Book Reviews: The Growth of Responsible Government from James I to Victoria, from School Board to Local Authority, New Sources of Local Revenue: Report of a Study Group of the Royal Institute of Public Administration, The Ministry of Works, The Civil Service in Britain and France, Public Law: The Constitutional and Administrative Law of the Commonwealth, Governments of Greater European Powers, Aspects Du Régime Parlementaire Belge, German Exile Politics, Die Deutschen Parteien Seit 1945—Quellen Und Auszüge, Judaism: Fossil or Ferment?, Municipal Government in India, State Intervention and Assistance in Collective Bargaining: The Canadian Experience, 1943–1954, Internationale Beziehungen—Einführung in die Grundlagen der Außenpolitik, The Changing Environment of International Relations, the New World of Henri Saint-Simon, La Querelle De La C.E.D, Nationalism and Progress in Free Asia, Political Theory, Speaking of Politics, the Image

AuthorWilfrid Knapp,B. Keith-Lucas,Henry Maddick,Julius Gould,A. H. Hanson,John Plamenatz,M. G. Brock,R. V. Sampson,H. A. Clegg,F. M. G. Willson,U. W. Kitzinger,W. H. Morris-Jones,K. Panter-Brick,Hugh Clegg,Hedley Bull,J. H. Warrender,J. C. Rees,Wilfrid Harrison,Charles R. Foster,C. A. W. Manning
Publication Date01 Feb 1957
DOI10.1111/j.1467-9248.1957.tb00866.x
SubjectBook Reviews
BOOK
REVIEWS
THE GROWTH OF RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT FROM
JAMES
I
TO VICTORIA.
By
A.
H.
DODD.
(Routledge and Kegan
Paul.
Pp.
xv+215.
23s.)
Research on the development
of
British government
has
lately outrun the textbooks. This
study is an attempt to close the gap. Here are the conclusions of Sir Lewis Namier, Pares,
Aspinall, Butterfield, and D.
G.
Barnes, summarized for the comfort of those who must
deal with George
111
quickly or not at all. Professor Dodd has produced
an
up-to-date and
readable textbook, and has kept down its length and price by concentrating on the single
theme of the government’s relations with the House of Commons.
It
is a little marred by
a
colloquial, and occasionally obscure, style (perhaps the result of its origin in a lecture
course), and by inaccuracies:
1668
for
1667
(p.
49),
and
1839
for
1841
(p.
187),
for instance.
The author’s touch is more sure on the eighteenth century than on the nineteenth for an
obvious reason. No Namier has dealt with the period
from
1812
to
1832.
We are told (p.
181)
that ‘Grey’s (Reform) measure had a rough passage in the Commons because, unlike Pitt’s
proposals of
1785,
it provided for the extinction of rotten boroughs without compensation’,
and (p.
182)
that ‘Peel, as a good party man’, would not join Wellington in May
1832.
It
seems unlikely, however, that the inclusion
of
compensation proposals in
1831
would have
gained as many votes as it lost. As for Peel, the label
‘good
party man’ is surely not for
him during the Reform crisis. He ‘affects’,
Mrs.
Arbuthnot recorded in March
1831,
‘to con-
sider himself as an
individual
&
not
the leader
of
the party’
(Jorcrnal,
ii.
416:
see
af~o
Peel in Hansard, 3rd Ser. ii.
1345,
Parker,
Peel,
ii.
171,
Croker,
ii.
77,
Ellenborough Diary,
ed. Aspinall, entry of
28
January
1831).
The phrase which provides the central theme
is
not clearly defined. The book opens with
Lord Durham’s definition. By this, responsible government is in force when the head
of
the
state chooses, or at least seeks,
a
ministry who will ‘command a majority in Parliament
on
great questions’, and when the ministry resigns, or demands a dissolution, if ‘perpetually in
a minority’ in the Commons on such questions. Professor Dodd writes throughout as if the
establishment of such conventions presupposes the waning of crown influence
(in
all mean-
ings of that phrase), the Reform of the House of Commons, and the organization of nearly
all its members into two parties; and he criticizes Durham for saying that the system had
been in force in Britain for a considerable time. But this
is
to some extent
a
misreading; the
system,
as
Durham defined it, did not depend on these prerequisites.
It
included the practices
both
of
kings who accepted the rule
of
the parliamentary majority, and
of
those who could
fabricate the majority that was to rule. Durham did not want too rigorous a definition. He
was a Radical trying to persuade ‘conservatives’, not a constitutional historian.
