Break up of the constitutional conference held following the death of King Edward VII

The conference between the Liberals and the Unionist opposition was aimed at resolving the constitutional issues thrown up by the House of Lords’ rejection of the 1909 budget and the proposed Parliament Bill. Although the conference met 21 times between June and November little was agreed and following a meeting of the Unionist Party Arthur Balfour, the Tory Leader, had written to the Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, ‘I am afraid that under the circumstances there is little use continuing our meetings. I had at one moment greatly hoped for better things.’ The cabinet meeting a few hours later was briefed by Asquith and the other Liberal participants and agreed that a general election should be held as soon as possible.