David Lloyd George

David Lloyd George
The Right Honourable
The Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
In office
7 December 1916 – 22 October 1922
Monarch George V
Preceded by Herbert Henry Asquith
Succeeded by Andrew Bonar Law
Chancellor of the Exchequer
In office
12 April 1908 – 25 May 1915
Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith
Preceded by Herbert Henry Asquith
Succeeded by Reginald McKenna
Secretary of State for War
In office
6 June 1916 – 5 December 1916
Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith
Preceded by The Earl Kitchener
Succeeded by The Earl of Derby
Minister of Munitions
In office
25 May 1915 – 9 July 1916
Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith
Preceded by Office Created
Succeeded by Edwin Samuel Montagu
President of the Board of Trade
In office
10 December 1905 – 12 April 1908
Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman
Herbert Henry Asquith
Preceded by The Marquess of Salisbury
Succeeded by Winston Churchill
Leader of the Liberal Party
In office
14th October 1926 – 4th November 1931
Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by Herbert Henry Asquith
Succeeded by Herbert Louis Samuel
Member of Parliament
for Caernarvon Boroughs
In office
Preceded by Edmund Swetenham
Succeeded by Seaborne Davies
Personal details
Born 17 January 1863(1863-01-17)
Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, England, UK
Died 26 March 1945(1945-03-26) (aged 82)
Tŷ Newydd, Llanystumdwy, Caernarfonshire, Wales, UK
Nationality Welsh
Political party Liberal (1890–1916) and (1924–1945) National Liberal (1916–1924)
Spouse(s) Margaret Lloyd George
Frances Stevenson
Profession Lawyer
Religion Christian, Nonconformist
Signature Cursive signature in ink

David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC (17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945) was a British Liberal politician and statesman. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the head of a wartime coalition government between the years 1916–22 and was the Leader of the Liberal Party from 1926–31.

During a long tenure of office, mainly as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was a key figure in the introduction of many reforms which laid the foundations of the modern welfare state. He was the last Liberal to be Prime Minister, as his coalition premiership was supported more by Conservatives than by his own Liberals, and the subsequent split was a key factor in the decline of the Liberal Party as a serious political force. When he eventually became leader of the Liberal Party a decade later he was unable to lead it back to power.

He is best known as the highly energetic Prime Minister (1916–22) who guided the Empire through the First World War to victory over Germany and her allies. He was a major player at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 that reordered the world after the Great War. Lloyd George was a devout evangelical and an icon of 20th century liberalism as the founder of the welfare state. He is regarded as having made a greater impact on British public life than any other 20th century leader, thanks to his leadership of the war drive, his postwar role in reshaping Europe, and his introduction of Britain's social welfare system before the war.[1]

Although many barristers have been Prime Minister, Lloyd George is to date the only solicitor to have held that office.[2] He is also so far the only British Prime Minister to have been Welsh and to have spoken English as a second language, with Welsh being his first.


Upbringing and early life

Born in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, England, Lloyd George was a Welsh-speaker and of Welsh descent and upbringing, the first and so far only Welsh politician ever to hold the office of Prime Minister. In March 1863 his father William George, who had been a teacher in Manchester and other cities, returned to his native Pembrokeshire because of failing health. He took up farming but died in June 1864 of pneumonia, aged 44. His mother Elizabeth George (1828–96) sold the farm and moved with her children to her native Llanystumdwy, Caernarfonshire, where she lived in Tŷ Newydd with her brother Richard Lloyd (1834–1917), a shoemaker, Baptist minister and strong Liberal. Lloyd George's uncle was a towering influence on him, encouraging him to take up a career in law and enter politics; his uncle remained influential up until his death at age 83 in February 1917, by which time his nephew was Prime Minister. He added his uncle's surname to become "Lloyd George". His surname is usually given as "Lloyd George" and sometimes as "George." His childhood showed through in his entire career, as he attempted to aid the common man at the expense of what he liked to call "the Dukes". However, his biographer John Grigg argued that Lloyd George's childhood was nowhere near as poverty-stricken as he liked to suggest, and that a great deal of his self-confidence came from having been brought up by an uncle who enjoyed a position of influence and prestige in his small community.

Articled to a firm of solicitors in Porthmadog, Lloyd George was admitted in 1884 after taking Honours in his final law examination and set up his own practice in the back parlour of his uncle's house in 1885. The practice flourished and he established branch offices in surrounding towns, taking his brother William into partnership in 1887. By then he was politically active, having campaigned for the Liberal Party in the 1885 election, attracted by Joseph Chamberlain's "unauthorised programme" of reforms. The election resulted firstly in a stalemate, neither the Liberals nor the Conservatives having a majority, the balance of power being held by the Irish Parliamentary Party. William Gladstone's announcement of a determination to bring about Irish Home Rule later led to Chamberlain leaving the Liberals to form the Liberal Unionists. Lloyd George was uncertain of which wing to follow, carrying a pro-Chamberlain resolution at the local Liberal club and travelling to Birmingham planning to attend the first meeting of Chamberlain's National Radical Union, but he had his dates wrong and arrived a week too early. In 1907, he was to say that he thought Chamberlain's plan for a federal solution correct in 1886 and still thought so, that he preferred the unauthorised programme to the Whig-like platform of the official Liberal Party, and that had Chamberlain proposed solutions to Welsh grievances such as land reform and disestablishment, he, together with most Welsh Liberals, would have followed Chamberlain.

On 24 January 1888 he married Margaret Owen, the daughter of a well-to-do local farming family. Also in that year he and other young Welsh Liberals founded a monthly paper Udgorn Rhyddid (Bugle of Freedom) and won on appeal to the Divisional Court of Queen's Bench the Llanfrothen burial case; this established the right of Nonconformists to be buried according to their own denominational rites in parish burial grounds, a right given by the Burial Act 1880 that had up to then been ignored by the Anglican clergy. It was this case, which was hailed as a great victory throughout Wales, and his writings in Udgorn Rhyddid that led to his adoption as the Liberal candidate for Caernarfon Boroughs on 27 December 1888.

In 1889 he became an Alderman on the Caernarfonshire County Council which had been created by the Local Government Act 1888. At that time he appeared to be trying to create a separate Welsh national party modelled on Parnell's Irish Parliamentary Party and worked towards a union of the North and South Wales Liberal Federations.

Member of Parliament

Lloyd George was returned as Liberal MP for Carnarvon Boroughs — by a margin of 19 votes — on 13 April 1890 at a by-election caused by the death of the former Conservative member. He was the youngest MP in the House of Commons, and he sat with an informal grouping of Welsh Liberal members with a programme of disestablishing and disendowing the Church of England in Wales, temperance reform, and Welsh home rule. He would remain an MP until 1945, 55 years later.

As backbench members of the House of Commons were not paid at that time, he supported himself and his growing family by continuing to practise as a solicitor, opening an office in London under the title of Lloyd George and Co. and continuing in partnership with William George in Criccieth. In 1897 he merged his growing London practice with that of Arthur Rhys Roberts (who was to become Official Solicitor) under the title of Lloyd George, Roberts and Co.

