Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

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Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/28/19



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. The name of the dining club was a reflection of the group's focus on "efficiency".

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.

The club's membership included:

• Alfred Milner, statesman and colonial administrator

-- Coefficients (dining club), by Wikipedia

The Right Honourable
The Viscount Milner
The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Milner
Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
10 January 1919 – 13 February 1921
Preceded by Walter Long
Succeeded by Winston Churchill
Secretary of State for War
In office
18 April 1918 – 10 January 1919
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by The Earl of Derby
Succeeded by Winston Churchill
1st Governor of the Transvaal and Orange River Colony
In office
23 June 1902 – 1 April 1905
Monarch Edward VII
Preceded by Himself
as Administrator of the Transvaal and Orange River Colony
Succeeded by The Earl of Selborne
Administrator of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony
In office
4 January 1901 – 23 June 1902
Monarch Queen Victoria
Edward VII
Lieutenant Hamilton John Goold-Adams
Preceded by Office Established
Christiaan de Wet
As State President of the Orange Free State (31 May 1902)
Schalk Willem Burger
As President of the South African Republic (31 May 1902)
Succeeded by Himself
As Governor of the Transvaal and Orange River Colony
Governor of the Cape Colony
High Commissioner for Southern Africa
In office
5 May 1897 – 6 March 1901
Monarch Queen Victoria
Edward VII
Prime Minister John Gordon Sprigg
William Philip Schreiner
John Gordon Sprigg
Preceded by Sir William Howley Goodenough
Succeeded by Sir Walter Francis Hely-Hutchinson
Personal details
Born Alfred Milner
23 March 1854
Flagge Großherzogtum Hessen ohne Wappen.svg Grand Duchy of Hesse
Died 13 May 1925 (aged 71)
Great Wigsell, East Sussex
United Kingdom
Resting place Saint Marys the Virgin Church, Salehurst, East Sussex, UK
Nationality United Kingdom British
Spouse(s) Violet Milner
Alma mater University of Tübingen
King's College London
Balliol College, Oxford
Occupation Colonial administrator, statesman

Garter-encircled shield of arms of Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner, KG, as displayed on his Order of the Garter stall plate in St. George's Chapel.

Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner, KG, GCB, GCMG, PC (23 March 1854 – 13 May 1925) was a British statesman and colonial administrator who played an influential leadership role in the formulation of foreign and domestic policy between the mid-1890s and early 1920s. From December 1916 to November 1918, he was one of the most important members of David Lloyd George's War Cabinet.

Early life and education

Milner's partial German ancestry dates to his paternal grandmother [Sophie Louise Bertha Carolina Milner], married to an Englishman [James Richardson Milner] who settled in the Grand Duchy of Hesse (modern state of Hesse in west-central Germany). Their son, Charles Milner, who was educated in Hesse and England, established himself as a physician with a practice in London and later became Reader in English at Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen in the Kingdom of Württemberg (modern state of Baden-Württemberg).

Charles Milner
Birthdate: June 30, 1830
Birthplace: Neuss, Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Death: August 22, 1882 (52)
Chelsea, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:
Son of James Richardson Milner and Sophie Louise Bertha Carolina Milner
Husband of Mary Crombe
Father of Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner, KG
Brother of Arthur Milner
Managed by: George J. Homs
Last Updated: June 19, 2018

-- Charles Milner, by

Alfred Charles Milner
Birthdate: March 23, 1854
Birthplace: Giessen, Giessen, Hessen, Germany
Death: May 13, 1925 (71)
Sturry Court, Canterbury, Kent, England, United Kingdom
Place of Burial: salehurst kent
Immediate Family:
Son of Charles Milner and Mary Crombe
Husband of Violet Georgina, Viscountess Milner
Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated: January 23, 2018

-- Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner, KG, by

Arthur Milner
Birthdate: estimated between 1800 and 1860
Immediate Family:
Son of James Richardson Milner and Sophie Louise Bertha Carolina Milner
Brother of Charles Milner
Managed by: Alexander Armenis (on sabbatical...
Last Updated: June 13, 2018

-- Arthur Milner, by

His wife [Alfred Milner's Mother, Mary Crombe] was a daughter of Major General John Ready, former Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island and later the Isle of Man. Their only son, Alfred Milner, was born in the Hessian town of Giessen and educated first at Tübingen, then at King's College School and, from 1872 to 1876, as a scholar of Balliol College, Oxford, studying under the classicist theologian Benjamin Jowett. Having won the Hertford, Craven, Eldon and Derby scholarships, he graduated in 1877 with a first class in classics and was elected to a fellowship at New College, leaving, however, for London in 1879.[1] At Oxford he formed a close friendship with young economic historian Arnold Toynbee, writing a paper in support of his theories of social work and, in 1895, twelve years after his death at the age of 30, penning a tribute, Arnold Toynbee: a Reminiscence.[2]

Journalism, politics and service in Egypt

Although authorised to practise law after being called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1881, he joined the staff of the Pall Mall Gazette under John Morley, becoming assistant editor to William Thomas Stead. In 1885 he abandoned journalism for a potential political career as the Liberal candidate for the Harrow division of Middlesex, but lost in the general election. Holding the post of private secretary to George Goschen, he rose in rank when, in 1887, Goschen became Chancellor of the Exchequer and, two years later, used his influence to have Milner appointed under-secretary of finance in Egypt. He remained in Egypt for four years, his period of office coinciding with the first great reforms, after the danger of bankruptcy had been avoided. Returning to England in 1892, he published England and Egypt[3] which, at once, became the authoritative account of the work done since the British occupation. Later that year he received an appointment as chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue. In 1894 he was made CB and in 1895 KCB.[2]

In South Africa

Alfred Milner remained at the Board of Inland Revenue until 1897. He was regarded as one of the clearest-headed and most judicious officials in the British service, and his position as a man of moderate Liberal views, who had been so closely associated with Goschen at the Treasury, Cromer in Egypt and Hicks-Beach (Lord St Aldwyn) and Sir William Vernon Harcourt while at the Inland Revenue, marked him as one in whom all parties might have confidence. The moment for testing his capacity in the highest degree had now come.[2]

In April, Lord Rosmead resigned his posts of High Commissioner for Southern Africa and Governor of Cape Colony. The situation resulting from the Jameson raid was one of the greatest delicacy and difficulty, and Joseph Chamberlain, now colonial secretary, selected Milner as Lord Rosmead's successor. The choice was cordially approved by the leaders of the Liberal party and warmly recognized at a farewell dinner on 28 March 1897 presided over by the future prime minister Herbert Henry Asquith. The appointment was avowedly made in order that an acceptable British statesman, in whom public confidence was reposed, might go to South Africa to consider all the circumstances and to formulate a policy which should combine the upholding of British interests with the attempt to deal justly with the Transvaal and Orange Free State governments.[4]

Milner reached the Cape in May 1897 and by August, after the difficulties with President Kruger over the Aliens' Law had been patched up, he was free to make himself personally acquainted with the country and peoples before deciding on the lines of policy to be adopted. Between August 1897 and May 1898 he travelled through Cape Colony, the Bechuanaland Protectorate, Rhodesia, and Basutoland. To better understand the point of view of the Cape Dutch and the burghers of the Transvaal and Orange Free State, Milner also during this period learned both Dutch and the South African "Taal" Afrikaans. He came to the conclusion that there could be no hope of peace and progress in South Africa while there remained the "permanent subjection of British to Dutch in one of the Republics".[5]

Milner was referring to the situation in the Transvaal where, in the aftermath of the discovery of gold, thousands of fortune seekers had flocked from all over Europe, but mostly Britain. This influx of foreigners, referred to as "Uitlanders", threatened their republic, and Transvaal's President Kruger refused to give the "Uitlanders" the right to vote. The Afrikaner farmers, known as Boers, had established the Transvaal as their promised land, after their Great Trek out of Cape Colony, a trek whose purpose was to remove themselves as far as possible from British rule. They had already successfully defended the Transvaal's annexation by the British Empire during the first Anglo-Boer War, a conflict that had emboldened them and resulted in a peace treaty which, lacking a highly convincing pretext, made it very difficult for Britain to justify diplomatically another annexation of the Transvaal.

Independent Transvaal thus stood in the way of Britain's ambition to control all of Africa from the Cape to Cairo. Milner realised that, with the discovery of gold in the Transvaal, the balance of power in South Africa had shifted from Cape Town to Johannesburg. He feared that if the whole of South Africa were not quickly brought under British control, the newly-wealthy Transvaal, controlled by Afrikaners, could unite with Cape Afrikaners and jeopardise the entire British position in South Africa.[citation needed] Milner also realised—as was shown by the triumphant re-election of Paul Kruger to the presidency of the Transvaal in February 1898—that the Pretoria government would never on its own initiative redress the grievances of the Uitlanders.[5] This gave Milner the pretext to use the "Uitlander" question to his advantage.

In a speech delivered on 3 March 1898 at Graaff Reinet, an Afrikaner Bond stronghold in the British controlled Cape, Milner outlined his determination to secure freedom and equality for British subjects in the Transvaal, and he urged the Dutch colonists to induce the Pretoria government to assimilate its institutions, and the temper and spirit of its administration, to those of the free communities of South Africa. The effect of this pronouncement was great and it alarmed the Afrikaners who, at this time, viewed with apprehension the virtual resumption by Cecil Rhodes of leadership of the Cape's Progressive (British) Party.[5]

Later in 1899, Milner would meet Violet Cecil, the wife of Major Lord Edward Cecil. Edward Cecil was commissioned to South Africa after serving in the Grenadier Guards. Milner and Violet would begin a secret affair that would last until her departure in late 1900 back to England. She had a noticeable effect on his disposition, Milner himself wrote in his diary that he was feeling "very low indeed". Edward Cecil learned of this affair and pushed for a commission to Egypt after Violet pushed to return to South Africa. Milner would later marry Violet Cecil.[6]

Milner had an unfavorable view of Afrikaners and, as a matter of philosophy, saw the British as "a superior race".[citation needed] Thus, with limited interest in peaceful resolution of the conflict, he came to the view that British control of the region could only be achieved through war.

Famously, after meeting Milner for the first time, Jan Smuts predicted that he would be "more dangerous than Rhodes" and would become "a second Bartle Frere".[7]

Milner Schools

In order to Anglicize the Transvaal area during the Anglo-Boer war, Milner set out to influence British education in the area for the English-speaking populations. He founded a series of schools known as the "Milner Schools" in South Africa. These schools include modern-day Pretoria High School for Girls, Pretoria Boys High School, Jeppe High School for Boys, King Edward VII School (Johannesburg), Potchefstroom High School for Boys and Hamilton Primary School.

Although not all Afrikander Bond leaders liked Kruger, they were ready to support him whether or not he granted reforms and, by the same result, contrived to make Milner's position untenable. His difficulties were increased when, at the general election in Cape Colony, the Bond obtained a majority. In October 1898, acting strictly in a constitutional manner, Milner called upon William Philip Schreiner to form a ministry, though aware that such a ministry would be opposed to any direct intervention of Great Britain in the Transvaal. Convinced that the existing state of affairs, if continued, would end in the loss of South Africa by Britain, Milner visited England in November 1898. He returned to Cape Colony in February 1899, fully assured of Joseph Chamberlain's support, though the government still clung to the hope that the moderate section of the Cape and Orange Free State Dutch would induce Kruger to give the vote to the Uitlanders. He found the situation more critical than when he had left, ten weeks previously. Johannesburg was in a ferment, while William Francis Butler, who acted as high commissioner in Milner's absence, had allowed the inference that he did not support Uitlander grievances.[5]

Protection for the Uitlanders in the Transvaal

A caricature of Milner from Vanity Fair in 1897

On 4 May, Milner penned a memorable dispatch to the Colonial Office, in which he insisted that the remedy for the unrest in the Transvaal was to strike at the root of the evil—the political impotence of the injured Uitlanders. "It may seem a paradox," he wrote, "but it is true that the only way for protecting our subjects is to help them to cease to be our subjects." The policy of leaving things alone only led from bad to worse, and "the case for intervention is overwhelming." Milner felt that only the enfranchisement of the Uitlanders in the Transvaal would give stability to the South African situation. He had not based his case against the Transvaal on the letter of the Conventions, and regarded the employment of the word "suzerainty" merely as an "etymological question," but he realized keenly that the spectacle of thousands of British subjects in the Transvaal in the condition of "helots" (as he expressed it) was undermining the prestige of Great Britain throughout South Africa, and he called for "some striking proof" of the intention of the British government not to be ousted from its predominant position. This dispatch was telegraphed to London, and was intended for immediate publication; but it was kept private for a time by the home government.[5]

Its tenor was known, however, to the leading politicians at the Cape, and at the insistence of Jan Hendik Hofmeyr a peace conference was held (31 May – 5 June) at Bloemfontein between the high commissioner and Transvaal President Kruger.[5] Milner made three demands, which he knew could not be accepted by Kruger: The enactment by the Transvaal of a franchise law which would at once give the Uitlanders the vote; the use of English in the Transvaal parliament; and that all laws of the parliament should be vetted and approved by the British parliament. Realizing the untenability of his position, Kruger left the meeting in tears.

The Second Boer War

When the Second Boer War broke out in October 1899, Milner rendered the military authorities "unfailing support and wise counsels", being, in Lord Roberts's phrase "one whose courage never faltered". In February 1901, he was called upon to undertake the administration of the two Boer states, both now annexed to the British Empire, though the war was still in progress. He thereupon resigned the governorship of Cape Colony, while retaining the post of high commissioner.[5] During this time at the helm a number of concentration camps were created where 27,000 Boer women and children and more than 14,000 black South Africans died.[citation needed] The work of reconstructing the civil administration in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony could only be carried on to a limited extent while operations continued in the field. Milner therefore returned to England to spend a "hard-begged holiday," which was, however, mainly occupied in work at the Colonial Office. He reached London on 24 May 1901, had an audience with Edward VII on the same day, received the GCB[8] and was made a privy councillor,[9] and was raised to the peerage as Baron Milner, of St James's in the County of London and of Cape Town in the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope.[10] Speaking next day at a luncheon given in his honour, answering critics who alleged that with more time and patience on the part of Great Britain, war might have been avoided, he asserted that what they were asked to "conciliate" was "panoplied hatred, insensate ambition, invincible ignorance."[5] In late July Milner received the Honorary Freedom of the City of London, and gave another speech in which he defended the government policy.[11]

The peace

Meanwhile, the diplomacy of 1899 and the conduct of the war had caused a great change in the attitude of the Liberal party in England towards Lord Milner, whom a prominent Member of Parliament, Leonard Courtney, even characterized as "a lost mind". A violent agitation for his recall was organized, joined by the Liberal Party leader Henry Campbell-Bannerman. However it was unsuccessful, and in August Milner returned to South Africa, plunging into the herculean task of remodelling the administration.[5] He bitterly fought Lord Kitchener, who ultimately won out.[12] However Milner drafted the terms of surrender, signed in Pretoria on 31 May 1902. In recognition of his services he was, on 15 July 1902, made Viscount Milner, of Saint James's in the County of London and of Cape Town in the Cape Colony.[13] Around this time he became a member of the Coefficients dining club of social reformers set up in 1902 by the Fabian Society campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webb.

On 21 June, immediately following the conclusion of signatory and ceremonial developments surrounding the end of hostilities, Milner published the Letters Patent establishing the system of crown colony government in the Transvaal and Orange River colonies, and changing his title of administrator to that of governor.[14] The reconstructive work necessary after the ravages of the war was enormous. He provided a steady revenue by the levying of a 10% tax on the annual net produce of the gold mines, and devoted special attention to the repatriation of the Boers, land settlement by British colonists, education, justice, the constabulary, and the development of railways.[5] At Milner's suggestion the British government sent Henry Birchenough a businessman and old friend of Milners as special trade commissioner to South Africa with the task of preparing a Blue Book on trade prospects in the aftermath of the war. To aid him in his task, Milner recruited a team of gifted young lawyers and administrators, most of them Oxford graduates, who became known as "Milner's Kindergarten".[15]

While this work of reconstruction was in progress, domestic politics in England were convulsed by the tariff reform movement and Joseph Chamberlain's resignation. Milner, who was then spending a brief holiday in Europe, was urged by Arthur James Balfour to take the vacant post of secretary of state for the colonies. He declined the offer on 1 October 1903, considering it more important to complete his work in South Africa, where economic depression was becoming pronounced. As of December 1903, he was back in Johannesburg, and had to consider the crisis in the gold-mining industry caused by the shortage of native labor. Reluctantly he agreed, with the assent of the home government, to the proposal of the mineowners to import Chinese coolies on a three-year contract with the first batch of Chinese reaching the Rand in June 1904.[16]

In the latter part of 1904 and the early months of 1905, Milner was engaged in the elaboration of a plan to provide the Transvaal with a system of representative government, a half-way house between crown colony administration and that of self-government. Letters patent providing for representative government were issued on 31 March 1905.[17]

For some time he had been suffering health difficulties from the incessant strain of work, and determined a need to retire, leaving Pretoria on 2 April and sailing for Europe the following day. Speaking in Johannesburg on the eve of his departure, he recommended to all concerned the promotion of the material prosperity of the country and the treatment of Dutch and British on an absolute equality. Having referred to his share in the war, he added: "What I should prefer to be remembered by is a tremendous effort subsequent to the war not only to repair the ravages of that calamity but to re-start the colonies on a higher plane of civilization than they have ever previously attained."[17]

He left South Africa while the economic crisis was still acute and at a time when the voice of the critic was audible everywhere but, in the words of the colonial secretary Alfred Lyttelton, he had in the eight eventful years of his administration laid deep and strong the foundation upon which a united South Africa would arise to become one of the great states of the empire. Upon returning home, his university bestowed upon him the honorary degree of DCL.[17]

Experience in South Africa had shown him that underlying the difficulties of the situation there was the wider problem of imperial unity. In his farewell speech at Johannesburg he concluded with a reference to the subject. 'When we who call ourselves Imperialists talk of the British Empire, we think of a group of states bound, not in an alliance or alliances that can be made and unmade but in a permanent organic union. Of such a union the dominions of the sovereign as they exist to-day are only the raw material.' This thesis he further developed in a magazine article written in view of the colonial conference held in London in 1907. He advocated the creation of a permanent deliberative imperial council, and favored preferential trade relations between the United Kingdom and the other members of the empire; and in later years he took an active part in advocating the cause of tariff reform and Imperial Preference.[17]

In 1910 he became a founder of The Round Table – A Quarterly Review of the Politics of the British Empire, which helped to promote the cause of imperial federation.

Censure motion

In March 1906, a motion censuring Lord Milner for an infraction of the Chinese labour ordinance, in not forbidding light corporal punishment of coolies for minor offences in lieu of imprisonment, was moved by a Radical member of the House of Commons. On behalf of the Liberal government an amendment was moved, stating that 'This House, while recording its condemnation of the flogging of Chinese coolies in breach of the law, desires, in the interests of peace and conciliation in South Africa, to refrain from passing censure upon individuals'. The amendment was carried by 355 votes to 135. As a result of this left-handed censure, a counter-demonstration was organized, led by Sir Bartle Frere, and a public address, signed by over 370,000 persons, was presented to Lord Milner expressing high appreciation of the services rendered by him in Africa to the crown and empire.[17]


Upon his return from South Africa, Milner occupied himself mainly with business interests in London, becoming chairman of the Rio Tinto Zinc mining company, though he remained active in the campaign for imperial free trade. In 1906 he became a director of the Joint Stock Bank, a precursor of the Midland Bank. In the period 1909 to 1911 he was a strong opponent of the budget of David Lloyd George and the subsequent attempt of the Liberal government to curb the powers of the House of Lords.

World War I

Since Milner was the Briton who had the most experience in civil direction of a war, Lloyd George turned to him in December 1916 when he formed his national government. He was made a member of the five-person War Cabinet. As a Minister Without Portfolio, Milner's responsibilities varied according to the wishes of the Prime Minister. This meant that all domestic related issues pertaining to the war fell in his lap, such as negotiating contracts with miners, food rationing, etc. Considering his background, as a former High Commissioner in South Africa, and a tory intellectual leader, this was not a position ideally suited for him. However, he remained one of Prime Minister Lloyd George's closest advisers throughout the war, second only to Bonar Law.

In January 1917 Milner led the British delegation (with Henry Wilson as chief military representative and including a banker and two munitions experts) on the mission to Russia. There were 50 delegates in total including French (led by de Castelnau) and Italians. The object of the mission, stressed at the second Chantilly Conference in December 1916, was to keep the Russians holding down at least the forces now opposite them, to boost Russian morale and see what equipment they needed with a view to coordinating attacks. The official report in March said that even if the Tsar was toppled—which in fact happened a few weeks later—Russia would remain in the war and that they would solve their "administrative chaos".[18]

It was Milner's idea to create an Imperial War Cabinet, similar to that of the War Cabinet in London, which comprised the heads of government of Britain's major colonies.

It was also Milner's influence, through correspondence with General Pershing in May 1918, that kept a black American infantry unit (the 92nd Division) from being trained by and deployed with the British Army.[19]

Milner became Lloyd George's firefighter in many crises and one of the most powerful voices in the conduct of the war. He also gradually became disenchanted with the military leaders whose offensives generated large casualties for little apparent result, but who still enjoyed support from many politicians. He backed Lloyd George, who was even more disenchanted with the military, in his successful move to remove Edward Carson from the Admiralty.[20]

On at least one occasion, the conservative Milner came to the aid of people from the other end of the political spectrum. He was an old family friend of Margaret Hobhouse, the mother of imprisoned peace activist Stephen Henry Hobhouse—in fact, he was Stephen's proxy godfather. In 1917, when Margaret was working to get her son and other British conscientious objectors freed from prison, Milner discreetly helped, intervening with high government officials. As a result, in December 1917 more than 300 COs were released from prison on medical grounds.[21]

Milner was involved in every major policy decision taken by Prime Minister George's Government in World War I, including the Flanders Offensive of 1917, which he initially opposed, along with Bonar Law and Lloyd George. Lloyd George spent much of 1917 proposing plans to send British troops and guns to Italy to assist in an Italian offensive (this did not happen in the end until reinforcements had to be sent after the Italian disaster at Caporetto in November). The War Cabinet did not insist on a halt to the Third Battle of Ypres offensive in 1917 when the initial targets were not reached and indeed spent little time discussing the matter—around this time the CIGS General Robertson sent Haig (CinC of British forces in France) a biting description of the members of the War Cabinet, whom he said were all frightened of Lloyd George—he described Milner as "a tired and dispeptic old man".[22] By the end of the year Milner had become certain that a decisive victory on the Western Front was unlikely, writing to Curzon (17 October) opposing the policy of "Hammer, Hammer, Hammer on the Western Front", and had become a convinced "Easterner", wanting more effort on other fronts.[22][23] As an experienced member of the War Cabinet, Milner was a leading delegate at the November 1917 Rapallo Conference in Italy that created an Allied Supreme War Council. He also attended all subsequent follow up meetings in Versailles, France, to coordinate the war.

Milner was also a chief author of the Balfour Declaration of 1917,[24] although it was issued in the name of Arthur Balfour. He was a highly outspoken critic of the Austro-Hungarian war in Serbia arguing that "there is more widespread desolation being caused there (than) we have been familiar with in the case of Belgium".

On March 21, 1918 came the German Spring Offensive. Lord Milner says, "On March 23rd, my birthday, I received a call from the Prime Minister who wanted me to go over to France to find out what was going on. I left the next day. On March 26th, at 8 in the morning, I drove to a meeting at Doullens, France, arriving there at 12:05pm. Immediately I met General's Haig, Petain, Foch, Pershing, their staff officers, and President[a] Clemenceau. The front had broken wide open in front of us, threatening Paris. There was confusion in the ranks as to what to do, and who was in charge. I immediately took the general's aside, and using the powers entrusted with me as the Prime Minister's representative, I deputized General Foch, making him the Allied Commander at the front, and told him to make a stand." That stand was taken at Amiens, a town with a critical railway station, that, if taken, could have divided the allies in half, driving the British into the sea, and leaving Paris and the rest of France open for defeat. When Milner returned to London, the War Cabinet approved his action. On 19 April he was appointed Secretary of State for War in place of the Earl of Derby, who had been a staunch ally of Field-Marshal Haig, and presided over the Army Council for the remainder of the war.

