I was an outside spectator; during the remainder I sat in the House of Commons, and ultimately became its Leader. The book does not profess to be, and from the nature of the case it could not be, a detached and impartial survey. It is intended to be a contribution to history written to a large extent from first-hand knowledge. The time with which it is concerned was one of almost ceaseless and often embittered controversies, both between policies and persons, in many of which I took an active part. The imputation, and perhaps the reality, of colour and bias is almost inevitable in a narrative so composed; and without pretending that I have attempted the thankless task of "holding the scales even", which denudes history of its interest, I have not consciously tampered with the balance.

There is one and, I think, only one relevant topic of capital importance which I have deliberately omitted; the causes of, and our preparations for, the Great War. My reason is twofold: first, that I have already gone over the ground in my book, The Genesis of the War; and, next, that since its publi-

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