149 Facts About Lloyd George


Lloyd George was a Liberal Party politician from Wales, known for leading the United Kingdom during the First World War, social reform policies including the National Insurance Act 1911, his role in the Paris Peace Conference, negotiating the establishment of the Irish Free State, disestablishment of the Church of England in Wales and support of Welsh devolution in his early career.

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Lloyd George was the last Liberal Party Prime Minister; the party fell into third party status shortly after the end of his premiership.

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Lloyd George was born on 17 January 1863 in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, a Welsh speaker born to Welsh parents.

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Lloyd George became active in local politics, gaining a reputation as an orator and a proponent of a Welsh blend of radical Liberalism which championed Welsh devolution, the disestablishment of the Church of England in Wales, equality for labourers and tenant farmers, and reform of land ownership.

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Lloyd George's budget was enacted in 1910, and the National Insurance Act 1911 and other measures helped to establish the modern welfare state.

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Lloyd George became Minister of Munitions and rapidly expanded production.

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Lloyd George was forced to resign in December 1916; Lloyd George succeeded him as prime minister, supported by the Conservatives and some Liberals.

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Lloyd George centralised authority through a smaller war cabinet, a new Cabinet Office and his "Garden Suburb" of advisers.

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Lloyd George's government had extended the franchise to all men and some women earlier in the year.

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Lloyd George was a major player in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 but the situation in Ireland worsened that year, erupting into the Irish War of Independence, which lasted until Lloyd George negotiated independence for the Irish Free State in 1921.

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Lloyd George resigned as prime minister and never held office again, but continued as leader of a Liberal faction.

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Lloyd George put forward innovative proposals for public works and other reforms in a series of coloured books, but made only modest gains in the 1929 election.

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Lloyd George refused to serve in Winston Churchill's War Cabinet in 1940.

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Lloyd George was raised to the peerage in 1945, shortly before his death.

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David Lloyd George was born on 17 January 1863 in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester, to Welsh parents, and was brought up with Welsh as his first language.

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Lloyd George's upbringing and background clearly had a lasting impact on him; Roy Jenkins, another Welsh politician, notes that "Lloyd George was Welsh, that his whole culture, his whole outlook, his language was Welsh".

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Lloyd George taught in the Hope Street Sunday Schools, which were administered by the Unitarians, where he met Unitarian minister James Martineau.

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Lloyd George took up farming but died in June 1864 of pneumonia, aged 44.

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Lloyd George's widow, Elizabeth George, sold the farm and moved with her children to her native Llanystumdwy in Caernarfonshire, where she lived in a cottage known as Highgate with her brother Richard Lloyd, who was a shoemaker, a minister, and a strong Liberal.

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Lloyd George was educated at the local Anglican school, Llanystumdwy National School, and later under tutors.

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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 until his death in February 1917, aged 83, by which time his nephew had become prime minister.

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Lloyd George's surname is usually given as "Lloyd George" and sometimes as "George".

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The influence of 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, biographer John Grigg argues that Lloyd George's childhood was nowhere near as poverty-stricken as he liked to suggest.

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Lloyd George kept quiet about this, and was, according to Frank Owen, for 25 years "one of the foremost fighting leaders of a fanatical Welsh Nonconformity".

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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.

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Uncertain of which wing to follow, Lloyd George moved a resolution in support of Chamberlain at a local Liberal Club and travelled to Birmingham to attend the first meeting of Chamberlain's National Radical Union, but he had his dates wrong and arrived a week too early.

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Lloyd George married Margaret Owen, the daughter of a well-to-do local farming family, on 24 January 1888.

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Lloyd George's clients won on appeal to the Divisional Court of Queen's Bench in London, where Lord Chief Justice Coleridge found in their favour.

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Lloyd George would remain an MP for the same constituency until 1945,55 years later.

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Backbench members of the House of Commons were not paid at that time, so Lloyd George supported himself and his growing family by continuing to practise as a solicitor.

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Lloyd George became an associate of Tom Ellis, MP for Meirionydd, having previously told a Caernarfon friend in 1888 that he was a "Welsh Nationalist of the Ellis type".