Following the khaki election of December 1918, he was appointed Colonial Secretary and, in that capacity, attended the 1919 Paris Peace Conference where, on behalf of United Kingdom, he became one of the signatories of the Treaty of Versailles, including the "Orts-Milner Agreement" allowing to Belgium the administration of Ruanda and Urundi territories to reward the Belgo-African army ("Force publique") for his war effort which highly contributed to push the German troops out the future Tanganyika Territory (the victorious Tabora and Mahenge battles).[25]

Post World War I

After the War, Lord Milner assisted the Royal Agricultural Society in procuring Fordson tractors for the plowing and planting of grasslands, and communicated directly with Henry Ford by telegraph.[26]

Last years

Right until the end of his life, Lord Milner would call himself a "British race patriot" with grand dreams of a global Imperial parliament, headquartered in London, seating delegates of British descent from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. He retired in February 1921 and was appointed a Knight of the Garter (KG) in the same month.[27] Later that year he married Lady Violet Georgina Gascoyne-Cecil, widow of Lord Edward Cecil and remained active in the work of the Rhodes Trust, while accepting, at the behest of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, the chairmanship of a committee to examine a new imperial preference tariff. His work, however, proved abortive when, following an election, Ramsay MacDonald assumed the office of Prime Minister in January 1924.


Seven weeks past his 71st birthday, Milner died at Great Wigsell, East Sussex, of sleeping sickness, soon after returning from South Africa. His viscountcy, lacking heirs, died with him. His body was buried in the graveyard of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, in Salehurst in the county of East Sussex.[28]


Found among Milner's papers was his Credo, which was published to great acclaim.

I am a Nationalist and not a cosmopolitan .... I am a British (indeed primarily an English) Nationalist. If I am also an Imperialist, it is because the destiny of the English race, owing to its insular position and long supremacy at sea, has been to strike roots in different parts of the world. I am an Imperialist and not a Little Englander because I am a British Race Patriot ... The British State must follow the race, must comprehend it, wherever it settles in appreciable numbers as an independent community. If the swarms constantly being thrown off by the parent hive are lost to the State, the State is irreparably weakened. We cannot afford to part with so much of our best blood. We have already parted with much of it, to form the millions of another separate but fortunately friendly State. We cannot suffer a repetition of the process.

— Alfred Milner, [29]

Lord Milner Hotel at Matjiesfontein in South Africa


According to Colin Newbury:

An influential public servant for three decades, Milner was a visionary exponent of imperial unity at a time when imperialism was beginning to be called into question. His reputation exceeded his achievements: Office and honours were heaped upon him despite his lack of identification with either major political party. [30]

Styles of address and honours

Styles of address

• 1854–1894: Mr Alfred Milner
• 1894–1895: Mr Alfred Milner CB
• 1895–1897: Sir Alfred Milner KCB
• 1897–1901: Sir Alfred Milner GCMG KCB
• 1901: Sir Alfred Milner GCB GCMG
• 1901–1902: The Rt Hon The Lord Milner GCB GCMG PC
• 1902–1921: The Rt Hon The Viscount Milner GCB GCMG PC
• 1921–1925: The Rt Hon The Viscount Milner KG GCB GCMG PC


• CB: Companion of the Order of the Bath – 1894
• KCB: Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath – 1895
• GCMG: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George – 1897
• GCB: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath – 1 January 1901 – New Year′s honours list[8]
• KG: Knight of the Order of the Garter – 1921[27]


1. "President" in this context means "President of the Council of Ministers", the official title of the Prime Minister of France, not the President of the Republic. The latter office was held by Raymond Poincare who was also present at Doullens.
1. New College Bulletin, November 2008
2. Chisholm 1911, p. 476.
3. Milner 1894.
4. Chisholm 1911, pp. 476-477.
5. Chisholm 1911, p. 477.
6. Hochschild 2011, pp. 28–32.
7. Smuts 1966, p. 95.
8. "No. 27264". The London Gazette. 8 January 1901. p. 157.
9. "No. 27338". The London Gazette. 26 July 1901. p. 4919.
10. "No. 27318". The London Gazette. 28 May 1901. p. 3634.
11. "Lord Milner in the City". The Times (36515). London. 24 July 1901. p. 12.
12. Surridge 1998, pp. 112-154.
13. "No. 27455". The London Gazette. 18 July 1902. p. 4586.
14. "No. 27459". The London Gazette. 29 July 1902. p. 4834.
15. Dubow 1997.
16. Chisholm 1911, pp. 477-478.
17. Chisholm 1911, p. 478.
18. Jeffery 2006, pp. 182–183, 184–187.
19. Pershing 1931, p. 46.
20. Hunt 1982, p. 70.
21. Hochschild 2011, p. 328.
22. Gollin 1964, p. 448.
23. Woodward 1998, pp. 148–149.
24. Stein 1961, pp. 310–311.
25. Louwers 1958, pp. 909–920.
26. Ford 1923, p. 198.
27. "No. 32232". The London Gazette. 18 February 1921. p. 1367.
28. ^Alfred Milner at Find a Grave
29. The Times 25 July 1925.
30. Newbury 2008.
• Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Milner, Alfred Milner, Viscount" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 18 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 476–478.
• Dubow, Saul (1997). "Colonial nationalism, the Milner kindergarten and the rise of'South Africanism', 1902–10". History Workshop Journal(43): 53–85. JSTOR 4289491.
• Ford, Henry (1923). My Life and Work. Doubleday.
• Gollin, Alfred (1964). Milner : Proconsul in Politics. London: Macmillan.
• Hochschild, Adam (2011). To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914–1918. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-618-75828-9.
• Hunt, Barry D. (1982). Sailor-Scholar. Wilfrid Laurier University Press.
• Jeffery, Keith (2006). Field Marshal Sir Henry Wilson: A Political Soldier. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-820358-2.
• Louwers, Octave (1958). "Hommage à Pierre Orts (3 novembre 1872 – 12 juin 1958)". Bulletin des Séances de l'A.R.S.C. (in French). 58(4).
• Milner, Alfred (1894). England and Egypt. London: Edward Arnold.
• Newbury, Colin (2008). "Milner, Alfred, Viscount Milner (1854–1925)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/35037. (Subscription orUK public library membership required.)
• Pershing, John Joseph (1931). "Ch XXX". My experiences in the world war. Vol. 1. Frederick A. Stokes.
• Smuts, Jan Christiaan (1966). Hancock, William Keith; Van Der Poel, Jean (eds.). Selections from the Smuts Papers: June 1886 – May 1902. University Press.
• Stein, Leonard (1961). The Balfour Declaration. New York: Simon and Schuster.
• Surridge, Keith Terrance (1998). Managing the South African War, 1899-1902: Politicians V. Generals. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. ISBN 978-0-86193-238-2.
• Woodward, David R. (1998). Field Marshal Sir William Robertson. Westport, Connecticut & London: Praeger. ISBN 978-0-275-95422-2.

Further reading

• Ascherson, Neal. "The War That Made South Africa", New York Review of Books (December 6, 1979), p. 12.
• Cecil, Hugh and Cecil, Mirabel Imperial Marriage: an Edwardian War and Peace. London: John Murray, 2002
• Davie, Lucille. Constitution Hill: Thomas Pakenham, the Boer War and the Old Fort (2004)
• Garrett, F. Edmund (1905). "Rhodes and Milner" . The Empire and the century. London: John Murray. pp. 478–520.
• Iwan-Müller, E. B. Lord Milner and South Africa, London, 1902
• Marks, Shula, and Stanley Trapido. "Lord Milner and the South African State." History Workshop (1979) in JSTOR.
• Marlowe, John. Milner : apostle of Empire *London: Hamish Hamilton, 1976.
• Nasson, Bill. The South African War 1899–1902 (1999), 320pp a major scholarly history; also The War for South Africa: The Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902) (expanded 2nd ed. 2011)
• O'Brien, Terence. Milner London: Constable, 1979
• Porter, Andrew. "The South African War (1899–1902): context and motive reconsidered." The Journal of African History 31#1 (1990): 43–57.
• Porter, A. N. "Sir Alfred Milner and the Press, 1897–1899." The Historical Journal 16.02 (1973): 323–339.
• Quigley, Carroll. The Anglo-American Establishment New York: Books in Focus, 1981
• Stead, W. T., "Sir Alfred Milner", Review of Reviews, vol. xx. (1899)
• Thompson, J. Lee. A Wider Patriotism: Alfred Milner and the British Empire (Routledge, 2015).
• Worsfold, W. B. Lord Milner's Work in South Africa London, 1906.
• Wrench, Evelyn. Alfred, Lord Milner, the Man of No Illusions, 1854–1925(Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1958).
• Buckle, George Earle (1922). "Milner, Alfred Milner, Viscount" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 31 (12th ed.). London & New York. p. 946. This describes Milner's post-1906 career in business, politics, and diplomacy.

Primary sources

• Alfred Milner, England in Egypt (1894) online free
• Alfred Milner, The nation and the empire; being a collection of speeches and addresses (1913) online free
• Alfred Milner, The Milner Papers: South Africa 1899-1905 ed by Cecil Headlam (London 1933, 2 vol) online vol 2

External links

• Biographical entry for Alfred Viscount Milner at New College, Oxford College Archives
• Catalogue of the papers of Alfred Milner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford
• Catalogue of the additional papers of Alfred Milner at the Bodleian Library, Oxford
• NEXUS: A Short History of the Round Table – Extracted from Nexus Magazine, Volume 12, Number 3 (April – May 2005)
• Works by Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner at Internet Archive
• Newspaper clippings about Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics (ZBW)
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:43 pm

William Thomas Stead
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/28/19



William Thomas Stead
Born 5 July 1849
Embleton, Northumberland, England
Died 15 April 1912 (aged 62)
RMS Titanic, Atlantic Ocean
Monuments New York NY, 91st St and Central Park East and Victoria Embankment in London near to Fleet Street
Education Silcoates School
Occupation Newspaper editor
Notable work
The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon
Style Sensationalism
Home town Howdon
Salary £250 a year at the Northern Echo
Net worth £13,000 probate

William Thomas Stead (5 July 1849 – 15 April 1912) was an English newspaper editor who, as a pioneer of investigative journalism, became a controversial figure of the Victorian era.[1][2] Stead published a series of hugely influential campaigns whilst editor of The Pall Mall Gazette, and he is best known for his 1885 series of articles, The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon. These were written in support of a bill, later dubbed the "Stead Act", that raised the age of consent from 13 to 16.[3]

Stead's "new journalism" paved the way for the modern tabloid in Great Britain.[3] He was influential in demonstrating how the press could be used to influence public opinion and government policy, and advocated "Government by Journalism".[4] He was also well known for his reportage on child welfare, social legislation and reformation of England's criminal codes.

Stead died in the sinking of the RMS Titanic; he was one of the most famous Englishmen on board.[3]

Early life

Stead was born in Embleton, Northumberland, the son of the Reverend William Stead, a poor but respected Congregational minister, and Isabella (née Jobson), a cultivated daughter of a Yorkshire farmer.[5] A year later the family moved to Howdon on the River Tyne,[6] where his younger brother, Francis Herbert Stead, was born. Stead was largely educated at home by his father, and by the age of five he was already well-versed in the Holy Scriptures and is said to have been able to read Latin almost as well as he could read English.[7] It was Stead's mother who perhaps had the most lasting influence on her son's career. One of Stead's favourite childhood memories was of his mother leading a local campaign against the government's controversial Contagious Diseases Acts — which required prostitutes living in garrison towns to undergo medical examination.[8]

From 1862 he attended Silcoates School in Wakefield, until 1864, when he was apprenticed to a merchant's office on the Quayside in Newcastle upon Tyne where he became a clerk.[9]

The Northern Echo

W. T. Stead as a child

From 1870, Stead contributed articles to the fledgling liberal Darlington newspaper The Northern Echo, and in 1871 despite his inexperience, was made the editor of the newspaper.[10] At the time, Stead at just 22, was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.[8] Stead used Darlington's excellent railway connections to his advantage, increasing the newspaper's distribution to national levels.[7] Stead was always guided by a moral mission, influenced by his faith, and wrote to a friend that the position would be "a glorious opportunity of attacking the devil".[10]

In 1873, he married his childhood sweetheart, Emma Lucy Wilson, the daughter of a local merchant and shipowner; they would eventually have six children together.[11] In 1876, Stead joined a campaign to repeal the Contagious Diseases Act, befriending the feminist Josephine Butler. The law was repealed in 1886.[12]

He gained notoriety in 1876 for his coverage of the Bulgarian atrocities agitation.[13] He is also credited as "a major factor" in helping Gladstone win an overwhelming majority in the 1880 general election.[4][14]

Pall Mall Gazette

In 1880, Stead went to London to be assistant editor of the Liberal Pall Mall Gazette (a forerunner of the London Evening Standard), where he set about revolutionizing a traditionally conservative newspaper "written by gentlemen for gentlemen".[8] When its editor, John Morley, was elected to Parliament, Stead took over the role (1883–1889). When Morley was made Secretary of State for Ireland, Gladstone asked the new cabinet minister if he were confident that he could deal with that most distressful country. Morley replied that, if he could manage Stead, he could manage anything.

Over the next seven years Stead would develop what Matthew Arnold dubbed "The New Journalism".[11] His innovations as editor of the Gazette included incorporating maps and diagrams into a newspaper for the first time, breaking up longer articles with eye-catching subheadings, and blending his own opinions with those of the people he interviewed.[8] He made a feature of the Pall Mall extras, and his enterprise and originality exercised a potent influence on contemporary journalism and politics. Stead's first sensational campaign was based on a Nonconformist pamphlet, The Bitter Cry of Outcast London. His lurid stories of squalid life in the slums had a wholly beneficial effect on the capital. A Royal Commission recommended that the government should clear the slums and encourage low-cost housing in their place. It was Stead's first success. He also introduced the interview, creating a new dimension in British journalism when he interviewed General Gordon in 1884.[15]

In 1884, Stead pressured the government to send his friend General Gordon to the Sudan to protect British interests in Khartoum. The eccentric Gordon disobeyed orders, and the siege of Khartoum, Gordon's death, and the failure of the hugely expensive Gordon Relief Expedition was one of the great imperial disasters of the period.[12] After General Gordon's death in Khartoum in January 1885, Stead ran the first 24-point headline in newspaper history, "TOO LATE!", bemoaning the relief force's failure to rescue a national hero.[16]

1885 saw him force the British government to supply an additional £5.5million to bolster weakening naval defences, after which he published a series of articles.[14] Stead was no hawk however; instead he believed Britain's strong navy was necessary to maintain world peace.[17] He distinguished himself in his vigorous handling of public affairs and his brilliant modernity in the presentation of news. However, he is also credited as originating the modern journalistic technique of creating a news event rather than just reporting it, as his most famous "investigation", the Eliza Armstrong case, was to demonstrate.[18]

In 1886, he started a campaign against Sir Charles Dilke, 2nd Baronet over his nominal exoneration in the Crawford scandal. The campaign ultimately contributed to Dilke's misguided attempt to clear his name and his consequent ruin.

Eliza Armstrong case

This map by Stead W. T presents 46 saloons, 37 "houses of ill-fame," and 11 pawnbrokers in 1894.

In 1885, in the wake of Josephine Butler's fight for the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts, Stead entered upon a crusade against child prostitution by publishing a series of four articles entitled "The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon". In order to demonstrate the truth of his revelations, he arranged the "purchase" of Eliza Armstrong, the 13-year-old daughter of a chimney sweep. His first instalment was trailed with a warning guaranteed to make the Pall Mall Gazette sell out. Copies changed hands for 20 times their original value and the office was besieged by 10,000 members of the public.[1] The popularity of the articles was so great that the Gazette's supply of paper ran out and had to be replenished with supplies from the rival Globe.[8]

Though his action is thought to have furthered the passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885, his successful demonstration of the trade's existence led to his conviction for abduction and a three-month term of imprisonment at Coldbath Fields and Holloway prisons. He was convicted on technical grounds that he had failed to first secure permission for the "purchase" from the girl's father.

The "Maiden Tribute" campaign was the high point in Stead's career in daily journalism.[4] The series inspired George Bernard Shaw to write Pygmalion, and to name his lead character Eliza.[8] Another of the characters described, the "Minotaur of London", is reckoned to have inspired Jekyll and Hyde.[19]

Review of Reviews and other ventures

Stead in 1881

Stead resigned his editorship of the Pall Mall in 1889 in order to found the Review of Reviews (1890) with Sir George Newnes. It was a highly successful non-partisan monthly.[4] The journal found a global audience and was intended to bind the empire together by synthesising all its best journalism.[12] Stead's abundant energy and facile pen found scope in many other directions in journalism of an advanced humanitarian type. This time saw Stead "at the very height of his professional prestige", according to E. T. Raymond.[9] He was the first editor to employ female journalists.[12]

In 1893-4 he lived in Chicago for six months, campaigning against brothels and drinking dens, and published If Christ Came to Chicago.[12]

Beginning in 1895, Stead issued affordable reprints of classic literature under such titles as Penny Poets and Penny Popular Novels, in which he "boil[ed] down the great novels of the world so that they might fit into, say, sixty-four pages instead of six hundred".[20] His ethos behind the venture pre-dated Allen Lane's of Penguin Books by a number of years, and he became "the foremost publisher of paperbacks in the Victorian Age".[14]

Stead became an enthusiastic supporter of the peace movement, and of many other movements, popular and unpopular, in which he impressed the public generally as an extreme visionary, though his practical energy was recognised by a considerable circle of admirers and pupils. Stead was a pacifist and a campaigner for peace, who favoured a "United States of Europe" and a "High Court of Justice among the nations" (an early version of the United Nations), yet he also preferred the use of force in the defence of law.[21][22] He extensively covered the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907; for the latter he printed a daily paper during the four-month conference. He has a bust at the Peace Palace in The Hague. As a result of these activities, Stead was repeatedly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.[7]

With all his unpopularity, and all the suspicion and opposition engendered by his methods, his personality remained a forceful one, in both public and private life. He was an early imperialist dreamer, whose influence on Cecil Rhodes in South Africa remained of primary importance; many politicians and statesmen, who on most subjects were completely at variance with his ideas, nevertheless owed something to them. Rhodes made him his confidant, and was inspired in his will by his suggestions; and Stead was intended to be one of Rhodes's executors. However, at the time of the Second Boer War Stead threw himself into the Boer cause and attacked the government with characteristic violence, and consequently his name was removed from the will's executors.[23]

The number of his publications gradually became very large, as he wrote with facility and sensationalist fervour on all sorts of subjects, from The Truth about Russia (1888) to If Christ Came to Chicago! (Laird & Lee, 1894), and from Mrs Booth (1900) to The Americanisation of the World (1901).

Stead was an Esperantist, and often supported Esperanto in a monthly column in Review of Reviews.[24]

In 1904 he launched The Daily Paper, which folded after six weeks, and Stead lost £35,000 of his own money (almost £3 million in 2012 value) and suffered a nervous breakdown.[6][12]

Meeting with William Randolph Hearst

A year before the Spanish–American War W. T. Stead traveled to New York to meet with William Randolph Hearst, to teach him Government By Journalism.[25][26][self-published source][27]

Travel to Russia

In 1905, Stead travelled to Russia to try to discourage violence, but his tour and talks were unsuccessful[28]


Stead with his family.

In the 1890s, Stead became increasingly interested in spiritualism.[29] In 1893, he founded a spiritualist quarterly, Borderland, in which he gave full play to his interest in psychical research.[6][29] Stead was editor, and he employed Ada Goodrich Freer as assistant editor; she was also a substantial contributor under the pseudonym "Miss X".[30] Stead claimed that he was in the habit of communicating with Freer by telepathy and automatic writing.[31][32][33] The magazine ceased publication in 1897.[29]

Stead claimed to be in receipt of messages from the spirit world and, in 1892, to be able to produce automatic writing.[29][31] His spirit contact was alleged to be the departed Julia A. Ames, an American temperance reformer and journalist whom he met in 1890 shortly before her death. In 1909, he established Julia's Bureau, where inquirers could obtain information about the spirit world from a group of resident mediums.[29]

Grant Richards said that "The thing that operated most strongly in lessening Stead's hold on the general public was his absorption in spiritualism".[34]

The physiologist Ivor Lloyd Tuckett wrote that Stead had no scientific training and was credulous when it came to the subject of spiritualism. Tuckett examined a case of spirit photography that Stead had claimed was genuine. Stead visited a photographer who produced a photograph of him with an alleged deceased soldier known as "Piet Botha". Stead claimed the photographer could not have come across any information about Piet Botha; however, Tuckett discovered that an article in 1899 had been published on Pietrus Botha in a weekly magazine with a portrait and personal details.[35]

In the early 20th century, Arthur Conan Doyle and Stead were duped into believing that the stage magicians Julius and Agnes Zancig had genuine psychic powers. Both Doyle and Stead wrote the Zancigs performed telepathy. In 1924 Julius and Agnes Zancig confessed that their mind reading act was a trick and published the secret code and all the details of the trick method they had used under the title of Our Secrets!! in a London Newspaper.[36]

Ten years after the Titanic went down, Stead's daughter Estelle published The Blue Island: Experiences of a New Arrival Beyond the Veil,[37] which purported to be a communication with Stead via a medium, Pardoe Woodman. In the book, Stead described his death at sea and discussed the nature of the afterlife. The manuscript was produced using automatic writing, and Ms. Stead cited as proof of its authenticity the writer's habit of going back to cross "t's" and dot "i's" while proof-reading — which she said was characteristic of her father's writing technique in life.

Death on the Titanic

Stead boarded the Titanic for a visit to the United States to take part in a peace congress at Carnegie Hall at the request of President Taft. Survivors of the Titanic reported very little about Stead's last hours. He chatted enthusiastically through the 11-course meal that fateful night, telling thrilling tales (including one about the cursed mummy of the British Museum), but then retired to bed at 10.30pm.[12] After the ship struck the iceberg, Stead helped several women and children into the lifeboats, in an act "typical of his generosity, courage, and humanity", and gave his life jacket to another passenger.[4]

A later sighting of Stead, by survivor Philip Mock, has him clinging to a raft with John Jacob Astor IV. "Their feet became frozen," reported Mock, "and they were compelled to release their hold. Both were drowned."[38] William Stead's body was not recovered. Further tragedy was added by the widely held belief that he was due to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize that same year.[citation needed]

Stead had often claimed that he would die from either lynching or drowning.[4] He had published two pieces that gained greater significance in light of his fate on the Titanic. On 22 March 1886, he published an article titled "How the Mail Steamer went down in Mid Atlantic by a Survivor",[39] wherein a steamer collides with another ship, resulting in a high loss of life due to an insufficient ratio of lifeboats to passengers. Stead had added: "This is exactly what might take place and will take place if liners are sent to sea short of boats". In 1892, Stead published a story titled "From the Old World to the New",[40] in which a vessel, the Majestic, rescues survivors of another ship that collided with an iceberg.


Following his death, Stead was widely hailed as the greatest newspaperman of his age. His friend Lord Milner eulogised Stead as "a ruthless fighter, who had always believed himself to be 'on the side of angels'".[41]

His sheer energy helped to revolutionise the often stuffy world of Victorian journalism, while his blend of sensationalism and indignation, now so familiar, set the tone for British tabloids for more than a century.[42] Like many journalists, he was a curious mixture of conviction, opportunism and sheer humbug. According to his biographer W. Sydney Robinson, "He twisted facts, invented stories, lied, betrayed confidences, but always with a genuine desire to reform the world – and himself." According to Dominic Sandbrook, "Stead's papers forced his readers to confront the seedy underbelly of their own civilisation, but the editor probably knew more about that dark world than he ever let on. He held up a mirror to Victorian society, yet deep down, like so many tabloid crusaders, he was raging at his own reflection."[16]

According to Roy Jenkins, Stead became "the most sensational figure in 19th-century journalism".[43]

A memorial bronze was erected in Central Park, New York City, in 1920. It reads, "W.T. Stead 1849–1912. This tribute to the memory of a journalist of worldwide renown is erected by American friends and admirers. He met death aboard the Titanic April 15, 1912, and is numbered amongst those who, dying nobly, enabled others to live." A duplicate bronze is located on the Thames Embankment not far from Temple, where Stead had an office.

A memorial plaque to Stead can also be seen at his final home, 5 Smith Square, where he lived from 1904 to 1912. It was unveiled on 28 June 2004 in the presence of his great-great-grandson, 13-year-old Miles Stead. The plaque was sponsored by the Stead Memorial Society.[44]

In his native Embleton, a road has been named "W T Stead Road".