He was soon speaking on Liberal issues (particularly temperance—the "local option", and national as opposed to denominational education) throughout England as well as Wales. During the next decade, Lloyd George campaigned in Parliament largely on Welsh issues and in particular for disestablishment and disendowment of the Church of England. He wrote extensively for Liberal papers such as the Manchester Guardian. When Gladstone retired after the defeat of the second Home Rule Bill in 1894, the Welsh Liberal members chose him to serve on a deputation to William Harcourt to press for specific assurances on Welsh issues; when those were not provided, they resolved to take independent action if the government did not bring a bill for disestablishment. When that was not forthcoming, he and three other Welsh Liberals (David Alfred Thomas, Herbert Lewis and Frank Edwards) refused the whip on 14 April 1892 but accepted Lord Rosebery's assurance and rejoined the official Liberals on 29 May. Thereafter, he devoted much time to setting up branches of Cymru Fydd (Young Wales), which, he said, would in time become a force like the Irish National Party. He abandoned this idea after being criticised in Welsh newspapers for bringing about the defeat of the Liberal Party in the 1895 election and when, at a meeting in Newport on 16 January 1896, the South Wales Liberal Federation, led by David Alfred Thomas and Robert Bird moved that he be not heard.

He gained national fame by his vehement opposition to the Second Boer War. He based his attack firstly on what were supposed to be the war aims – remedying the grievances of the Uitlanders and in particular the claim that they were wrongly denied the right to vote, saying "I do not believe the war has any connection with the franchise. It is a question of 45% dividends" and that England (which did not then have universal male suffrage) was more in need of franchise reform than the Boer republics. His second attack was on the cost of the war, which, he argued, prevented overdue social reform in England, such as old age pensions and workmen's cottages. As the war progressed, he moved his attack to its conduct by the generals, who, he said (basing his words on reports by William Burdett-Coutts in The Times), were not providing for the sick or wounded soldiers and were starving Boer women and children in concentration camps. He reserved his major thrusts for Chamberlain, accusing him of war profiteering through the Chamberlain family company Kynoch Ltd, of which Chamberlain's brother was Chairman and which had won tenders to the War Office though its prices were higher than some of its competitors. After speaking at a meeting in Chamberlain's political base at Birmingham. Lloyd George had to be smuggled out disguised as a policeman, as his life was in danger from the mob. At this time the Liberal Party was badly split as Herbert Henry Asquith, Richard Burdon Haldane and others were supporters of the war and formed the Liberal Imperial League.

His attacks on the government's Education Act, which provided that County Councils would fund church schools, helped reunite the Liberals. His successful amendment that the County need only fund those schools where the buildings were in good repair served to make the Act a dead letter in Wales, where the Counties were able to show that most Church of England schools were in poor repair. Having already gained national recognition for his anti-Boer War campaigns, his leadership of the attacks on the Education Act gave him a strong parliamentary reputation and marked him as a likely future cabinet member.

Cabinet Minister (1906–1916)

David Lloyd George in 1908

In 1906 Lloyd George entered the new Liberal Cabinet of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman as President of the Board of Trade. In that position he introduced legislation on many topics, from Merchant Shipping and Companies to Railway regulation, but his main achievement was in stopping a proposed national strike of the railway unions by brokering an agreement between the unions and the railway companies. While almost all the companies refused to recognise the unions, Lloyd George persuaded the companies to recognise elected representatives of the workers who sat with the company representatives on conciliation boards — one for each company. If those boards failed to agree then there was a central board. This was Lloyd George's first great triumph for which he received praises from, among others, Kaiser Wilhelm II. Two weeks later, however, his great excitement was crushed by his daughter Mair's death from appendicitis.

On Campbell-Bannerman's death he succeeded Asquith, who had become Prime Minister, as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1908 to 1915. While he continued some work from the Board of Trade — for example, legislation to establish a Port of London authority and to pursue traditional Liberal programmes such as licensing law reforms — his first major trial in this role was over the 1908–1909 Naval Estimates. The Liberal manifesto at the 1906 general elections included a commitment to reduce military expenditure. Lloyd George strongly supported this, writing to Reginald McKenna, First Lord of the Admiralty, "the emphatic pledges given by all of us at the last general election to reduce the gigantic expenditure on armaments built up by the recklessness of our predecessors."

Portrait of David Lloyd George as Chancellor of the Exchequer by Christopher Williams (1911)

He then proposed the programme be reduced from six to four dreadnoughts. This was adopted by the government but there was a public storm when the Conservatives, with covert support from the First Sea Lord Admiral Jackie Fisher, campaigned for more with the slogan "We want eight and we won't wait". This resulted in Lloyd George's defeat in Cabinet and the adoption of estimates including provision for eight dreadnoughts. This was later to be said to be one of the main turning points in the naval arms race between Germany and Britain that contributed to the outbreak of World War I.

People's Budget, 1909

Although old-age pensions had already been introduced by Asquith as Chancellor, Lloyd George was largely responsible for the introduction of state financial support for the sick and infirm (known colloquially as "going on the Lloyd George" for decades afterwards) — legislation often referred to as the Liberal reforms.

In 1909 he introduced his famous budget imposing increased taxes on luxuries, liquor, tobacco, incomes, and land, so that money could be made available for the new welfare programs as well as new battleships. The nation's landowners (well represented in the House of Lords) were intensely angry at the new taxes. In the House of Commons Lloyd George gave a brilliant defence of the budget, which was attacked by the Conservatives. On the stump, most famously in his Limehouse speech, he denounced the Conservatives and the wealthy classes with all his very considerable oratorical power. The budget passed the Commons, but was defeated by the Conservative majority in the House of Lords. The elections of 1910 upheld the Liberal government and the budget finally passed the Lords. Subsequently, the Parliament Bill for social reform and Irish Home Rule, which Lloyd George strongly supported, was passed and the veto power of the House of Lords was greatly curtailed. In 1911 Lloyd George succeeded in putting through Parliament his National Insurance Act, making provision for sickness and invalidism, and this was followed by his Unemployment Insurance Act. He was helped in his endeavours by forty or so backbenchers who regularly pushed for new social measures, and often voted with the Labour Party on them.[3] These social reforms began in Britain the creation of a welfare state and fulfilled the aim of dampening down the demands of the growing working class for rather more radical solutions to their impoverishment.[4]

Marconi scandal

In 1913 Lloyd George, along with Attorney-General Rufus Isaacs, was involved in the Marconi scandal. Accused of speculating in Marconi shares on the inside information that they were about to be awarded a key government contract (which would have caused them to increase in value), he told the House of Commons that he had not speculated in the shares of "that company", which was not the whole truth as he had in fact speculated in shares of Marconi's American sister company. This scandal, which would have destroyed his career if the whole truth had come out at the time, was a precursor to the whiff of corruption (e.g. the sale of honours) that later surrounded Lloyd George's premiership.

