Convict transportation and colonial independence

of the conviction and the severity of the sentence, Catholic chaplain William Hall repeatedly sought clemency. Surely, Hall appealed to the colonial government, it was always better ‘that twenty guilty escape than one innocent man be sacrificed’. 2 Lyons’s fate had been all but sealed, however, by the arrival of a despatch from London shortly before his trial announcing the summary dismissal of

in Gender, crime and empire

8 In government, 1940–47 When Churchill’s wartime coalition formed in May 1940, Wilkinson became a junior minister: first as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Pensions and then in October 1940 as Parliamentary Secretary to Morrison who was the Minister of Home Security and the Home Secretary.1 The 1945 election interlude apart, she remained in government until her death in 1947. This transformed her relationship with the movements. Her time on the NEC and during the 1929–31 Labour government acted as precedents for this transformation. Yet, this was

in ‘Red Ellen’ Wilkinson

7 The role of local government The introduction of direct rule coincided with the reorganisation of local government. Local government reform had become one of the main priorities of the British Government during the period 1969–72, although proposals for reforming the existing structure had been put forward in the late 1960s. The old system of local government had existed since the nineteenth century and was similar to the system in Britain with two all-purpose county boroughs, Belfast and Londonderry and a two-tier system for the rest of the province with six

in Direct rule and the governance of Northern Ireland
Abstract only
The day the Government fell

9 Dissolving myths: the day the Government fell He [Callaghan] knew the Whips did not want an election now, nor did he, and we would continue to do our best to avoid a defeat, not least through the efforts of the Whips themselves. But he would make no bargains in order to do so. The Government would be able to stand on its record over the last three – indeed five – years, a record which had been made possible because of the Whips.1 This concluding statement from the minute of a meeting between Callaghan and all the Government whips on 21 March 1979 summarised

in The British tradition of minority government

1 Myths, methods and minorities New perspectives [On 7 February 1978, Prime Minister James Callaghan] said that it was quite conceivable the outcome of the election would, as he had indicated to Mr Steel, be a close run thing with the Tories being the largest party without an overall majority […] he would resign in those circumstances […] in his judgement Mrs Thatcher would certainly try to remain as Prime Minister for as long as possible, even if only for a fortnight – he would do the same in her shoes.1 This previously classified Labour Government minute

in The British tradition of minority government
Informal interparty cooperation

6 The myth of exclusivity: informal interparty cooperation The Prime Minister [Jim Callaghan] referred to other minority groups in the House and said that, as was plain, they were all, in their various ways, up for auction.1 This statement from Callaghan in a Strategy Cabinet on 25 May 1978, recorded separately from the official Cabinet meeting, highlights something of the complexity of interparty cooperation during the 1970s. The Wilson Government, while benefiting from the support of smaller parties for particular legislation, had largely eschewed making

in The British tradition of minority government
Abstract only
Alternatives to government formation

3 The birth of myths: alternatives to government formation [F]or the Labour Party to be dependent on the SDLP at Westminster would put us in the Catholic camp in Northern Ireland […] Our stance in Northern Ireland must be that of a party which is not sectarian but socialist.1 In a strange parallel to some of the publicly articulated arguments against Conservative/DUP cooperation in June 2017, Northern Ireland Secretary Merlyn Rees’ warning, in a letter to Callaghan after the Government became a minority in Parliament in April 1976, was in response to a

in The British tradition of minority government
Legislative management

4 The myth of weakness: legislative management [T]he Government had to consider what strategy to adopt while without a parliamentary majority […] whether to introduce Bills which would be popular with the Government’s own supporters but likely to be defeated in Parliament, or whether to take special steps to obtain the necessary support for Government legislation.1 Callaghan’s summary of a Cabinet discussion on 3 March 1977 is representative of the many deliberations which were engaged in by the 1970s governments, and some of the radical options which were

in The British tradition of minority government
The Lib–Lab Pact

Government and they and other small groups should not be overlooked […] otherwise the election campaign would begin almost immediately.1 The Prime Minister’s country retreat, Chequers, 26 June 1977. At a secret strategy meeting, three months after the beginning of the Lib–Lab Pact, Callaghan’s Cabinet discussed whether or not to renew their cooperation with the Liberals through extension of the Pact, to seek an early election or to create an entirely different agreement with another political party. This interparty cooperation built on the abortive attempt at coalition

in The British tradition of minority government
Abstract only
Personalities and strategy-making

2 Myths about leaders: personalities and strategy-making ‘Hung Parliaments’ have been more common than might be supposed. Minority governments have often been formed, usually at periods when the Party system has been in transition, e.g. when the Peelites were drifting slowly from Conservative to Liberal allegiance, or when the Liberal Unionists were moving rapidly from the Gladstonian to the Conservative camp, or when Labour was taking over from the Liberal Party. Sir Ivor Jennings, in Cabinet Government: 3rd Edition, 1961, cited no less than eleven cases of

in The British tradition of minority government