Monday, 30 April 2012

Recollections of Lloyd George

Francis W Hirst in his book “In the Golden Days” recalls dinning with  the great David Lloyd George and his perplexities with Morley, the leader of the liberal party. 

“In the spring of 1900 many of us young liberals, and some of an older generation too, were distressed by John Morley’s hesitating mood and his reluctance to commit himself to any decisive policy towards the formulation of peace terms. A note of mine dated April 26th, 1900, when I was living at 1, Mitre Court Buildings, will illustrate our perplexities. It was just after Lloyd George’s escape in a policeman’s uniform from the Birmingham roughs:

Meeting Lloyd George in the Temple I bought him in to lunch and took a walk with him on the Embankment. He is full of fire. The blow aimed at him was a hard one. It dazed him and mashed his hat. The attack on his wife was very cowardly and quite unprovoked. He thinks his two meetings have been a great triumph. Mr. Morley, he says, is in a very indecisive mood. He wants me to persuade him to speak.  Lloyd George was dinning there the other night. Courtney favoured the separation of the Rand, leaving the two Republic’s otherwise intact. Mr. Morley put the difficulties, but wound up, “Courtney, I’m inclined to agree with you.” Courtney replied very brusquely: “You’ll have changed your mind in the morning”; and Morley was much put out! Lloyd George said to me: “Mr. Morley is my leader, but it is very distressing that he won’t keep the field.”

Lloyd George was full of daring.”

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