Budget League



The Budget League was a British pressure group formed in 1909 by
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman, soldier, and writer who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom twice, from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War, and again from 1 ...
to publicly campaign in favour of
David Lloyd George David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, (17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1916 to 1922. He was a Liberal Party politician from Wales, known for leading the United Kingdom during ...
's People's Budget in reaction to the activities of the Budget Protest League. The foundation of the League had not been discussed in the Cabinet and when Sir Henry Norman requested Cabinet ministers to speak at its meetings, nearly all of them refused to participate. However, after Jack Pease issued a circular to all Cabinet members, the League was able to announce that many leading Liberals would speak at its meetings. A conference on 9 July between the League's executive committee and the editors of twenty four Liberal-supporting newspapers arranged the publication and press campaign of the League.
Charles Masterman Charles Frederick Gurney Masterman PC (24 October 1873 – 17 November 1927) was a British radical Liberal Party politician, intellectual and man of letters. He worked closely with such Liberal leaders as David Lloyd George and Winston Churc ...
chaired a Literature Sub-committee to produce pamphlets, leaflets, cartoons and posters. At a meeting of the League's executive on 21 July, they decided upon three classes of meetings; Class A would be addressed by Cabinet members and other government members; Class B by MPs and paid speakers of the party; and Class C by others, along with
gramophone A phonograph, in its later forms also called a gramophone (as a trademark since 1887, as a generic name in the UK since 1910) or since the 1940s called a record player, or more recently a turntable, is a device for the mechanical and analogu ...
recordings of pro-Budget speeches by H. H. Asquith, Lloyd George and Churchill. Sir Henry claimed that "hundreds and thousands of people in humble circumstances, who could never possibly have cherished the hope, except by means of the gramophone, of hearing the Prime Minister" could now hear his words. After the Finance Bill passed the Commons into the
House of Lords The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by appointment, heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster i ...
in November, the League continued its publications and posters into the general election of January 1910, finally closing its office on 29 April 1910, the date that the People's Budget became law. The League staged 40 meetings addressed by Cabinet members and 115 by other members of the government. Between its first meeting on 9 July to 10 November, it staged 3,564 meetings with a total registered attendance of 1,436,827 people (approximately 1 in 5 of the registered electorate in Great Britain).Murray, pp. 202-203.


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* Bruce K. Murray, ''The People's Budget 1909/10: Lloyd George and Liberal Politics'' (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980). Liberal Party (UK) Political advocacy groups in the United Kingdom