World War

Lloyd George was considered an opponent of war until the Agadir Crisis of 1911, when he had made a speech attacking German aggression. Nevertheless, he supported World War I when it broke out, not least as Belgium, for whose defence Britain was supposedly fighting, was a "small nation" like Wales or indeed the Boers.[5]

For the first year of the war he remained chancellor of the exchequer. The cabinet was reconstituted as the first coalition ministry in May 1915, and Lloyd George was made Minister of Munitions in a new department created after a munitions shortage. In this position he was a brilliant success, but he was not at all satisfied with the progress of the war. He wanted to "knock away the props" by attacking Germany's allies - he argued for the sending of British troops to Greece (this was done - the Salonika expedition - although not on the scale that Lloyd George had wanted, and mountain ranges made his suggestions of grand Balkan offensives impractical) and for the sending of machine guns to Romania (insufficient were available). These suggestions were the beginning of Lloyd George's poor relations with the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Robertson, who was "brusque to the point of rudeness" and "barely concealed his contempt for Lloyd George's military opinions", to which he was in the habit of retorting "I've 'eard different".[6] Late in 1915 Lloyd George became a strong supporter of general conscription, and he helped to put through the conscription act of 1916. He persuaded Kitchener to raise a Welsh Division, but not to recognise nonconformist chaplains in the Army.[7]

In June 1916 Lloyd George succeeded Kitchener (drowned en route to Russia) as Secretary of State for War, although he had little control over strategy, as General Robertson had been given direct right of access to the Cabinet so as to bypass Kitchener. However, he did succeed in securing the appointment of Sir Eric Geddes to take charge of military railways behind British lines in France, with the honorary rank of major-general.[8] The weakness of Asquith as a planner and organiser was increasingly apparent to senior officials. Asquith was forced out in December 1916, with the war still raging and almost two years from its end, and Lloyd George became Prime Minister, with the nation demanding he take charge of the war in vigorous fashion.[5] A "Punch" cartoon of the time showed him as "The New Conductor" conducting the orchestra in the "Opening of the 1917 Overture".

Prime Minister (1916–1922)

War leader (1916–1918)

The fall of Asquith as Prime Minister split the Liberal Party into two factions: those who supported him and those who supported the coalition government. Lloyd George's support from the Unionists was critical. In his War Memoirs [v 1 p 602], Lloyd George compared himself to Asquith:

There are certain indispensable qualities essential to the Chief Minister of the Crown in a great war. . . . Such a minister must have courage, composure, and judgment. All this Mr. Asquith possessed in a superlative degree. . . . But a war minister must also have vision, imagination and initiative — he must show untiring assiduity, must exercise constant oversight and supervision of every sphere of war activity, must possess driving force to energize this activity, must be in continuous consultation with experts, official and unofficial, as to the best means of utilising the resources of the country in conjunction with the Allies for the achievement of victory. If to this can be added a flair for conducting a great fight, then you have an ideal War Minister.

After December 1916, Lloyd George relied on the support of Conservatives and of the press baron Lord Northcliffe (who owned both The Times and The Daily Mail). This was reflected in the make-up of his five-member war cabinet, which included three Conservatives, Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Lords, Lord Curzon; Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons, Andrew Bonar Law; and Minister without Portfolio, Lord Milner. The fifth member, Arthur Henderson, was the unofficial representative of the Labour Party.

Lloyd George engaged in almost constant intrigues to reduce the power of the generals, including trying to subordinate British forces in France to the French General Nivelle. This plot, launched with the full knowledge of Briand (French Prime Minister) and Nivelle himself, was announced in guarded terms at a War Cabinet meeting on 24 February, to which neither Robertson nor Lord Derby (Secretary of State for War) had been invited, then landed on Robertson and Haig without warning at an Anglo-French conference at Calais (26-7 Feb). Minutes from the War Cabinet meeting were not sent to the King until 28 February, so that he did not have a prior chance to object. In the event "hard negotiation" watered down the proposal, after Lord Derby had threatened to resign and it had permanently poisoned relations between Lloyd George and the "Brasshats". In a letter to Haig Robertson called Lloyd George "an awful liar" who lacked the "honesty and truth" to be Prime Minister, claiming he had misled the Cabinet in his claim that the French had originated the proposal.[9]

The War Policy Committee, which included Lloyd George, Milner, Curzon, Jan Smuts, Law, and the government's chief military adviser General Robertson, was also formed and first met on 11 June 1917. The committee's secretary was Sir Maurice Hankey. At the final meeting of this committee on 11 October 1917, Lloyd George authorized the Passchendaele Offensive of autumn 1917 to continue by warning of failure in three weeks' time. In December 1917, Lloyd George remarked to C.P. Scott that: "If people really knew, the war would be stopped tomorrow. But of course they don't know, and can't know."

Further intrigues to reduce Britain's commitment to Western Front Offensives included sending men and guns to Italy and Palestine, although Robertson was able to block Lloyd George's plan to make Palestine the main theatre of operations by having Allenby, the commander in that theatre, make the impossible demand that thirteen extra divisions be sent to him.[10] In the winter of 1917/18 Lloyd George secured the resignations of both the service chiefs, Admiral Jellicoe and General Robertson. Relations with the latter had not improved despite Lloyd George inviting him to a meal and arranging him to be served apple pudding (his favourite dish) and he was eventually forced out over his insistence that the British delegate to a new inter-Allied co-ordination body at Versailles be subordinate to Robertson as CIGS in London.

One of the most famous of Lloyd George's intrigues was the withholding of reinforcements in the UK early in 1918 in order to limit Haig's ability to launch further offensives. This left the British forces vulnerable to German attack, and after the German Spring Offensives Lloyd George misled the House of Commons in claiming that Haig's forces were stronger at the start of 1918 than they had been a year earlier - in fact the increase was in the number of Chinese, Indian and black South African labourers, and Haig had fewer infantry, holding a longer stretch of front. [11] These untruths were exposed by General Sir Frederick Maurice in a letter to the press - Lloyd George survived the Commons Debate (the first occasion on which the Liberal Party openly split) but years later admitted that he had "misinformed the House".[12]

Nevertheless, the War Cabinet itself was a very successful innovation. It met almost daily, with Sir Maurice Hankey as secretary, and made all major political, military, economic and diplomatic decisions. Rationing was finally imposed in early 1918 for meat, sugar and fats (butter and oleo) – but not bread; the new system worked smoothly. From 1914 to 1918 trade-union membership doubled, from a little over four million to a little over eight million. Work stoppages and strikes became frequent in 1917–18 as the unions expressed grievances regarding prices, liquor control, pay disputes, "dilution", fatigue from overtime and from Sunday work, and inadequate housing.

Conscription put into uniform nearly every physically fit man, six million out of ten million eligible. Of these about 750,000 lost their lives and 1,700,000 were wounded. Most deaths were of young unmarried men; however, 160,000 wives lost husbands and 300,000 children lost fathers.[13]

Most of the organisations Lloyd George created during World War I were replicated with the outbreak of World War II. As Lord Beaverbrook remarked, "There were no signposts to guide Lloyd George."

In 1917, one of Lloyd George's first acts as Prime Minister was to order the attack on the Ottoman Empire and the conquest of Palestine. Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issued his famous Declaration in favour of "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people". Lloyd George played a critical role in this announcement.

