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Henry Campbell-Bannerman

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We are keenly in sympathy with the representatives of Labour. We have too few of them in the House of Commons. ...The Liberal party, high and low, have discovered, if they ever forgot it, that the real road to success...lies in adhering to the old principles of the party.
Speech to Liberals in Belmont (2 January, 1903).
John Wilson, C.B.: A Life of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (London: Constable, 1973), p. 394.

Henry Campbell-Bannerman

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I have always been strong for a large increase of labour representation in the House of Commons...Now, I dare say the day may come—it may come sooner than some think—when the Liberal party will be transformed or superseded by some new party; but before the working population of this country have their destinies in their own hands, as they will assuredly do within a measurable distance of time, there is enough ground to be cleared which only the Liberal party is capable of clearing. The ideal of the Liberal party is that view of things which believes that the welfare of all is bound up with injustice being done to none. Above all, according to the ideal of the Liberal party—that party from which I beseech you, not for my sake, but for your own, not to sever yourselves—the ideal of the Liberal party is this—that in the mass of the toilers on land all the fountains of national life abide and the strongest and most irresistible currents flow.

John Morley

The combination of the Liberal and Labour Parties is much stronger than the Liberal Party would be if there were no third Party in existence. Many men who would in that case have voted for us voted on this occasion as the Labour Party told them i.e. for the Liberals. The Labour Party has "come to stay"...the existence of the third Party deprives us of the full benefits of the 'swing of the pendulum', introduces a new element into politics and confronts us with a new difficulty.

Austen Chamberlain

The root objection to the pact is the nature of the Labour Party. It is not liberal. It is not becoming more liberal. The social democrats remain ineffective, or sneak off, after preaching equality to everyone else, to some of the highest-paid jobs open to the British. As a final spectacle of degradation, they are to be seen intimidating the Grunwick workers...The Labour Party remains without principle, clinging to office, paid by the trades unions, and with an anti-democratic Marxist wing. The pact, I fear, is having no effect on the nature of that party.

Jo Grimond

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Archibald Primrose Rosebery

The old Liberal party is drawing to its end. These last two elections, particularly the last, are the Mene Mene Tekel Upharsen of the Liberal banquet. The socialist does not indeed get a majority but while the two old parties are cutting each other's throats, he slips in and will continue to slip in and the encouragement to his party is great. The Liberal party will lose their industrial seats, while the Conservative party, the natural refuge in time of trouble, creams off all who will accept protection.

Archibald Primrose Rosebery
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