The first edition of this work was published in 1936 and was reprinted, with a few amendments, in 1937 and again in 1947. The companion volume on Parliament was published in 1938. By the end of 1940 a great deal of material had been collected for volumes dealing with electoral machinery and party politics but it was laid aside when I went to Ceylon. I am afraid that the publication of these volumes must await greater leisure than Ceylon allows me at present. Cabinet Government went out of print during the war, and while on leave in Cambridge in 1945 I collected most of the material for a new edition. This, too, had to be laid aside until 1949, when I was able to spend a period of leave in Oxford. I am most grateful to the Master and Fellows of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, and to the President and Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford, for the hospitality which they kindly offered me during these leave periods.
Some advantage is gained by inspecting the British Constitution at intervals of four years, since changes which are imperceptible to those who live under it may then be noticed. On the other hand it has been impossible to continue the close scrutiny of constitutional developments which I practised before 1941, and it is possible that some significant trends have escaped my attention.
June 1949 . . .