Postwar Prime Minister (1918–1922)

Snowed under.
The St. Bernard Pup (to his Master). "This situation appeals to my hereditary instincts. Shall I come to the rescue?"
[Before leaving Switzerland Mr. Lloyd George purchased a St. Bernard pup.]
Cartoon from Punch 15 September 1920

At the end of the war Lloyd George's reputation stood at its zenith. A leading Conservative said "He can be dictator for life if he wishes." In the "Coupon election" of 1918 he declared this must be a land "fit for heroes to live in." He did not say, "We shall squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak" (that was Sir Eric Geddes), but he did express that sentiment about reparations from Germany to pay the entire cost of the war, including pensions. At Bristol, he said that German industrial capacity "will go a pretty long way." We must have "the uttermost farthing," and "shall search their pockets for it." As the campaign closed, he summarised his programme:

  1. Trial of the Kaiser Wilhelm II;
  2. Punishment of those guilty of atrocities;
  3. Fullest indemnity from Germany;
  4. Britain for the British, socially and industrially;
  5. Rehabilitation of those broken in the war; and
  6. A happier country for all.[14]

His "National Liberal" coalition won a massive landslide, winning 525 of the 707 contests; however, the Conservatives had control within the Coalition of more than two-thirds of its seats. Asquith's independent Liberals were crushed and emerged with only 33 seats, falling behind Labour. (The independent Liberal parliamentary leadership was briefly taken over by the unknown Donald Maclean until Asquith, who had lost his seat like other leading Liberals, returned to the House at a by-election).[15]

Versailles 1919

Lloyd George represented Britain at the Versailles Peace Conference, clashing with French Premier Georges Clemenceau, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson and Italian Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando. Lloyd George wanted to punish Germany politically and economically for devastating Europe during the war, but did not want to utterly destroy the German economy and political system—as Clemenceau of France wanted—with massive reparations. Memorably, he replied to a question as to how he had done at the peace conference, "Not badly, considering I was seated between Jesus Christ and Napoleon". The British economist John Maynard Keynes attacked Lloyd George's stance on reparations in his book The Economic Consequences of the Peace, calling the Prime Minister a "half-human visitor to our age from the hag-ridden magic and enchanted woods of Celtic antiquity". In Poland his position is controversial, it being believed that he had saved that country from the Bolsheviks on the one hand but vilified there during 1919–20 for his supposed opinion that Poles were "children who gave trouble".[16]

Social reform

A substantive programme of social reform was introduced under Lloyd George's postwar government. The Education Act 1918 raised the school leaving age to 14 and increased the powers and duties of the Board of Education. The Housing and Town Planning Act 1919 provided subsidies for house building by local authorities, and a total of 170,000 homes were built under this Act. This was a landmark measure, in that it established, according to A.J.P. Taylor, "the principle that housing was a social service”.[17] Under the 1919 Housing Act, 30,000 houses were constructed by private enterprise with government subsidy.[18]

The Unemployment Insurance Act 1920 extended national insurance to 11 million additional workers. This was considered to be a revolutionary measure, in that it extended unemployment insurance to almost the entire labour force, whereas only certain categories of workers had been covered before. In education, teachers’ salaries were standardised (in 1921) through the Burnham Scale, whilst in agriculture the state continued to insist that farm labourers received a minimum wage while the state continued to guarantee the prices of farm produce until 1921.[19]

The 1920 Blind Persons Act provided assistance for unemployed blind people and blind persons who were in low paid employment,[20] while the Agriculture Act of 1920 provided allotment tenants with the right to compensation for disturbance. Rent controls were continued after the war, and an “out-of-work donation” was introduced for ex-servicemen and civilians.[18] The 1920 National Health Insurance Act increased insurance benefits, and eligibility for pensions was extended to more people. The means limit for pensions was raised by about two-thirds, aliens and their wives were allowed to receive pensions after living in Britain for ten years, and the imprisonment and “failure to work” disqualifications for receiving pensions were abolished.[19] Pensions were introduced for blind persons aged fifty and above.[21]

Old age pensions were doubled, efforts were made to help returning soldiers find employment, and the Whitley Councils were established to arbitrate between employees and employers. In 1919, the government set up a Ministry of Health, a development which led to major improvements in public health in the years that followed.[19] The Agricultural Act of 1920 provided tenant farmers with greater protection by granting them better security of tenure[17] whilst the Unemployed Workers’ Dependants (Temporary Provisions) Act of 1921 provided payments for the wives and dependant children of unemployed workers.[22] The Employment of Women, Young Persons and Children Act (1920) prohibited the employment of children below the limit of compulsory school age in railways and transport undertakings, building and engineering construction works, factories, and mines. The legislation also prohibited the employment of children in ships at sea (except in certain circumstances, such as in respect of family members employed on the same vessel).[23]

The reforming efforts of the Coalition Government were such that, according to the historian Kenneth O. Morgan, its achievements were greater than those of the pre-war Liberal governments. However, the reform programme was substantially rolled back by the Geddes Axe, which cut public expenditure by £76 million, including substantial cuts to education.[24]


Lloyd George began to feel the weight of the coalition with the Conservatives after the war. In calling the 1917-18 Irish Convention he attempted to settle the outstanding Home Rule for Ireland issue, but then his dual decision to extend conscription to Ireland in April 1918 was disastrous, leading to the wipeout of the old Irish Home Rule Party at the December 1918 election. Replaced by Sinn Féin MPs, they immediately declared an Irish Republic. Lloyd George presided over the Government of Ireland Act 1920 which established Northern Ireland in May 1921, during the Anglo-Irish War, which led to the negotiation of the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921 with Arthur Griffith and Michael Collins and the formation of the Irish Free State. At one point, he famously declared of the IRA, "We have murder by the throat!" However he was soon to begin negotiations with IRA leaders to recognise their authority and end the conflict.

Fall from power 1922

Lloyd George's coalition was too large, and deep fissures quickly emerged. The more traditional wing of the Unionist Party had no intention of introducing reforms, which led to three years of frustrated fighting within the coalition both between the National Liberals and the Unionists and between factions within the Conservatives themselves. Many Conservatives were angered by the granting of independence to the Irish Free State and by Montagu's moves towards limited self-government for India, while a sharp economic downturn and wave of strikes in 1921 damaged Lloyd George's credibility. It was this fighting, coupled with the increasingly differing ideologies of the two forces in a country reeling from the costs of war, that led to Lloyd George's fall from power. In June 1922 Conservatives were able to show that he had been selling knighthoods and peerages — and the OBE which was created at this time — for money. Conservatives were concerned by his desire to create a party from these funds comprising moderate Liberals and Conservatives. A major attack in the House of Lords followed on his corruption resulting in the Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act 1925. The Conservatives also attacked Lloyd George as lacking any executive accountability as Prime Minister, claiming that he never turned up to Cabinet meetings and banished some government departments to the gardens of 10 Downing Street.

However it was not until 19 October 1922 that the coalition was dealt its final blow. After criticism of Lloyd George over the Chanak crisis mounted, Conservative leader Austen Chamberlain summoned a meeting of Conservative Members of Parliament at the Carlton Club to discuss their attitude to the Coalition in the forthcoming election. They sealed Lloyd George's fate with a vote of 187 to 87 in favour of abandoning the coalition. Chamberlain and other Conservatives such as the Earl of Balfour argued for supporting Lloyd George, while former party leader Andrew Bonar Law argued the other way, claiming that breaking up the coalition "wouldn't break Lloyd George's heart". The main attack came from Stanley Baldwin, then President of the Board of Trade, who spoke of Lloyd George as a "dynamic force" who would break the Conservative Party. Baldwin and many of the more progressive members of the Conservative Party fundamentally opposed Lloyd George and those who supported him on moral grounds.[clarification needed] A motion was passed that the Conservative Party should fight the next election on its own for the first time since the start of World War I.

