Lloyd George: The Man and His Story

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Some of his bitterest enemies were temporarily won over; and, although it is almost impossible to read with admiration his Welsh oratory. On the other hand, few men had more virulent and bitter enemies. I see no reason to doubt that the late Stanley Baldwin genuinely believed he had performed a great public service in ending the effective political career of Lloyd George during the abdication crisis.

He was accused of personal corruption to a degree unknown in modern British politics. He had around him, in his great days as Prime Minister, close associates and servants who would have been at home in the Washington of President Grant or Harding.

ISBN 13: 9781497979475

No one has yet disentangled the story of bis private, politically begotten fortune. The gossip that has surrounded his sex life probably does not exceed reality. Some of the less agreeable features of bis character have been revealed to the public in books by his brother and his son. And yet McCormick is an almost totally hostile narrator of the astonishing career of the poor Welsh boy who became the first real common man to enter 10 Downing Street.

On Lloyd George's services in World War he is certainly hostile, and uncritically so. He gives Lloyd George credit for forcing the convoy system on the British Navy—and, indeed, the conduct of the Admiralty on this question was an extraordinary mix- ture of stupidity and vanity. But that is about the only credit the author gives Lloyd George. When it comes to cracking down, in similar fashion, on the Army, Mr. McCormick's criteria for judgment seem to change. Yet this book has very great merits. His very partisanship makes Mr.

McCormick a witness of a kind, if only a witness to hatred. And he does not always attack Lloyd George as vehemently as others have done. He does not have much to say for his subject's role in the Hitler years, but he finds more than I would. Unfortunately, he ignores some very important parts of his life story: the account of his role at the Versailles peace conference is most inadequate in extent and depth.

He is also extremely credulous, and some undoubtedly apocryphal stories are taken at face value. In short, Mr.


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McCormick in his savage attack has been defeated by his subject, just as. As for Lincoln, he took the opportunity of sending a special message to the United States for "Lincoln Day" in 19 And through all the carnage and suffering and conflicting motives of the Civil War Lincoln held steadfastly to the belief that it was the freedom of the people to govern themselves which was the fundamental is- sue at stake. So do we to-day," said Mr. Lloyd George. A Defender of the Oppressed.

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It was soon after he was qualified as a solicitor that he attracted public notice by his action in a case which aroused much feeling in the neighbour- hood of his home in Wales. An old quarryman on his deathbed had begged his relatives to bury him in the grave where a beloved daughter had been buried. But the vicar would not allow this, and had a grave dug in a part where it was the custom to bury suicides.

The villagers, in their just wrath, appealed to Mr. Lloyd George to help them. He found out that the grave was the property of the quarryman, and advised them to demand re-burial in his rightful grave. Lloyd George, "break down the wall, force your way into the churchyard, and bury the quarryman by the side of his daughter. Such a triumph gained fame for the young solicitor as a champion of the poor; and the incident was a foreshadowing of his whole future career.

His Home Life in London. He lived in a modest home on the outskirts of the metropolis, and there his chil- dren — two sons and three daughters — were brought up in simple ways.

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BBC - Wales History: The death of Lloyd George

One daughter, greatly beloved, died some years ago. The two sons went into the Army at the beginning of the war. The elder son had made good progress in his profession as an engineer, but threw up his position when the call of his country came for volunteers.

His Sons in the Army. Speaking of his sons, Mr. Lloyd George said: "I should have been sorry to ask a nice honest upright lad to risk his life for the greed of gain. I could not have done it — my two boys are in the new Army — two as nice boys as you will find anywhere. The elder is now a Major. Of the daughters, the younger is best known to the British public, for she has been a frequent companion of her famous father. Since the war, Mrs. Lloyd George and her daughters have worked hard on behalf of many charities. He enters Parliament. Stating briefly the public career of Mr.

Lloyd George, one may add that he entered Parliament in , being elected Liberal Member for Carnar- von — the historic capital of Wales. His long experience as a Member has helped his success, for the House of Commons' pro- cedure requires years of study in order that a man may become master of it. In these years the young Welshman was only eager to speak on behalf of the down-trodden or oppressed.

