Henry Norris in Parliament October 1921-October 1922


Last updated: July 2008


The winter of 1921-22 was a bitter one for Henry Norris, ending with his being de-selected by his constituency party.The state and future of Ireland was one of the dominant themes in Parliament during the winter.Norris had been elected as a Conservative Unionist - that is, he supported a united Ireland under British rule - so at least when he entered Parliament he would not have countenanced the demands of Sinn Fein for a completely independent Irish state.However, the complete breakdown of law and order in Ireland caused a lot of Unionists to do some hard thinking.


Parliament returned from its summer break on Tuesday 18 October 1921 with a three-hour question time on unemployment followed by a debate on a bill to give unemployment benefit to the dependants of workers without jobs.Norris was definitely in the House of Commons, at least late in the evening for a vote in the debate on the bill; George Elliott and Samuel Hill-Wood didnít vote and - you know Iím wondering if these two are ever there!Some statistics published on Friday 28 October 1921 stated that there were 455 unemployed able-bodied men in Fulham receiving social security doled out by Fulham Board of Guardians; counting their families as well, this was a heavy burden on the rates of a relatively poor borough.Just for comparison purposes - Bermondsey had 1833 men in that position, Chelsea 156 and Hampstead only 76.


The decision of the British Government to talk to the Irish nationalists was the subject of a censure motion debated on Monday 31 October 1921; the whips must have been out that day because the majority for the coalition was the biggest Iíd noted in my searches of Hansard: 439 supporting the Governmentís decision, 43 condemning it.Norris and Elliott voted to support the Governmentís decision; Henry Norris therefore voted against his own Unionist beliefs.Samuel Hill-Wood didnít vote.


The autumn 1921 session of Parliament was a short one: on Thursday 10 November 1921 Parliament was prorogued until Monday 30 January 1922.From just before then comes one of the few pieces of information Iíve been able to find of Hansard about Norrisí life as an MP when he wasnít in the debating chamber.On Thursday 3 November 1921, a deputation from the Womenís Guild of Empire was seen by Henry Norris, presumably at the House of Commons; they had come to discuss the use of secret ballots in trade union votes, not a subject in which he took any public interest.However, the leader of the deputation was rather a force of nature, more famous than he was, and not to be easily put off.She was the only person whose visit to Norris as MP was covered by the press in Fulham.Mrs Flora Drummond, known as ĎThe Generalí, had been one of the most effective and the most notorious organisers of the Womenís Social and Political Union - the suffragettes.Arrested many times during the WSPUís most active period, 1908-14, in 1911 she and the two Pankhurst daughters had spent three months in Holloway for incitement to riot after theyíd all encouraged one march to storm the houses of parliament.Flora Drummond was a working woman, married to an upholsterer who was often out of work.She dressed, and spoke (according to one of her fellow suffragettes) like a charwoman, but she was a confident speaker and an experienced leader of delegations - in 1913 sheíd led one to speak to Lloyd George, then chancellor of the exchequer.Henry Norris had on at least one occasion spoken in very disparaging terms about the WSPU before World War 1.Iíd love to have been present to hear him and The General discussing trade unions.


While Parliament was not sitting, the Government signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which acknowledged the inevitability of a divided Ireland and the foundation of the Irish Free State.On Norrisí domestic front, it was during this long winter recess that the financial problems of the Conservative Party in Norrisí constituency of Fulham East, became acute.At the end of November 1921 Norris received a letter from the Conservatives in Fulham East asking for him to double his contribution to party funds; he refused and resigned from the party, knowing that it would mean the selection of another candidate.He told Fulham Conservative Party that he would stand against their chosen candidate, as an independent.Then he seems to have gone abroad, leaving the issue unresolved until the spring of 1922.†† I go into this in more detail in my file on Henry Norris and politics.


