Monday, 6 April 2009

This being Southport other issues dominated the election. Churchill having turned them down the local Tories looked to Edward Marshall Hall the famous QC. All this happened at starling speed -no one had expected Salisbury to cut and run in the middle of a war -and Marshall Hall appears to have set foot in the town for the first time two weeks before the election when he was adopted. Mr (later Sir Sam) Brighouse chair of the Southport Conservative Association orchestrated proceedings.

The cartoon shows Marshal Hall as little Jack Horner with his fingers in two pies; the Brighouse Pie and the Cockshott Pie. J.J. Cockshott was a solicitor and Tory temperance campaigner. Brighouse another solicitor and county coroner, represented a lot of licenced victuals.

In the Election Marshall Hall indicated that he was in favour of temperance reform. There were lots of Chapel folk in Southport and temperance was a big issue. In 1910 the local Women's Liberal Federation refused to support the parliamentary candidate because he wasn't radical enough on temperance reform!

Broadly speaking Liberals were sceptical about Marshall Hall's convictions on temperance guessing it was an opinion newly and cynical adopted. Time proved them correct. In his maiden speech was on a Private Member's Bill designed to prevent small children being sent to fetch drinks from pubs. His credibility was shot through with the temperance lobby when as alternative he advocated that beer should be delivered to the door on carts like milk. The House rocked with laughter and his speech was a complete failure. History doesn't record whether went home and cried but it does show that he was never regarded as a serious politician and local Liberals noted that he voted in less that a quarter of the votes in his first year. It was a humiliation and a cautionary tale. Marshall Hall did not do humiliation well.