Later political career (1922–1945)

David Lloyd George

Throughout the 1920s Lloyd George remained a dominant figure in British politics, being frequently predicted to return to office but never succeeding; this period of his life is covered in John Campbell's book The Goat in the Wilderness. Before the 1923 election, he resolved his dispute with Asquith, allowing the Liberals to run a united ticket against Stanley Baldwin's policy of tariffs (although there was speculation that Baldwin had adopted such a policy in order to forestall Lloyd George from doing so). At the 1924 general election, Baldwin won a clear victory, the leading coalitionists such as Austen Chamberlain and Lord Birkenhead (and former Liberal Winston Churchill) agreeing to serve under Baldwin and thus ruling out any restoration of the 1916–22 coalition.

In 1926 Lloyd George succeeded Asquith as Liberal leader. Since the disastrous election result in 1924 the Liberals were now very much the third party in British politics, but still Lloyd George was able to release money from his fund to finance candidates and ideas for public works to reduce unemployment (as detailed in pamphlets such as the "Yellow Book" and the "Green Book"). Lloyd George was also helped by John Maynard Keynes to write We can Conquer Unemployment, setting out Keynesian economic policies to solve unemployment. However the results at the 1929 general election were disappointing: the Liberals increased their support only to 60 or so seats, while Labour became the largest party for the first time. Once again, the Liberals ended up supporting a minority Labour government. In 1929 Lloyd George became Father of the House, the longest-serving member of the Commons.

Vera Weizmann, Chaim Weizmann, Herbert Samuel, Lloyd George, Ethel Snowden, and Philip Snowden

In 1931 an illness prevented his joining the National Government when it was formed. Later when the National Government called a General Election he tried to pull the Liberal Party out of it but succeeded in taking only a few followers, most of whom were related to him; the main Liberal party remained in the coalition for a year longer, under the leadership of Sir Herbert Samuel. By the 1930s Lloyd George was on the margins of British politics, although still intermittently in the public eye and publishing his War Memoirs. Lloyd George was President of the London Welsh Trust, which runs the London Welsh Centre, Gray's Inn Road, from 1934 until 1935.[25]

On 17 January 1935 Lloyd George sought to promote a radical programme of economic reform, called "Lloyd George's New Deal" after the American New Deal. This Keynesian economic programme was essentially the same as that of 1929.[26] MacDonald requested that he put his case before the Cabinet and so in March Lloyd George submitted a 100-page memorandum and this was cross-examined between April and June by ten meetings of the Cabinet's sub-committee.[27] However the programme did not find favour and two-thirds of Conservative MPs were against Lloyd George joining the National government, and some Cabinet members would have resigned if he had joined.[27]

In September 1936 Lloyd George met the German dictator Adolf Hitler at the Berghof in Berchtesgaden and discussed foreign policy. Hitler gave Lloyd George a signed picture of himself and said he was pleased to have met "the man who won the war"; Lloyd George was moved by this and replied that he was honoured to receive such a gift "from the greatest living German".[28] Lloyd George also visited Germany's public works programmes and was impressed. On his return to Britain he wrote an article for The Daily Express of 17 September in which he praised Hitler and said "The Germans have definitely made up their minds never to quarrel with us again".[29] He believed Hitler was "the George Washington of Germany"; that he was rearming Germany for defence and not for offensive war; that a war between Germany and Russia would not happen for at least ten years; that Hitler admired the British and wanted their friendship but that there was no British leadership to exploit this.[30]

In perhaps the last important parliamentary intervention of his career, which occurred during the crucial Norway Debate of May 1940, Lloyd George made a powerful speech that helped to undermine Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister and to pave the way for the ascendancy of Churchill as Premier.

Churchill offered Lloyd George a place in his Cabinet but he refused, citing his dislike of Chamberlain. Lloyd George also thought that Britain's chances in the war were dim, and he remarked to his secretary: "I shall wait until Winston is bust".[31] He wrote to the Duke of Bedford in September 1940 advocating a negotiated peace with Germany after the Battle of Britain.[32]

A pessimistic speech by Lloyd George on 7 May 1941 led Churchill to compare him with Philippe Pétain. On 11 June 1942 he made his last-ever speech in the House of Commons, and he cast his last vote in the Commons on 18 February 1943 as one of the 121 MPs (97 Labour) condemning the Government for its failure to back the Beveridge Report. Fittingly, his final vote was in defence of the welfare state which he had helped to create.[33]

Increasingly in his late years his characteristic political courage gave way to physical timidity and hypochondria. He continued to attend Castle Street Baptist Chapel in London, and to preside over the national eisteddfod at its Thursday session each summer. At the end, he returned to Wales. In September 1944, he and Frances left Churt for Tŷ Newydd, a farm near his boyhood home in Llanystumdwy. He was now weakening rapidly and his voice failing. He was still an MP but had learned that wartime changes in the constituency meant that Caernarfon Boroughs might go Conservative at the next election. On New Years Day 1945 Lloyd George was raised to the peerage as Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor and Viscount Gwynedd, of Dwyfor in the County of Caernarvonshire. Under the rules governing titles within the peerage, Lloyd George's name in his title was hyphenated even though his surname was not.

As it happened, he did not live long enough to take his seat in the House of Lords. He died of cancer on 26 March 1945, aged 82, his wife Frances and his daughter Megan at his bedside. Four days later, on Good Friday, he was buried beside the river Dwyfor in Llanystumdwy.

A great boulder marks his grave; there is no inscription. However a monument designed by the architect Sir Clough Williams-Ellis was subsequently erected around the grave, bearing an englyn (strict-metre stanza) engraved on slate in his memory composed by his nephew Dr William George. Nearby stands the Lloyd George Museum, also designed by Williams-Ellis and opened in 1963.


Lloyd George had a considerable reputation as a womaniser, which led to his being nicknamed "the Goat" (coined by Sir Robert Chalmers, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury from 1911).[34] Kitchener is said to have remarked early in World War One that he tried to avoid sharing military secrets with the Cabinet, as they would all tell their wives, apart from Lloyd George "who would tell someone else's wife".[35] He remained married to Margaret, and remained fond of her until her death[36] on 20 January 1941; Lloyd George was deeply upset by the fact that bad weather prevented him from being with her when she died.

In October 1943, aged 80, and to the disapproval of his children, he married his secretary and mistress, Frances Stevenson. He had first met Stevenson in 1910, and she had worked for him first as a teacher for Megan in 1911;[37] their affair began in early 1913.[38] The first Countess Lloyd-George is now largely remembered for her diaries, which dealt with the great issues and statesmen of Lloyd George's heyday. A volume of Lloyd George's letters to her, "My Darling Pussy", has also been published; Lloyd George's nickname for Frances referred to her gentle personality.[39]

His second marriage caused severe tension between Lloyd George and his children by his first wife.[40] He had five children by his first wife  — Richard (1889–1968), Mair (1890–1907, who died during an appendectomy), Olwen (1892–1990), Gwilym (1894–1967) and Megan (1902–1966) — and possibly one child by Stevenson,[41] a girl named Jennifer (born 1929).