In the 2009 video game Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Stead's 'How the Mail Steamer Went Down in Mid Atlantic by a Survivor, From the Old World to the New, and his death on the Titanic, is discussed by Akane Kurashiki and Junpei Tenmyouji, who debate the possibility that Stead was undergoing automatic writing by connecting to his future self.


Memorial plaque in Central Park, New York. A similar plaque, with a different inscription, is displayed on Victoria Embankment, London


14 boxes of the papers of William Thomas Stead are held at the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge.[45][46] The bulk of this collection comprises Stead's letters from his many correspondents including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, William Gladstone, and Christabel Pankhurst. There are also papers and a diary relating to his time spent in Holloway Prison in 1885, and to his many publications.[citation needed]

Papers of William Thomas Stead are also held at The Women's Library at the Library of the London School of Economics,[47][48]


1. Mooney, Bel (25 May 2012). "High morals and low life of the first tabloid hack: Muckraker: the Scandalous Life and Times of W.T. Stead by W. Sydney Robinson". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
2. "The W.T. Stead Resource Site". 30 December 2010. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
3. "Press Office Home – The British Library".
4. Joseph O. Baylen, 'Stead, William Thomas (1849–1912)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Sept 2010 accessed 3 May 2011
5. 'Herbert & W T Stead', Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal, 6 March 1920, p19
6. "W.T. Stead Timeline". Retrieved 7 May 2011.
7. "The Great Educator: a Biography of W.T. Stead". 15 April 1912. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
8. "Bookshelf: The Father of Tabloid Journalism". The Wall Street Journal.
9. "W.T. Stead by E.T. Raymond (1922)". Retrieved 7 May 2011.
10. "W.T. Stead to Rev. Henry Kendall (11 April 1871)". Retrieved 7 May 2011.
11. "Mr William Thomas Stead". Encyclopedia Titanica. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
12. Luckhurst, Roger (10 April 2012). "WT Stead, a forgotten victim of Titanic". The Daily Telegraph. London.
13. Stead, W.T. (August 1912). "The Great Pacifist: an Autobiographical Character Sketch". The Review of Reviews for Australasia. p. 609. Retrieved 8 November 2017 – via Internet Archive.
14. "Sally Wood-Lamont, W.T. Stead's Books for the Bairns". 7 August 1923. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
15. Roland Pearsell (1969) The Worm in the Bud: The World of Victorian Sexuality: 369
16. The Sunday Times (London), 13 May 2012 Sunday Edition 1; "National Edition Fleet Street's crusading villain; The Victorian editor whose love of sensationalism set the tone for the tabloids for a century Scandalmonger", 40-42
17. Stead, Estelle (1913). My Father. (London)m p. 112,
18. Roland Pearsell (1969) The Worm in the Bud: The World of Victorian Sexuality: 367-78
19. "Book review: Muckraker, W Sydney Robinson".
20. "Grant Richards on Stead as Employer &c". Retrieved 7 May 2011.
21. Sally Wood (1987). W.T. Stead and his "Books for the bairns". Edinburgh: Salvia Books. ISBN 0-9512533-0-1.
22. W. T. Stead, "The Great Pacifist: an Autobiographical Character Sketch" (1901), published posthumously in The Review of Reviews for Australasia, (August 1912) pp. 609–620.
23. The Last Will and Testament of Cecil John Rhodes, ed. W. T. Stead (Review of Reviews Office: London), 1902.
24. Enciklopedio de Esperanto, 1933. Archived 8 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine
25. "W. Randolf Hearst". 30 December 2010. Retrieved 5 October 2014. Mr. Hearst, I am very glad to see you. I have been very curious to see you for some time, ever since I saw how you were handling the Journal. But do you know why I want to see you?" "I have been long on the look out for a man to appear who will carry out my ideal of government by journalism. I am certain that such a man will come to the front some day, and I wonder if you are to be that man.
26. Eckley, Grace (2007). Maiden Tribute. Xlibris Corporation. pp. Chapter 11. ISBN 978-1425727086.
27. Stead, William (December 1908). "A Character Sketch of William Randolph Hearst, by William Thomas Stead". London: Review of Reviews. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
28. "The beauty, the journalist, and the Titanic". 28 December 2014 – via
29. Janet Oppenheim (1988). The Other World: Spiritualism and Psychical Research in England, 1850–1914. Cambridge University Press. p. 34. ISBN 0-521-34767-X.
30. Hall, Trevor H. (1980). The Strange Story of Ada Goodrich Freer. Gerald Duckworth and Company. pp. 45–52. ISBN 0-7156-1427-4.
31. Laurel Brake; Marysa Demoor (2009). Dictionary of nineteenth-century journalism in Great Britain and Ireland. Academia Press. p. 65. ISBN 90-382-1340-9.
32. María del Pilar Blanco; Esther Peeren (2010). Popular Ghosts: The Haunted Spaces of Everyday Culture. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 58. ISBN 1-4411-6401-4.
33. Borderland, volume I, 1893, page=6, Quoted in Hall (1980) p.50
34. Grant Richards (1933). Memories of a misspent youth, 1872–1896. Harper & Brothers. p. 306.
35. Ivor Lloyd Tuckett. (1911). The Evidence for the Supernatural: A Critical Study Made with "Uncommon Sense". Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Company. pp. 52–53
36. John Booth. (1986). Psychic Paradoxes. Prometheus Books. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-87975-358-0
37. Pardoe Woodman and Estelle Stead (1922). The Blue Island: Experiences of a New Arrival Beyond the Veil. Hutchinson & Co., London
38. "Stead and Astor cling to Raft" (Worcester Telegram, 20 April 1912) at
39. W.T. Stead, "How the Mail Steamer went down in Mid Atlantic" (1886) at
40. W.T. Stead, "From the Old World to the New" (The Review of Reviews Christmas Number, 1892) at
41. Prévost, Stéphanie (23 April 2013). "W. T. Stead and the Eastern Question (1875–1911); or, How to Rouse England and Why?". doi:10.16995/ntn.654 – via
42. F. Regard, 'The sexual exploitation of the poor in W.T. Stead's The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon (1885) : Humanity, democracy and the origins of the tabloid press', in Narrating Poverty and Precarity in Britain (ed. B. Korte et F. Regard), Berlin, De Gruyter, 2014, pp. 75-91.
43. Roy Jenkins, Victorians Uncovered – William Stead: unscrupulous journalist or moral crusader?
44. "City of Westminster green plaques". Archived from the original on 16 July 2012.
45. "The Churchill Archives Centre – Churchill College".
46. "Janus: The Papers of William T. Stead".
47. Science, London School of Economics and Political. "Library".
48. "9/11".

Further reading

• Brake, Laurel et al. W.T. Stead: Newspaper Revolutionary (British Library, distributed by University of Chicago Press; 232 pages; 2013), essays by scholars
• Brake, Laurel. Stead alone: journalist, proprietor and publisher, 1890–1903 (British Library Press, 2013).
• Eckley, Grace. Maiden Tribute: A Life of W. T. Stead (2007).
• Gill, Clare. "" I'm really going to kill him this time": Olive Schreiner, WT Stead, and the Politics of Publicity in the Review of Reviews." Victorian Periodicals Review 46#2 (2013): 184–210.
• Goldsworthy, Simon. "English nonconformity and the pioneering of the modern newspaper campaign: including the strange case of WT Stead and the Bulgarian horrors." Journalism studies 7#3 (2006): 387-402.
• Luckhurst, Roger, et al. eds. WT Stead: newspaper revolutionary (The British Library Publishing Division, 2013).
• Prévost, Stéphanie. "WT Stead and the Eastern Question (1875–1911); or, How to Rouse England and Why?." Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century 19 (2013). online
• Schults, RL (1972). Crusader in Babylon: W.T. Stead and the Pall Mall Gazette. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 978-0-8032-0760-8.
• Regard, Frederic. "The Sexual Exploitation of the Poor in W.T. Stead's 'New Journalism': Humanity, Democracy and the Tabloid Press". Narrating Poverty and Precarity in England (B. Korte and F. Regard eds). Berlin, De Gruyter, 2014 : 75-91.
• Robinson, W. Sydney. Muckraker: The Scandalous Life and Times of W.T. Stead, Britain's First Investigative Journalist (Biteback Publishing, 2012).
• Whyte, Frederic. A Life of W. T. Stead (2 vol. 1925).

External links

• The W. T. Stead Resource Site
• "The Great Educator: a Biography of W.T. Stead"
• Online links to works by and about W. T. Stead
• Encyclopedia Titanica Biography of W. T. Stead
• William Stead: unscrupulous journalist or moral crusader? article by Roy Hattersley
• NewsStead: A Journal of History and Literature
• Spiritualism by William Thomas Stead and his daughter Estelle
• Website of Stead's most recent biographer, W. Sydney Robinson
• [ The Last Will and Testament of Cecil J. Rhodes, Edited by Stead
• Photograph of William T. Stead, signed From scrapbook in the Carrie Chapman Catt Collection in the Rare Book and Special Collection Division at the Library of Congress
• A New Portrait of Mr. William T. Stead, Taken in New York From scrapbook in the Carrie Chapman Catt Collection in the Rare Book and Special Collection Division at the Library of Congress
• Works by W. T. Stead at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about W. T. Stead at Internet Archive
• Works by W. T. Stead at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Works by Estelle Wilson Stead at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Estelle Wilson Stead at Internet Archive
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

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Chatham House [The Royal Institute of International Affairs]
by Wikipedia
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Chatham House
Formation 1920; 99 years ago
Headquarters London, England

Theresa May speaking in 2015

The Royal Institute of International Affairs, commonly known as Chatham House, is a not-for-profit and non-governmental organisation based in London whose mission is to analyse and promote the understanding of major international issues and current affairs. It is the originator of the Chatham House Rule and takes its name from the building where it is based, a Grade I listed 18th-century house in St James's Square, designed in part by Henry Flitcroft and occupied by three British Prime Ministers, including William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham.

In the University of Pennsylvania’s rankings (announced in January 2017) for their Global Go To Think Tanks Report, Chatham House was ranked the think tank of the year, and the second most influential in the world after the Brookings Institution, and the world's most influential non-U.S. think tank.[1] In November 2016, Chatham House was also named Prospect magazine's Think-Tank of the Year, as well as the winner in the UK categories for International Affairs and Energy and Environment.[2]

The current chairman of the Council of Chatham House is Jim O'Neill and its director is Robin Niblett. The deputy director is Adam Ward and research directors are Rob Bailey, Patricia Lewis, and Alex Vines.

Chatham House has three presidents — from the two main political parties at Westminster: Sir John Major, former Prime Minister (Con.); The Baron Darling of Roulanish, former Chancellor of the Exchequer (Lab.); and The Baroness Manningham-Buller, a crossbench peer and former Director General of MI5.[3]


Juan Manuel Santos, President, Republic of Colombia - Chatham House Prize 2017, 9 November 2017

Drawing upon its members, Chatham House aims to promote debate on significant developments in international affairs and policy responses. Their independent research and analysis on global, regional and country-specific challenges is intended to offer new ideas to decision makers on how these could best be tackled from the near to the long term. Chatham House is routinely used as a source of information for media organisations seeking background or experts upon matters involving major international issues.

Chatham House is membership-based and anyone may join. It has a range of membership options for corporations, academic institutions, NGOs, and individuals including students and under 35s. In addition to corporate members consisting of government departments, large corporations, academic institutions, investment banks, NGOs, energy companies and other organisations, Chatham House currently has international leaders from business, diplomacy, science, politics and media as its individual members.[4]

Chatham House Rule

Chatham House is the origin of the non-attribution rule known as the Chatham House Rule, which provides that guests attending a meeting may discuss the content of the meeting in the outside world, but may not discuss who attended or identify what a specific individual said. The Chatham House Rule evolved to facilitate frank and honest discussion on controversial or unpopular issues by speakers who may not have otherwise had the appropriate forum to speak freely. Despite this, most meetings at Chatham House are held on the record, and not under the Chatham House Rule.

Research and publications

Africa Programme's event in 2015

Chatham House research is structured around three thematic departments - Energy, Environment and Resources, International Economics, International Security – and Area Studies and International Law, which comprises regional programmes on Africa, the US and Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and Russia and Eurasia, as well as the International Law programme.

Chatham House also contains the Centre on Global Health Security, headed by David L. Heymann.[5] and the Hoffmann Centre, headed by Bernice Lee.[6]

Major reports in 2018 include Transatlantic Relations: Converging or Diverging? which argued that the longer-term fundamentals of the transatlantic relationship remain strong.[7]

Several reports were published in 2017 – The Struggle for Ukraine[8] explored how, four years on from its Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine is fighting for survival as an independent and viable state. Chokepoints and Vulnerabilities in Global Food Trade[9] set out why policymakers must take action immediately to mitigate the risk of severe disruption at certain ports, maritime straits, and inland transport routes, which could have devastating knock-on effects for global food security. Collective Action on Corruption in Nigeria: A Social Norms Approach to Connecting Society and Institutions[10] examined how anti-corruption efforts could be made significantly more effective through new ways of understanding why people engage in the practice. America’s International Role Under Donald Trump[11] explored how Trump's personality and style – brash, unpredictable, contradictory and thin-skinned – promises to have a meaningful impact on his engagement in foreign affairs.

In 2016, Elite Perceptions of the United States in Latin America and the Post-Soviet States[12] examined how elites in Latin America and the former Soviet Union view the United States, and makes recommendations as to how the US could adjust its policies based on these perceptions.

2015 also saw several reports published - Nigeria’s Booming Borders: The Drivers and Consequences of Unrecorded Trade[13] showed how a critical opportunity exists to formalize trade and drive more sustainable and less volatile growth, Changing Climate, Changing Diets: Pathways to Lower Meat Consumption[14] outlined why reducing global meat consumption will be critical to keeping global warming below the ‘danger level’ of two degrees Celsius, Heat, Light and Power for Refugees: Saving Lives, Reducing Costs[15] examined the reasons why energy provision to displaced people undermines the fundamental humanitarian aims of assistance, and Towards a New Global Business Model for Antibiotics: Delinking Revenues from Sales[16] argued for revenues for pharmaceutical companies to be delinked from sales of antibiotics to avoid their over-use and avert a public health crisis.

Chatham House published the research paper Livestock – Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector: Global Public Opinion on Meat and Dairy Consumption in December 2014. It argued that there was a major lack of public awareness of the link between climate change and human consumption of meat and dairy products.[17]

Released in July 2014, NATO: Charting the Way Forward suggested future priorities for NATO in the light of world events, especially considering Afghanistan and Ukraine. The report was the culmination of a year of expert roundtable meetings, in preparation for NATO's 2014 summit in Wales.[18]

Declared the #2 Report of 2014 in the University of Pennsylvania’s 2014 Global Go To Think Tanks Report, How to Fix the Euro: Strengthening Economic Governance in Europe was produced in March 2014, in conjunction with the Real Instituto Elcano and the Agenzia di ricerche e legislazione. It examined why the economic and monetary union (EMU) was so badly affected by the global economic and financial crisis, and assessed whether further changes needed to be made to the structure of economic governance underpinning it.[19]

Western Policy towards Syria: Ten Recommendations was published in December 2013. This programme paper sought to inform a more strategic approach to the overall Western response to the crisis in Syria and its immediate neighbourhood, and to that end produced a list of 10 strategic recommendations for Western governments.[20]

The November 2013 report Conflict and Coexistence in the Extractive Industries examined disputes between governments and companies over mineral resources and how falling commodity prices, plus heightened concerns over resource security, environmental degradation and climate change, could bring further scrutiny and tensions to the sector.[21]

Chatham House released the report Managing Famine Risk in April 2013 which argued that while early warning systems for famine and food crises had a good record, early action had been heavily hindered by the perceived political risk in donor countries.[22]

In December 2012, Chatham House released Resources Futures, a report on resource insecurity and the potential for future supply disruptions, volatile prices, accelerated environmental degradation and rising political tensions over resource access.[23] The report proposed a new 'G8-style' group of critical producers and consumers called the 'Resource 30' or R30 to tackle resource price volatility.[24][25]

In May 2012, Chatham House published the report Shifting Capital: The Rise of Financial Centres in Greater China.[26] The report argued that China needs to develop a deeper and more diversified financial sector that reflects the size and the international integration of its real economy.

To assess what contribution, if any, gold could make to the international monetary system in the wake of the global financial crisis, Chatham House set up a global taskforce of experts in 2011. In February 2012, the taskforce released the report Gold and the International Monetary System[27] which concluded that although a gold standard may have limited reckless banking and debt accumulation, it likely would have created excessive constraint on national economic policies where more flexible responses were needed.

George Osborne and Christine Lagarde speaking at Chatham House, 9 September 2011

In September 2011 Chatham House published a report examining support for populist extremists across Europe and recommending how mainstream political parties could respond. Right Response: Understanding and Countering Populist Extremism in Europe, by Matthew Goodwin,[28] noted that extreme parties more effectively exchange ideas and strategies as compared to mainstream parties, and recommended established parties work together on best practice to confront this challenge.

In October 2010 Chatham House published a report entitled Strategy in Austerity: The Security and Defence of the United Kingdom.[29] The report offered a framework for assessing the quality and durability of the British government's Strategic Defence and Security Review. Briefing Papers were also published on Iraq, Yemen, Cyber-Warfare, and the legal implications of unmanned drones (UAVs) amongst others.

In September 2010 Chatham House produced the report The ‘Shale Gas Revolution’: Hype and Reality, by Paul Stevens,[30] which analysed the huge increase in unconventional gas production in the US. The report cast serious doubts over the industry's confidence in the ‘revolution’ and whether conditions in the US could be replicated. It received a Special Note in the Publication of the Year category at the Prospect Think Tank Awards 2011.[31]

A Chatham House analysis of the June 2009 Iranian presidential election voting figures by Ali Ansari, Daniel Berman and Thomas Rintoul[32] revealed irregularities in the official statistics that contradicted the official government line that a spate of newly participating voters had pushed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to victory. This report was widely cited by major media outlets, including The New York Times,[33] BBC,[34] The Guardian,[35] The Telegraph,[36] The Wall Street Journal,[37] and the Financial Times.[38]


Muhammadu Buhari speaking at Chatham House, 26 February 2015

In addition to undertaking wide-ranging research, Chatham House hosts high-profile speakers from around the world. Recent speakers include Shinzō Abe, David Cameron, Aung San Suu Kyi, Christine Lagarde, Madeleine Albright, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Abdullah Gül, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Herman Van Rompuy, Muhammad Yunus, Ban Ki-moon and on 26 February 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, presidential candidate of All Progressive Congress, Nigeria, spoke on the prospects of democratic consolidation in Africa : Nigeria's transition.[39]

Periodical publications

Chatham House also houses the key scholarly and policy journal International Affairs, as well as a bi-monthly magazine The World Today. The World Today is represented for syndication by Tribune Content Agency, a subsidiary of The Tribune Company.

Chatham House Prize

Hillary Clinton, recipient of the 2013 Chatham House Prize.

The Chatham House Prize is an annual award presented to "the statesperson or organisation deemed by Chatham House members to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year".[40]

List of winners

Year / Name / Country
2005 President Viktor Yushchenko[40] Ukraine
2006 President Joaquim Chissano[40] Mozambique
2007 Sheikha Mozah Al Missned[40] Qatar
2008 President John Kufuor[40] Ghana
2009 President Lula da Silva[41] Brazil
2010 President Abdullah Gül[42] Turkey
2011 Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi[43] Myanmar
2012 President Moncef Marzouki and Rached Ghannouchi[40] Tunisia
2013 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton[44] United States
2014 Co-founder of the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation Melinda French Gates[45] United States
2015 Médecins Sans Frontières [46] Switzerland
2016 Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif[47] Iran
Secretary of State John Kerry[47] United States
2017 President Juan Manuel Santos[48] Colombia
2018 Committee to Protect Journalists [49] United States



The Royal Institute of International Affairs finds its origins in a meeting, convened by Lionel Curtis, of the American and British delegates to the Paris Peace Conference on 30 May 1919. Curtis had long been an advocate for the scientific study of international affairs and, following the beneficial exchange of information after the peace conference, argued that the method of expert analysis and debate should be continued when the delegates returned home in the form of international institute.[50]

Lionel Curtis was instrumental in the founding of Chatham House.

Ultimately, the British and American delegates formed separate institutes, with the Americans developing the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

The British Institute of International Affairs, as it was then known, held its inaugural meeting, chaired by Robert Cecil, on 5 July 1920. In this, former Foreign Secretary Edward Grey moved the resolution calling the institute into existence:

"That an Institute be constituted for the study of International Questions, to be called the British Institute of International Affairs."[51]

These two, along with Arthur J. Balfour and John R. Clynes, became the first Presidents of the Institute, with Curtis and G. M. Gathorne–Hardy appointed joint Honorary Secretaries.[51]

By 1922, as the Institute's membership grew, there was a need for a larger and more practical space and the Institute acquired, through the gift of Canadian Colonel R. W. Leonard, Chatham House, Number 10 St. James's Square, where the Institute is still housed.[52]

Inter-war years

Following its inception, the Institute quickly focused upon Grey's resolution, with the 1920s proving an active decade at Chatham House. The journal, International Affairs, was launched in January 1922, allowing for the international circulation of the various reports and discussions which took place within the Institute.[52]

After being appointed as Director of Studies, Professor Arnold Toynbee became the leading figure producing the Institute's annual Survey of International Affairs, a role he held until his retirement in 1955. While providing a detailed annual overview of international relations, the survey's primary role was ‘to record current international history’.[53] The survey continued until 1963 and was well received throughout the Institution, coming to be known as ‘the characteristic external expression of Chatham House research: a pioneer in method and a model for scholarship.’[54]

In 1926, 14 members of Chatham House represented the United Kingdom at the first conference of the Institute of Pacific Relations, a forum dedicated to the discussion of problems and relations between Pacific nations.[55] The IPR served as a platform for the Institute to develop an advanced political and commercial awareness of the region, with special focus being place upon China's economic development and international relations.[56]

In the same year the Institute received its Royal Charter, thereupon being known as the Royal Institute of International Affairs. The Charter set out the aims and objectives of the Institute, reaffirming its wish to ‘advance the sciences of international politics...promote the study and investigation of international questions by means of lectures and discussion…promote the exchange of information, knowledge and thought on international affairs.’[57]

Further expansion

1929 marked the next stage in the Institute's development with the appointment of a full-time chief executive or director when Ivison Macadam was appointed to the position (Secretary and then Director-General) [58] where he oversaw the Institute's rapid expansion with its growing research, organisational and financial needs.[59] A role he occupied until 1955.

Macadam was able to secure funding to expand the physical plant of the Institute by acquiring the freeholds of 6 Duke of York Street, then called York Street, (largely though the generosity of Waldorf Astor, John Power and others) and later 9 St James's Square, then the Portland Club, in 1943 (through a donation to cover its purchase by Henry Price), and connect these adjoining properties to the original freehold property of Chatham House at 10, St James Square (with the cost of these connections covered by Astor's sons, William, David and John). Power also donated his leasehold property in Chesham Place to the Institute in 1938. These additional properties provided much needed additional space for the Institute's activities.[60]

1929 also saw the inception of the Institute's special study group on the international gold problem. The group, which included leading economists such as John Maynard Keynes, conducted a three-year study into the developing economic issues which the post-war international monetary settlement created.[61] The group's research anticipated Britain's decision to abandon the gold standard two years later.[62]

Around this time Chatham House became known as the place for leading statesmen and actors in world affairs to visit when in London; notably, Mahatma Gandhi visited the institute on 20 October 1931, in which he delivered a talk on ‘The Future of India’. The talk was attended by 750 members making it the Institute's largest meeting up to that point.[63]

Committee of Post-War Reconstruction meeting in the Institute's Common Room, 1943.