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Lloyd George himself stated in 1880 "Is it not high time that Wales should the powers to manage its own affairs" and in 1890, "Parliament is so overweighted that it cannot possibly devote the time and trouble necessary to legislate for the peculiar and domestic retirement of each and every separate province of Britain".

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Lloyd George felt that disestablishment, land reform and other forms of Welsh devolution could only be achieved if Wales formed its own government within a federal imperial system.

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In 1895, in a failed Church in Wales Bill, Lloyd George added an amendment in a discreet attempt at forming a sort of Welsh home rule, a national council for appointment of the Welsh Church commissioners.

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Lloyd George was a co-leader of, a national Welsh party with liberal values with the goals of promoting a "stronger Welsh identity" and establishing a Welsh government.

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Lloyd George hoped that would become a force like the Irish National Party.

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Lloyd George abandoned this idea after being criticised in Welsh newspapers for bringing about the defeat of the Liberal Party in the 1895 election.

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In 1898, Lloyd George created the Welsh National Liberal Council, a loose umbrella organisation covering the two federations, but with very little power.

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Lloyd George had a connection or promoted the establishment of the National Library of Wales, the National Museum of Wales and the Welsh Department of the Board of Education.

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Lloyd George showed considerable support for the University of Wales, that its establishment raised the status of Welsh people and that the University deserved greater funding by the UK government.

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Lloyd George had been impressed by his journey to Canada in 1899.

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Lloyd George now announced the real purpose of the amendment, described as a "booby trap" by his biographer John Grigg.

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Lloyd George continued to speak in England against the bill, but the campaign there was less aggressively-led, taking the form of passive resistance to rate paying.

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Lloyd George addressed another convention in Cardiff on 6 October 1904, during which he proclaimed that the Welsh flag was "a dragon rampant, not a sheep recumbent".

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Lloyd George supported the idea of Pan-Celtic unity and gave a speech at the 1904 Pan-Celtic Congress in Caernarfon.

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Lloyd George wrote extensively for Liberal-supporting papers such as the Manchester Guardian and spoke on Liberal issues throughout England and Wales.

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Lloyd George served as the legal adviser of Theodor Herzl in his negotiations with the British government regarding the Uganda Scheme, proposed as an alternative homeland for the Jews due to Turkish refusal to grant a charter for Jewish settlement in Palestine.

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In 1905, Lloyd George entered the new Liberal Cabinet of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman as President of the Board of Trade.

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Lloyd George appears to have been the dominant figure on the committee drawing up the bill in its later stages and insisted that the bill create a separate education committee for Wales.

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Lloyd George was rebuked by King Edward VII for these speeches: the Prime Minister defended him to the King's secretary Francis Knollys, stating that his behaviour in Parliament was more constructive but that in speeches to the public "the combative spirit seems to get the better of him".

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At the Board of Trade Lloyd George introduced legislation on many topics, from merchant shipping and the Port of London to companies and railway regulation.

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Lloyd George had won the case of social reform without losing the debate on Free Trade.

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Lloyd George succeeded in putting through Parliament his National Insurance Act 1911, making provision for sickness and invalidism, and a system of unemployment insurance.

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Lloyd George was helped in his endeavours by forty or so backbenchers who regularly pushed for new social measures, often voted with Labour MPs.

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Lloyd George was an opponent of warfare but he paid little attention to foreign affairs until the Agadir Crisis of 1911.

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Lloyd George was warning both France and Germany, but the public response cheered solidarity with France and hostility toward Germany.

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Lloyd George had in fact bought shares in the American Marconi Company.

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Lloyd George was instrumental in fulfilling a long-standing aspiration to disestablish the Anglican Church of Wales.

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Lloyd George was as surprised as almost everyone else by the outbreak of the First World War.

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Lloyd George was seen as a key figure whose stance helped to persuade almost the entire Cabinet to support British intervention.

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Lloyd George was able to give the more pacifist members of the cabinet and the Liberal Party a principle – the rights of small nations – which meant they could support the war and maintain united political and popular support.

