Chamberlain Essay

594 Words3 Pages
Chamberlain threw himself into Parliamentary work, begrudging the times when he was unable to attend debates and spending much time on committee work. In March 1920, he was offered a junior post at the Ministry of Health by Bonar Law on behalf of the Prime Minister, but was unwilling to serve under Lloyd George.[29] Chamberlain was offered no further posts during Lloyd George's premiership, and when Bonar Law resigned as party leader, Austen Chamberlain took his place as head of the Unionists in Parliament.[30] Unionist leaders were willing to fight the 1922 election in coalition with the Liberals, but on 19 October, Unionist MPs held a meeting at which they voted to leave the Coalition. Lloyd George resigned, as did Austen Chamberlain, and Bonar Law was recalled from retirement to lead the Unionists as Prime Minister.[31] Many high-ranking Unionists refused to serve under Bonar Law, to the benefit of Chamberlain, who rose over the course of ten months from backbencher to Chancellor of the Exchequer.[32] Bonar Law initially appointed Chamberlain Postmaster General[33] and Chamberlain was sworn of the Privy Council.[34] When Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen, the Minister of Health, lost his seat in the 1922 general election and failed to win a by-election in March 1923, Bonar Law offered the position, within the Cabinet, to Chamberlain.[35] Two months later, Bonar Law was diagnosed with advanced, terminal throat cancer. He immediately resigned, and was replaced by Chancellor of the Exchequer Stanley Baldwin. In August 1923, Baldwin promoted Chamberlain to the position of Chancellor of the Exchequer.[36] Chamberlain served only five months in the office before the Conservatives were defeated in the 1923 general election. Ramsay MacDonald became the first Labour Prime Minister but the Labour government fell within months, necessitating another general election.
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