His son, Gwilym, and daughter, Megan, both followed him into politics and were elected members of parliament. They were politically faithful to their father throughout his life; but after 1945, each drifted away from the Liberal Party, Gwilym finishing his career as a Conservative Home Secretary while Megan became a Labour MP in 1957, perhaps symbolising the fate of much of the old Liberal Party.

Canadian historian Margaret MacMillan, who detailed Lloyd George's role in the 1919 peace conference in her book, Paris 1919, is his great-granddaughter. The British television presenter Dan Snow is his great-great-grandson, as is the Internet usability guru Bryn Williams. Other descendants include Owen, 3rd Earl Lloyd-George, who was his grandson, and his son Robert (the chairman of Lloyd George Management).[42]

War cabinet

War cabinet changes

  • May — August 1917 – In temporary absence of Arthur Henderson, George Barnes, Minister of Pensions acts as a member of the War Cabinet.
  • June 1917 – Jan Smuts enters the War Cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio
  • July 1917 – Sir Edward Carson enters the War Cabinet as a Minister without Portfolio
  • August 1917 – George Barnes succeeds Arthur Henderson (resigned) as Minister without Portfolio and Labour Party member of the War Cabinet.
  • January 1918 – Carson resigns and is not replaced
  • April 1918 – Austen Chamberlain succeeds Lord Milner as Minister without Portfolio.
  • January 1919 Law becomes Lord Privy Seal, remaining Leader of the House of Commons, and is succeeded as Chancellor of the Exchequer by Chamberlain; both remaining in the War Cabinet. Smuts is succeeded by Sir Eric Geddes as Minister without Portfolio.

Other members of Lloyd George's war government

Peacetime government, January 1919 – October 1922

Going to the country?
"I think it would be a calamity if we did anything to prevent the economic use of charabancs." — Sir Eric Geddes.
First "Banc." Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Bonar Law, Mr. Balfour, Mr. Chamberlain, Mr. Churchill.
Second "Banc." Sir E. Geddes, Mr. Shortt, Mr. Long, Sir Robert Horne, Col. Amery.
Third "Banc." Mr. Illingworth, Lord E. Talbot, Mr. Fisher, Dr. Addison, Sir Gordon Hewart.
Fourth "Banc." Mr. Kellaway, Sir M. Barlow, Sir L. Worthington Evans, Sir A.G. Boscawen, Mr. Towyn Jones.
Fifth "Banc." Sir Hamar Greenwood, Mr. Baldwin, Sir James Craig, Mr. Denis Henry, Mr. Neal.
Sixth "Banc." Mr. Montagu, Dr. Macnamara, Mr. McCurdy, Mr. Ian Macpherson, Sir A. Mond. Cartoon in Punch magazine 18 August 1920 depicting Lloyd George's government ministers, against a quote from that week's Hansard. Going to the Country is an idiom for the calling of an election; in this case, Punch's prediction was off by some two years.

The War Cabinet was formally maintained for much of 1919, but as Lloyd George was out of the country for many months this made little difference. In October 1919 a formal Cabinet was reinstated.

Peacetime changes

  • May 1919 – Sir Auckland Geddes succeeds Sir Albert Stanley as President of the Board of Trade. Sir Eric Geddes becomes Minister of Transport.
  • October 1919 – Lord Curzon of Kedleston succeeds Balfour as Foreign Secretary. Balfour succeeds Curzon as Lord President. The Local Government Board is abolished. Christopher Addison becomes Minister of Health. The Board of Agriculture is abolished. Lord Lee of Fareham becomes Minister of Agriculture. Sir Eric Geddes becomes Minister of Transport.
  • January 1920 – George Barnes leaves the cabinet.
  • March 1920 – Sir Robert Horne succeeds Sir Auckland Geddes as President of the Board of Trade. Thomas McNamara succeeds Horne as Minister of Labour.
  • April 1920 – Sir Hamar Greenwood succeeds Ian Macpherson as Chief Secretary for Ireland. Sir Laming Worthington-Evans joins the Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio.
  • February 1921 – Winston Churchill succeeds Lord Milner as Colonial Secretary. Sir Laming Worthington-Evans succeeds Churchill as War Secretary. Lord Lee of Fareham succeeds Walter Long at the Admiralty. Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen succeeds Lee as Minister of Agriculture.
  • March 1921 – Austen Chamberlain succeeds Bonar Law as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the Commons. Sir Robert Horne succeeds Chamberlain at the Exchequer. Stanley Baldwin succeeds Horne at the Board of Trade.
  • April 1921 – Lord French resigns from the cabinet, remaining Lord Lieutenant. Christopher Addison becomes a Minister without Portfolio. Sir Alfred Mond succeeds him as Minister of Health. The Ministry of Munitions is abolished.
  • November 1921 – Sir Eric Geddes resigns from the cabinet. His successor as Minister of Transport is not in the Cabinet. The Attorney General, Sir Gordon Hewart, enters the Cabinet.
  • March 1922 – Lord Peel succeeds Edwin Montagu as India Secretary.
  • April 1922 – The First Commissioner of Works, Lord Crawford, enters the Cabinet.

Cultural references

Lloyd George Knew My Father is a well-known ditty, with the lyrics "Lloyd George knew my father/Father knew Lloyd George" repeated incessantly to the tune of Onward, Christian Soldiers. The origin and meaning of the song is disputed.[43][44]

A feature film, The Life Story of David Lloyd George, was made in 1918, suppressed, rediscovered in 1994 and first shown in 1996.[45]

A television miniseries "The Life and Times of David Lloyd George" was made in the early 1980s. Philip Madoc played Lloyd George.[46]