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Lloyd George remained in office as Chancellor of the Exchequer for the first year of the Great War.

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Lloyd George was not at all satisfied with the progress of the war.

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Lloyd George wanted to "knock away the props", by attacking Germany's allies – from early in 1915 he argued for the sending of British troops to the Balkans to assist Serbia and bring Greece and other Balkan countries onto the side of the Allies ; in 1916, he wanted to send machine guns to Romania.

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Lloyd George persuaded Kitchener, the Secretary of State for War, to raise a Welsh Division, and, despite Kitchener's threat of resignation, to recognise nonconformist chaplains in the Army.

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Late in 1915, Lloyd George became a strong supporter of general conscription, an issue that divided Liberals, and helped the passage of several conscription acts from January 1916 onwards.

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In spring 1916 Alfred Milner hoped Lloyd George could be persuaded to bring down the coalition government by resigning, but this did not happen.

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In June 1916 Lloyd George succeeded Lord Kitchener 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.

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Lloyd George 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.

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Lloyd George was obliged to give his "word of honour" to Asquith that he had complete confidence in Haig and Robertson and thought them irreplaceable, but he wrote to Robertson wanting to know how their differences had been leaked to the press.

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Lloyd George became prime minister, with the nation demanding he take vigorous charge of the war.

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Lloyd George was restricted by his promise to the Unionists to keep Haig as Commander-in-Chief and the press support for the generals, although Milner and Curzon were sympathetic to campaigns to increase British power in the Middle East.

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Lloyd George wanted to make the destruction of the Ottoman Empire a major British war aim, and two days after taking office told Robertson that he wanted a major victory, preferably the capture of Jerusalem, to impress British public opinion.

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At the Rome Conference Lloyd George was discreetly quiet about plans to take Jerusalem, an object which advanced British interests rather than doing much to win the war.

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Lloyd George proposed sending heavy guns to Italy with a view to defeating Austria-Hungary, possibly to be balanced by a transfer of Italian troops to Salonika but was unable to obtain the support of the French or Italians, and Robertson talked of resigning.

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Lloyd George engaged almost constantly in intrigues calculated to reduce the power of the generals, including trying to subordinate British forces in France to the French General Nivelle.

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Lloyd George backed Nivelle because he thought he had "proved himself to be a Man" by his successful counterattacks at Verdun, and because of his promises that he could break the German lines in 48 hours.

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Lloyd George set up a Ministry of Shipping under Sir Joseph Maclay, a Glasgow shipowner who was not, until after he left office, a member of either House of Parliament, and housed in a wooden building in a specially drained lake in St James's Park, within a few minutes' walk from the Admiralty.

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The Junior Minister and House of Commons spokesman was Leo Chiozza Money, with whom Maclay did not get on, but on whose appointment Lloyd George insisted, feeling that their qualities would complement one another.

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Lloyd George had raised the matter of convoys at the War Committee in November 1916, only to be told by the admirals present, including Jellicoe, that convoys presented too large a target, and that merchant ship masters lacked the discipline to keep station in a convoy.

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In February 1917 Maurice Hankey, the secretary of the War Cabinet, wrote a memorandum for Lloyd George calling for the introduction of "scientifically organised convoys", almost certainly after being persuaded by Commander Reginald Henderson and the Shipping Ministry officials with whom he was in contact.

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Lloyd George later claimed in his War Memoirs that the delay in introducing convoys was because the Admiralty mishandled an experimental convoy between Britain and Norway and because Jellicoe obtained, behind Maclay's back, an unrepresentative sample of merchant skippers claiming that they lacked the skill to "keep station" in convoy.

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Lloyd George welcomed the Fall of the Tsar, both in a private letter to his brother and in a message to the new Russian Prime Minister Prince Lvov, not least as the war could now be portrayed as a clash between liberal governments and the autocratic Central Powers.

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Lloyd George gave a cautious welcome to the suggestion by the Russian Foreign Minister Pavel Milyukov that the toppled Tsar and his family be given sanctuary in Britain.