In 1933 Norman Angell, whilst working within the Institute's Council, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his book The Great Illusion, making him the first and only Laureate to be awarded the prize for publishing a book.[63]

Chatham House held the first Commonwealth Relations Conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1933. Held roughly every five years, the conference provided a forum for leading politicians, lawyers, academics and others to discuss the implications of recent Imperial Conferences.[64] With various dominion nations seeking to follow individual foreign policy aims, Neill Malcolm, the chairman of the Canadian Institute for International Affairs, emphasised the need for "essential agreement in matters of foreign policy between the various Governments," with the Commonwealth Relations Conference being the vehicle upon which this cooperation would be achieved and maintained.[65]

In 1937, Robert Cecil was also awarded the Nobel Prize for his commitment to, and defence of, the League of Nations and the pursuit for peace and disarmament amongst its members.[66]

War years, 1939–1945

The outbreak of WWII led the Chairman Bill Astor to decentralise the Institute, with the majority of staff moving to Balliol College, Oxford. Throughout the war years the Institute worked closely with the Foreign Office who requested various reports on foreign press, historical and political background of the enemy and various other topics. The few who remained in London were either drafted into various government departments or worked under Toynbee, dedicating their research to the war effort.[67]

The Institute also provided many additional services to scholars and the armed forces. Research facilities were opened to refugee and allied academics, whilst arrangements were made for both the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Polish Research Centre to relocate to the Institute following the bombing of their premises. In addition, allied officers undertook courses in international affairs at the Institute in an attempt to develop their international and political awareness.[67]

The post-war years

Chatham House had been researching potential post-war issues as early as 1939 through the Committee on Reconstruction.[67] Whilst a number of staff returned to the Institute at the end of the war, a proportion of members found themselves joining a range of international organisations, including the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund. Combining this with the Institute's early support of the League of Nations and impact of the gold study on the Bretton Woods system, Chatham House found itself to be a leading actor in international political and economic redevelopment.[67]

Margaret Thatcher leaving Chatham House after attending the 'Inside Saudi Arabia: Society, Economy and Defence' conference, October 1993.

In reaction to the changing post-war world, Chatham House embarked on a number of studies relating to Britain and the Commonwealth's new political stature, in light of growing calls for decolonisation and the development of the Cold War.[68] A board of studies in race relations was created in 1953, allowing for the close examination of changing attitudes and calls for racial equality throughout the world. The group broke off into an independent charity in 1958, forming the Institute of Race Relations.[69]

Following the Cuban missile crisis and Brazilian coup d'état, the institute developed a growing focus on the Latin American region. Che Guevara, then Cuba's Minister of Industry, wrote an analysis of ‘The Cuban Economy: Its Past and Present Importance’ in 1964 for International Affairs, displaying the Institute's desire to tackle the most difficult international issues.[70]

Chatham House played a more direct role in the international affairs of the Cold War through the October 1975 Anglo-Soviet round-table, the first in a series of meetings between Chatham House and the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow. As an early example of two-track diplomacy, the meeting sought to develop closer communication and improved relations between Britain and the Soviet Union, one of the first such attempts in the Cold War.[71]

Soon after the first Anglo-Soviet round-table, the Institute began an intensive research project into ‘British Foreign Policy to 1985’. Its primary aim was to analyse the foreign policy issues which Britain would encounter in the near and far future. Research began in 1976 and the findings were published in International Affairs between 1977 and 1979.

At the start of the 1980s, the Council moved to expand the Institute's research capabilities in two key emerging areas. The first modern programmes to be created under this initiative were the Energy and Research Programme and the International Economics Programme, formed in 1980 - 1981.[72]

In addition to reshaping its research practices, the Institute also sought to strengthen its international network, notably amongst economically prosperous nations. For example, Chatham House's Far East programme, created with the intention of improving Anglo-Japanese relations in the long and short term, was bolstered by the support of the Japan 2000 group in 1984.[73]

Nelson Mandela delivering a speech at the Chatham House conference 'South Africa: The Opportunity for Business', 10 July 1996.

Recent history

The Institute celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1995, an event marked by the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. During her visit, The Queen was briefed by the Institute's experts on South Africa in preparation for her impending visit to the country following the end of apartheid.

The year 1998 marked the creation of the Angola Forum. Combining the nation's oil reserves with its growing international ambition, Angola quickly became an influential African nation. As a result, Chatham House launched the Forum to create an international platform for ‘forward looking, policy focused and influential debate and research'.[74] The Institute’s wider Africa Programme was created in 2002, beginning the modern structure of area studies programmes.[75]

In 2005, "Security, Terrorism and the UK" was published.[76] The publication, which links the UK's participation in the Iraq War and the nation's exposure to terrorism, gained significant media attention.

The Chatham House Prize was also launched in 2005, recognising state actors who made a significant contribution to international relations the previous year. Queen Elizabeth II presented the debut award to Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko.[77]

In January 2013 the Institute announced its Academy for Leadership in International Affairs, offering potential and established world leaders a 12-month fellowship at the institution with the aim of providing ‘a unique programme of activities and training to develop a new generation of leaders in international affairs.’ In November 2014, The Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, once again visited and formally launched the Academy under the title of the Queen Elizabeth II Academy for Leadership in International Affairs.[78]

See also

• Australian Institute of International Affairs
• Canadian International Council
• Council on Foreign Relations
• German Council on Foreign Relations
• International Affairs
• List of UK think tanks
• Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael
• Pakistan Institute of International Affairs
• Singapore Institute of International Affairs
• South African Institute of International Affairs
• The World Today


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7. Wickett, X. (January 2018). "Transatlantic Relations: Converging or Diverging?".
8. Lutsevych, O.; et al. (October 2017). "The Struggle for Ukraine".
9. Bailey, R. and Wellesley, L. (June 2017). "Chokepoints and Vulnerabilities in Global Food Trade".
10. Hoffmann, L.K. and Patel, R.N. (May 2017). "Collective Action on Corruption in Nigeria: A Social Norms Approach to Connecting Society and Institutions".
11. Wickett, X.; et al. (January 2017). "America's International Role Under Donald Trump".
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13. Hoffmann, L.K. and Melly, P. (December 2015). "Nigeria's Booming Borders: The Drivers and Consequences of Unrecorded Trade".
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26. Subacchi, P.; et al. (May 2012). "Shifting Capital: The Rise of Financial Centres in Greater China" (PDF).
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28. Goodwin, Matthew (September 2011). "Right Response: Understanding and Countering Populist Extremism in Europe"(PDF).
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33. Editors, The. "Answering Your Iran Questions".
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39. TheatreSmart; et al. (September 2016). "Chatham House Membership Review".
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49. [1]
50. Carrington (2004), p. 47
51. Carrington (2004), p. 48
52. Carrington (2004), p. 50
53. 'Report of the Council of the Royal Institute of International Affairs to the 7th AGM' in The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports 1926-1931, (London: Chatham House, 1931), p. 3.
54. 'Report of the Council of the Royal Institute of International Affairs to the 7th AGM' in The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports 1926-1931, (London: Chatham House, 1931), p. 11.
55. 'Report of the 8th AGM' in Annual Reports 1926-1931, p. 3
56. 'Report of the 11th AGM' in Annual Reports 1926-1931, p. 31.
57. 'Report of the 11th AGM' in Annual Reports 1926-1931, pp. 5 - 6.
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59. Obituary of Ivison Macadam published in The Times , London, 31 December 1974 by Kenneth Younger
60. The Institute then owned the freeholds covering a rectangle of properties fronting on 10 and 9 in St. James’s Square on the south running north bordered on the east by Duke of York Street to the properties on Ormand Yard on the north (the mews immediately south of Jermyn Street). These freehold properties also later proved to be a valuable financial asset when in the 1960s the northern properties were redeveloped to provide additional annual income for the Institute. Chatham House: Its History and Inhabitants, C. E. Carrington, Revised and updated by Mary Bone, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2004.
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62. Kisch, C. H. "The Gold Problem" (PDF). Chatham House. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014.
63. "Sir Norman Angell - Facts". 7 October 1967. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
64. McIntyre, W. David (2008). "The Unofficial Commonwealth Relations Conferences, 1933–59: Precursors of the Tri-sector Commonwealth". Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. 36 (4): 591–614. doi:10.1080/03086530802560992.
65. 'Report of the 13th AGM' in The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports 1931-1932, pp. 9-10.
66. "Robert Cecil - Facts". 24 November 1958. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
67. Carrington (2004), pp. 63-64
68. Julius, Dr. DeAnne. "Impartial and International" (PDF). Chatham House. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
69. "About | Institute of Race Relations". Retrieved 4 August 2014.
70. The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports, 1964-1965, p. 3.
71. The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports, 1975-1976, p. 3.
72. The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports, 1980–1981, p. 9.
73. The Royal Institute of International Affairs Annual Reports, 1984-1985, p. 7.
74. "Angola Forum". Chatham House.
75. "Africa Programme". Chatham House.
76. "International Security Department". Chatham House.
77. "Impartial and International" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
78. "Academy for Leadership in International Affairs". Chatham House. Retrieved 4 August 2014.


• Carrington, Charles (2004). Chatham House: Its History and Inhabitants. Chatham House. ISBN 1-86203-154-1.

External links

• Official website
• Charity Commission. The Royal Institute of International Affairs, registered charity no. 208223.
• Architectural history and description - from the Survey of London
• Conference papers, research memoranda and miscellaneous papers relating to the work of the Far East Department of the Royal Institute of International Affairs are held by SOAS Archives.
Site Admin
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Apr 29, 2019 12:26 am

Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 4/28/19



The Right Honourable
Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher
Member of the United Kingdom Parliament
for Penryn and Falmouth
In office
Serving with David James Jenkins
Preceded by
Henry Thomas Cole
David James Jenkins
Succeeded by David James Jenkins
Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle
In office
Preceded by Adolphus Cambridge, 1st Marquess of Cambridge
Succeeded by Alexander Cambridge, 1st Earl of Athlone
Personal details
Born Reginald Baliol Brett
30 June 1852
London, England
Died 22 January 1930 (aged 77)
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Eleanor Van de Weyer
4, including:
Dorothy Brett
Sylvia of Sarawak
William Baliol Brett, 1st Viscount Esher
Eugénie Mayer
Eton College
Trinity College, Cambridge
Occupation Politician, courtier, historian

Reginald Baliol Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher, GCVO, KCB, PC, DL (30 June 1852 – 22 January 1930) was a historian and Liberal politician in the United Kingdom, although his greatest influence over military and foreign affairs was as a courtier, member of public committees and behind-the-scenes "fixer", or rather éminence grise.

Career courtier and 'fixer'

Background and education

Reginald, known as Regy, Brett was the son of William Baliol Brett, 1st Viscount Esher and Eugénie Mayer (1814–1904).[1] Born in London, Esher remembered sitting on the lap of an old man who had played the violin for Marie Antoinette, and was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He held a militia commission after Cambridge.[2][3] His father, who was to be Solicitor-General in Disraeli's first ministry (1868), distinguished himself in the 1867 Reform Act debate dutifully supporting the triumphant Disraeli. In 1868 he was named a judge on the Court of Common Pleas; in 1876 he became a Lord Justice of Appeal and in 1883 Master of the Rolls. A distinguished common law judge, in 1885 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Esher by prime minister Lord Salisbury. On his retirement as Master of the Rolls in 1897, he was created first Viscount Esher. "Regy"'s mother was a French émigrée, who had arrived in England, after being expelled for supporting Bonaparte. A refugee she was adopted by the Duke of Wellington's secretary John Gurwood. She was the famous jejeune captivated in Disraeli's novel Coningsby. The happy couple met for the romantic bohemian Tory set at Longleat House and, at the home of the society hostess Lady Blessington.

At Eton Brett was taught by influential master William Johnson Cory, whose pupils included the future prime minister Lord Rosebery and others in the highest echelons of society. Rosebery's idealistic learning from romantic poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, the liberal philosopher J S Mill, the chemistry of Leibniz, music of Mozart, and Jeremy Bentham were intellectual influences on the young Regy. Going up to Trinity College, Cambridge, Brett was profoundly influenced by William Harcourt the radical lawyer, politician and Professor of International Law. Harcourt controlled Brett's rooms, and lifestyle at Cambridge. Brett's father had introduced him to Albert Grey's Committee, but had a long-standing dispute with General Charles Grey, the Queen's Equerry. Brett was admitted to the Society of Apostles, dedicated to emergent philosophies of European atheism; their number included the aristocratic literati of liberalism Frank, Gerald and Eustace Balfour, Frederick and Arthur Myers, Hallam and Lionel Tennyson, Edmund Gurney, S H and J G Butcher. Brett experimented approaching conversion to High Mass from Cardinal Newman on Sundays in London. The Oxford Movement included historians, J Sedgwick and F M Maitland holding an equally profound sway over his youthful scholarship.

Brett was seen with the Carlton Gardens set of Lady Granville, he was friend of the Clare brothers, introduced by the Earl de Grey. He visited Howick Park, and took law with Lord Brougham and Vaux. The famous lawyer's lectures coincided with Justice Brett's employment with Richard Cross, as a parliamentary re-drafter at the Home Office. Albert Grey introductions provided an invitation to the India Office and entrée to met Sir Bartle Frere, the colonial administrator. When Disraeli tried to enforce Anglicanism, in the Public Worship Bill, and was defeated, Brett wrote copious letters to Hartington, leader of the Liberals in the Commons. The consequences were to push Harcourt into the limelight as a leading Liberal in the Commons. But moderates tended to be dragged into sharing a religious position when the Disraelian tradition was threatening to split English liberalism. Brett visited the actor's daughter Lady Waldegrave at Strawberry Hill, and took deportment lessons from the Duchess of Manchester at Kimbolton, Hartington's private secretary, stamping his credentials as a rich aesthete. Regy was a socialite cultivating many friendships among both aristocratic and successful people. Early on a passion for tradition and imperial liberalism would frustrate the radical right.[4]

Courtier, diplomat and Liberal MP

The Great Eastern Crisis had released Turkey from the threat of Russian invasion. But the success of the Midlothian Campaign had re-energized Gladstone's authority as rightful leader of his party; casting Hartington and Brett as marginalized jingoes. Six years later the Whigs would be pushed into the unionist camp. Brett needed his vanity satisfied but felt comfortable in neither party. He rose to become the mediator between Liberal factions, and was a leading light at the Liberal Round Table Conference in 1887.

Having been a Conservative as a young man, Brett began his political career in 1880, as Liberal Member of Parliament for Penryn and Falmouth. He was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Lord Hartington, when Secretary of State for War (1882–85) and once drove him to a Cabinet meeting on a sleigh through the snow.[2] However he elected to withdraw from public politics in 1885, after losing an election at Plymouth, in favour of a behind the scenes role. He was instrumental in the Jameson raid of 1895 vigorously defending the imperialist Cecil Rhodes.

In 1895, Lord Brett became Permanent Secretary to the Office of Works, where the Prince of Wales was impressed by his zeal and dedication to the elderly Queen Victoria.[2] A lift was built at Windsor Castle to get the elderly Queen upstairs in a redecorated palace. In Kensington Palace, Esher would push the Queen around in wheel chair so she could revisit her childhood. The devoted royal servant would work even more closely with Edward VII. Upon his father's death on 24 May 1899, he succeeded him as 2nd Viscount Esher.

Brett in 1880

During the Boer War Esher had to intervene in the row between Lansdowne and General Wolseley, the Commander-in-Chief, who tended to blame the politician for military failures. He would make the walk between palace and War Office to iron out problems. Into the political vacuum, Esher wrote the memos that became established civil service procedure. When the Elgin Commission was asked to report on the conduct of war, it was Esher who wrote it after the Khaki Election, and continued to act to influence both King and parliament. They met Admiral Fisher at Balmoral to discuss reform of Naval structures, which relied heavily on Fisher's complex web of relatives in senior posts.[5]

In 1901, Lord Esher was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Berkshire[6] and became Deputy Governor and Constable of Windsor Castle.[7] He remained close to the royal family until his death. By the end of 1903 Esher was meeting or corresponding with King Edward VII every day.[2] He lived at 'Orchard Lea', Winkfield on the edge of the Great Park. During this period, he helped edit Queen Victoria's papers, publishing a work called Correspondence of Queen Victoria (1907).[8]

From 1903 Esher shunned office, but was a member of Lord Elgin's South African War Commission,[9] which investigated Britain's near-failure in the Boer War. At this time he was writing to the King daily (and having three or four meetings a day with the King’s adviser Lord Knollys), informing him of the views of the Commission, of party leaders, and War Office civil servants with whom he was still in touch from his days working for Hartington. St John Brodrick, Secretary of State for War, was resentful of Esher’s influence.[2] Brodrick's scope for operation was paralysed by Esher's circumvention, and the government was much weakened in October 1903 when Joseph Chamberlain and Devonshire resigned over the former's plans for Tariff Reform.

Esher Committee

In 1904 Esher set up a sub-committee of Committee for Imperial Defence, known as the Esher Committee of which he was appointed chairman. To achieve the King's desired reforms of the Army, Esher formed an uneasy alliance with Sir George Clarke, the permanent secretary, to directly undermine H O Arnold-Foster's attempt to block militia reform, Clarke "discountenancing" told him he could not possibly read the Order".[10] A Triumvirate included Esher, Rosebery, and General Murray, notorious for making policy on the hoof misusing ministerial offices[clarification needed]. Furious Esher was determined the King should have intervention: on 7 December, Arnold-Foster advised to save £2m the militia must be absorbed into the Army. His scheming encouraged by the King, wanted Balfour to look to party first, while at the same time warning the King's Secretary that "the Prime Minister will have to take matters into his own hands".[11] Esher's role was for sixty-seven years a secret, by a memorandum behind the scenes[clarification needed], unaccountable to parliament. It was decided on 19 December a Reserve Force should be set up "in commission". On 12 January Esher told the minister to accept his sub-committee's recommendation, even though Arnold-Foster had not even been told of the agenda.[12] Despite the intrigues, the King approved of the committee's work.[13]

Esher cultivated a friendship with Colonel Sir Edmund Ward[verification needed], secretary to the Army Council in order to control minute-taking, the agenda, and meetings quorum[clarification needed] telling him he had secret information of "proof of the Army Order"; and a plan known as "Traverse" towards Army decentralisation. That was in September 1904 when the Army Council's powers were still undefined at the time it was enlarged by Lord Knollys. The issue confronting Esher was the Royal Prerogative which had been circumvented "without reference to the Sovereign".[14] He marched into Arnold-Foster's office to remind him that precedent under Victoria had been to yield to arguments from the monarch[15] which had already been put forward by the Adjutant-General.[16]

Liberal War Office

Reginald Brett at his writing table in 1905

Behind the scenes, he influenced many pre-First World War military reforms and was a supporter of the British–French Entente Cordiale. He chaired the War Office Reconstitution Committee.[9] This recommended radical reform of the British Army, including the setting up of the Army Council, and established the Committee of Imperial Defence, a permanent secretariat that Esher joined in 1905. From 1904 all War Office appointments were approved and often suggested by Esher. He approved the setting up of the Territorial Force, although he saw it as a step towards conscription; a step not taken. Many of Esher’s recommendations were nonetheless, implemented under the new Liberal governments of Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith by Haldane, Secretary of State for War, assisted by Esher's protege the young Major-General Douglas Haig.[2] When Haldane entered the War Office, he was provided with Colonel Sir Gerard Ellison as a new military secretary to make the transitional reforms. Haldane wished to avoid 'corner cuts' and so established the Information Bureau in the War Office. Although Eshers's biographer Peter Fraser argued "the Haldane reforms owed little to Haldane."[17] The initial Liberal reforms were thrown out by the Lords, and the resulting documents looked like Esher's original efforts.[18]

Esher found his son, Oliver Brett, a job as an additional secretary to John Morley and he was on good terms with Capt Sinclair, Campbell-Bannerman's secretary.

Esher's involvements in the Territorial Army were not limited to the War Office. He was the first chairman appointed in 1908 to the County of London Territorial Forces Association and its president from 1912 to his death, in addition he was appointed honorary colonel of the 5th (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers in 1908 and held the same appointment with the 63rd (London) Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery from 1910 to 1921.[19]

Esher's royal triumph and the Entente Cordiale

Esher was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of London in 1909.[20] and the King's Aide-de-Camp. Depicted as a disciple of national efficiency, an able administrator, and a silky, smooth influence as a courtier, he was accused of being an arch-insider, undemocratic and interfering.[21] Moreover, the King liked Esher, and so his influence over the Army grew, leading to a more liberal far-sighted attitude towards the possibility of averting conflict in Europe. Esher's invaluable contribution prevented further promotion in a political career, in which he had been destined for high cabinet office. His close political friends in the Liberal party included Edward Marjoribanks and Earl Rosebery. His aristocratic connections and military experience made him an ideal grandee, but such was the importance of his ties to the monarch, that his career was somewhat restrictive of ambition. He was by nature ambitious, 'clubbable' sociable, and frequently seen at High Society parties in the fashionable houses of the Edwardian era. He was secretive and patriotic: accordingly founding the Society of Islanders. Its one great principle was to build "two for one Keels" over and above any other Navy in the world in order to maintain global peace.

In 1911 Esher helped ease out Lord Knollys, who was then seventy-five years old, having been in the Royal Household since 1862, but who had lost some royal confidence over the negotiation of the Parliament Act. Esher arranged a replacement as King George V's principal adviser with Lord Stamfordham.[2]

Esher declined many public offices, including the Viceroyalty of India and the Secretaryship for War, a job to which King Edward VII had urged he be appointed.[2]

Esher's Great War

In January 1915, Esher visited Premier Briand in Paris, who told him Lloyd George had "a longer view than any of our leaders". An earlier opening of a Salonika Front might have prevented the entry of Bulgaria into the war".[22] He also made contact with Bunau Varilla, editor of Le Matin, to keep Russia in "the alliance and Americans to come to aid of Europe".[23] By 1916 the French war effort was almost spent. Finance Minister, Alexandre Ribot told them to sue for peace, Esher reported.[24] At the Chantilly Conference they discussed combined operations - "Dans la guerre l'inertie est une honte."[clarification needed][25] Esher accompanied Sir Douglas Haig to the Amiens Conference, but was back in Paris to be informed of the surprise news of Kitchener's death. Returning to London Esher spoke with Billy Hughes, Prime Minister of Australia. The following month at the Beaugency Conference they discussed the Somme Offensive. "For heaven's sake put every ounce you have got of will power into this offensive" he told Hankey.[26] He often travelled to France to leave the "mephitic" atmosphere of the War Office,[27] on a trip to Liaison Officer, Colonel Sidney Clive at Chantilly. He learnt first hand the French government's scheme for a "Greater Syria" to include British controlled Palestine. France's ally on the Eastern Front, Russia, had been badly defeated the previous year; so Asquith's neutrality over Briand's Salonika Plan perplexed Esher. He perceived the balance of power in cabinet shifting towards a new more conservative coalition.[28]

During the First World War Esher was, in one writer’s description, de facto head of British Intelligence in France, reporting on the French domestic and political situation, although he told his son he preferred not to have a formal position where he would have to take orders.[2] His son Maurice Brett set up a bureau in Paris called Intelligence Anglaise keeping his father informed through a small spy network with links to newspaper journalists.

In 1917 he told Lloyd George that the diplomacy in Paris was weak, informing the Prime Minister that he "was badly served". The ambassador Lord Bertie was the last of the Victorian imperial envoys, and was failing to do enough to persuade a faltering France to remain fighting in the war. When offered the ambassadorship in Bertie's stead Esher crowed "I cannot imagine anything I would detest more."[29] His considerable diplomatic skills included fluent French and German. The following month there was a French mutiny, as the Poilus were dying in appalling conditions. Haig and Wilson lent their support to an offensive to bolster the French. Petain, the new French commander-in-chief, was deemed too defensive: Esher sent Colonel Repington as liaison officer on a 'charm offensive'. Backed by Churchill and Milner for dramatic action, Esher entered a diplomatic conversation with the Cabinet's War Policy Committee; a unique new departure in the management of British policy. The bad weather and sickness of war made Esher ill in 1917; he was encouraged by the King to holiday at Biarritz.

Partly on Esher's advice, the War Office undertook major re-organization in 1917. He advised unification of commands, in which all British military commands would be controlled from Whitehall's Imperial War Office only.[30] Esher was at the famous Crillon Club dinner meeting in Paris on 1 December 1917 in which with Clemenceau they took critical decisions over the strategy for 1918. The Allied Governments proposed a unified Allied Reserve, despite negative press and publicity in the Commons. As cabinet enforcer, Esher visited Henry Wilson on 9 February 1918, during the crisis over his succession to Robertson as CIGS. Esher became instrumental in remonstrating with loose press articles critical of the war effort in particular, the Northcliffe press and the Morning Post, which was seized and shut down at 6.30 pm on Tuesday, 10 February 1918. In France, Esher had established a rapprochement with the press to help hold the Poincare-Clemenceau government together, at a time when England was at the zenith of her military strength."[31]

Esher was admitted to the Privy Council in 1922. In 1928 he became Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle, an office he had always wanted, holding it until his death in 1930.