  1. ^ Martin Pugh, "Lloyd George," in John Cannon, ed. The Oxford Companion to British History, (2002) 583–5
  2. ^ A.J.P.Taylor, "Lloyd George, Rise and Fall" (1961)
  3. ^ Whigs, Radicals, and Liberals, 1815-1914, by Duncan Watts
  4. ^ Gilbert, "David Lloyd George: Land, The Budget, and Social Reform," The American Historical Review Vol. 81, No. 5 (Dec., 1976), pp. 1058–1066
  5. ^ a b Gilbert, David Lloyd George: A Political Life: Organizer of Victory, 1912–1916 (1992)
  6. ^ Gordon Corrigan, "Mud, Blood and Poppycock", (2003), p. 316.
  7. ^ Gordon Corrigan, "Mud, Blood and Poppycock", (2003), p. 309-11.
  8. ^ Gordon Corrigan, "Mud, Blood and Poppycock", (2003), p. 317.
  9. ^ Gordon Corrigan, "Mud, Blood and Poppycock", (2003), p. 322-3.
  10. ^ Gordon Corrigan, "Mud, Blood and Poppycock", (2003), p. 323.
  11. ^ Peter Hart, "1918: A Very British Victory", (2008), p.229.
  12. ^ Gordon Corrigan, "Mud, Blood and Poppycock", (2003), p. 329-31.
  13. ^ Havighurst p 134–5
  14. ^ The Times (11 December 1918), p. 8.
  15. ^ Havighurst p 151
  16. ^ Norman Davies, "Lloyd George and Poland 1919–1920" in Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 6, No. 3, 132–154 (1971), DOI: 10.1177/002200947100600309
  17. ^ a b Mastering Economic and Social History by David Taylor
  18. ^ a b Foundations of the Welfare State by Pat Thane
  19. ^ a b c A History of Wales by John Davies
  20. ^ Disability, sport, and society: an introduction by Nigel Thomas and Andy Smith
  21. ^ Welfare Services in the Netherlands and United Kingdom by Sita Radhakrishnan
  22. ^ Britain Between The Wars 1918-1940 by Charles Loch Mowat
  23. ^ Social Services: Made Simple by Tony Byrne, BA, BSc(Econ.), and Colin F. Padfield, LLB, DPA(Lond)
  24. ^ Pearce, Malcolm; Stewart, Geoffrey (2002). British political history, 1867–2001: democracy and decline. Routledge. ISBN 0415268699. 
  25. ^ "Our Former Presidents: London Welsh Centre". London Welsh Centre website. London Welsh Centre. 2010. http://www.londonwelsh.org/archives/1796. Retrieved 4 February 2011. 
  26. ^ Jones, pp. 238-239.
  27. ^ a b Jones, p. 239.
  28. ^ Jones, p. 247.
  29. ^ Jones, p. 248.
  30. ^ Jones, p. 248.
  31. ^ Colin Cross (ed.), Life with Lloyd George: The Diary of A. J. Sylvester (Macmillan, 1975), p. 281.
  32. ^ David Reynolds, From World War to Cold War: Churchill, Roosevelt, and the International History of the 1940s (Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 79.
  33. ^ Paul Addison, The Road to 1945. British Politics and the Second World War (London: Pimlico, 1994), pp. 224-225.
  34. ^ John Grigg, "Lloyd George, the people's champion, 1902-1911", Eyre Methuen, 1978, p. 146.
  35. ^ Gordon Corrigan, "Mud, Blood and Poppycock", (2003), p. 309.
  36. ^ Ruth Longford, "Frances, Countess Lloyd George: more than a mistress", Gracewing Publishing, 1996, p. 6.
  37. ^ Ruth Longford, "Frances, Countess Lloyd George: more than a mistress", Gracewing Publishing, 1996, p. 1.
  38. ^ Ruth Longford, "Frances, Countess Lloyd George: more than a mistress", Gracewing Publishing, 1996, p. 11-12.
  39. ^ Ruth Longford, "Frances, Countess Lloyd George: more than a mistress", Gracewing Publishing, 1996, p. 12.
  40. ^ Ruth Longford, "Frances, Countess Lloyd George: more than a mistress", Gracewing Publishing, 1996, p. 154-6.
  41. ^ Jennifer Longford, Memories of David Lloyd George, 2001, accessed on Lloyd George Society website 2010-10-05
  42. ^ "Next generation takes charge", Financial Times, 25 April 2007, p. 20
  43. ^ Time's staff (23 June 1961). "Books: The Welsh Wizard". Time. 
  44. ^ Goodlad, Graham; Wells, Tom (2010). "Sempringham eLearning - England, 1900-1924: This is the song: Lloyd George Knew My Father". Sempringham publishing. http://www.history-ontheweb.co.uk/fun%20stuff/England%2019001924%20lloydgeorgeknewmy.htm. Retrieved 7 September 2010.  "Copied from the Welsh Liberal Democrats website"
  45. ^ "2010 UK Memory of the World Register", United Kingdom National Commission for UNESCO, 2010. Accessed 4 June 2011.
  46. ^ IMDb details of "The Life and Times of David Lloyd George" series.


  • Adams, R.J.Q. Arms and the Wizard: Lloyd George and the Ministry of Munitions. 1978.
  • Adams, R.J.Q. "Andrew Bonar Law and the Fall of the Asquith Coalition: the December 1916 Cabinet Crisis." Canadian Journal of History 1997 32(2): 185–200. Issn: 0008-4107 Fulltext: in Ebsco
  • Adams, W.S. "Lloyd George and the Labour Movement," Past and Present No. 3 (Feb., 1953), pp. 55–64 in JSTOR
  • Lord Beaverbrook. The Decline and Fall of Lloyd George Collins, 1963
  • Bennett, G.H. "Lloyd George, Curzon and the Control of British Foreign Policy 1919–22," The Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol. 45, 1999 online edition
  • Cregier, Don M. "The Murder of the British Liberal Party," The History Teacher Vol. 3, No. 4 (May, 1970), pp. 27–36 online edition, blames Asquith, Lloyd George and the voters
  • Creiger, Don M. Bounder from Wales: Lloyd George's Career Before the First World War. U of Missouri Press, 1976.
  • Ehrman, John. "Lloyd George and Churchill as War Ministers," Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 5th Ser., Vol. 11 (1961), pp. 101–115 in JSTOR
  • Fair, John D. "Politicians, Historians, and the War: A Reassessment of the Political Crisis of December 1916," The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 49, No. 3, On Demand Supplement. (Sep., 1977), pp. D1329–D1343. in JSTOR
  • French, David. The Strategy of the Lloyd George Coalition, 1916–1918. Oxford University Press, 1995
  • Fry, Michael G. Lloyd George and Foreign Policy. Vol. 1: The Education of a Statesman: 1890–1916. Montreal, 1977.
  • Fry, Michael. "Political Change in Britain, August 1914 to December 1916: Lloyd George Replaces Asquith: The Issues Underlying the Drama," The Historical Journal Vol. 31, No. 3 (Sep., 1988), pp. 609–627 in JSTOR
  • Gilbert, Bentley B. "David Lloyd George: The Reform of British Landholding and the Budget of 1914," The Historical Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1 (Mar., 1978), pp. 117–141 in JSTOR
  • Gilbert, Bentley Brinkerhoff. "David Lloyd George: Land, The Budget, and Social Reform," The American Historical Review Vol. 81, No. 5 (Dec., 1976), pp. 1058–1066 in JSTOR
  • Gilbert, Bentley Brinkerhoff. David Lloyd George: A Political Life: The Architect of Change 1863–1912 (1987); David Lloyd George: A Political Life: Organizer of Victory, 1912–1916 (1992)
  • Grigg, John. Lloyd George 4 vols. (1973–2002), Whitbread Award winner; the most detailed biography; ends Nov. 1918
  • Hankey, Lord. The Supreme Command, 1914–1918. 2 vols. 1961.
  • Havighurst, Alfred F. Twentieth-Century Britain. 1966.
  • Hazlehurst, Cameron. "Asquith as Prime Minister, 1908–1916," The English Historical Review Vol. 85, No. 336 (Jul., 1970), pp. 502–531 in JSTOR
  • Kernek, Sterling J. "Distractions of Peace during War: The Lloyd George Government's Reactions to Woodrow Wilson, December, 1916-November, 1918," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, New Ser., Vol. 65, No. 2 (1975), pp. 1–117 online edition
  • Jones, J Graham. entry in Dictionary of Liberal Thought Brack & Randall (eds.) Politico's Methuen, 2007
  • Jones; Thomas. Lloyd George 1951.
  • Keynes, John Maynard, The Economic Consequences of the Peace (1920) famous criticism by leading economist full text online
  • Lentin, Antony. Lloyd George and the Lost Peace: From Versailles to Hitler, 1919–1940 (2004)
  • * Lentin, Antony. "Maynard Keynes and the ‘Bamboozlement’ of Woodrow Wilson: What Really Happened at Paris?" Diplomacy & Statecraft, Dec 2004, Vol. 15 Issue 4, pp 725–763, (AN 15276003), why veterans pensions were included in reparations
  • MacMillan, Margaret. Peacemakers: The Paris Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War (2003)
  • Millman, Brock. "A Counsel of Despair: British Strategy and War Aims, 1917–18." Journal of Contemporary History2001 36(2): 241–270. Issn: 0022-0094 in Jstor
  • Millman, Brock. "The Lloyd George War Government, 1917–18" Totalitarian Movements & Political Religions Winter 2002, Vol. 3 Issue 3, p 99–127; sees proto-fascism
  • Morgan, Kenneth O. Lloyd George. 1974.
  • Morgan, Kenneth O. "Lloyd George's Premiership: A Study in 'Prime Ministerial Government.'" The Historical Journal 13 (March 1970). in JSTOR
  • Morgan, Kenneth O. "Lloyd George and Germany." Historical Journal 1996 39(3): 755–766. in JSTOR
  • Mowat, Sharles Loch. Britain between the Wars, 1918–1940 (1955) 694 pp; online edition
  • Murray, Bruce K. "The Politics of the 'People's Budget'", The Historical Journal Vol. 16, No. 3 (Sep., 1973), pp. 555–570 in JSTOR
  • Owen, Frank. Tempestuous Journey: Lloyd George, His Life and Times 1955.
  • Powell, David. British Politics, 1910–1935: The Crisis of the Party System 2004
  • Price, Emyr. David Lloyd George in the series Celtic Radicals, (University of Wales Press, 2006)
  • Purcell, Hugh. Lloyd George in the series British prime ministers (Haus publications, 2006)
  • Taylor, A. J. P. English History, 1914–1945. 1965.
  • Taylor, A. J. P., ed., Lloyd George: twelve essays (1971). essays by scholars
  • Turner, John. British Politics and the Great War: Coalition and Conflict, 1915–1918 (1992)
  • Walsh, Ben. GCSE Modern World History. Hodder Murray, 2008
  • Wilson, Trevor. "The Coupon and the British General Election of 1918," The Journal of Modern History Vol. 36, No. 1 (Mar., 1964), pp. 28–42 in JSTOR
  • Wilson, Trevor. The Downfall of the Liberal Party 1914–1935. Collins, 1966.
  • Woodward, David R. Lloyd George and the Generals F. Cass, 2004. online edition
  • Woodward, Sir Llewellyn. Great Britain and the War of 1914–1918. 1967.
  • Wrigley, Chris. David Lloyd George and the British Labour Movement: Peace and War (1976)