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Lloyd George was often blamed for the refusal of asylum, and in his War Memoirs he did not mention King George V's role in the matter, which was not explicitly confirmed until Kenneth Rose's biography of the King was published in 1983.

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Lloyd George set up a War Policy Committee to discuss strategy, which held 16 meetings over the next six weeks.

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At the very first meeting Lloyd George proposed helping the Italians to capture Trieste, explicitly telling the War Policy Committee that he wanted Italian soldiers to be killed rather than British.

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Frustrated at his inability to get his way, Lloyd George talked of resigning and taking his case to the public.

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Lloyd George tried to enlist the King for diverting efforts against Austria-Hungary, telling Stamfordham that the King and Prime Minister were "joint trustees of the nation" who had to avoid waste of manpower.

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At the final meeting of the War Policy Committee on 11 October 1917, Lloyd George authorised the offensive to continue, but warning of failure in three weeks' time.

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Hankey claimed in his diary that Lloyd George had deliberately allowed Passchendaele to continue to discredit Haig and Robertson and make it easier for him to forbid similar offensives in 1918.

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Lloyd George then gave a controversial speech in Paris at which he criticised the high casualties of recent Allied "victories".

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In reply to Robertson's 19 November memo, which warned that the Germans would use the opportunity of Russia's departure from the war to attack in 1918 before the Americans were present in strength, Lloyd George wrote that the Germans would not attack and would fail if they did.

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Lloyd George questioned Generals Macready and Macdonogh, who advised that the Allied superiority of numbers on the Western Front would not survive the transfer of German reinforcements from the East now that Russia was dropping out of the war.

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At this stage Lloyd George opposed extending conscription to Ireland – Carson advised that extending conscription to Ulster alone would be impractical.

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Lloyd George called for Germany to be stripped of her conquests and democratised, and for the liberation of the subject peoples of Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire.

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Lloyd George hinted at reparations and a new international order.

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Lloyd George explained to critics that he was hoping to detach Austria-Hungary and turn the German people against her rulers; the speech greatly increased his support amongst trade unions and the Labour Party.

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Lloyd George found half a million soldiers and rushed them to France, asked American President Woodrow Wilson for immediate help, and agreed to the appointment of French General Foch as commander in chief on the Western Front.

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Lloyd George considered taking on the role of War Minister himself, but was dissuaded by the king, and instead appointed Lord Milner.

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At one point Lloyd George unknowingly 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 labourers, most of them Chinese, Indians and black South Africans, and Haig had fewer infantry, holding a longer stretch of front.

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Lloyd George won over the House with a powerful refutation of Maurice's allegations.

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Autumn Lloyd George was one of the many infected during the 1918 flu pandemic, but he survived.

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Lloyd George did not say "We shall squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak", but he did express that sentiment about reparations from Germany to pay the entire cost of the war, including pensions.

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Lloyd George said that German industrial capacity "will go a pretty long way".

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Lloyd George's supporters emphasised that he had won the Great War.

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Lloyd George represented Britain at the Paris Peace Conference, clashing with French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, US President Woodrow Wilson, and Italian Prime Minister Vittorio Orlando.

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Lloyd George did not want to utterly destroy the German economy and political system—as Clemenceau demanded—with massive reparations.

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Lloyd George was responsible for the pro-German shift in the peace conditions regarding borders of Poland.

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Lloyd George was an unrivalled negotiator: on top of his brief, full of bounce, sure of himself, forceful, engaging, compelling.

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Lloyd George presided over the Government of Ireland Act 1920 which partitioned Ireland into Southern Ireland and Northern Ireland in May 1921 during the Anglo-Irish War.

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In 1921, Lloyd George successfully concluded the Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement.

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Lloyd George submitted his resignation to the King that afternoon.

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Lloyd George still controlled a large fund from his investments in newspaper ownership and from his sale of titles.

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Lloyd George later claimed that he had adopted tariffs, which cost the Conservatives their majority, out of concern that Lloyd George was about to do so on his return from a tour of North America.

