By Ivor Jennings
Sir Ivor Jennings' vintage account of the evolution of cupboard executive in England.
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Additional resources for Cabinet Government 3rd Edition
25. 3rd series, 1, p. 26. THE CHOICE OF A PRIME MINISTER Sir Henry Ponsonby then saw Lord Salisbury, and reported that Lord Salisbury had said that 'had Mr Gladstone announced the Irish policy attributed to him, there might have been some grounds for not calling upon him to form a Government. ' But Lord Salisbury also said that Mr Goschen ought to have gone to Osborne, and that Sir Henry Ponsonby should see Mr Goschen. Mr Goschen was insistent that Sir Henry Ponsonby should see Mr Gladstone at once.
It was her duty to find a Government which could secure a majority in the House of Commons. The electorate had just returned a substantial Liberal majority which was led by Mr Gladstone. Under his leadership it had supported an amendment to the Address which, as Lord Salisbury rightly saw, compelled the resignation of the Government. But even if the majority in support of the motion had not been a compact group, it would have been out of accord with the precedents not to have applied to Mr Gladstone.
Ibid, ist series, in, p. 102. Life of Gladstone, 11, p. 252. The phrase is probably not quite accurate. Life of the Duke of Devonshire, II, pp. 272-3. 33 THE CHOICE OF A PRIME MINISTER not accurate, Lord Hartington was certainly leader of the Liberal Opposition in the House of Commons. On the resignation of Mr Gladstone's Government in 1885 she sent for Lord Salisbury, who led the Conservative party in the House of Lords. The Queen was anxious not to follow this series of precedents on the resignation of Lord Salisbury's Government in 1886.