Lloyd George’s Dilemma

The supreme direction of the First World War has remained a matter of controversy; in this essay, John Terraine contrasts Lloyd George’s hopes with the manner of their realization.

David Lloyd George

In one of the most percipient passages of his War Memoirs, the late Earl Lloyd George wrote:

“There was an undoubted advantage from the point of view of national unity in having a Liberal rather than a Tory Government in power when war was declared.

There was a further advantage in having a Government at the head of affairs which had the support of Labour....

But beyond and above all these considerations, as a factor in the attainment of national unity, was the circumstance that the war had been declared by a party which by tradition and training regarded war with the deepest aversion, and had more especially since the days of Gladstone, Cobden and Bright, regarded itself as specially charged with the promotion of the cause of peace.”

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