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Printed Address, To the Electors of Dundee...

28 December 1909, Board of Trade, Whitehall Gardens, London, 28 December 1909. [Together with:] Printed Address, To the Electors of Dundee, 23 November 1910.

Availability: In stock

Published: Dundee John Leng & Co., 1909-10

Stock Code: 71650

OR On display in 43 Dover Street


Churchill invokes Lincoln's famous formulation from the Gettysburg Address in his election addresses on the momentous constitutional battle between the House of Commons and the House of Lords. In November 1909, the Lords rejected the "People's Budget" of 1909 proposed by Liberal Prime Minister Herbert Asquith. The bill called for higher taxes on the wealthy to pay for a limited scheme of unemployment and worker's health insurance. The bill, and the intransigence of the House of Lords, became the central issue in two general elections held in 1910, the first in January the second in December.
In the first address, Churchill decries the Lords' veto, saying "The people can be trusted. They are of age If at one end of our political system we have a hereditary House of Landlords and great capitalists, wielding an absolute veto over legislation and finance...then government of the people, by the people, for the people will have become a nineteenth century daydream." The Spectator published brief extracts and a comment on this address; "Mr. Winston Churchill's election address, when shorn of its purple platitudes, is chiefly remarkable for its denunciation of the Peers" (quoted in Cohen). The January 1910 election resulted in the Liberals forming a coalition government dependent upon their Labour Party and Irish Nationalist allies. The Lords approved a slightly modified version of the People's Budget in April 1910, but the Liberals were determined to strike down the veto power of the upper chamber, and made it the issue of a second general election, in December 1910.
In his second address (November 1910), Churchill is more combative and impatient. "No one can persuade the Tory Party to give up their Veto. They regard themselves as the ruling caste They treat us as if we were a conquered race They cannot bring themselves to part from that unfair Veto You will have to take it from them. You will have to take it from them now. You will have to take it from them for ever. One good wrench, and out it comes!" The growing political unrest in the country forced the Lords to yield and they consented to the Parliament Act of 1911, which significantly reduced their powers. These ephemeral pieces of election literature are extremely uncommon, Cohen giving just one location for each of these pieces.

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Quarto, four pages and quarto, 2 pages.


The first-named with crosswise creases from old folds, first and last pages toned and somewhat soiled, both leaves with a closed tear into the fore-margin, professionally repaired; the second browned and splitting at the margins, some minor losses, closed tear at the fore-margin repaired, encroaching on the text but no loss, about very good.


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