When Parliament resumed, with a debate on the Kingís speech on Tuesday 7 February 1922, then, Norris was in rather an anomalous position: an MP whoíd been elected as a Conservative but who no longer really represented the people who elected him.In a debate on Wednesday 15 February 1922 on whether Government business could take over Fridays, leaving no time for private membersí bills, Samuel Hill-Wood actually cast a vote, the first I can remember for two years or so; he still didnít speak; and neither Norris nor Elliott voted on this large encroachment of the Governmentís legislation into time usually reserved for other things.Hill-Wood was also in the House of Commons on Thursday 16 February 1922 to vote in favour of giving the Irish Free State Bill its second reading; neither Norris nor Elliott voted, perhaps not wanting to go that far along the road away from the united Ireland they believed in.The Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill was the next piece of legislation to give Norris this headache.Designed to set up the bureaucracy of a divided Ireland and hand over power to them, it was debated on Thursday 2 March 1922.There was a mixture of voting by my three MPís as the debate wore on, suggesting that they were all in the House of Commons for at least part of the day.Even Elliott voted on one or two of the required occasions; and Hill-Wood cast a vote on nearly every occasion.Norris voted the fewest times of the three of them on that day; and once he voted against the Government, a rare thing for him; he ended in a minority of 36 to the Governmentís 217.Debate on amendments to the bill went on in the House of Commons on Thursday 9 March 1922; several votes were needed but Norris didnít cast a vote in any of them; Elliott and Hill-Wood both cast a vote when one was taken during the afternoon but neither of them did so when another was required at just past 11pm, to give the bill its third reading.


Neither Norris, Elliott or Hill-Wood had spoken in this session of Parliament; they continued not to do so until March 1922 although they did vote fairly often in the various debates, most of which were concerned with different aspects of the Governmentís budget.The (Eric) Geddes Axe was cutting a swathe through Government spending during these months.


On 29 March 1922 Winston Churchill, as Secretary of State for the Colonies, announced that agreement had been reached with the governments in Dublin and at Stormont for peace in Northern Ireland.The IRA would cease its operations there.The Irish Free State (Agreement) Bill came back again to the House of Commons for more amendments on Friday 31 March 1922.As always on a Friday there were not many MPís around, but Henry Norris was there to cast a vote when one was needed, mid-afternoon.Elliott and Hill-Wood didnít vote; I presume they werenít in the House of Commons.


On Monday 3 April 1922 the dayís major business was a debate on what Britain had agreed to do as its part in the Genoa Conference (which was supposed to supervise the economic reconstruction of Europe).For once, Norris, Elliott and Hill-Wood all voted when it came (at 11.15pm) to the vote for or against the Government pledges.They voted yes and were in the majority: 372:94.Then everyone went home, at 11.30pm.


Henry Norrisí acquaintance from the Footballersí Battalion recruitment campaign, Mr Joynson-Hicks MP, began a debate on Wednesday 5 April 1922 arguing that the government coalition lacked any focus and principles.When the vote came, at 11pm, both Norris and Hill-Wood were there to vote though Elliott wasnít.Norris voted with Joynson-Hicks - suggesting that he thought the coalition had passed its usefulness - Hill-Wood voted against Joynson-Hicksí motion and ended up in the majority 95:288.I donít suppose Joynson-Hicks really thought his point of view would end up winning the day, but the fact that it had been debated at all indicates that there were fissures within the coalition, now in its fourth peacetime year.


Immediately after Joynson-Hicksí motion got an airing, on 7-8 April 1922, Norris had an exchange of letters with the Conservative Party in his constituency, following a meeting they had had recently.At the meeting heíd agreed to their demands that he put more money into local party funds, and had changed his mind about resigning as the Conservative candidate; but the exchange of letters ended with the Party telling him they no longer wanted him as their MP.I deal with this more fully in my file on Henry Norris and Politics.By mid-April 1922, therefore, Henry Norris was left to consider what he would do about his political career now - find another constituency?Fight Fulham East as an independent, as heíd threatened during the winter?


Norris had been de-selected in what seems, at least on the surface, to have been an argument about his contribution to the local partyís finances.He wasnít alone in getting into this kind of trouble, though: one of the reasons I picked George Elliott as someone whose life as an MP I would keep an eye on was that the same thing happened to him, only very quickly in his case.Scarcely had he been elected, in 1919, when his constituency party demanded an increase in the amount he was paying towards the upkeep of its offices and constituency staff.Elliott refused to pay any more, and the party replied straight away, telling him that in that case he was de-selected.The two sides did not communicate again during the whole period 1919-22; and when a general election was imminent, the local party asked Conservative central office to send them a suitable candidate.Note that neither Norris nor Elliott even offered to resign and provoke a bye-election; they preferred to do their stint as MP.


