ASr. 40] IIESIGNATION OF MIL CHAMBERLAIN
a volunteer army. It appears to me a proposal of this kind must be regarded as tantamount to a proposal for separation. I think it is even worse, because it would set up an unstable and temporary form of government, which would be a source of perpetual irritation and agitation until the full demands of the Nationalist party were conceded. . . . My public utterances and my conscientious convictions are absolutely opposed to such a policy, and I feel that the differences which have now been disclosed are so vital that I can no longer entertain the hope of being of service in^the Government. I must therefore respectfully request you to take the necessary steps for relieving me of the office which I have the honour to hold/
Mr. Gladstone subsequently made, some modifications to conciliate Mr. Chamberlain, but in vain. In fact, there was a radical difference between the Prime Minister and the President of the Local Government Board, which could not be overcome. The one was a Home Kuler and the other wan not. The latter suggested alterations hi the hope of undermining the principle of the Bill. The former hold fast to the principle, and avoided every amendment which in his opinion endangered it. In truth, neither trusted the other, and from the outset both had really assumed a position of mutual antagonism.
On March 20 Mr. Chamberlain finally left the Ministry, and was accompanied by Mr. Jesse Callings (Secretary to the Local Government Board), Mr. Trevelyan (Secretary for Scotland), and Mr. Heneago (Chancellor of the Duchy),
After writing the foregoing I called on Mr. Chamberlain, who was good enough to give me his
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