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In 1924, Lloyd George, realising that Liberal defeat was inevitable and keen to take control of the party himself, spent only £60,000.

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Lloyd George was now mainly interested in the reform of land ownership, but had only been permitted to put a brief paragraph about it in the hastily drafted 1924 Liberal manifesto.

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Liberal Shadow Cabinet, including Lloyd George, unequivocally backed Baldwin's handling of the General Strike on 3 May 1926, but Lloyd George then wrote an article for the American press more sympathetic to the strikers, and did not attend the Shadow Cabinet on 10 May, sending his apologies on "policy grounds".

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Charles Masterman, a member of the commission which prepared Britain's Industrial Future, wrote: "When Lloyd George came back to the party, ideas came back to the party".

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In 1927, Lloyd George gave £300,000 and an annual grant of between £30,000 and £40,000 for the operations of the Liberal headquarters.

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Lloyd George gave £2,000 per annum to the parliamentary party until 1931.

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In 1929, Lloyd George became Father of the House, an honorific position without power.

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In January 1935 Lloyd George announced a programme of economic reform, called "Lloyd George's New Deal" after the American New Deal.

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Lloyd George was consistently pro-German after 1923, in part due to his growing conviction that Germany had been treated unfairly at Versailles.

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Lloyd George supported German demands for territorial concessions and recognition of its "great power" status; he paid much less attention to the security concerns of France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Belgium.

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Hitler said he was pleased to have met "the man who won the war"; Lloyd George was moved, and called Hitler "the greatest living German".

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Lloyd George visited Germany's public works programmes and was impressed.

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Lloyd George was President of the London Welsh Trust from 1934 until 1935.

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In 1936, whilst on holiday in Jamaica, Lloyd George expressed anger in a letter to his daughter Megan about the case of Saunders Lewis being tried in England after he set fire to the RAF bombing school in Llyn.

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Lloyd George says that the government "tried Wales at the Old Bailey" and that "trials were never taken out of Ireland into the English courts".

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Lloyd George continued to preside over the National Eisteddfod at its Thursday session each summer.

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Lloyd George continued to be a MP in Caernarfon until his death in 1945.

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Lloyd George continued to attend Castle Street Baptist Chapel in London, but by 1944 he was weakening rapidly and his voice failing.

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Lloyd George was still an MP but, concerned about his health and the wartime social changes in the constituency, he feared Carnarvon Boroughs might go Conservative at the next election.

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Lloyd George died of cancer at the age of 82 on 26 March 1945, with his wife Frances and his daughter Megan at his bedside.

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Nearby stands the Lloyd George Museum, designed by Williams-Ellis and opened in 1963.

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Lloyd George has often been ranked highly among modern British prime ministers, but his legacy remains complicated and controversial.

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Lloyd George laid the foundations of what later became the welfare state, and put a progressive income tax system at the centre of government finance.

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Lloyd George left his mark on the system of government by enlarging the scope of the prime minister's role.

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Lloyd George was acclaimed, not without reason, as the 'Man Who Won the War'.

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Lloyd George has an extraordinary memory, imagination, and the art of getting at the root of a matter.

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Lloyd George is not afraid of responsibility, and has no respect for tradition or convention.

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Lloyd George is always ready to examine, scrap or revise established theories and practices.

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Lloyd George is one of the craftiest of men, and his extraordinary charm of manner not only wins him friends, but does much to soften the asperities of his opponents and enemies.

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Lloyd George had five children by his first wife, Margaret: Richard, Mair, Olwen, Gwilym and Megan.

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Lloyd George met Frances Stevenson in 1910; she worked for him first as a teacher for Megan in 1911; she became his secretary and, from early 1913, his long-term mistress.

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Lloyd George had a considerable reputation as a womaniser, including an alleged long affair with the wife of a Parliamentary colleague in the 1890s.

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Lloyd George was made Honorary Freeman of the following cities and towns:.

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Lloyd George Avenue is an extension of the A470 road, connecting Central Cardiff to Cardiff Bay.

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