Meanwhile the debates and questions went on and still Norris, Elliott and Hill-Wood didnít speak in the House of Commons.The Easter recess was from 12 to 26 April 1922 but the next time any of my three MPís voted was not until Monday 8 May 1922 when Hill-Wood cast a vote on one amendment to the Budget.On Tuesday 9 May 1922, Norris and Elliott (both of whom represented constituencies with a lot of small businesses in) didnít vote in a debate on a bill to amend the current Shops Act by allowing staff to work longer hours.Though Norris was in the House of Commons at 10 oíclock that night to vote during a debate on the Juries Bill.He may have been in the house for a debate on Ireland which developed into a discussion of whether law and order had completely broken down there.During this, some MPís complained that to vote yes would be a vote for all-out war in Ireland; nevertheless, Norris did vote yes, another instance in recent weeks of his not voting with the Government.Hill-Wood voted no, Elliott didnít vote at all.The yeses won 258:64; I donít know where that left the Government on the issue.


Much of May was taken up by endless debates on Ďsupplyí - that is, what money the Government could have in its Budget for items as varied as teacherís pensions and the mining industry.Though in his early period as an MP Norris had often voted against attempts to increase Government spending; now he wasnít voting at all; though neither were Elliott and Hill-Wood.Norrisí statement that he was attending every session of the House of Commons was made before he fell out with his constituency party; I doubt whether he attended the House so regularly by this time.


On Friday 19 May 1922 there was a rare instance of Elliott voting: he voted twice, in fact, in a debate on the Trade Union Act 1913 Amendment Bill, about what political uses trade unions could put their funds to.Neither Norris nor Hill-Wood voted that day; I expect they werenít in Parliament.


Norris was in the House of Commons on Monday 29 May 1922 for yet another debate on money, the Governmentís Finance Bill.After casting a vote when it was needed just after 11pm he seems then to have gone home because though business went on until after midnight, he didnít vote again.He doesnít seem to have been in the House of Commons on Wednesday 31 May 1922 to hear Churchillís statement on Ireland and the PMís on Germanyís debts to the allies.But then, a head-count just before 6pm revealed less than the quorum of 40 MPís present, so Parliament packed up for the Whitsun break.During that break, Norris wrote to the Conservative Party in Fulham East announcing that he would retire from politics at the next general election; the Party began the search for a replacement candidate, going through three possibles before the general election was actually called.


The House of Commons was back on Monday 12 June 1922 with a debate on India which Norris, Elliott and Hill-Wood all didnít vote in.Norris could be forgiven for not bothering to turn up any more at the House of Commons, now he was going to give up politics; but he continued to attend regularly.


Monday 19 June 1922 was the first of a series of very long days on the Finance Bill which turned into a battle between free trade and protectionism in which some supposed supporters of free trade spoke against a proposal to reduce the import duty on tea on the grounds that no imports should ever pay any duty - causing Mr A Hopkinson MP to declare that it was ďa tragic thing in this present House of Commons to be a Free TraderĒ.When it came to the vote on tea, Mr Hopkinson voted with the Goverment - to reduce teaís import duty - because (he said) reducing import duties was a little closer to the principles of free trade than raising them.Henry Norris voted with Mr Hopkinson, to reduce the import duty on tea, and so did Samuel Hill-Wood; they were in the majority 262:84.As this day wore on there were a series of votes on whether or not to reduce import duty on various different items.Elliott seems to have been in the House of Commons by early evening.And all three MPís voted yes (to reduce import duty) twice before Hill-Wood seems to have left the House; Elliott and Norris continued to vote yes (to reduce import duty) twice more.Then there was a slight change in what they was being asked: Elliott and Norris both voted yes to a proposal to charge import duties on items that up until this bill had not had to pay them; again Hill-Wood didnít vote at all.The yes vote won, 227:93.An interesting set of votes from Norris, then, indicating that he was not inflexibly in favour of free trade under any circumstances.In voting for lower duty on tea and (later) on coffee, he might have been following Hopkinsonís line of reasoning; but in allowing the Government to charge duty on items so far exempt from it, he seemed to be saying yes to these new sources of revenue, and sinking his principles.If that was what he was doing, he followed the same argument in a series of votes on proposals to exempt various items from paying duty: at each vote, he voted no - that is, he voted that the items in question (car parts, musical instruments) should continue to pay the duty they were already paying.Elliott had stopped voting by now - it was nearly midnight so I suppose heíd gone home; and Hill-Wood still wasnít voting.