Historian and retirement

Lord Esher was also a historian; besides the aforementioned work, he also published works on King Edward VII and Lord Kitchener. Together with Liberal MP Lewis ("Loulou") Harcourt he established the London Museum, which opened its doors on 5 March 1912.[32] In February 1920 he proof read Haig's History of the General Head Quarters 1917-1918. That summer Esher's critique of a Life of Disraeli appeared in Quarterly Review. His own life would be written by Oliver, eldest son and heir.

As the Great War concluded Esher intimated that the King wanted his resignation as Lieutenant-Governor of Windsor. In fact he coveted the post of Keeper of the Royal Archives. Stamfordham demanded his resignation in favour of historian Sir John Fortescue, but Esher remained as Governor. Professionalization also warned Hankey against becoming secretary to the Peace Conference, which to Esher's mind was beyond his competence. Esher also persuaded his friend not to desert the Empire for the League of Nations. Domestic unrest and trade unionism, which Esher loathed, as it threatened peace and stability, also destabilized his position as President of the Army of India Committee. Ever skeptical of political changes, "omnivorous" introductions to the Viceroy's work forced him to decline a solicitous offer to chair a sub-committee of the Conditions of the Poor.

Family life

Esher's most cheerful experiences were at Roman Camp in Callander, Scotland. He embraced the healthy Scottish highland air. His son, Maurice Brett was the successful founder of MI6 in Esher's Paris flat during the war; a meeting place for Prime Ministers and Presidents. In November 1919, Maurice sold Orchard Lea; Esher was a family man.

Astute, reserved, and modestly discreet Esher assiduously courted success and avoided scandal. He turned down an invitation to attend on David, Prince of Wales and his mistress Freda Dudley Ward at Balmoral. But when his wild, artistic daughter invited Colette and husband Bunau Varilla, the family stayed on his yacht in the Clyde; family came first.[33] Dorothy Brett was a slightly bohemian artist living at 2 Tilney Street. She befriended Gertler, a wild Russian Jew, her father despaired.


British honours

• KCB : Knight Commander the Order of the Bath – announced in the 1902 Coronation Honours list on 26 June 1902[34] – invested by King Edward while on board his yacht HMY Victoria and Albert on 28 July 1902[35] (gazetted 11 July 1902)[36]
• GCVO: Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (previously KCVO)
Foreign honours


In 1879, Reginald Brett married Eleanor Van de Weyer, daughter of Belgian ambassador Sylvain Van de Weyer and granddaughter of Anglo-American financier Joshua Bates. They had four children.

• Their elder son, Oliver Sylvain Baliol Brett became 3rd Viscount Esher and was a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He married Antoinette Heckscher, daughter of August Heckscher.
• Their second son, Maurice Vyner Baliol Brett, married the famous musical theatre actress Zena Dare.
• Their older daughter, Dorothy, was a painter and member of the Bloomsbury Group. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Artsand spent years in New Mexico.
• Their younger daughter, Sylvia, became the last Ranee of Sarawak on 24 May 1917, following the proclamation of her husband Charles Vyner Brooke as Rajah.

Although married with children, Esher had homosexual inclinations but his flirtations with young men were regarded with tolerant amusement in polite society. The years before his marriage had been marked by a series of what Esher described as 'rapturous' love affairs with various young men. His subsequent marriage in no way stopped or curtailed these activities. Indeed he could not, he told a friend, remember a single day when he was not in love with one young man or another. He later published anonymously a white-covered book of verse called Foam, in which he glorified 'golden lads'.


1. Hedley (2004)
2. Reid 2006, pp127-31
3. "Brett, Reginald Baliol (BRT870RB)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
4. Searle, Critics, pp.82-3; Perfectly secret, EHR, CXXVII, no.528, p.1178
5. Morris, The Scaremongers, p.477; Humphries, p.1157; N Lambert, Adm Sir J Fisher and Concept of Flotilla Defence, pp.639-60
6. "No. 27281". The London Gazette. 5 February 1901. p. 766.
7. "No. 27336". The London Gazette. 23 July 1901. p. 4838.
8. Kuhn, Democratic royalism, pp.57-81
9. "The Papers of Viscount Esher (Reginald Brett)". Janus. Cambridge University.
10. Clarke to Esher, 26 November 1904, Esher's Journals and Letters
11. Esher to Lord Knollys, 27 November 1904, Journals and Letters
12. Arnold-Foster, Diary, 25 January 1905
13. Edward VII to Balfour, RA R 25/68, 69
14. Esher to Knollys, 18 October 1904, Journals and Letters
15. Clarke to Esher, 16 November 1904, Journals and Letters,
16. Adj-Gen. Sir Charles Douglas, W.O, 7 November 1904
17. Fraser, p.23.
18. Fraser, p.23-4
19. Kelly's Handbook to the Titled, Landed and Official Classes, 1930. Kelly's. p. 620.
20. "No. 28255". The London Gazette. 28 May 1909. p. 4062.
21. The World (1910); Lees-Milne, Enigmatic, p.220-1
22. Journal and Letters, 6 May 1916
23. Journals, 17 May 1916
24. Journals, Esher to Robertson, Paris, 20 May 1916
25. President Poincare on the state of battle at Verdun, Esher's Journals, 23–24 May 1916
26. Journals, Esher to Sir Maurice Hankey, Paris, 3 August 1916
27. Esher to Haig, 6 August 1916
28. Esher to Robertson, 11 August 1916, Journals and Letters, vol.4, 1916-30
29. Journals and Letters, 19 May 1917.
30. FM Sir William Robertson, 'Soldiers and Statesmen 1914-1918' (1926)
31. Memorandum to Stamfordham, 18 October 1917, Royal Archives, Windsor, GVK1340/1; Fraser, p.372
32. Bailkin, Jordanna "Radical Conservations: The Problem with the London Museum" Radical History Review - Issue 84, Fall 2002, pp. 43–7
33. The Enigmatic Edwardian, p.325
34. "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
35. "Court Circular". The Times (36832). London. 29 July 1902. p. 10.
36. "No. 27453". The London Gazette. 11 July 1902. p. 4441.


• Bloch, Michael (2015). Closet Queens. London: Little, Brown. ISBN 1-40870-412-9.
• Brett, Oliver (1938). Journals and Letters of Reginald Brett, Viscount Esher. 6 vols. Routledge.
• Fraser, Peter (1971). Life and Times of Reginald Brett, Viscount Esher. Routledge.
• Lees-Milne, James (1986). The Enigmatic Edwardian: The Life of Reginald, 2nd Viscount Esher. London: Sidgwick & Jackson.
• Magnus, Philip (1964). King Edward VII. John Murray.
• Reid, Walter (2006). Architect of Victory: Douglas Haig. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd. ISBN 1-84158-517-3.

External links

• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Viscount Esher
• The Papers of Viscount Esher (Reginald Brett) at Churchill College
• Works by Reginald Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Viscount Esher at Internet Archive
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:35 am

Confession of Faith
by Cecil Rhodes
University of Oregon
June 2, 1877



Rhodes originally wrote this on June 2, 1877, in Oxford. Later, that year in Kimberley, he made some additions and changes. What follows is that amended statement. The spelling and grammar errors were in the original.

It often strikes a man to inquire what is the chief good in life; to one the thought comes that it is a happy marriage, to another great wealth, and as each seizes on his idea, for that he more or less works for the rest of his existence. To myself thinking over the same question the wish came to render myself useful to my country. I then asked myself how could I and after reviewing the various methods I have felt that at the present day we are actually limiting our children and perhaps bringing into the world half the human beings we might owing to the lack of country for them to inhabit that if we had retained America there would at this moment be millions more of English living. I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives. I contend that every acre added to our territory means in the future birth to some more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence. Added to this the absorption of the greater portion of the world under our rule simply means the end of all wars, at this moment had we not lost America I believe we could have stopped the Russian-Turkish war by merely refusing money and supplies. Having these ideas what scheme could we think of to forward this object. I look into history and I read the story of the Jesuits I see what they were able to do in a bad cause and I might say under bad leaders.

At the present day I become a member of the Masonic order I see the wealth and power they possess the influence they hold and I think over their ceremonies and I wonder that a large body of men can devote themselves to what at times appear the most ridiculous and absurd rites without an object and without an end.

The idea gleaming and dancing before ones eyes like a will-of-the-wisp at last frames itself into a plan. Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule for the recovery of the United States for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire. What a dream, but yet it is probable, it is possible. I once heard it argued by a fellow in my own college, I am sorry to own it by an Englishman, that it was good thing for us that we have lost the United States. There are some subjects on which there can be no arguments, and to an Englishman this is one of them, but even from an American’s point of view just picture what they have lost, look at their government, are not the frauds that yearly come before the public view a disgrace to any country and especially their’s which is the finest in the world. Would they have occurred had they remained under English rule great as they have become how infinitely greater they would have been with the softening and elevating influences of English rule, think of those countless 000’s of Englishmen that during the last 100 years would have crossed the Atlantic and settled and populated the United States. Would they have not made without any prejudice a finer country of it than the low class Irish and German emigrants? All this we have lost and that country loses owing to whom? Owing to two or three ignorant pig-headed statesmen of the last century, at their door lies the blame. Do you ever feel mad? do you ever feel murderous. I think I do with those men. I bring facts to prove my assertion. Does an English father when his sons wish to emigrate ever think of suggesting emigration to a country under another flag, never—it would seem a disgrace to suggest such a thing I think that we all think that poverty is better under our own flag than wealth under a foreign one.

Put your mind into another train of thought. Fancy Australia discovered and colonised under the French flag, what would it mean merely several millions of English unborn that at present exist we learn from the past and to form our future. We learn from having lost to cling to what we possess. We know the size of the world we know the total extent. Africa is still lying ready for us it is our duty to take it. It is our duty to seize every opportunity of acquiring more territory and we should keep this one idea steadily before our eyes that more territory simply means more of the Anglo-Saxon race more of the best the most human, most honourable race the world possesses.

To forward such a scheme what a splendid help a secret society would be a society not openly acknowledged but who would work in secret for such an object.

I contend that there are at the present moment numbers of the ablest men in the world who would devote their whole lives to it. I often think what a loss to the English nation in some respects the abolition of the Rotten Borough System has been. What thought strikes a man entering the house of commons, the assembly that rule the whole world? I think it is the mediocrity of the men but what is the cause. It is simply—an assembly of wealth of men whose lives have been spent in the accumulation of money and whose time has been too much engaged to be able to spare any for the study of past history. And yet in hands of such men rest our destinies. Do men like the great Pitt, and Burke and Sheridan not now to exist. I contend they do. There are men now living with I know no other term the [Greek term] of Aristotle but there are not ways for enabling them to serve their Country. They live and die unused unemployed. What has the main cause of the success of the Romish Church? The fact that every enthusiast, call it if you like every madman finds employment in it. Let us form the same kind of society a Church for the extension of the British Empire. A society which should have members in every part of the British Empire working with one object and one idea we should have its members placed at our universities and our schools and should watch the English youth passing through their hands just one perhaps in every thousand would have the mind and feelings for such an object, he should be tried in every way, he should be tested whether he is endurant, possessed of eloquence, disregardful of the petty details of life, and if found to be such, then elected and bound by oath to serve for the rest of his life in his County. He should then be supported if without means by the Society and sent to that part of the Empire where it was felt he was needed.

Take another case, let us fancy a man who finds himself his own master with ample means of attaining his majority whether he puts the question directly to himself or not, still like the old story of virtue and vice in the Memorabilia a fight goes on in him as to what he should do. Take if he plunges into dissipation there is nothing too reckless he does not attempt but after a time his life palls on him, he mentally says this is not good enough, he changes his life, he reforms, he travels, he thinks now I have found the chief good in life, the novelty wears off, and he tires, to change again, he goes into the far interior after the wild game he thinks at last I’ve found that in life of which I cannot tire, again he is disappointed. He returns he thinks is there nothing I can do in life? Here I am with means, with a good house, with everything that is to be envied and yet I am not happy I am tired of life he possesses within him a portion of the [Greek term] of Aristotle but he knows it not, to such a man the Society should go, should test, and should finally show him the greatness of the scheme and list him as a member.

Take one more case of the younger son with high thoughts, high aspirations, endowed by nature with all the faculties to make a great man, and with the sole wish in life to serve his Country but he lacks two things the means and the opportunity, ever troubled by a sort of inward deity urging him on to high and noble deeds, he is compelled to pass his time in some occupation which furnishes him with mere existence, he lives unhappily and dies miserably. Such men as these the Society should search out and use for the furtherance of their object.

(In every Colonial legislature the Society should attempt to have its members prepared at all times to vote or speak and advocate the closer union of England and the colonies, to crush all disloyalty and every movement for the severance of our Empire. The Society should inspire and even own portions of the press for the press rules the mind of the people. The Society should always be searching for members who might by their position in the world by their energies or character forward the object but the ballot and test for admittance should be severe)

Once make it common and it fails. Take a man of great wealth who is bereft of his children perhaps having his mind soured by some bitter disappointment who shuts himself up separate from his neighbours and makes up his mind to a miserable existence. To such men as these the society should go gradually disclose the greatness of their scheme and entreat him to throw in his life and property with them for this object. I think that there are thousands now existing who would eagerly grasp at the opportunity. Such are the heads of my scheme.

For fear that death might cut me off before the time for attempting its development I leave all my worldly goods in trust to S. G. Shippard and the Secretary for the Colonies at the time of my death to try to form such a Society with such an object.

On September 19, 1877, Rhodes drafted his first will; at that time, he had an estate of only about £10,000. (Although he changed his will quite a number of times in years following, the objective remained the same. After his death, the directors of the Rhodes Trust set up the Rhodes Scholarships as the best way to achieve his objectives.) The first clause of the 1877 will bequeathed his wealth as follows:

To and for the establishment, promotion and development of a Secret Society, the true aim and object whereof shall be for the extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom, and of colonisation by British subjects of all lands where the means of livelihood are attainable by energy, labour and enterprise, and especially the occupation by British settlers of the entire Continent of Africa, the Holy Land, the Valley of the Euphrates, the Islands of Cyprus and Candia, the whole of South America, the Islands of the Pacific not heretofore possessed by Great Britain, the whole of the Malay Archipelago, the seaboard of China and Japan, the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of the British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire and, finally, the foundation of so great a Power as to render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity.
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:40 pm

Leo Amery
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/12/19

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. The name of the dining club was a reflection of the group's focus on "efficiency".

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.

The club's membership included:

• Leo Amery, statesman and Conservative politician

-- Coefficients (dining club), by Wikipedia

The Right Honourable
Leo Amery
First Lord of the Admiralty
In office
31 October 1922 – 28 January 1924
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Bonar Law
Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by The Lord Lee of Fareham
Succeeded by The Lord Chelmsford
Secretary of State for the Colonies
In office
6 November 1924 – 4 June 1929
Monarch George V
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by James Henry Thomas
Succeeded by The Lord Passfield
Secretary of State for India and Burma
In office
13 May 1940 – 26 July 1945
Monarch George VI
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Preceded by The Lord Zetland
Succeeded by The Lord Pethick-Lawrence
Personal details
Born Leopold Charles Maurice Stennett Amery
22 November 1873
Gorakhpur, British India
Died 16 September 1955 (aged 81)
London, United Kingdom
Nationality British
Political party Conservative
Education Harrow School
Balliol College, Oxford
All Souls College, Oxford
Profession Politician

Leopold Charles Maurice[1] Stennett Amery CH (22 November 1873 – 16 September 1955), usually known as Leo Amery or L. S. Amery, was a British Conservative Party politician and journalist, noted for his interest in military preparedness, British India and the British Empire and for his opposition to appeasement.

Early life and education

Leopold Amery was born in Gorakhpur, India, to an English father and a mother of Hungarian Jewish descent. His father was Charles Frederick Amery (1833–1901), of Lustleigh, Devon, an officer in the Indian Forestry Commission.[2] His mother Elisabeth Johanna Saphir (c. 1841–1908),[3] who was the sister of the orientalist Gottlieb Wilhelm Leitner,[4] had come to India from England, where her parents had settled and converted to Protestantism. In 1877, his mother moved back to England from India, and in 1885, she divorced Charles.[2]

In 1887, Amery went to Harrow School, where he was a contemporary of Winston Churchill. Amery represented Harrow at gymnastics and held the top position in examinations for a number of years; he also won prizes and scholarships.[2]

After Harrow, he went to Balliol College, Oxford, where he performed well. He gained a First in Classical Moderations in 1894; in literae humaniores in 1896 and was proxime accessit (runner-up) to the Craven scholar in 1894 and Ouseley scholar in Turkish in 1896. He also won a half-blue in cross-country running.[2]

He was elected a fellow of All Souls College. Undoubtedly intelligent, he could speak Hindi at 3; Amery was born in India and would naturally have acquired the language of his ayah (nanny). He could converse in French, German, Italian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Serbian and Hungarian. Amery was an active freemason.[5]


During the Second Boer War Amery was a correspondent for The Times. In 1901, in his articles on the conduct of the war, he attacked the British commander, Sir Redvers Henry Buller, which contributed to Buller's sacking. Amery was the only correspondent to visit Boer forces and was nearly captured with Churchill.[2] Amery later edited and largely wrote The Times History of the South African War (7 vol., 1899–1909).

The Boer War had exposed deficiencies in the British Army and in 1903, Amery wrote The Problem of the Army and advocated its reorganisation. In The Times he penned articles attacking free trade using the pseudonym "Tariff Reformer" and in 1906, he wrote The Fundamental Fallacies of Free Trade. Amery described it as "a theoretical blast of economic heresy" because he argued that the total volume of British trade was less important than the question of whether British trade was making up for the nation's lack of raw materials and food by exporting its surplus manufactured goods, shipping, and financial acumen.[2]

He was a member of the Coefficients dining club of social reformers, set up in 1902 by the Fabian campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webb.

Early political career

Amery turned down the chance to be editor of The Observer in 1908 and The Times in 1912 to concentrate on politics.[2]

He narrowly failed to win the 1908 Wolverhampton East by-election, by eight votes. In the 1911 Birmingham South by-election, he was unopposed as a Liberal Unionist Member of Parliament (MP) and he would hold that seat until 1945. One reason that Amery agreed to stand there under the Liberal Unionist label (it would fully merge with the Conservative Party the following year) was that he had been a longtime political admirer of Joseph Chamberlain and was an ardent supporter of tariff reform and imperial federation. According to AJP Taylor, Amery was a rare Conservative to promote protectionism "as merely the beginning of a planned economy".[6]

First World War

During the First World War, Amery's knowledge of Hungarian led to his employment as an Intelligence Officer in the Balkans campaign. Later, as a parliamentary under-secretary in Lloyd George's national government, he helped draft the Balfour Declaration, 1917. He also encouraged Ze'ev Jabotinsky in the formation of the Jewish Legion for the British Army in Palestine.

Amery was opposed to the Constitution of the League of Nations because he believed that the world was not equal and so the League, which granted all states equal voting rights was absurd. He instead believed that the world was tending towards larger and larger states that made up a balanced world of inherently stable units. He contrasted that idea with what he called US President Woodrow Wilson's "facile slogan of self-determination".[7]

First Lord of the Admiralty

He was First Lord of the Admiralty (1922–1924) under Bonar Law and Stanley Baldwin. The Washington Naval Conference of 1921 to 1922 resulted in the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty, which reduced the strength of the Royal Navy and the naval estimates from over £83,000,000 to £58,000,000. Amery defended the financing of the Singapore Naval Base against both Liberal and Labour attacks.[8]

Colonial Secretary

Amery was Colonial Secretary in Baldwin's government from 1924 to 1929. Amery expanded the role of the Commercial Adviser into the Economic and Financial Advisership under Sir George Schuster. He also created the post of Chief Medical Adviser, under Sir Thomas Stanton, and a range of advisers on education (Sir Hanns Visscher for Tropical Africa), agriculture (Sir Frank Stockdale), a Veterinary Adviser, and a Fisheries Adviser.[9] He also set up the Empire Marketing Board.[10] A favorite scheme was to develop one or more colonies into white-ruled dominions, with special attention to Southern Rhodesia, Kenya, and Palestine. The strong opposition by the overwhelming nonwhite populations in Africa, and by the Arabs in Palestine, destroyed his plans. In India, the strong resistance of the Congress movement defeated his hopes for greater integration into the Commonwealth.[11]

Out of office

Amery was not invited to join the National Government formed in 1931. He remained in Parliament but joined the boards of several prominent corporations. That was necessary as he had no independent means and had depleted his savings during the First World War and when he was a cabinet minister during the 1920s. Among his directorships were the boards of several German metal fabrication companies (representing British capital invested in the companies), the British Southern Railway, the Gloucester Wagon Company, Marks and Spencer, the famous shipbuilding firm Cammell Laird and the Trust and Loan of Canada. He was also chairman of the Iraq Currency Board.

In the course of his duties as a director of German metal fabrication companies, Amery gained a good understanding of German military potential. Adolf Hitler became alarmed at the situation and ordered a halt to non-German directors[citation needed]. Amery had spent a lot of time in Germany during the 1930s in connection with his work. He was not allowed to send his director's fees out of the country so he took his family on holiday in the Bavarian Alps. He had a lengthy meeting with Hitler on at least one occasion, and he met at length with Czech leader Edvard Beneš, Austrian leaders Engelbert Dollfuss and Kurt von Schuschnigg and Italian leader Benito Mussolini[citation needed].

Later career

Opposition to appeasement of Germany

In the debates on the need for an increased effort to rearm British forces, Amery tended to focus on army affairs, with Churchill speaking more about air defence and Roger Keyes talking about naval affairs. Austen Chamberlain was, until his death, a member of the group as well. While there was no question that Churchill was the most prominent and effective, Amery's work was still significant. He was a driving force behind the creation of the Army League, a pressure group designed to keep the needs of the British Army before the public.

In the 1930s, Amery, along with Churchill, was a bitter critic of the appeasement of Germany; they often openly attacked their own party. Being a former Colonial and Dominions Secretary, he was very aware of the views of the dominions and strongly opposed returning Germany's colonies, a proposal seriously considered by Neville Chamberlain.

On the rearmament question, Amery was consistent. He advocated a higher level of expenditure, but also a reappraisal of priorities through the creation of a top-level cabinet position to develop overall defence strategy so that the increased expenditures could be spent wisely. He thought that either he or Churchill should be given the post. When a ministry for the coordination of defence was finally created under a political lightweight, Sir Thomas Inskip, he regarded it as a joke.

When war came, Amery opposed cooperation with the Soviet Union against Germany. He was a lifelong anticommunist.

When Chamberlain announced his flight to Munich to the cheers of the House, Amery was one of only four members who remained seated (the others were Churchill, Anthony Eden, and Harold Nicolson).[12]

Amery differed from Churchill in hoping throughout the 1930s to foster an alliance with fascist Italy to counter the rising strength of Nazi Germany. A united front of Britain, France, and Italy would, he felt, have prevented a German occupation of Austria, especially with Czechoslovakia's support. He thus was for appeasing Italy by tacitly conceding its claims to Ethiopia. A start was made in the so-called Stresa Front of 1935, but he felt that Britain's decision to impose economic sanctions on Italy, for invading Ethiopia in 1936, drove Italy into the arms of Germany.

Amery distrusted the administration of US President Franklin Roosevelt. He resented American pressure on Canada to oppose imperial free trade, another of his favourite schemes. While the pressure was unsuccessful as long as Canadian Conservative Prime Minister Richard Bedford Bennett was in power, after he lost the 1935 election, his Liberal successor, William Lyon Mackenzie King, adopted a more pro-American stance.

Second World War

Amery is famous for two moments of high drama in the House of Commons, early in the Second World War. On 2 September 1939, Neville Chamberlain spoke in a Commons debate and strongly implied that he was not declaring war on Germany immediately even if it had invaded Poland. Amery was greatly angered, and Chamberlain was felt by many present to be out of touch with the temper of the British people. As Labour Party leader Clement Attlee was absent, Arthur Greenwood stood up in his place and announced that he was speaking for Labour. Amery called out to him across the floor, "Speak for England!" That strongly implied that Chamberlain was not doing so.[13]

The second incident occurred during the Norway Debate in 1940. After a string of military and naval disasters had been announced, Amery famously attacked Chamberlain's government in a devastating speech, finishing by quoting Oliver Cromwell:

You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go![14]

Lloyd George afterwards told Amery that in 50 years, he had heard few speeches that matched his in sustained power and none with so dramatic a climax.[15] The debate led to 42 Conservative Members of Parliament voting against Chamberlain and 36 abstaining, leading to the downfall of the Conservative government and the formation of a national government under Churchill's premiership. Amery himself noted in his diary that he believed that his speech was one of his best received in the House and that he had made a difference to the outcome of the debate.