Further reading

  • Cassar, George. Lloyd George at War, 1916–1918 (2009) excerpt and text search
  • Creiger, Don M. Bounder from Wales: Lloyd George's Career Before the First World War. (1976).
  • Fry, Michael G. Lloyd George and Foreign Policy. Vol. 1: The Education of a Statesman: 1890–1916. (1977)
  • Gilbert, Bentley Brinkerhoff. David Lloyd George: A Political Life: The Architect of Change 1863–1912 (1987); David Lloyd George: A Political Life: Organizer of Victory, 1912–1916 (1992). a standard scholarly biography
  • Grigg, John. Lloyd George 4 vols. (1973–2002), Whitbread Award winner; the most detailed biography; ends Nov. 1918
    • The young Lloyd George (1973); Lloyd George: the people's champion, 1902–1911 (1978); Lloyd George: from peace to war, 1912–1916 (1985); Lloyd George: war leader, 1916–1918 (2002)
  • Hattersley, Roy David Lloyd George: The Great Outsider Little Brown (2010)
  • Hart, Peter. 1918: A Very British Victory, Phoenix Books, London. 2008. ISBN 978-0-7538-2689-8
  • Johnson, Matthew. "The Liberal War Committee and the Liberal Advocacy of Conscription in Britain, 1914-1916," Historical Journal, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Jun., 2008), pp. 399–420 in JSTOR
  • Jones, Thomas. Lloyd George 1951. short and well-regarded online edition
  • Lloyd George, David. War Memoirs of David Lloyd George 2 vols. (1933). An unusually detailed and candid record.
  • Morgan, Kenneth O. "George, David Lloyd, first Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor (1863–1945)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004; online
  • Murray, B. K. The People's Budget, 1909-1910: Lloyd George and Liberal politics (Oxford University Press 1980)
  • Rowland, Peter. David Lloyd George: A Biography (1976), 872pp, detailed but lacking interpretation or synthesis
  • Searle, G. R. A New England? Peace and war, 1886-1918 (Oxford University Press 2004), large-scale survey of political and social history
  • Taylor, A. J. P. Lloyd George: rise and fall (1961)

Primary sources

  • Cross, Colin, ed. Life with Lloyd George: The Diary of A.J. Sylvester 1975.
  • Jones, J Graham. The Lloyd George papers at the National Library of Wales & Other Repositories (National Library of Wales Aberystwyth 2001)
  • Lloyd George, David. The Truth About the Peace Treaties. 2 vols. (1938) vol 1 online
  • Lloyd George, David, War Memoirs of David Lloyd George. 2 vols. (1933). An unusually long, detailed and candid record.
  • Lloyd George, David. The Great Crusade: Extracts from Speeches Delivered During the War (1918) 307 pages online edition
    • George W. Egerton, "The Lloyd George War Memoirs: A Study in the Politics of Memory," The Journal of Modern History Vol. 60, No. 1 (Mar., 1988), pp. 55–94 in JSTOR
  • Morgan, Kenneth O. ed. Lloyd George Family Letters, 1885–1936. 1973.
  • Taylor, A. J. P. ed. My Darling Pussy: The Letters of Lloyd George and Frances Stevenson. 1975.
  • Taylor, A. J. P. ed. Lloyd George: A Diary by Frances Stevenson. 1971.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Salisbury
President of the Board of Trade
Succeeded by
Winston Churchill
Preceded by
Herbert Henry Asquith
Chancellor of the Exchequer
Succeeded by
Reginald McKenna
New title Minister of Munitions
Succeeded by
Hon. Edwin Samuel Montagu
Preceded by
The Earl Kitchener
Secretary of State for War
Succeeded by
The Earl of Derby
Preceded by
Herbert Henry Asquith
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
7 December 1916 – 22 October 1922
Succeeded by
Andrew Bonar Law
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Edmund Swetenham
Member of Parliament for Caernarvon Boroughs
Succeeded by
Seaborne Davies
Party political offices
Preceded by
Herbert Henry Asquith
Leader of the British Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Sir Herbert Samuel
Preceded by
Henry N. Gladstone
President of the Welsh Liberal Federation
Succeeded by
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Earl Beatty
Rector of the University of Edinburgh
Succeeded by
Stanley Baldwin
Honorary titles
Preceded by
T. P. O'Connor
Father of the House
Succeeded by
The Earl Winterton
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor
Succeeded by
Richard Lloyd George
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Frederick G. Banting
Cover of Time Magazine
3 September 1923
Succeeded by
Jack Dempsey

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