Corpus Christi College,
Oxford
M.
G.
BROCK
FROM SCHOOL BOARD
TO
LOCAL AUTHORITY.
By
ERIC
EAGLESHAM.
(Routledge
and
Kegan Paul.
Pp.
ix+220.
24s.)
In the history
of
English administration few figures stand out more clearly than that
of
Sir
Robert Morant. Much has been written about him and his work, including the full biography
by Dr. Bernard Allen, Miss Lynda Grier’s
Achievement in Education,
and Michael Sadleir’s
Memoir
of
his father, Sir Michael Sadler. None the less some important parts
of
his career
remain obscure and difficult to unravel.
This is particularly true of the events which led up to the famous case of
Cockerron
v.
92
REVIEWS
The
School
Board
for
London
[I8981
1
Q.B.
4
(which for some reason is almost universally
known as the ‘Cockerton Judgment’). It is with this that Professor Eaglesham mostly con-
cerns himself. His book is primarily a meticulous and exact inquiry into the events which
led up to that case, based
on
the material to
be
found
on
the files of the Education Depart-
ment, the Science and Art Department, and the Local Government Board.
In
the back-
ground are the administrative confusion and jealousies
of
these Departments, shown as
conflicts about Higher Grade Schools, Secondary Schools, Organized Science Schools, and
Evening Schools.
Even with Professor Eaglesham’s expert guidance the story is not an easy one to follow
in all its details, but the general theme emerges clearly-that the reorganization of our
educational system in 1902 was not primarily the result of an unexpected legal decision in
Cockerton
v.
The
School
Board
for
London,
but was rather the outcome of a deliberate
policy evolved by Morant and Gorst aimed at ending the administrative confusion which
then existed.
Dr. Allen, in his biography of Morant, had described these events before, but had shown
them rather more as the outcome of a sudden resolve of Morant’s to precipitate a decision.
This interpretation Professor Eaglesham roundly attacks, as
if
Dr. Allen had described
Morant as a sinister plotter, comparable with Guy Fawkes. This is a misleading picture of
what Dr.
Allen
actually wrote,
or
seems to have meant to imply.
Apart from this, the book
is
a
most valuable record
of
the events of the crucial years in
which the new educational policy was formed, and, in his last chapter, Professor Eaglesham
surveys the present situation in the light
of
his researches. He sees the danger of educational
policy being too much in the hands of politicians. ‘But’, he writes, ‘if there are few fields in
which politicians have
now
such great powers and opportunities lying to hand, there is
none in which they are likely
to
do more harm. . .
.
It is therefore a problem of some
urgency
to
make education as independent
of
politics as considerations
of
public finance
will allow.’ He very justly draws attention
to
the possible dangers involved in the present
position
of
the Minister, and particularly in the autocratic powers
of
section 68
of
the
Education Act,
1944,
which, he justly complains, seems to put the Minister above the law.
Nu
field College,
Oxford
B.
KEITH-LUCAS
NEW SOURCES
OF
LOCAL REVENUE: Report
of
a Study Group
of
the Royal Institute
of
Public Administration.
(Allen
and
Unwin.
Pp.
260.
25s.)
Those who want to know what can be done immediately to cure British local government’s
financial anaemia will probably confine their reading to the first part of this excellent
Report. Students of comparative government, however, will turn more eagerly to the
second part, which consists of a critical examination of the Swedish communal income tax
and a discussion
of
the possibility of introducing a similar type of tax in this country.
Mr. Imrie and Mr. Murphy, the authors of this part, have come to the conclusion that
the Swedish system is superior to ours in almost every respect. As compared with British,
Swedish local government, they say, ‘is less subject to central control because the exchequer
grants are
a
much smaller part
of
income’. The reason is that ‘the Swedish local taxes are
not
regressive in the way the British local rates are’ and that ‘the Swedish communal tax
system
is
designed to bring in as local taxpayers virtually all who receive incomes’. More-
over, the tax base, while providing for sufficient elasticity, has proved remarkably stable,
and the system ‘is working with as much acceptance as any tax system is ever likely to be
accorded’.
After reading this tribute, one is a little disappointed to find that the Study Group has
been unable to recommend that we should
go
and do likewise. Clearly, it would like
us
to
do
so,
but is deterred by what seem insuperable obstacles. Our national income tax, for
instance, is not assessed and collected
in
a way that facilitates the superimposition of a
series of local income taxes; and we are a densely packed community in which local govern-

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