Secretary of State for India and Burma

During the Churchill war ministry Amery was Secretary of State for India despite the fact that Churchill and Amery had long disagreed on the fate of India. Amery was disappointed not to be made a member of the small War Cabinet, but he was determined to do all he could in the position he was offered. He was continually frustrated by Churchill's intransigence, and in his memoirs, he recorded that Churchill knew "as much of the Indian problem as George III did of the American colonies".

Last years

At the 1945 general election, Amery lost his seat to Labour's Percy Shurmer, a Post Office worker. He was offered but refused a peerage because it might, when he died, have cut short the political career of his son, Julian, in the House of Commons. However, he was made a Companion of Honour. In retirement, Amery published a three-volume autobiography My Political Life (1953–1955).


Throughout his political career, Amery was an exponent of Imperial unity, as he saw the British Empire as a force for justice and progress in the world. He strongly supported the evolution of the dominions into independent nations bound to Britain by ties of kinship, trade, defence and a common pride in the Empire. He also supported the gradual evolution of the colonies, particularly India, to the same status, unlike Churchill, a free trader, who was less interested in the Empire as such and more in Britain itself as a great power. Amery felt that Britain itself was too weak to maintain its great power position.

Amery was very active in imperial affairs during the 1920s and 1930s. He was in charge of colonial affairs and relations with the dominions from 1924 to 1929. In the 1930s, he was a member of the Empire Industries Association and a chief organiser of the huge rally celebrating the empire at the Royal Albert Hall in 1936 marking the centenary of Joseph Chamberlain's birth. Amery maintained a very busy speaking schedule, with almost 200 engagements between 1936 and 1938, many of them devoted to imperial topics, especially Imperial Preference.

Amery wanted to keep the UK and the newly independent British Dominions united by trade behind a common tariff barrier and away from the United States. He viewed American intentions regarding the British Empire with increasingly grave suspicion. He hoped the Labour government elected in 1945 would resist promises of trade liberalisation made by Churchill to the United States during the Second World War. Amery's hopes were partially vindicated when the Attlee government, under intense American pressure, insisted upon the continuation of Imperial/Commonwealth Preference but conceded its more limited scope and promised against further expansion.

Personal life

Amery was a noted sportsman, especially famous as a mountaineer. He continued to climb well into his sixties, especially in the Swiss Alps but also in Bavaria, Austria, Yugoslavia, Italy and the Canadian Rockies, where Mount Amery is named after him. He enjoyed skiing as well. He was a member of the Alpine Club (serving as its president, 1943–1945) and of the Athenaeum and Carlton Clubs.

He was a Senior Knight Vice President of the Knights of the Round Table.[16]

On 16 November 1910, Amery married Florence Greenwood (1885–1975), daughter of the Canadian barrister John Hamar Greenwood.[17] They had two sons.

Their elder son, John Amery (1912–1945) became a Nazi sympathizer. During the Second World War he made propaganda broadcasts from Germany, and induced a few British prisoners of war to join the German-controlled British Free Corps. After the war, he was tried for treason, pleaded guilty, and was hanged. His father amended his entry in Who's Who to read "one s[on]", with the editors' permission.[18] The playwright Ronald Harwood, who explores the relationship between Leo and John Amery in his play An English Tragedy (2008), considers it significant to John Amery's story that Leo Amery had apparently concealed his partly-Jewish ancestry.

Amery's younger son, Julian Amery (1919–1996), became a Conservative politician; he served in the cabinets of Harold Macmillan and Sir Alec Douglas-Home as Minister for Aviation (1962–1964) and also held junior ministerial office under Edward Heath. He married Harold Macmillan's daughter, Catherine Macmillan.


1. At some stage in his youth, Amery began using the name Maurice in place of his previous name Moritz. He did this so consistently that almost all sources give his name as Maurice. Rubinstein, p. 181.
2. Deborah Lavin, ‘Amery, Leopold Charles Maurice Stennett (1873–1955)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011, accessed 2 June 2011.
3. Rubinstein, p. 177.
4. Elisabeth and Gottlieb's father Leopold Saphir died when they were young, and their mother married Johann Moritz Leitner. Rubinstein, p.177.
5. "Famous Freemasons". Blackpool Group of Lodges and Chapters. 10 December 2015.
6. A. J. P. Taylor (1965). English History 1914-1945. Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 375.
7. Amery, Volume Two, pp. 162-163.
8. Amery, Volume Two, pp. 253-254.
9. Amery, Volume Two, p. 338.
10. Amery, Volume Two, p. 347.
11. Bernard Porter (2014). The Lion's Share: A History of British Imperialism 1850-2011. Routledge. pp. 223–42.
12. David Faber (1 September 2009). Munich, 1938: Appeasement and World War II. Simon & Schuster. p. 398. ISBN 978-1-4391-4992-8.
13. Amery, Volume Three, p. 324.
14. Amery, Volume Three, p. 365.
15. Amery, Volume Three, p. 365, n. 1.
16. Manual of the Knights of the Round Table Club. 1927.
17. "Leopold Stennett Amery; Lady Florence Amery (née Greenwood)". National Portrait Gallery, London.
18. AMERY, Rt Hon. Leopold Stennett[permanent dead link] at Who Was Who 1997-2006 online (accessed 11 January 2008)


• L. S. Amery, My Political Life. Volume One: England Before the Storm. 1896-1914 (London: Hutchinson, 1953)
• L. S. Amery, My Political Life. Volume Two: War and Peace. 1914–1929 (London: Hutchinson, 1953)
• L. S. Amery, My Political Life. Volume Three: The Unforgiving Years. 1929–1940 (London: Hutchinson, 1955)
• L. S. Amery, "Days of Fresh Air, Being Reminiscences of Outdoor Life" (London: Hutchinson Universal Book Club, 1940)
• David Faber Speaking for England: Leo, Julian and John Amery: The Tragedy of a Political Family (Free Press, 2005) ISBN 0-7432-5688-3
• Deborah Lavin, ‘Amery, Leopold Charles Maurice Stennett (1873–1955)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011, accessed 2 June 2011
• Nigel Nicolson (ed.), The Diaries and Letters of Harold Nicolson. Volume II: The War Years, 1939-1945 (New York: Atheneum, 1967)
• William Rubinstein, ‘The secret of Leopold Amery’, Historical Research, vol. 73, no. 181 (June 2000), pp. 175–196

Further reading

• Amery, L. S. "Imperial Defence and National Policy" . The Empire and the century. London: John Murray. pp. 174–198.
• John Barnes and David Nicholson (eds.), The Leo Amery Diaries. 1896-1929 (London: Hutchinson, 1980)
• John Barnes and David Nicholson (eds.), The Empire at Bay. The Leo Amery Diaries. 1929-1945 (London: Hutchinson, 1987)
• Stephen Constantine, The Making of British Colonial Development Policy (London: Routledge, 1984)
• David Goldsworthy, Colonial Issues in British Politics, 1945–1961 (Oxford University Press, 1971)
• Wm Roger Louis, In the name of God, go! Leo Amery and the British empire in the age of Churchill (W. W. Norton & Co., 1992) online free
• W. R. Louis, ‘Leo Amery and the post-war world, 1945–55’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 30 (2002), pp. 71–90
• Philip Williamson, National Crisis and National Government: British Politics, the Economy and Empire, 1926–1932 (Cambridge University Press, 1992)

External links

• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Leo Amery
• "Archival material relating to Leo Amery". UK National Archives.
• Newspaper clippings about Leo Amery in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sat Oct 12, 2019 11:57 pm

Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/12/19

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. The name of the dining club was a reflection of the group's focus on "efficiency".

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.

The club's membership included:

• Sir Edward Grey, Liberal politician

-- Coefficients (dining club), by Wikipedia

After the split in the Liberal Party in 1886, it was the members of the Cecil Bloc who became Unionists — that is, the Lytteltons, the Wyndhams, the Cavendishes. As a result, the 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.

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

The Right Honourable, The Viscount Grey of Fallodon, KG PC DL FZS
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
10 December 1905 – 10 December 1916
Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
H. H. Asquith
Preceded by The Marquess of Lansdowne
Succeeded by Arthur Balfour
British Ambassador to the United States
In office
Monarch George V
President Woodrow Wilson
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by The Earl of Reading
Succeeded by Sir Auckland Geddes
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
In office
18 August 1892 – 20 June 1895
Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone
The Earl of Rosebery
Preceded by James Lowther
Succeeded by Hon. George Curzon
Member of Parliament
for Berwick-upon-Tweed
In office
Preceded by Hubert Jerningham
David Milne Home
Succeeded by Francis Blake
Personal details
Born 25 April 1862
London, England, UK
Died 7 September 1933 (aged 71)
Fallodon, Northumberland, England, UK
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) (1) Dorothy Widdrington (20 October 1885 – 4 February 1906) (2) Pamela Wyndham (d. 18 November 1928)
Alma mater Balliol College, Oxford
Profession Politician

Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon, KG, PC, DL, FZS (25 April 1862 – 7 September 1933), better known as Sir Edward Grey (prior to his elevation to the peerage he was the 3rd Baronet Grey of Fallodon), was a British Liberal statesman and the main force behind British foreign policy in the era of the First World War. An adherent of the "New Liberalism",[1] he served as foreign secretary from 1905 to 1916, the longest continuous tenure of any holder in that office. He renewed the 1902 alliance with Japan in 1911. The centerpiece of his policy was a defense of France against German aggression, while avoiding a binding alliance with Paris. He supported France in the Moroccan crises of 1905 in 1911. Another major achievement was the Anglo-Russian entente of 1907. He resolved an outstanding conflict with Germany over the Baghdad railway in 1913, but successfully convinced the cabinet that Britain had a obligation and honor to defend France, and prevent Germany from controlling Western Europe in August 1914. Once the war began, there was little role for his diplomacy; he lost office in December 1916. He was a leading British supporter of the League of Nations. He is remembered for his "the lamps are going out" remark on 3 August 1914 on the outbreak of the First World War.[2] He signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement on 16 May 1916.[3] Ennobled in 1916, he was Ambassador to the United States between 1919 and 1920 and Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords between 1923 and 1924.

Background, education and early life

Grey was the eldest of the seven children of Colonel George Henry Grey and Harriet Jane Pearson, daughter of Charles Pearson. His grandfather Sir George Grey, 2nd Baronet of Fallodon, was also a prominent Liberal politician, while his great-grandfather Sir George Grey, 1st Baronet of Fallodon, was the third son of Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey, and the younger brother of Prime Minister Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey.[4] He was also a cousin of two later British Foreign Secretaries: Anthony Eden and Lord Halifax. Grey attended Temple Grove School from 1873 until 1876.[citation needed] Whilst he was at that school his father died unexpectedly in December 1874, and his grandfather assumed responsibility for his education, sending him to Winchester College.[5]

Grey went on to Balliol College, Oxford, in 1880 to read Literae Humaniores. Apparently an indolent student, he was tutored by Mandell Creighton during the vacations and managed a second class in Honour Moderations. Grey subsequently became even more idle, using his time to become university champion at real tennis. In 1882 his grandfather died and he inherited a baronet's title, an estate of about 2,000 acres (8.1 km2), and a private income. Returning to the University of Oxford in the autumn of 1883, Grey switched to studying jurisprudence (law) in the belief that it would be an easier option, but by January 1884 he had been sent down (expelled). Nonetheless, he was allowed to return to sit his final examination. Grey returned in the summer and achieved Third Class honours.

Grey left university with no clear career plan and in the summer of 1884 he asked a neighbour, Lord Northbrook, at the time First Lord of the Admiralty, to find him "serious and unpaid employment." Northbrook recommended him as a private secretary to his kinsman Sir Evelyn Baring, the British consul general to Egypt, who was attending a conference in London. Grey had shown no particular interest in politics whilst at university, but by the summer of 1884 Northbrook found him "very keen on politics," and after the Egyptian conference had ended found him a position as an unpaid assistant private secretary to Hugh Childers, the Chancellor of the Exchequer.[citation needed]

Early political career

Grey was selected as the Liberal Party candidate for Berwick-upon-Tweed where his Conservative opponent was Earl Percy. He was duly elected in November 1885 and, at 23, became the youngest MP (Baby of the House) in the new House of Commons. He was not called in the Home Rule debate, but was nonetheless convinced by Gladstone and Morley of the rightness of the cause. A year later Grey summoned up the courage to make a maiden speech, at a similar period to Asquith. During the debate over the 1888 Land Purchase Bill he began "an association and friendship" with Haldane, which was "thus strengthened as years went on". The nascent imperialists voted against "this passing exception".[6] On a previous occasion he had met Neville Lyttelton, later a knight and general, who would become his closest friend.[7]

Grey retained his seat in the 1892 election with a majority of 442 votes and to his surprise was made Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs by William Ewart Gladstone (albeit after his son Herbert had refused the post) under the Foreign Secretary, Lord Rosebery. Grey would later claim that at this point he had had no special training nor paid special attention to foreign affairs.[8] The new Under-Secretary prepared the policy for making Uganda a new colony, proposing to build a railway from Cairo through East Africa. There was continuity in presentation and preparation during the Scramble for Africa; foreign policy was not an election issue. The Liberals continued to incline towards the Triple Alliance, causing the press to write of a "Quadruple Alliance".

Grey later dated his first suspicions of future Anglo-German disagreements to his early days in office, after Germany had sought commercial concessions from Britain in the Ottoman Empire; in return they would promise support for a British position in Egypt. "It was the abrupt and rough peremptoriness of the German action that gave me an unpleasant impression"; not, he added, that the German position was at all "unreasonable," rather that the "method... was not that of a friend."[9] With hindsight, he argued in his autobiography, "the whole policy of the years from 1886 to 1904 [might] be criticized as having played into the hands of Germany."[10]

1895 statement on French expansion in Africa

Grey in 1895

Prior to the Foreign Office vote on 28 March 1895, Grey asked Lord Kimberley, the new Foreign Secretary, for direction as to how he should answer any question about French activities in West Africa. According to Grey, Kimberley suggested "pretty firm language."[11] In fact, West Africa was not mentioned, but when pressed on possible French activities in the Nile Valley Grey stated that a French expedition "would be an unfriendly act and would be so viewed by England."[12] According to Grey the subsequent row both in Paris and in the Cabinet was made worse by the failure of Hansard to record that his statement referred explicitly to the Nile Valley and not to Africa in general.[13] The statement was made before the dispatch of the Marchand expedition—indeed, he believed it might have actually provoked it—and as Grey admits did much to damage future Anglo-French relations.[14]

The Liberal Party lost a key vote in the House of Commons on 21 June 1895, and Grey was among the majority in his party that preferred a dissolution to continuing. He seems to have left office with few regrets, noting, "I shall never be in office again and the days of my stay in the House of Commons are probably numbered. We [he and his wife] are both very glad and relieved ..."[15] The Liberals were soundly defeated in the subsequent General Election, although Grey added 300 votes to his own majority.[16] He was to remain out of office for the next ten years, but was sworn of the Privy Council on 11 August 1902,[17] following an announcement of the King´s intention to make this appointment in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published in June that year.[18]

He was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Northumberland in 1901.[19]

Foreign Secretary 1905–1916

Grey caricatured by Spy for Vanity Fair, 1903

With the Conservative government of Arthur Balfour divided and unpopular, there was some speculation that H. H. Asquith and his allies Grey and Richard Haldane would refuse to serve in the next Liberal government unless the Liberal leader Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman accepted a peerage, which would have left Asquith as the real leader in the House of Commons. The plot (called the "Relugas Compact" after the Scottish lodge where the men met) collapsed when Asquith agreed to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Campbell-Bannerman. When Campbell-Bannerman formed a government in December 1905 Grey was appointed Foreign Secretary—the first Foreign Secretary to sit in the Commons since 1868. Haldane became Secretary of State for War. The party won a landslide victory in the 1906 general election. Whilst an MP he voted in favour of the 1908 Women's Enfranchisement Bill.[20] When Campbell-Bannerman stepped down as Prime Minister in 1908, Grey was Asquith's only realistic rival to succeed his friend. In the event, Grey continued as Foreign Secretary, and held office for 11 years to the day, the longest continuous tenure in that office.

Anglo-Russian Entente 1907

See also: Anglo-Russian Entente

As early as 13 December 1905, Grey had assured the Russian Ambassador Count Alexander Benckendorff that he supported the idea of an agreement with Russia.[21] Negotiations began soon after the arrival of Sir Arthur Nicolson as the new British Ambassador in June 1906. In contrast with the previous Conservative government that had seen Russia as a potential threat to the empire, Grey's intention was to re-establish Russia "as a factor in European politics"[22] on the side of France and Great Britain to maintain a balance of power in Europe.[23]

Agadir Crisis 1911

Main article: Agadir Crisis

Grey did not welcome the prospect of a renewed crisis over Morocco: he worried that it might either lead to a re-opening of the issues covered by the Treaty of Algeciras or that it might drive Spain into alliance with Germany. Initially Grey tried to restrain both France and Spain, but by the spring of 1911 he had failed on both counts. Grey believed that, whether he liked it or not, his hands were tied by the terms of the Entente cordiale. The despatch of the German gunboat Panther to Agadir served to strengthen French resolve and, because he was determined both to protect the agreement with France and also to block German attempts at expansion around the Mediterranean, it pushed Grey closer to France. Grey, however, tried to calm the situation, merely commenting on the "abrupt" nature of the German intervention, and insisting that Britain must participate in any discussions about the future of Morocco.[24]

In cabinet on 4 July 1911, Grey accepted that Britain would oppose any German port in the region, any new fortified port anywhere on the Moroccan coast, and that Britain must continue to enjoy an "open door" for its trade with Morocco. Grey at this point was resisting efforts by the Foreign Office to support French intransigence. By the time a second cabinet was held on 21 July, Grey had adopted a tougher position, suggesting that he propose to Germany that a multi-national conference be held, and that were Germany to refuse to participate "we should take steps to assert and protect British interests."[25]

Grey was made a Knight of the Garter in 1912.[26] Throughout the period leading up to World War Grey played a leading part in negotiations with the Kaiser. He visited Germany and invited their delegation to the Windsor Castle Conference in 1912. They returned several times, with Haldane acting as interpreter.

July Crisis 1914

Although Grey's activist foreign policy, which relied increasingly on the Triple Entente with France and Russia, came under criticism from the radicals within his own party, he maintained his position because of support from the Conservatives for his "non-partisan" foreign policy. In 1914, Grey played a key role in the July Crisis leading to the outbreak of World War I. His attempts to mediate the dispute between Austria-Hungary and Serbia were ignored by both sides. On 16 July, British ambassador to Austria-Hungary advised that Austria-Hungary regarded the Serbian government as having been complicit in the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, and would have to act if Austria-Hungary was not to lose her position as a Great Power. The British Cabinet were preoccupied with the crisis in Ulster, and Grey failed to realize the urgency of the situation, and chose to await further developments.[27]

On 23 July, Austria-Hungary formally handed the Serbian government an ultimatum, which demanded their acceptance, by 25 July, of terms tantamount to Serbia’s vassalage to Austria-Hungary; it was soon clear that Serbia would accept most of the demands but that Austria-Hungary would settle for nothing less than complete capitulation. On 24 July, the French ambassador in London tried to waken Grey to the realization that once Austrian forces crossed the Serbian border, it would be too late for mediation. Grey responded by urging the German ambassador to attempt a four-power conference of Britain, France, Italy and Germany at Vienna to mediate between Austria-Hungary and Russia, Serbia's patron, or at least to obtain an extension of the time-limit set by Austria-Hungary. Grey again proposed a four-power conference on 26 July. He also suggested that Russia and Austria-Hungary should be encouraged to negotiate. The other powers were open to the idea, but Germany had other intentions.[28][29]

After the collapse of Grey’s four-power talks on Tuesday 28 July, it was clear that war on the continent was now inevitable, although it was not yet certain whether Britain should be involved. Asquith, Grey and Haldane had a late night talk at the Foreign Office.[30] On Wednesday 29 July two decisions were taken at Cabinet. Firstly, the Armed Forces were placed on alert (the "Precautionary Period" was declared and the War Book was opened at 2pm). Secondly, the Cabinet agreed to guarantee the neutrality of Belgium, but that Britain’s response to any violation of Belgian neutrality would be decided on grounds of policy rather than strict legality. Grey was authorised to tell the German and French ambassadors that Britain had not yet made a decision as to whether or on what terms to join in or stand aside. Besides issues of party management (many Liberal MPs, including at least a third of the Cabinet, and the Liberal press apart from the Westminster Gazette, wanted Britain to stay out), Asquith and Grey genuinely believed that openly backing France and Russia would make them more intransigent, without necessarily deterring Germany.[31] On Friday 31 July Grey had a "rather painful" interview with Paul Cambon, the French Ambassador, at which he resisted Cambon's pressure to back France openly.[32]

King George telegraphed Berlin to confirm that Grey had stated that Britain would remain neutral if France and Russia were not attacked. By 31 July, when Grey finally sent a memorandum demanding that Germany respect Belgium's neutrality, it was too late. German forces were already massed at the Belgian border, and Helmuth von Moltke convinced Kaiser Wilhelm II it was too late to change the plan of attack.

At a meeting with Prince Lichnowsky, the German Ambassador, early on 1 August, Grey stated the conditions necessary for Britain to remain neutral, but perhaps with a lack of clarity. Grey did not make it clear that Britain would not ignore a breach of the Treaty of London (1839), to respect and protect the neutrality of Belgium. Nor it seems did he make it clear that Britain would support Russia, for at 11:14 AM that morning, Lichnowsky sent a telegram to Berlin which indicated that Grey had proposed that, if Germany were not to attack France, Britain would remain neutral.[33] Saturday 1 August saw a difficult Cabinet from 11am to 1.30pm. The Cabinet were divided, but (with the notable exception of Churchill) predominantly against war. Grey threatened to resign if the Cabinet pledged not to intervene under any circumstances. Asquith's private preference was to stay out, but he gave Grey staunch support and reckoned he would have to resign if Grey did.[34] Overnight Germany issued an ultimatum to Russia and France. The first of two Cabinets on Sunday 2 August was from 11am to 2pm. After much difficulty it was agreed that Grey should tell Cambon and the Germans that the Royal Navy would not allow the German navy to conduct hostile operations in the Channel (the French fleet was concentrated in the Mediterranean, under an Anglo-French naval agreement of 1912).[35]

On Monday 3 August, Germany declared war on France and broke the old London treaty by invading Belgium. That afternoon Grey made an hour-long speech to the House of Commons.[36][37] As Grey stood at a window in the Foreign Office, watching the lamps being lit as dusk approached on 3 August, he is famously said to have remarked to the editor of the Westminster Gazette, "The lamps are going out all over Europe. We shall not see them lit again in our time."[38][36][37]

United by the need to assist France as promised, and hold the Liberal party together lest the warmongering Conservatives take power, the Cabinet voted almost unanimously for war, with only John Burns and Viscount Morley resigning. On the afternoon of Tuesday 4 August the House of Commons was informed that an ultimatum had been given to Germany expiring midnight Berlin time (11pm in London). In terms of public appeal, the Liberals made a great deal of German violation of Belgian neutrality, but this was not the main cause for its decision to go to war.[39][40]

Historians studying the July crisis typically conclude that Grey:

was not a great foreign secretary but an honest, reticent, punctilious English gentleman.... He exhibited a judicious understanding of European affairs, a firm control of his staff, and a suppleness and tact in diplomacy, but he had no boldness, no imagination, no ability to command men and events. [Regarding the war] He pursued a cautious, moderate policy, one that not only fitted his temperament, but also reflected the deep split in the Cabinet, in the Liberal party, and in public opinion.[41]

First World War

Further information: Diplomatic history of World War I

After the outbreak of World War I, the conduct of British foreign policy was increasingly constrained by the demands of a military struggle beyond Grey's control. During the war, Grey worked with Marquess of Crewe to press an initially reluctant ambassador to the United States, Sir Cecil Spring Rice, to raise the issue of the Hindu-German Conspiracy with the American government; this ultimately led to the unfolding of the entire plot.

