Conservative Party Manifestos > 1910 > December > Manifesto text in a single long file

December 1910 Conservative Party General Election Manifesto

Arthur Balfour's Election Address

In less than a year since the last General Election the Government has resolved again to appeal to the country. They have selected the season at which the register least accurately represents the constinuencies, and which is most inconvenient to trade; and have done so without the excuse of a Parliamentary defeat in either House, and with no visible breach in the strange coalition of parties which keeps them in office.

It is in these circumstances that I ask you for the third time to honour me with your suffrages. I have little to add to the detailed statment of my views, which I sent to every elector for the City of London last December. Now, as then, Tariff Reform, National Defence, and wider extension of freehold ownership, Poor Law and other social reforms, are vital parts of the programme, to which the party with which I am connected stands pledged. Now, as then, we are resolved that the party of revolution shall not, under the thin disguise of an attack on the Upper House, impair the liberties of the people. Our principles on this last subject are plain, and we share them with all the great men who have helped to develop our Constitution, or have been concerned in framing free institutions for self-governing communities beyond the limits of these islands. Nor would the Ministry, even in the Parliament now drawing to a close, have obtained serious support for their destructive policy were it not forced upon them by their Socialist and Nationalist allies. It is because both Nationalists and Socialists are aware that their darling projects are not in harmony with the considered will of the people that they press for the abolition of the only Constitutional safeguard which at critical moments will enable that will to prevail.

Behind the Single Chamber conspiracy lurk Socialism and Home Rule. The alternative scheme of Reform which we desire to see adopted has, in spite of the Government, now been brought to the notice of the country. It is true that a full Parliamentary discussion of it has been made impossible by the date selected for the Dissolution. It is also true that in consequence the constituencies have not enjoyed that assistance in judging of its merits which they had a right to demand. Yet I cannot doubt that if they fairly survey the constructive programme which the Unionist Party offers them - fiscal, social, Imperial, and Constitutional - they will feel that on these lines, and on these lines only, is ordered progress possible.

Conservative Party Manifestos

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