[ Isaac Foot, Liberal Party politician, on the Liberal collapse at the 1924 General Election: 'I don't know how it all happened.'. ] Autograph Letter Signed to neighbouring MP Sir Courtenay Mansel, discussing the loss of both their seats.

Isaac Foot (1880-1960), Liberal Party politician, barrister, father of Michael Foot, leader of the Labour Party [ Sir Courtenay Cecil Mansel (1880-1933), Welsh politician ]
Publication details: 
1 Lipson Terrace, Plymouth. 18 November 1924.
SKU: 20629

4pp., 12mo. Bifolium. In fair condition, lightly aged and worn. An interesting and characteristically good-humoured letter, written in the aftermath of the General Election of 1924, at which the Liberal Party was decimated, with both Foot and Mansel losing their seats. (Foot had been MP for Bodmin since 1922, and Mansel had been elected MP for nearby Penryn and Falmouth at the general election of 1923.) The election (the third in two years) had been held little more than a week before, on 29 October 1924, as a result of a Common's defeat of Ramsay MacDonald's Labour minority government. Baldwin's Conservatives gained a parliamentary majority of 209; while Labour lost 40 seats. The election was a disaster for the Liberal Party from which it has never recovered: the party lost 118 of its 158 seats. Foot begins in the hope that Mansel is 'recovering'. He continues: 'I have spent my time in touring what was my Constituency and, upon my word, I am getting bigger and more enthusiastic meetings now than I ever had.' As for the causes of his defeat he writes, 'I don't know how it all happened. The Socialists voted against me and some weak-kneed Liberals did the same. What a scramble it was!' Foot was hoping Mansel would 'pull through', but was 'denied that consolation'. In consolation he quotes a couple of lines from Wordsworth, before continuing: 'What of the dummy brigade who will now represent the West-Country? Think of it – Pilcher, Harrison, Harvey, and Kenyon-Stanley!' He thanks him for 'the poem', which he will 'prize as one of the reminders of the fight'. He concludes: 'One of the pleasantest memories of my life in Parliament will be the friendship we were able to make. | Cheerio!'?>