In the early years of the war, Grey oversaw negotiation of important secret agreements with new allies (Italy and the Arab rebels) and with France and Russia (the Sykes-Picot Agreement) which, among other provisions, assigned postwar control of the Turkish Straits to Russia. Otherwise, Asquith and Grey generally preferred to avoid discussion of war aims for fear of raising an issue that might fracture the Entente. In a 12 February 1916 paper the new Chief of the Imperial General Staff William Robertson proposed that the Allies offer a separate peace to Turkey, or offer Turkish territory to Bulgaria to encourage Bulgaria to break with the Central Powers and make peace, so as to allow British forces in that theatre to be redeployed against Germany. Grey replied that Britain needed her continental allies more than they needed her, and imperial interests could not incur the risk (e.g., by reneging on the promise that Russia was to have control of the Turkish Straits) that they might choose to make a separate peace, which would leave Germany dominant on the continent.[42]

Grey retained his position as Foreign Secretary when Asquith's Coalition Government (which included the Conservatives) was formed in May 1915. Grey was one of those Liberal ministers who contemplated joining Sir John Simon (Home Secretary) in resigning in protest at the conscription of bachelors, due to be enacted in January 1916, but he did not do so.[43]

In an attempt to reduce his workload, he left the House of Commons for the House of Lords in July 1916, accepting a peerage as Viscount Grey of Fallodon, in the County of Northumberland.[44] When Asquith's ministry collapsed in December 1916 and David Lloyd George became Prime Minister, Grey went into opposition.

Later career

Lord Grey of Fallodon

Grey became President of the League of Nations Union in 1918.[45] In 1919 he was appointed Ambassador to the United States.[46] Grey's eyesight had deteriorated to near blindness by this stage and his appointment was a short-term one, for five months until 1920. He dealt with the issue of Irish independence, but failed to convince the U.S. to ratify the Treaty of Versailles.[47] During his stay in the U.S. Grey was unable to obtain a meeting with President Woodrow Wilson, a fact which he attributed to the influence of the Irish lobby.[48][49]

By mid July 1920 Lord Robert Cecil, a moderate and staunchly pro-League of Nations Conservative, was keen for a party realignment under Grey, who was also a strong supporter of the League.[50] Grey had been irritated by Asquith's failure to congratulate him on his Washington appointment, but they reestablished relations in November 1920.[51] Asquith reached an agreement with Grey on 29 June 1921, suggesting that he could be Leader in the Lords and Lord President of the Council in any future Liberal Government, as his eyesight was no longer good enough to cope with the paperwork of running a major department. Grey wanted British troops simply pulled out of Ireland and the Irish left to sort themselves out, a solution likened by Roy Jenkins to the British withdrawal from India in 1947.[52]

The success of Anti-Waste League candidates at by-elections made leading Liberals feel that there was a strong vote which might be tapped by a wider-based and more credible opposition to Lloyd George's Coalition government.[52] Talks between Grey and Lord Robert Cecil also began in June 1921.[51] A wider meeting (Cecil, Asquith, Grey, and leading Liberals Lord Crewe, Walter Runciman and Sir Donald Maclean) was held on 5 July 1921. Cecil wanted a genuine coalition rather than a de facto Liberal government, with Grey rather than Asquith as Prime Minister, and an official manifesto by himself and Grey which the official Liberal leaders Asquith and Lord Crewe would then endorse. Another Conservative, Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland, later joined in the talks, and his views were similar to Cecil’s, but Maclean, Runciman and Crewe were hostile. Grey himself was not keen, and his eyesight would have been a major handicap to his becoming Prime Minister. He missed the third meeting, saying that he was feeding squirrels in Northumberland, and was late for the fourth. He did, however, make a move by speaking in his former constituency in October 1921, to little effect, after which the move for a party realignment fizzled out.[53]

Grey continued to be active in politics despite his near blindness, serving as Leader of the Liberal Party in the House of Lords from 1923 until his resignation on the grounds that he was unable to attend on a regular basis shortly before the 1924 election. Having declined to stand for Chancellor of the University of Oxford in 1925, to make way for Asquith's unsuccessful bid, he was elected unopposed as in 1928 and held the position until his death in 1933.[54]

Private life

The Wyndham Sisters, by John Singer Sargent, 1899 (Metropolitan Museum)

Grey married Dorothy, daughter of S. F. Widdrington, of Newton Hall, Northumberland, in 1885. They enjoyed a close relationship, sharing a fondness for peaceful rural pursuits at their country residence by the river Itchen in Hampshire.[55] After her death in a road accident in February 1906, Grey remained single until marrying Pamela Adelaide Genevieve Wyndham, daughter of the Honourable Percy Wyndham and widow of Lord Glenconner, in 1922. There were no children from either marriage.[4] According to Max Hastings, however, Grey had two illegitimate children as a result of extra-marital affairs.[56] According to Edward James, one of them is his sister, Audrey Evelyn James, officially the daughter of William Dodge James and Evelyn Elizabeth Forbes.[57]

Portrait of Sir Edward Grey by James Guthrie, circa 1924–1930.

During his university years Grey represented his college at football and was also an excellent tennis player being Oxford champion in 1883 (and winning the varsity competition the same year) and won the British championship in 1889, 1891, 1895, 1896 and 1898. He was runner-up in 1892, 1893 and 1894, years in which he held office.[58] He was also a lifelong fly fisherman, publishing a book, Fly Fishing, on his exploits in 1899,[59] which remains one of the most popular books ever written on the subject. He continued to fish by touch after his deteriorating eye-sight meant he was no longer able to see the fly or a rising fish. He was also an avid ornithologist; one of the best-known photographs of him shows him with a robin perched on his hat; The Charm of Birds was published in 1927. He was among his Liberal friends Asquith and Haldane, a member of the Coefficients dining club of social reformers set up in 1902 by the Fabian campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webb.[citation needed]


Lady Grey of Fallodon died on 18 November 1928. Lord Grey remained a widower until his own death at Fallodon on 7 September 1933, aged 71, following which his body was cremated at Darlington.[60] The Viscountcy became extinct on his death, though he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his cousin, Sir George Grey.[4]

Styles of address

Shield of Arms of Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon, KG, PC, DL, FZS

• 1862-1882: Mr Edward Grey
• 1882-1885: Sir Edward Grey Bt
• 1885-1901: Sir Edward Grey Bt MP
• 1901-1902: Sir Edward Grey Bt DL MP
• 1902-1912: The Right Honourable Sir Edward Grey Bt DL MP
• 1912-1916: The Right Honourable Sir Edward Grey Bt KG DL MP
• 1916-1933: The Right Honourable The Viscount Grey of Fallodon KG PC DL[a]
1. Although The Viscount Grey of Fallodon was a baronet, by custom the post-nominal of "Bt" is omitted, as Peers of the Realm do not list subsidiary hereditary titles.

Cover of Grey's Recreation, 1920


• Cottage Book. Itchen Abbas, 1894–1905 (1909)
• Recreation (1920)
• Twenty-Five Years, 1892–1916 (1925)
• Fallodon Papers (1926)
• The Charm of Birds (Hodder and Stoughton, 1927)
• Fly Fishing (1899)

See also

• Edward Grey Institute of Field Ornithology
• Timeline of British diplomatic history#1897-1919
• Temple Grove School
• Winchester College


1. Finn, Margot C. "The Reform League, Union, and International". After Chartism: Class and Nation in English Radical Politics 1848-1874. Cambridge University Press. p. 259.
2. Viscount Grey of Fallodon: Twenty-Five Years 1892-1916 (New York, 1925) p. 20
3. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009. p. 8.
4. Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon
5. Leach, Arthur F. A History of Winchester College. London and New York, 1899. Page 510
6. Grey of Fallodon, "Twenty-five Years", vol.1, p.xxiv
7. D Owen, "Military Conversations", p.
8. Viscount Grey, Twenty Five Years, 1892–1916 (London, 1925) p.1.
9. Viscount Grey, Twenty Five Years, p.10.
10. Viscount Grey, Twenty Five Years, p.33.
11. Viscount Grey, Twenty Five Years, 1892–1916 (London, 1925), p. 18.
12. Quoted in Viscount Grey, Twenty Five Years, 1892–1916 (London, 1925), p.20.
13. Viscount Grey, Twenty Five Years, 1892–1916 (London, 1925), p. 20.
14. Viscount Grey, Twenty Five Years, 1892–1916 (London, 1925), p. 21.
15. E & D Grey, Cottage Book, Itchen Abbas, 1894–1905 (London, 1909) entry of 22/23 June 1985.
16. Keith Robbins, Sir Edward Grey. A Biography of Lord Grey of Fallodon (London, 1971) p.56.
17. "No. 27464". The London Gazette. 12 August 1902. p. 5174.
18. "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
19. "No. 27305". The London Gazette. 16 April 1901. p. 2625.
20. ... ent-bill-1
21. Beryl Williams, Great Britain and Russia, 1905 to the 1907 Convention p.133, in F. H. Hinsley (ed.), British Foreign Policy Under Sir Edward Grey (Cambridge, 1977)
22. Beryl Williams, Great Britain and Russia, 1905 to the 1907 Convention p.133, in F. H. Hinsley (ed.), British Foreign Policy Under Sir Edward Grey (Cambridge, 1977), p. 134.
23. Grey claimed that to the best of his recollection he had never used the phrase "balance of power," never consciously pursued it as a policy and was doubtful as to its precise meaning. Viscount Grey, Twenty Five Years 1892–1916 (London, 1925) pp. 4–5.
24. Michael L. Dockrill, The formulation of a continental foreign policy by Great Britain, 1908-1912 (1986) p 181
25. Quoted in M.L. Dockrill, "British Policy During the Agadir Crisis of 1911" p. 276. in F.H. Hinsley (ed.), British Foreign Policy Under Sir Edward Grey (Cambridge, 1977)
26. "No. 28581". The London Gazette. 16 February 1912. p. 1169.
27. Christopher Clark, "Sir Edward Grey and the July Crisis." International History Review 38.2 (2016): 326-338.
28. Jenkins, p. 324.
29. Koss, p. 155.
30. Jenkins, p. 325.
31. Koss, p. 156-7.
32. Jenkins, p. 325-6.
33. Harry F Young, "The Misunderstanding of August 1, 1914," Journal of modern history (Dec 1976), 644-665.
34. Koss, p. 157-8.
35. Jenkins, p. 327-8.
36. Koss, p. 159.
37. Jenkins, p. 328-9.
38. Sir Edward Grey, 3rd Baronet Encyclopædia Britannica Article. Other common versions of the quote are
 The lights are going out all over Europe and I doubt we will see them go on again in our lifetime, (Sources Malta in Europe—a new dawn Department of Information—Government of Malta, 2000–2006. Ambassador Guenter Burghardt The State of the Transatlantic RelationshipArchived 1 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine 4 June 2003)
 The lights are going out all over Europe: we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime, The lights are going out all over Europe William Wright, Editor Financial News Online US Archived 26 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine 6 March 2006
39. Jenkins, p. 329.
40. Koss, p. 159-60.
41. Clayton Roberts and David F. Roberts, A History of England, Volume 2: 1688 to the present. Vol. 2(3rd edition, 1991) p. 722.
42. Woodward, 1998, p 35
43. Guinn 1965 pp.126-7
44. "No. 29689". The London Gazette. 1 August 1916. p. 7565.
45. Waterhouse 2013, p.384
46. "No. 31581". The London Gazette. 3 October 1919. p. 12139.
47. George W. Egerton, "Britain and the 'Great Betrayal': Anglo-American Relations and the Struggle for United States Ratification of the Treaty of Versailles, 1919-1920" Historical Journal (1978) 21#4 pp. 885-911 online
48. Wilson had in fact suffered a severe stroke at the start of October 1919, although this was not widely known for several months.
49. Waterhouse 2013, pp.384-6
50. Koss 1985, p249
51. Koss 1985, p251
52. Jenkins 1964, p490-1
53. Jenkins 1964, p491-2
54. Chancellors of the University of Oxford Archived 21 May 2008 at the Wayback MachineUniversity of Oxford
55. Massie, Robert K. Dreadnought. Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War. pp. 584–585. ISBN 1-8441-3528-4.
56. Hastings, Max (2013). Catastrophe 1914. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 37. ISBN 978-0-307-59705-2.
57. Carpenter, Humphrey (2013). The Brideshead Generation: Evelyn Waugh and His Friends. Faber & Faber. p. 22. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
58. Keith Robbins, Sir Edward Grey. A Biography of Lord Grey of Fallodon, (London, 1971) pp. 15, 55.
59. Viscount Grey, Fly Fishing, (London, 1899)
60. The Complete Peerage, Volume XIII—Peerage Creations 1901–1938. St Catherine's Press. 1949. p. 230.



Sir Edward Grey ; Flyfishing 1899, 1929 two new chapters were added.
Sir Edward Grey: On Sea trout 1913,
Sir Edward Grey : The Flyfisherman 1926

• Viscount Grey of Fallodon [E. Grey] (1925). Twenty-Five Years 1892-1916. 2 vols. Hodder and Stoughton. online free vol 1 and vol 2
• Gordon, H.S. (1937). Edward Grey of Fallodon and His Birds. London.

Further reading

• Clark, Christopher. "Sir Edward Grey and the July Crisis." International History Review 38.2 (2016): 326-338.
• Guinn, Paul (1965). British Strategy and Politics 1914-18. Clarendon. ASIN B0000CML3C.
• Hinsley, F.H., ed. (1977). British Foreign Policy Under Sir Edward Grey. Cambridge.
• Jenkins, Roy (1964). Asquith (first ed.). London: Collins. OCLC 243906913.
• Koss, Stephen (1985). Asquith. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-231-06155-1.
• Lowe, C.J.; Dockrill, M. L. Mirage of Power: British Foreign Policy 1902-1914. 3 vols.
• Lowe, C.J.; Dockrill, M. L. (1972). Mirage of Power: The Documents. 3: British Foreign Policy 1902-1922.
• Lutz, Hermann. Lord Grey and the World War (1928) online
• Mombauer, Annika. "Sir Edward Grey, Germany, and the Outbreak of the First World War: A Re-Evaluation." International History Review 38.2 (2016): 301-325. online
• Mulligan, William. "From Case to Narrative: The Marquess of Lansdowne, Sir Edward Grey, and the Threat from Germany, 1900–1906." International History Review 30.2 (2008): 273-302.
• Murray, Gilbert (1915). The Foreign Policy of Sir Edward Grey, 1906-1915.
• Neilson, Keith."'Control of the Whirlwind': Sir Edward Grey as Foreign Secretary, 1906-1916," in T.G. Otte (ed.), Makers of British Foreign Policy. From Pitt to Thatcher (Basingstoke 2002
• Otte, T. G. "‘Postponing the Evil Day’: Sir Edward Grey and British Foreign Policy." International History Review 38.2 (2016): 250-263. online
• Otte, Thomas G. "'Almost a law of nature'? Sir Edward Grey, the foreign office, and the balance of power in Europe, 1905-12." Diplomacy and Statecraft 14.2 (2003): 77-118.
• Robbins, Keith (1971). Sir Edward Grey. A Biography of Lord Grey of Fallodon.
• Robbins, Keith (2011). "Grey, Edward, Viscount Grey of Fallodon (1862–1933)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33570.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
• Steiner, Zara (1969). The Foreign Office and Foreign Policy 1898–1914. London.
• Steiner, Zara (1977). Britain and the Origins of the First World War. London.
• Trevelyan, G.M. (1937). Grey of Fallodon; the Life of Sir Edward Grey.
• Waterhouse, Michael (2013). Edwardian Requiem: A Life of Sir Edward Grey. popular biography

External links

• Works by Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon at Internet Archive
• Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Sir Edward Grey
• Buckle, George Earle (1922). "Grey of Fallodon, Edward Grey, 1st Viscount" . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.).
• 1914-1918 online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War
• Grey's Speech of 3 August 1914 before the House of Commons ("We are going to suffer, I am afraid, terribly in this war, whether we are in it or whether we stand aside.")
• The Genesis of the "A.B.C." Memorandum of 1901.
• Newspaper clippings about Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:05 am

James Louis Garvin
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/12/19

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. The name of the dining club was a reflection of the group's focus on "efficiency".

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.

The club's membership included:

• James Louis Garvin, journalist and editor

-- Coefficients (dining club), by Wikipedia

James Louis Garvin
James Louis Garvin in 1913
Born 12 April 1868
Birkenhead, England
Died 23 January 1947 (aged 78)
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, England
Occupation Journalist and editor
Spouse(s) Christina Ellen Wilson (1894–1918)
Viola Woods (1921–1947)
Children Roland Gerard Garvin
Viola Garvin
Una Garvin
Katherine Garvin
Ursula Garvin

James Louis Garvin (12 April 1868 – 23 January 1947) was a British journalist, editor, and author. In 1908 Garvin agreed to take over the editorship of the Sunday newspaper The Observer, revolutionising Sunday journalism and restoring the paper, facing financial troubles at the time, to profitability in the process.

Youth and early years in journalism

The youngest of two children, Garvin was born in Birkenhead. His father, Michael Garvin, was an impoverished Irish labourer who died at sea when Garvin was two, leaving him to be raised by his mother Catherine. Though a voracious reader, he left school at the age of thirteen and worked first as a messenger, then as a clerk. His elder brother, Michael, became a teacher; his status as the family's primary source of income led them to move, first in 1884 to Hull, then to Newcastle five years later.

Despite undergoing examination to join the civil service, from an early age Garvin yearned to become an editor. As a teenager he contributed letters and articles to the Eastern Morning News and the Dublin Weekly Freeman, much of which reflected his early advocacy for Home Rule. In 1891, Garvin applied to Joseph Cowen for a position at the Newcastle Evening Chronicle. Given a position as a proof-reader and occasional contributor, Garvin spent the next eight years honing his skills as a journalist, with Cowen serving as his mentor and father-figure. Yet Garvin yearned for a larger stage, and by the end of the decade he became a regular (though anonymous) contributor to the Fortnightly Review, then edited by W. L. Courtney.

Garvin's ambition extended beyond Newcastle, however. Through his association with Courtney, Garvin gained a position as a leader-writer for the Daily Telegraph in 1899. Moving to London, his writings on politics and literature soon earned him renown. By now his politics had changed, as he became a unionist and a follower of Joseph Chamberlain. In 1904, Garvin accepted the editorship of The Outlook, a weekly publication which was being turned into a platform for the promotion of Chamberlain's scheme of tariff reform. Though The Outlook quickly saw a rise in circulation and influence, its failure to turn a profit led to the paper's sale and Garvin's exit two years later.

Pre-war editorship of The Observer

?-!, Vanity Fair, 1911

Soon after his departure from The Outlook, Garvin was approached by newspaper magnate Lord Northcliffe. Though he turned down a financially lucrative offer to write for Northcliffe's flagship publication, the Daily Mail, in 1908 Garvin agreed to take over the editorship of the historic Sunday newspaper The Observer. First published in 1791, the paper had recently faced financial troubles that led to its acquisition by Northcliffe. Within eighteen months, Garvin had reshaped The Observer, revolutionising Sunday journalism and restoring the paper to profitability in the process.

The real efforts of the Milner Group were directed into more fruitful and anonymous activities such as The Times and The Round Table.

The Milner Group did not own The Times before 1922, but clearly controlled it at least as far back as 1912. Even before this last date, members of the innermost circle of the Milner Group were swarming about the great newspaper. In fact, it would appear that The Times had been controlled by the Cecil Bloc since 1884 and was taken over by the Milner Group in the same way in which All Souls was taken over, quietly and without a struggle. The midwife of this process apparently was George E. Buckle (1854-1935), graduate of New College in 1876, member of All Souls since 1877, and editor of The Times from 1884 to 1912. (2) The chief members of the Milner Group who were associated with The Times have already been mentioned. Amery was connected with the paper from 1899 to 1909. During this period he edited and largely wrote the Times History of the South African War. Lord Esher was offered a directorship in 1908. Grigg was a staff writer in 1903-1905, and head of the Imperial Department in 1908-1913. B. K. Long was head of the Dominion Department in 1913-1921 and of the Foreign Department in 1920-1921. Monypenny was assistant editor both before and after the Boer War (1894-1899, 1903-1908) and on the board of directors after the paper was incorporated (1908-1912). Dawson was the paper's chief correspondent in South Africa in the Selborne period (1905-1910), while Basil Williams was the reporter covering the National Convention there (1908-1909). When it became clear in 1911 that Buckle must soon retire, Dawson was brought into the office in a rather vague capacity and, a year later, was made editor. The appointment was suggested and urged by Buckle. (3) Dawson held the position from 1912 to 1941, except for the three years 1919-1922. This interval is of some significance, for it revealed to the Milner Group that they could not continue to control The Times without ownership. The Cecil Bloc had controlled The Times from 1884 to 1912 without ownership, and the Milner Group had done the same in the period 1912-1919, but, in this last year, Dawson quarreled with Lord Northcliffe (who was chief proprietor from 1908-1922) and left the editor's chair. As soon as the Milner Group, through the Astors, acquired the chief proprietorship of the paper in 1922, Dawson was restored to his post and held it for the next twenty years. Undoubtedly the skillful stroke which acquired the ownership of The Times from the Harmsworth estate in 1922 was engineered by Brand. During the interval of three years during which Dawson was not editor, Northcliffe entrusted the position to one of The Time's famous foreign correspondents, H. W. Steed.

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

With the Unionist Party still recovering from its massive defeat in the general election of 1906, Garvin soon emerged as a dominant figure in Unionist politics. Using The Observer as a platform, he denounced the budget introduced by Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George in 1909, and he encouraged the Unionist-dominated House of Lords to veto it. As the question of Home Rule for Ireland increasingly overshadowed British politics, Garvin advocated a federalist solution to the problem.

By 1911, a rift had emerged between Garvin and Northcliffe over the critical issue of tariff reform. When their dispute became public, the press baron agreed to sell the paper to William Waldorf Astor, who accepted Garvin's proposal to assume ownership on condition that Garvin edit the Astor-owned Pall Mall Gazette as well. In 1915, Astor gave the two papers to his son, Waldorf as a birthday gift; Waldorf Astor then sold the Pall Mall Gazette, which allowed Garvin to leave his position with that paper and focus on editing The Observer.

1791 The Observer is published for the first time on Sunday 4 December. Its founder, WS Bourne, states that it would share 'the spirit of enlightened Freedom, decent Toleration and universal Benevolence'.

1812 Observer journalist Vincent George Dowling has a real scoop when he not only witnesses the assassination of Prime Minister Spencer Perceval he also seizes the assassin.

1814 William Innell Clement buys The Observer, adding it to his growing stable of newspapers .

1820 Clement defies a court order against coverage of the trial of the Cato Street Conspirators accused of attempting to murder members of the Cabinet. Woodcut illustrations are used to promote the story.

1857 Lewis Doxat, Clement's editor, is succeeded by Joseph Snowe.

1861-1865 The Observer sides with the North during the American Civil War. Readership declines.

1870 Julius Beer, a wealthy businessman, buys the paper.

1880 Frederick Beer inherits The Observer on the death of his father. Frederick's wife, Rachel, buys the Sunday Times in 1893 and edits both papers until 1904.

1905 The executors of Frederick Beer sell The Observer to Alfred Harmsworth (later Lord Northcliffe). Circulation is just 5,000 copies.

1908 James Louis Garvin (pictured) becomes editor and by 1909 circulation has increased to 40,000.

1911 William Waldorf Astor buys The Observer, subsequently giving it to his son, Waldorf.

1919 JL Garvin's editorial on the Treaty of Versailles at the end of the First World War condemns the Treaty for leaving the Germans 'no real hope except in revenge.'

1942 On Garvin's departure, David Astor, Waldorf's son, begins to modernise The Observer. Advertisements are removed from the front page in favour of news and photographs and the Profile, a collective opinion of an individual in the news, is introduced to British journalism. Ivor Brown is appointed editor and the paper begins to move away from the conservatism of the Garvin era.

1945 The Astor family transfer ownership of the newspaper to a Trust, which ensures that any profit is used to improve the newspaper, promote good journalism or support charitable enterprise.

1948 David Astor becomes editor. He favours writers over traditional journalists, bringing in George Orwell, Vita Sackville-West, Arthur Koestler, Philip Toynbee, Kenneth Tynan and others.

1956 On 10 June The Observer publishes the 26,000 words of Nikita Kruschev's denunciation of Joseph Stalin in full. The paper's position as the first national newspaper to oppose the government's action during the Suez Crisis is costly as thousands of readers desert it.

1963 Kim Philby, widely accused of being the Third Man (the Soviet spy who had let it be known that Donald Maclean was about to be exposed), was cleared by the British and American governments. He became The Observer's Middle East correspondent based in Beirut but was expelled and fled to Moscow. He had been the Third Man all along.