He had the most in- tense admiration for Gladstone, and said the other day that in his political life he has sought to tread in the path which Gladstone hewed out. If there was any wrong done to the poor man, Mr. Lloyd George was quick to claim its redress. A Great Actor appreciates his Eloquence.

After ten years as a Member, Mr. Lloyd George had gained confidence in his own powers, and began to take a more frequent part in debate. He crossed swords again and again with the redoubtable Joseph Chamberlain, and obtained several successes without making enemies of those whom he opposed. The Liberals began to see in him "a man with a future.

Lloyd George was speaking in the great Free Trade Hall, Manchester, and was introduced to the audi- ence of 5, people as "a fiery young Welshman. A photograph taken when both were Second Lieutenants. When Mr. Very fine I" and returned to the theatre. By the way, Mr. Lloyd George is very fond of an occasional visit to the theatre, although this recreation has come to him late in life. A Cabinet Minister at Forty-two. The Liberals came into power in Lloyd George to be a member of his Cabinet. The office he held was President of the Board of Trade, and his work was very important in connection with the commerce of the country.

It was a great step forward — a Cabi- net Minister at the age of forty-two — but Mr. Lloyd George soon showed such high ability that Parlia- ment and the country acknowledged he was "the right man in the right place.

He was very alert in picking up the manifold threads of a great State department, and in the House of Commons he won golden opinions by his able speeches. Lloyd George was made Chan- cellor of the Exchequer. This was in , and it meant that a man who was only forty-five, and had been in Parliament only eighteen years, now wielded the highest financial power in the country.

How would he use his opportunity — this successor of Peel, Disraeli, Gladstone, and many other great states- men? The world had not long to wait for the an- swer. Lloyd George's first Budget made a sen- sation by its daring new ideas and its service to the cause of the poor. Helping the Poor. Hundreds of thou- sands of toil-worn citizens blessed the name of Lloyd George as, for the first time in their old age, they had enough to eat and enough to keep them from the poor-house. The money needed for this and other new developments was obtained by raising the taxation of property.

Lloyd George: The Man and His Story

Thus the rich were made to help the poor. Lloyd George an object of attack in Parliament and the Press. But he stood firm, and the financial strength of Great Britain to-day is one of the results.

The Great Insurance Act. Lloyd George's greatest achievement as Chancellor of the Exchequer was the National In- surance Act, by which all the workers in the country were insured by the State against illness and unem- ployment.

Lloyd George's War

That was a measure which again aroused strong feeling, but has proved of the highest value and has been imitated by other countries. Lloyd George had begun a campaign on behalf of the taxa- tion of land, hoping thereby to obtain for the coun- tryman an easier access to the land and a consequent increase of agriculture. Lloyd George was a convinced Home Ruler and had an intense desire to see Ireland governing her- self. He took part in the important Conference at Buckingham Palace in the summer of 19 14, and dur- ing the progress of the war he made an earnest at- tempt to solve this old problem.

All through his career you see his enthusiasm for the rights of small nations and his eagerness to benefit the people from whom he had sprung. As Dr. The War, which was casting its dark shadows in July, , was certain to find new and strange tasks for Lloyd George, and fortunately he was ready for them, as the next chapter will show.

Lloyd George, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, acted with tremendous energy and speed. He called into con- ference his friend, Lord Reading, the Lord Chief Justice of England, who had an intimate knowledge of finance, and who for some months gave his whole time to the many problems that arose.

Lloyd George Museum, Llanystumdwy: Hours, Address, Lloyd George Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

The Chan- cellor was in hourly touch with the Governor of the Bank of England and the most responsible men in the City of London. Lloyd George surprised those who met him for the first time by the quickness with which he mastered the whole situation and the resourcefulness with which he suggested new meth- ods. Saving the Situation.

Parliament was fortunately sitting when war came, and Mr. The banks remained closed for four or five days, giving a breathing space which was very useful.