The series of votes on import duties continued on Tuesday 20 June 1922 when a second MP, Sir Courtenay Warner, made a speech declaring he was still a supporter of free trade.Warner said that despite the Governmentís arguments the day before, he still believed that import duties didnít help the British economy at large.Interestingly, Warner had left the House of Commons rather than take part in one particular vote.Note that Norris had not made a speech defending free trade against the Governmentís arguments; and as far as I can tell he voted every time he was asked to, he didnít do as Warner had done and leave rather than vote against his beliefs.Elliott doesnít seem to have been in the House of Commons for this second series of votes; Hill-Wood was earlier in the day but seems to have gone by the time of the last one, at nearly 11pm; Norris was still voting at that late hour and he was back by early evening on Wednesday 21 June 1922 as the Finance Bill voting continued.Elliott didnít vote at all that day; Hill-Wood voted until quite late in the evening this time; and Norris was still voting at 11.37pm.


After his two late nights on the Finance Bill, Henry Norris may not have been in the House of Commons on Thursday 22 June 1922.That was the day that all Parliamentary business was called off after Ulster MP Field-Marshall Sir Henry Wilson was assassinated by the IRA on his own doorstep in Eaton Place SW1.He had been returning from a lunch-time engagement, so rumours of a murder began to circulate in the House of Commons mid-afternoon.Once it was confirmed that Wilson was dead, MPís were sent home.A career soldier, Wilson had been one of the most outspoken supporters of Ulster remaining in the Empire.It was too late for Wilson, but several other MPís were given police protection after receiving death threats that everyone was now obliged to take seriously (Iím not suggesting Norris was one of them).The public gallery in the House of Commons was closed.The inevitable debate on the Governmentís handling of the situation in Ireland took place on Monday 26 June 1922.All three of my MPís were there when the vote was taken at 11pm.Norris voted yes - that is, that the Governmentís handling of the situation had been poor; Hill-Wood and Elliott both voted no - that the Government had done OK in Ireland.

Then it was back to the interminable Finance Bill, with Norris continuing to be in the House of Commons on Tuesday 27 June 1922 for another series of votes on a wide range of issues; with Elliott again not voting at all and Hill-Wood taking part in the votes before 9pm but none of the votes after that time.And on into Wednesday 28 June 1922 with Elliott actually casting a vote once or twice, and Hill-Wood staying until after Norris had left, apparently to cast a vote at just past midnight on something to do with licensing.The last vote in that long session was taken at 3.38am (on Thursday 29 June); none of my three MPís had lasted until then.


Norris was in the House of Commons by the evening of Thursday 29 June 1922 to vote with the Government against a suggestion that the salary of the Home Office minister should be reduced - a normal method by which ministers could be criticised and embarrassed by MPís for the (poor) way in which they did their jobs.


House of Commons business went on into July but the next vote I found that Henry Norris took part in was not until Monday 10 July 1922 when the Economy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill was going through, a bill for tidying up financial loose ends before the summer vacation.Norris took his part in two votes at gone 11pm.Elliott and Hill-Wood didnít vote either time and were probably not in the House of Commons.


It may just be me, but I think Norris wasnít a keen voter when it came to foreign and colonial issues: they werenít something he was very interested in.So on Tuesday 11 July 1922 he didnít vote and may not have been in the House of Commons for votes on the budget for the Colonial Office; but he was there to vote on the Governmentís budget for printing and stationery, at just past 10pm that night.Elliott and Hill-Wood didnít vote at all.


Wednesday 12 July 1922 was yet another day allotted to the Finance Bill.12.48 that day found Henry Norris voting in favour of increasing the rate of Entertainment Tax; this was a vote against his own interests as a private citizen because the tax was paid by football clubs on their match-day gate money.He was lucky though (perhaps he knew he would be): the yes vote lost, 74:143, so the rate of Entertainment Tax did not go up.


I canít tell whether Henry Norris was in the House of Commons when Lloyd Georgeís cash-for-honours problem first moved from rumour into Parliamentary business: Monday 17 July 1922; because the Government managed to wriggle out of having to take a vote on a call for the setting up of a Parliamentary Committee to investigate how people were selected for the honours list.However he seems to have been in the House for at least part of the following day, Tuesday 18 July 1922, when business began with a Government statement on some of the accusations made during the previous dayís debate (refuting them, presumably).Another statement was made on the matter on Friday 21 July 1922; but there was no debate this time, and again no vote.These debates were not about cash for honours as such - paying cash for titles has always been a feature of the British political system.The rumours were suggesting two things about Lloyd Georgeís honours lists: firstly, that he was letting some pretty disreputable men get onto them; and secondly, the honours were being awarded rather too soon after the cash had been handed over for a lot of peopleís taste.


