Annie Besant's Many Lives, by Kumari Jayawardena

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Re: Annie Besant's Many Lives, by Kumari Jayawardena

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Coefficients (dining club)
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 7/7/19

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The Coefficients was a monthly dining club founded in 1902 by the Fabian campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webb as a forum for British socialist reformers and imperialists of the Edwardian era.[1] The name of the dining club was a reflection of the group's focus on "efficiency".[2]

Membership

The Webbs proposed that the club's membership reflect the entire gamut of political beliefs, and "proposed to collect politicians from each of the parties". Representing the Liberal Imperialists were Sir Edward Grey and Richard Burdon Haldane; the Tories were represented by economist William Hewins and editor of the National Review Leopold Maxse; and the British military was represented by Leo Amery, an "expert on the conditions of the army", and Carlyon Bellairs, a naval officer.[2]

The club's membership included:[3]

Leo Amery, statesman and Conservative politician
• Richard Burdon Haldane, Liberal politician, lawyer, and philosopher
• Halford John Mackinder, geographer and politician
• Leopold Maxse, editor, National Review
Alfred Milner, statesman and colonial administrator
• Henry Newbolt, author and poet
• Carlyon Bellairs, naval commander and MP
• James Louis Garvin, journalist and editor
• William Hewins, economist
• William Pember Reeves, New Zealand statesman, historian, and poet
Bertrand Russell, philosopher and mathematician
• Sir Clinton Edward Dawkins, businessman and civil servant
• Sir Henry Birchenough, businessman and civil servant
Sir Edward Grey, Liberal politician
• H. G. Wells, novelist

Of the initiates or probable initiates whom we have mentioned, Rothschild, Johnston, Hawksley, Rosebery, Jameson, Michell, and Maguire played little or no role in the society after 1902. Beit died in 1906, and Garrett the following year. Of the others, Grey, Brassey, Esher, and Balfour continued in active cooperation with the members of the Group. The real circle of initiates in the twentieth century, however, would appear to include the following names: [Alfred] Milner, Abe Bailey, George Parkin, Lord Selborne, Jan Smuts, A. J. Glazebrook, R. H. Brand (Lord Brand), Philip Kerr (Lord Lothian), Lionel Curtis, Geoffrey Dawson, H. A. L. Fisher, Edward Grigg, Leopold Amery, and Lord Astor. Since 1925, when Milner died, others have undoubtedly been added. This circle, with certain additional names, we shall call the "inner core" or the "inner circle" of the Milner Group....

T[]he Cecil Bloc became increasingly a political force. Gladstone remained socially a member of it, and so did his protege, John Morley, but almost all the other members of the Bloc were Unionists or Conservatives. The chief exceptions were the four leaders of the Liberal Party after Gladstone, who were strong imperialists: Rosebery, Asquith, Edward Grey, and Haldane. These four supported the Boer War, grew increasingly anti-German, supported the World War in 1914, and were close to the Milner Group politically, intellectually, and socially. (7)

-- The Anglo-American Establishment: From Rhodes to Cliveden, by Carroll Quigley


Wells was recruited because he was deemed "capable of original thoughts on every subject" and proved to be "an especially active member".[2]

History

The Webbs came up with the idea of the dinner club as a forum for "serious discussions and to formulate or propose political policy", but shortly after its founding the members "abandoned immediate political goals" but continued to meet and discuss issues of interest. Haldane hosted the first dinner at his home in December 1902.[2]

In 1903 Bertrand Russell, who believed that the Entente cordiale policy would lead to war, resigned after Edward Grey espoused it in a speech.[4]The group was further divided over the issue of Tariff Reform following Joseph Chamberlain's resignation as Secretary of State for the Colonies and the increasing dominance of the pro-Unionist membership, which favoured Chamberlain and his tariff reform policies, contributed to the club's dissolution in 1909.[5] Amery would invite those Coefficients supporting reform to form a new club called "The Compatriots".[6]

Printed minutes of its meetings are held by the British Library of Political and Economic Science.

References

1. Bertrand Russell. The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell. p. 452. ISBN 0-415-10462-9.
2. Gollin, Alfred M. (1984). No Longer an Island: Britain and the Wright Brothers, 1902-1909. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. p. 231. ISBN 978-0804712651.
3. "Archives Catalogue - Coefficients". LSE Library.
4. Bertrand Russell. Autobiography. p. 156. ISBN 0-415-22862-X.
5. Russell, Bertrand (1985). The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, Vol. 12: Contemplation and Action (1902-14). London: George Allen & Unwin. p. 452. ISBN 9780049200951.
6. Walter Nimocks (1970). Milner's young men: The "kindergarten" in Edwardian Imperial affairs. Hodder & Stoughton. p. 145. ISBN 0-340-12931-X.
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