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Key terms The Children’s Act 1908 Juvenile courts Law courts dealing only with offences committed by children. Remand homes Detention centres where children convicted of offences could be sent to learn and develop rather than being sent to prison. In 1908, the Children’s Act introduced a variety of measures to deal with wider aspects of neglect and abuse. Juvenile courts and remand homes were set up to remove child offenders from the adult courts and prisons. Severe penalties were introduced for the ill treatment of children, and also for selling them tobacco and alcohol in unsealed containers.

Chamberlain’s campaign had gained considerable ground within the ranks of the Unionists, but it had stalled badly in the country. The trade unions were hostile and there was no evidence to suggest that Chamberlain was converting the nation as a whole to his grand vision. Thus the Unionists remained divided, with no real prospect of resolving their differences, while the Liberals had a clear and united opposition to tariff reform that seemed to be in tune with public opinion. In these circumstances Balfour realised that to continue in office much longer, with a general election due no later than the summer of 1907, would be fatal.

The scandal, described as ‘Chinese slavery’ by the press, reinforced the image of the Unionists as the uncaring party of worker exploitation, even though, in reality, they had no responsibility for, or ability to change, the conditions of the Chinese workers. The Liberal Party and ‘New Liberalism’ 1890–1906 | 37 Summary diagram: The general election 1906 Balfour’s miscalculation Failure of Unionists to produce popular policies Disillusion with Boer War Liberal–Labour pact Fears of higher food prices if taxes were put on imports 38 | Britain 1890–1924 Study Guide: AS Questions In the style of AQA (a) Explain why some Liberals came to accept ‘New Liberal’ ideas in the years 1902–5.

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