By this time Government business was winding down towards the summer recess, with each day containing debates on a number of bills with nothing in common with each other.Norris was in Parliament for these votes more than either Hill-Wood or Elliott were and continued to be willing to stay until very late to vote: continuing the pattern I have noticed.


Business on Tuesday 25 July 1922 began with a statement which might have made Norris prick up his ears if he was there to hear it: the leader of the House of Commons announced that he would order Horatio Bottomley MP to be present in the House of Commons on Tuesday 1 August; and (in response to an enquiry) confirmed that people who were declared bankrupt could not be MPís.Itís possible that Norris had at least met Bottomley, either on the London boroughs social circuit or in London recruiting drives during 1914 and 1915; although he had never got to know him well enough to invite him to his receptions and dinners as mayor of Fulham (or he may have got to know him well enough to dislike him, of course!)Of course, Bottomley didnít turn up on 1 August and first business that day, which Norris may have heard, was the reading of a letter from him explaining what everybody knew - that at the end of May heíd been given seven yearsí penal servitude for fraud, the third time heíd been prosecuted for his financial dealings but the first in which heíd been found guilty.Bankruptcy proceedings were pending against him.


One day with a particularly large number of votes required of MPís was Wednesday 26 July 1922: Henry Norris and Samuel Hill-Wood voted a total of 13 times between 10pm and 1am on the Thursday on various items in the civil service budget.Elliott didnít vote once.Monday 31 July 1922 was given over to amendments to the Safeguarding Industries Act 1921 which had taken up so much voting time a few months before.This was a very long debate, finally getting to a vote at past 11pm; Norris and Hill-Wood were there to cast their vote, Elliott wasnít.A few minutes later they both voted again in what turned into a defeat for the Government; at which point both of them seem to have gone home although the voting continued until 2.45am on the Tuesday.


It occurs to me that Henry Norris and Samuel Hill-Wood might have become acquainted during the long sessions waiting to vote on apparently endless items of Government spending.In the autumn of 1922, Hill-Wood became a director of Arsenal FC, I presume at Norrisí invitation seeing he was the only person at Arsenal who could have known him.


The House of Commonsí last day before the summer recess was Friday 4 August 1922; those MPís who were present - very few, and I donít know whether Norris was one of them because there was no voting that day - at 4pm.They were scheduled to return on Tuesday 14 November 1922, but they never did.The kind of Conservative back-bench unease that had been voiced in the spring by Joynson-Hicks had, by the autumn, become a force that couldnít be contained.A meeting of the Conservative members of the Coalition was called for 19 October 1922 at the Carlton Club (of which Norris was a member).Despite speeches by Austen Chamberlain and Andrew Bonar Law in favour of staying in the Coalition the back-benchers voted to leave it, by 187:87.It was a secret ballot so Iím not certain how or even if Norris voted; but - given his vote in the spring - I think that if he voted at all, it will have been against staying with the Coalition.Austen Chamberlain resigned at once as leader of the Conservatives in the Coalition.Lloyd George resigned later that afternoon as Prime Minister.The Coalition Government left office on 24 October 1922.The set of 13 votes on 26 July 1922 were the last Norris cast as an MP; that day may have been the last he spent in the House of Commons.


Reader, if you look in my file on Henry Norris and Politics you will see that some of his constituents accused him of being a poor MP.If they meant that he neglected their interests, I canít comment very easily on that because I have no way of finding out how much work he did for them behind the Parliamentary scenes.If they meant that he didnít do his duty sitting in the House of Commons on their behalf, I think they were unjust.They also didnít know when they were well-off: during the period that I was watching George Elliottís voting as well as Norrisí, he seemed to be in the House of Commons far less often than Norris, and never made a speech or asked a question.Elliott may, of course, have been a slick and dedicated mover behind the scenes, on the other hand he may just have been neglectful of his constituents after his local Party cast him off.And Samuel Hill-Wood didnít speak in the House of Commons, either in a debate or to ask a question, from February 1919 to August 1922: not once, on any subject.Yet he was the only one of the three men who was back in Parliament in November 1922.


