Lord Rosebery himself, it is true, held aloof; his protest had been publicly made and he adhered to it in the absence of any public withdrawal by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman; but he encouraged his Liberal League supporters to be loyal to the new prime minister, and Mr Asquith, Sir E.
Attention was drawn in the House of Commons to the insufficient supply of cordite provided by the war office, and the Housenotwithstanding the assurance of the war minister (Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman) that the supply was adequateplaced the government in a minority.
The war had brought to the front a pro-Boer section, who seemed gradually to be compromising the whole party, and had apparently succeeded in winning the support of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, the leader in the House of Commons.
Mr Balfour resigned in December 1905 and was succeeded by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Lord Aberdeen becoming lord-lieutenant for the second time, with Mr James Bryce as chief secretary.
An incident which marked the beginning of this rebellion brought the Natal ministry into sharp conflict with the Imperial government (the Campbell-Bannerman administration).
On the 5th of April it was announced that Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman had resigned and Mr Asquith been sent for by the king.
The Campbell-Bannerman administration decided to do without this intermediary step in both colonies.
On the 7th of November at Leicester Lord Rosebery insisted that what the country wanted was not fiscal reform but commercial reform, and he appealed to the free-trade section of the Unionist party to join the Liberals in a united defence, - an appeal incidentally for Liberal unity which was warmly seconded ten days later by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman.
The matter temporarily dropped, but certain Liberal members of parliament continued to press for the withdrawal of Great Britain from the convention, it being stated that a promise had been privately given by Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman that the government would withdraw as soon as practicable.
Early in 1905 this impression gained such strength and such polite references were made to one another in public by Lord Rosebery and Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, that his assumption of office in a Liberal ministry, possibly presided over by Earl Spencer, was confidently anticipated.