THE LLOYD GEORGE PAPERS
|Title:||THE LLOYD GEORGE PAPERS|
|Date:||1882 - 1945|
|Held by:||Parliamentary Archives, not available at The National Archives|
The papers have been indexed and calendared in full until the end of 1922, after which the catalogue rapidly falls into file listing and even box listing only. The documents have generally been arranged according to types of correspondence and papers. The types of correspondence are: semi-official, special (usually of ministers and prominent officials), foreign, general, and Cabinet notes. The papers have been separated into semi-official and Cabinet papers, domestic and foreign general papers and lastly speeches and biographical notes. These headings have been modified to suit circumstances; A, F and G have no 'semi-official' sections, and 'secretariat' sections have been added to F and G.
The correspondence and papers have been divided into nine main series corresponding to the divisions of Lloyd George's career.
On his death in 1945, Lloyd-George bequeathed his political papers to his wife, Frances Stevenson. In 1951, acting on a tip-off from Stanley Morison, the newpaper magnate Max Beaverbrook bought the papers for £15,000, when he heard that the Countess Lloyd-George was considering selling them to The Times. Beaverbrook totally restricted access to the papers until he had completed his own researches into the records. He commissioned his ex-employee, Frank Owen, to produce a biography of Lloyd-George, but the resultant work, Tempestuous Journey was disappointing to both men.
Following the acquisition of the papers, Sheila Lambert (later Mrs Geoffrey Elton), a graduate trainee at Express Newspapers who had already catalogued Beaverbrook's collection of the Bonar Law archive, was set to work cataloguing the Lloyd-George papers. She devised her own system of arrangement. Many years later, she discovered part of an old catalogue with the original file numbers which must have been used during Lloyd-George's lifetime. She also embarked on the mammoth task of indexing both sets of papers by name and subject with the aid of two assistants. To avoid death duties, Beaverbrook sold the papers to London Express Newspapers in 1954. In the late 1950s, Beaverbrook planned to endow the library of the University of New Brunswick, Canada, with the papers, which were packed up for an Atlantic crossing. Beaverbrook then changed his mind, realising he needed them in England for his own books. He subsequently produced his own biography of Lloyd-George in 1963, drawing on the papers, the flawed The Decline and Fall of Lloyd-George.
After this they lead a migratory existence, often being kept in cramped conditions in a basement in the Evening Standard building, in store-rooms or, once, on the management floor of the Daily Express and finally at Beaverbrook's house at Cherkley, where Beaverbrook decided to create an archives centre to be opened to historical researchers after his death. Preparations began in 1962 and continued in 1963. The cinema was first designated as the centre but Beaverbrook changed his mind again and two first floor rooms were used instead. After Beaverbrook's death in 1964, the papers were moved to store rooms in Hays Wharf where they remained until 1967, when they were transferred with Beaverbrook's other manuscript collections to the Beaverbrook Library in Fleet Street.
In 1971 they were sold again to the First Beaverbrook Foundation. The Library closed on 27 March 1975.
David Lloyd George was born in Manchester on 17th January, 1863, and eighteen months later, on the death of his father, his mother moved back to her native home in Caernarvonshire, settling in Llanystumdwy, near Criccieth. Lloyd George first entered Parliament in 1890 as Liberal Member of Parliament for Caernarvon Boroughs, a seat he held for almost 55 years; and he never forgot his Welsh origins. He was created Earl of Dwyfor, Viscount Gwynedd, only three months before he died [26th March 1945].
The first four years at Westminster were devoted to local Welsh politics. The Boer war brought him into wider national and international politics when he stood out as a 'pro-Boer', and attacked the war. When the Liberals came into power in 1905 he was appointed President of the Board of Trade, and remained continuously in the Cabinet until his downfall from the Premiership in 1922.
The first four years at Westminster were devoted to local Welsh politics. The Boer War brought him into wider national and international politics when he stood out as 'pro-Boer' and attacked the war. In December 1905, when Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman formed a Liberal administration, Lloyd George was appointed to the Cabinet as president of the Board of Trade, post which he retained until 1908, when he was appointed Chancellor of The Exchequer by the new Prime Minister, Herbert Henry Asquith.
The resignation of Admiral Fisher in 1915 forced Asquith to reconstruct the government on a coalition basis and admit the Conservatives. In the new administration, Lloyd George became Minister of Munitions.
After the accidental death of Kitchener, Lloyd George was appointed to the position of Secretary of State for War in June 1916, post which he held only for five months. There was undoubtedly widespread uneasiness at Asquith's conduct of affairs, particularly in the Conservative Party. Asquith was manoeuvred into resigning on December 5 and was replaced two days later by Lloyd George. He was supported by the leading Conservatives, but the most prominent Liberal ministers resigned with Asquith. He resigned from the Premiership in 1922.
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