I may be quite wrong, but thereís a feeling about Henry Norrisí Parliamentary career that it didnít live up to expectations.He had wanted to be an MP for many years.He had done all the preparatory work that was required of him: getting elected in local government (Battersea and Fulham); standing as a candidate in an unwinnable seat (in an LCC election); taking a constituency that was offered him (in Stockport) although it was nowhere near the seat of his power.Then heíd got his big break and been offered the seat where his power already was, and won it by a large majority.And then - rather less than he had hoped for, I think.


Why was this?Iím not good at this kind of political analysis but here are some reasons I can think of:


Henry Norris believed in free trade.†† His support of free trade hurt his Parliamentary career in two ways.I donít think historians should use anachronisms but in some ways Norris was a Thatcherite Tory before Thatcher.


Firstly: after a short-lived Ďbouncing backí kind-of boom in the wake of the Armistice, the early twenties were a time of economic downturn with cuts in production and high unemployment.Norrisí constituency had a high proportion of small businesses, which felt they needed protection in hostile economic times; these small businessmen were the mainstay of Fulhamís Conservative parties.Fulham East also had a large number of working people whose jobs were at risk from cheaper imports.Iíve demonstrated in my discussion of Norrisí votes in the House of Commons that his belief in free trade was not inflexible, but it was continually being tested as the economy worsened, and it alienated him from an influential group of the people who had voted for him.


Secondly: of course, Norris was entitled to stand by his beliefs, but this particular belief was not part of Conservative Party orthodoxy then.I discuss this more in my file on Henry Norris and Politics.Even in a time of economic boom itís not very likely that Norrisí superiors in the Conservative Coalition group would have considered him as the kind of MP theyíd want to help up the greasy pole.

Any MP elected as a Unionist (meaning, a supporter of a united Ireland within the British Empire) will have had a hard time with their principles as the situation in Ireland lurched out of control into bloody chaos.Both sides were intransigent and both sides committed atrocities.I hope Iíve shown that in the end Norris seems to have decided that partition was better than the alternatives; but you could never describe that as a positive conclusion and it must have been a bitter thing for him to have to reach it.


He never spoke of it in those terms but in my analysis of his Parliamentary career I do wonder if Norris was a Bonar Law supporter, one of the MPís (and there were plenty of them) who found Chamberlain difficult to approach and difficult to get on with.If he favoured Bonar Lawís leadership it must have made the pill of deciding not to stand again as an MP even more difficult to swallow when he learned that, after Chamberlain had resigned on 19 October 1922, the MPís persuaded Bonar Law to return as their leader.


Norris was a Conservative Unionist in a Government with a huge majority.The Government didnít really need the votes of many of its MPís to help it get legislation through; it could also comfortably win any Ďno confidenceí style votes forced on it by the opposition (which as Iíve indicated was inside the coalition as well as out).There were so many Conservative MPís, it was hard for any of them - especially the newly-elected ones - to make an impact personally or to force changes in Government policy.They could still do a good job for their constituents behind the scenes, of course, but they must have wondered sometimes what was the point of being in the House of Commons, able to influence events hardly at all.


Finally, I think that for Norris and Elliott their backgrounds were against them.They were newly-wealthy self-made men with working-class roots - excellent examples, in fact, of all those 19th-century Conservative ideas about the virtues of hard work and self-reliance.There were exceptions to the rule, of course, but I think men from that background would have to be enormously wealthy and exceedingly able and with completely orthodox political views to make headway up that greasy pole in a House of Commons that was still dominated (in both major parties) by inherited wealth and status.David Lloyd George was one who bucked the general trend (heíd been a solicitor in a rural part of Wales) but he was an exceptional politician, someone very difficult to ignore; and heíd won Britain the war.


I think Norris came to realise some if not all of these things; probably by the time his problems with his constituency party became known to the Fulham public.In going from a flat above a warehouse in Blackfriars to a seat in Parliament, he had already risen a long way.If he had any expectations on his first day in the House of Commons that he could rise higher still, he was soon disabused.He kept plugging away, attending debates and voting fairly regularly, but when his differences with his constituents became acute, he didnít fight as hard as I would have expected him to, to keep his place as their MP.Instead he retired from political life altogether, admitting that politics had taken him as far as they were able to.Itís not only women who hit the glass ceiling.




Copyright Sally Davis July 2008