-- Our Story, by The Guardian

First World War

Despite being an admirer of German culture, Garvin was alarmed by the growing challenge the country posed to Britain in international politics. Through his friendship with First Sea Lord Admiral John Fisher, he gained access to inside information on naval matters which he used to inform editorials calling for a greater naval construction program. When war broke out in 1914, Garvin embraced Britain's involvement in the conflict. He was close to many people in power, most notably Fisher (who left retirement to return to his former position as First Sea Lord soon after the start of the conflict), Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill, and he enjoyed considerable influence during this period.

Yet the conflict brought great personal tragedy to Garvin. At the start of the war his only son Roland Gerard Garvin (known to his family as "Ged") enlisted with the South Lancashire Regiment and was shipped to France. Though subsequently assigned a staff position, Ged transferred back to a combat posting soon after the start of the Somme campaign and was killed in a night assault on German line in late July.[1] Heartbroken at the loss, Garvin never recovered from Ged's death, and it shaped many of his attitudes to subsequent events.

Despite his bitterness towards the Germans, Garvin believed in the need for a just settlement of the war. Soon after the armistice he published his first book, The Economic Foundations of Peace, in which he called for a lenient treaty and Anglo-American co-operation as the cornerstone for an effective League of Nations. When the punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles were published, he denounced it in an editorial as leaving the Germans "no real hope except in revenge."[2]

Later years

In 1921, Garvin moved from London to Beaconsfield. From there, in a home once owned by Edmund Burke's agent he continued to edit The Observer, and he began work on a biography of his hero Joseph Chamberlain. Though three volumes of the Chamberlain biography were published in the early 1930s, Garvin never wrote the final fourth volume, and the project was completed after his death by Julian Amery. During this period Garvin also served as editor-in-chief of the fourteenth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica (1926–1932).

Yet Garvin's stature as a man of letters masked his declining influence during this period. Working from Beaconsfield cut him off from much of the political life of the British capital. A new generation of British politicians emerged with whom Garvin had few connections. Alarmed by Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany, he pushed for a program of rearmament. He also became an advocate of appeasement, both of Hitler to buy time for rearmament, and Benito Mussolini in an effort to win the Italian leader's support for an alliance.

Saddened by the outbreak of war in September 1939, Garvin nonetheless was a strong supporter of the war effort. Heartened by Churchill's return to the Admiralty, Garvin offered unflinching support for his old friend after he became Prime Minister in May 1940. Such support created a rift between Garvin and Astor. Though the two had been of like mind regarding appeasement, Astor opposed the concentration of war powers in Churchill's hands. Adding to the tension was Astor's son David, whose attempts to inject a more liberal tone into the newspaper were viewed by Garvin as an effort to criticise the Prime Minister. As a result, when Garvin published an editorial in February 1942 in support of Churchill remaining in office as Minister of Defence as well as Prime Minister, the Astors viewed it as a breach of their contract and requested Garvin's resignation.[3]

Garvin quickly received an offer from Lord Beaverbrook to write a weekly column for his newspaper the Sunday Express. Switching to the Daily Telegraph in January 1945, Garvin continued to write a weekly column until just prior to his death from pneumonia at the age of 78.

Personal life

Garvin was married twice. In 1894 he married Christina Ellen Wilson, who bore him his son Ged and four daughters: Viola, Una, Katherine, and Ursula. After Christina's death in 1918, Garvin married Viola Woods (née Taylor), the former wife of Unionist politician Maurice Woods.


• The Economic Foundations of Peace: or world partnership as the truer basis of the League of Nations. Macmillan and Co. 1919.
• The Life of Joseph Chamberlain. Macmillan and Co. April 1932.


1. "Letters to the editor… from his dear lad in the trenches". The Guardian. London. 20 September 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2010.
2. Observer text timeline | Newsroom | at
3. "Garvin Gets Out". Time Magazine. 16 March 1942. Retrieved 14 August 2008.

Further reading

• Ayerst, David. Garvin of the Observer. Croom Helm., 1985
• Garvin, Katherine. J. L. Garvin: A memoir. W. Heinemann., 1948
• Gollin, A. M. The Observer and J. L. Garvin, 1908–1914: A study in a great editorship. Oxford University Press., 1960
• Pottle, Mark; Ledingham, John. We Hope to Get Word Tomorrow: The Garvin Family Letters, 1914–1916. Frontline Books., 2009

External links

• Portraits of James Garvin at the National Portrait Gallery, London
• Working papers of David Ayerst for his biography of J.L. Garvin, a special collection in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University
• James Louis Garvin at Find a Grave
• Newspaper clippings about James Louis Garvin in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:26 am

Tragedy at the Somme that broke Observer editor’s heart: Newspaperman JL Garvin used his influential editorials to campaign for conflict – until his adored son died in action
by Stephen Pritchard
Sun 14 Oct 2018 03.00 EDTLast modified on Wed 7 Nov 2018 12.15 EST

Observer editor JL Garvin wrote constantly to his son Gerard in the trenches. Composite: Credit: Military History Collection / Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo

Today, in a world saturated with media, it is difficult to appreciate how vital the printed word must have been 100 years ago to millions waiting at home. You only have to look at the sales figures to see the craving for news. The Observer alone raced from 50,000 copies in July 1914 to 200,000 by the autumn.

It wasn’t just news that was important to readers. They wanted analysis of the war’s progress. While the daily papers were busy carrying reports from the front on the war’s progress, or lack of it, the Sunday papers took a considered view, distilling and reflecting on the action of the preceding week and giving their readers an insight into the febrile world of Westminster, the War Office, Downing Street and Whitehall.

One person well placed to provide this was James Louis Garvin, editor of the Observer from 1908 to 1942. The journalist WT Stead wrote in 1910: “For the past 12 months the whole course of British politics has been dominated by a single man … He it was who compelled the unwilling House of Lords to reject the budget and who precipitated the general election. His name is Garvin, editor of the Observer.”

One wintry afternoon in February 1891, three men were engaged in earnest conversation in London. From that conversation were to flow consequences of the greatest importance to the British Empire and to the world as a whole. For these men were organizing a secret society that was, for more than fifty years, to be one of the most important forces in the formulation and execution of British imperial and foreign policy.

The three men who were thus engaged were already well known in England. The leader was Cecil Rhodes, fabulously wealthy empire-builder and the most important person in South Africa. The second was William T. Stead, the most famous, and probably also the most sensational, journalist of the day. The third was Reginald Baliol Brett, later known as Lord Esher, friend and confidant of Queen Victoria, and later to be the most influential adviser of King Edward VII and King George V.

The details of this important conversation will be examined later. At present we need only point out that the three drew up a plan of organization for their secret society and a list of original members. The plan of organization provided for an inner circle, to be known as "The Society of the Elect," and an outer circle, to be known as "The Association of Helpers." Within The Society of the Elect, the real power was to be exercised by the leader, and a "Junta of Three." The leader was to be Rhodes, and the Junta was to be Stead, Brett, and Alfred Milner. In accordance with this decision, Milner was added to the society by Stead shortly after the meeting we have described. (1)

The creation of this secret society was not a matter of a moment. As we shall see, Rhodes had been planning for this event for more than seventeen years. Stead had been introduced to the plan on 4 April 1889, and Brett had been told of it on 3 February 1890. Nor was the society thus founded an ephemeral thing, for, in modified form, it exists to this day. From 1891 to 1902, it was known to only a score of persons. During this period, Rhodes was leader, and Stead was the most influential member. From 1902 to 1925, Milner was leader, while Philip Kerr (Lord Lothian) and Lionel Curtis were probably the most important members. From 1925 to 1940, Kerr was leader, and since his death in 1940 this role has probably been played by Robert Henry Brand (now Lord Brand).

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

Garvin saw it as his duty to use the unrivalled access he had gained in his years in Fleet Street to campaign, cajole and inform in highly readable, colourful, unsigned editorials.

Readers of the modern Observer, shaped in the liberal image of its mid-20th-century editor David Astor, might be surprised that Garvin arrived at the Observer pledging to be “staunchly anti-socialist”. But the paper was owned by Lord Northcliffe, publisher of the Daily Mail, a paper, then as now, with a very different political agenda to today’s Observer.

Garvin’s first campaign was to help lay the ground for the first world war. Alarmed by Germany’s rearmament programme, he supported “Jackie” Fisher, the first sea lord, in his call for a fleet of Dreadnought battleships to be built as a warning to the Kaiser. Fisher passed Garvin secret Cabinet papers that showed that the home fleet commander, Lord Beresford, wanted to block the ships. Garvin exposed the story, challenging Beresford to resign, and Fisher got his Dreadnoughts – further escalating an already dangerous arms race.

By early August 1914, it was still unclear whether Britain would enter the war against Germany. Sections of the radical press urged that national honour lay in remaining neutral, but the Observer would have none of it. Two days before war broke out, Garvin wrote an eloquent call to arms, declaring that Germany’s actions in invading Belgium would spell doom for Europe. If the UK chose neutrality, it would be an act of desertion that would prevent any country from trusting her as an ally again.

Northcliffe's editorship of the Daily Mail in the years just preceding the First World War, when the newspaper displayed "a virulent anti-German sentiment", caused The Star to declare, "Next to the Kaiser, Lord Northcliffe has done more than any living man to bring about the war."

-- Alfred Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Northcliffe, by Wikipedia

As Britain’s mobilisation gathered speed, Garvin called for a drastic restructuring of government to meet the needs of total war, and warned that conscription would be necessary. By now, the paper’s ownership had passed to Waldorf Astor. A liberal Tory, Waldorf proposed that an editorial board be placed above Garvin. But the war was to come to Garvin’s aid.

As Garvin’s biographer, David Ayerst, notes, the absence of effective parliamentary opposition during the first world war made it important that newspapers should be independent, and be seen to be so. Neither was possible when proprietors were members of the government. Lord Rothermere (Daily Mail and Sunday Pictorial) was air minister, Lord Beaverbrook (Daily Express) was minister of information, Lord Northcliffe (then owner of the Times and Evening News) director of propaganda in enemy countries. The Observer’s Waldorf Astor was parliamentary private secretary to prime minister David Lloyd George.

Astor wanted to resign from government, but was instead persuaded to stay and let Garvin have unfettered freedom to comment on the course of the war without interference.

As the fighting dragged on, casualty figures made dread reading. Garvin worried about his only son, Gerard, who had volunteered at the age of 18 on the day war broke out. Intensely proud of his boy, Garvin wrote constantly to him in the trenches. In July 1916 “Ged”, by then a captain in the South Lancashire regiment, led his men in a night operation on the Somme. Thirty-five yards from the German trenches came a message, typical in its reserve: “From Captain Garvin to Mr Porter. Carry on with the company.” Ged had been killed by machine-gun fire. Garvin, devastated, was comforted by his colleagues and friends (Churchill chief among them) and joined in grief by his wife Christina and their four daughters.

The poignant last letter of “Ged” Garvin to his family. Photograph: The Garvin archive, British Library

Yet more sorrow was to strike the family in 1918 when, only two months after the armistice, Christina died, a victim of the influenza epidemic sweeping Europe. Ayerst writes of the contradictory emotions that tore Garvin apart in these years, on the one hand railing against Germany’s “enormity of guilt surpassing every former iniquity” and of the need to “purge ourselves utterly of hatred and vindictiveness”.

In 1917, when the action had moved on, Garvin crossed to France, hoping to find his son’s grave or at least the spot where he fell, near Mametz Wood. In the Observer he wrote movingly of his fruitless quest: “Here are bold poppies, deep cornflower, wild mustard, thyme and the rest … The spirit of earth is weaving patterns of bright wonders and robing our dead as kings. In this wilderness, half dreadful and half gay, whether we find one spot we search for, or find it not – but it must be hard by – they who rest here, rest well.”

Four months after Ged’s death, in one of his leading articles headlined “What is Truth?”, Garvin poured out his grief. He is honest with his readers about the bleak prospects for an allied breakthrough, reflecting that what would become known as the Battle of the Somme was all but over: “[the enemy] has fought better than ever – fought with pluck and brains so admirable that we trust there will be no more facile trash about the supposed demoralisation and broken spirit of the foe. So far from being broken, their morale has now fully recovered from the rude shaking we had given [them] between July and October.

“The prospect before us is harsh and stern… Not only will there be no ‘throughbreak’ nor anything like it by the allies in the west this year, but between now and Christmas there will be no extensive withdrawal of the German lines between Arras and Noyon. The reasons for this are not obscure. The rains have been worse than in two previous autumns. The mists have hindered our aircraft and baulked our artillery. With indescribable mud and waterlogged shell holes the dreary ground has been turned into a slough of desolation. These conditions are more favourable to the counter-attacks which the enemy delivers with renewed spirit and much more success.”

He describes “flocks” of new German aircraft, jousting for domination of the air, and “with their magical metallurgical industry” he claims the Germans would soon produce a formidable reply to Britain’s new tanks.

In a direct challenge to the allied high command, he writes: “On the side of the enemy, nothing is overlooked, nothing neglected, every conceivable resource is exploited to the full. The Germans have one very useful quality. They learn. They are now learning willingly every military lesson that has been taught them. It is for us to see well to it that we are as good in imitation and improvement. The war will drag on into 1918 unless mighty things are done to bring it to an end this year.”

Of course, the war did drag on into 1918, and when peace finally came, it came on a Monday – too late for the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper to report the actual event. But that hardly mattered. Germany’s surrender was expected, and the Observer of 10 November quivered with anticipation, reporting that “the air itself seemed to be quickened and vitalised by that sense of final triumph that thrills through the country and the Empire … By hazard and blood and death, in effort and sacrifice immeasurable, they have won the deliverance.” The unmistakable voice of JL Garvin.

Perhaps his most powerful writing on the war came after the armistice, when having followed the conflict’s every turn and suffered devastating personal loss, he surveyed the 1919 treaty of Versailles and dismissed it as “peace with folly”. He wrote that its terms “repeat the fatal precedents which have always led back to war and made the end of one struggle the direct cause of another”. The treaty, he wrote, “scatters dragon’s teeth across the soil of Europe. They will spring up as armed men unless the mischief is eradicated.” It left the Germans “no real hope, except in revenge”.

Fourteen years later, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany.
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Re: Round Table Movement, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Oct 13, 2019 4:36 am

Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 10/12/19

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. The name of the dining club was a reflection of the group's focus on "efficiency".

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.

The club's membership included:

• Richard Burdon Haldane, Liberal politician, lawyer, and philosopher

-- Coefficients (dining club), by Wikipedia

Of Haldane, Buchan wrote: "What chiefly attracted me to him was his loyalty to Milner. Milner thought him the ablest man in public life, abler even than Arthur Balfour, and alone of his former Liberal allies Haldane stood by him on every count." Haldane, with Rosebery, Asquith, and Edward Grey, had formed the Liberal League to support liberal imperialism, with which Milner was closely associated.

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

The Right Honourable
The Viscount Haldane
Secretary of State for War
In office
10 December 1905 – 12 June 1912
Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
H. H. Asquith
Preceded by H. O. Arnold-Forster
Succeeded by Colonel J.E.B. Seely
Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain
In office
10 June 1912 – 25 May 1915
Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
Preceded by The Earl Loreburn
Succeeded by The Lord Buckmaster
In office
22 January 1924 – 6 November 1924
Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Preceded by The Viscount Cave
Succeeded by The Viscount Cave
Leader of the House of Lords
In office
22 January 1924 – 3 November 1924
Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald
Preceded by The Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
Succeeded by The Marquess Curzon of Kedleston
Personal details
Born 30 July 1856
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 19 August 1928 (aged 72)
Auchterarder, Perthshire
Education University of Göttingen
University of Edinburgh
Profession Barrister

17 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, birthplace of Richard Haldane

Haldane caricatured by Spy in Vanity Fair, 1896

Richard Burdon Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane, KT, OM, PC, KC, FRS, FSA, FBA (/ˈhɔːldeɪn/; 30 July 1856 – 19 August 1928) was an influential British Liberal and later Labour imperialist politician, lawyer and philosopher. He was Secretary of State for War between 1905 and 1912 during which time the "Haldane Reforms" of the British Army were implemented. Raised to the peerage as Viscount Haldane in 1911, he was Lord Chancellor between 1912 and 1915, when he was forced to resign because of false allegations of German sympathies. He later joined the Labour Party and once again served as Lord Chancellor in 1924 in the first ever Labour administration. Apart from his legal and political careers, Haldane was also an influential writer on philosophy, in recognition of which he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1914.

Background and education

Haldane was born at 17 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, the son of Robert Haldane and his wife Mary Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Burdon-Sanderson. He was the grandson of the Scottish evangelist James Alexander Haldane, the brother of respiratory physiologist John Scott Haldane, Sir William Haldane and author Elizabeth Haldane, and the uncle of J. B. S. Haldane and Naomi Mitchison.

He received his first education at the Edinburgh Academy, and then at the University of Göttingen. He gained a first and MA at University of Edinburgh[1] where he received first-class honours in Philosophy and as Gray scholar and Ferguson scholar in philosophy of the four Scottish Universities.

After studying law in London, he was called to the bar by Lincoln's Inn, in 1879,[1] and became a successful lawyer. He was taken on at 5 New Square Chambers by Lord Davey in 1882 as the junior. Haldane's practice was a specialism in conveyancing; a particular skill for pleadings at appeal and tribunal cases, bringing cases to the privy council and house of Lords. By 1890 he had become a Queen's Counsel.[2] By 1905 he was earning £20,000 per annum at the Bar[3] (equivalent to $2,100,000 in 2018). He became a bencher at Lincoln's Inn in 1893. Amongst his early friends was Edmund Gosse, the scholarly librarian at the inn's law library, whose help made Haldane well known for being fully prepared in court and parliamentary briefs.

Haldane was a deep thinker, an unusual breed: a philosopher-politician. During his stay at Göttingen he expanded an interest in the German philosophers, Schopenauer and Hegel. He had refused a place at Balliol, but in nodding respect for the Master and philosopher, T H Green, he dedicated his Schopenauer translation The World as Will and Idea which he carried through with a friend, Peter Hume Brown, the Scottish historian.

Early political career

A cousin, the Whig politician Lord Camperdown encouraged the young barrister into standing as a Liberal at the General Election of 1880. Although not elected that year Haldane joined the Eighty Club, a political dining and discussion club formed in 1879. Membership was restricted to Liberals under the age of forty. In 1881 Haldane met H. H. Asquith, and they soon became firm friends often meeting the Blue Post Public house on Cork Street. They were founders of the Albert Grey committee, named after Earl Grey, regularly discussing burning social issues, such as education.

In November 1885 Haldane was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for Haddingtonshire, a seat he held until 1911.[1][4] The philosopher-politician wrote several articles for the advanced and progressive Contemporary Review. In October 1888, "The Liberal Creed" was published summarising his belief in the direction of New Liberalism. In the 1890 article "The Eight Hours Question" Haldane rejected the idea of the eight-hour day. In 1888, he courted Emma Valentine Ferguson, sister of his Liberal party friend, Ronald Munro-Ferguson; she broke off the engagement and subsequently lampooned him in her novel "Betsy" in 1892. Haldane became firmly ensconced in the Imperialist wing of Liberalism, led by Sir Edward Grey. At the 1892 General Election, he received a shock, when nearly defeated by the Liberal Unionist Master of Polwarth. Beatrice Webb, the socialist who was a close intimate, remarked on how alone Haldane was in the world.[5] Haldane added the preface to L T Hobhouse's The Labour Movement in 1893. Sadly Emma Ferguson died insane in 1897. He had pathos in his personality, remarked Webb, a successful lawyer tinged with socialism.[6]

Liberal Imperialist

Focusing on his writings, Haldane was passed over for political office, being the only one of his group left out in the wilderness. Haldane remained an ally of Asquith and Sir Edward Grey in the Liberal Imperialist wing of the party, followers of Lord Rosebery rather than of Sir William Harcourt. Rosebery admired Haldane's intellect, and the Scotsman urged upon his friend, whom he had known since 1886, an assault on Tory power in the Lords in 1894.[7] Haldane joined friends at the Articles Club, including Asquith and Grey. Haldane was disappointed having failed to secure the post of Solicitor-General in October 1894. At the time, Asquith wryly remarked, A very wrong decision come to upon inadequate grounds.[8] Haldane was sounded out of the Speakership by Rosebery, but refused it, declaring it to be a political death. The post went eventually to W Gully in 1895.

At a meeting with Beatrice Webb, the Fabian socialist, Haldane told her he was disconsolate at the condition of the Liberal Party: "Rot has set in there is no hope now but to be beaten and then reconstruct a new party".[a] The leaders of the party were exasperated and believed Rosebery to lack planning and direction. "Although Asquith, Grey and I", wrote Haldane, "stuck by him... we never knew when he would retire and leave us in the lurch".[10] When Rosebery offered the Speakership, he refused it that March.[11] However, on 11 October 1896, he wrote to Rosebery that he "was the leader of a revolution in our party".[12]

On 11 August 1902, Haldane was admitted to the Privy Council,[13] following an announcement of the King′s intention to make the appointment in the 1902 Coronation Honours list, published in June that year.[14] The King used his influence and charm to cultivate allies, bringing cross-party groups like The Souls together in consensual amity.[15] Balfour's administration leant on Haldane's philosophy for educational reforms.

After the Conservative government of Arthur Balfour fell in December 1905 there was some speculation that Asquith and his allies Haldane and Sir Edward Grey would refuse to serve unless Campbell-Bannerman accepted a peerage, which would have left Asquith as the real leader in the House of Commons. Haldane had suggested involving the King at Balmoral to 'kick CB upstairs'.[16]However, the plot (called "The Relugas Compact" after Grey's Scottish lodge where the men met) collapsed when Asquith agreed to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer under Campbell-Bannerman.[17]

Haldane wrote, "One longs for Rosebery had he been coming in to his right place at the head of affairs, we could have gone anywhere with confidence. But it seems now as if this were not to be and we have to do the only thing we can do, which is to resolutely follow a plan of concerted action".[18]

On 13 December 1905, Haldane was appointed Secretary of State for War, but he may have been offered the jobs of Attorney-General and Home Secretary.[3] (Grey became Foreign Secretary).[19] Unity in the Liberals helped them obtain the largest electoral majority in the party's history in the 1906 general election.[20]

Secretary of State for War

As early as January 1906 Haldane was persuaded by fellow Liberal Imperialist Edward Grey to begin planning for a Continental war in support of the French against the Germans.[ b] However, Haldane's first estimates reduced the Army by 16,600 men and reduced expenditure by £2.6m to £28 million, as the Liberals had been elected on a platform of retrenchment.[22] By 1914 Britain spent 3.4% of national income on defence, little more in absolute terms than Austria-Hungary's 6.1%. Army expenditure was determined according to a formula devised by the Esher Committee. In 1900, during the Boer War, army expenditure was £86.8m, by 1910 (a low point, after four years of cuts under the Liberals) it had dropped to £27.6m and by 1914 it had risen back to £29.4m. In March 1914 effective expenditure on the Army, after allowing for increased pensions and £1m set aside for military aviation, was still less than in 1907-8, and £2m less than in 1905-6 (despite a 20% rise in prices since then).[22]

In October 1907 Haldane was intimately involved with the negotiations at Windsor with Kaiser Wilhelm. The Germanophile and linguist was thrilled to be summoned at 1 am to talk with the Emperor on arms reduction principles over whisky. But the import was the Baghdad-Berlin railway which Germany was hoping to construct with British approval. A fluent German-speaker, Haldane was lulled into a false sense of security believing 'like a bear with a sore head' that he had won a great deal.[23][24][25] Another such conference took place at Balmoral in September 1909. The Kaiser arrogantly insisted that only the King was of equal rank.

Despite the budgetary constraints, Haldane implemented a wide-ranging set of reforms of the Army, aimed at preparing the army for an Imperial war but with the more likely (and secret) task of a European war. The main element of this was the establishment of the British Expeditionary Force of six infantry divisions and one cavalry division.[26] The Official Historian Brigadier Edmonds later wrote that "in every respect the Expeditionary Force of 1914 was incomparably the best trained, best organised and best equipped British Army ever to leave these shores"[27]

Haldane at West Point sometime before the Great War.

Army reforms

Main article: Haldane Reforms

Haldane set up the Imperial General Staff. Before Haldane, there was only the Defence Committee of the Cabinet, which met only in emergencies, and the Colonial Defence Committee. Esher had recommended the setting up of an Army Council and the abolition of the post of Commander-in-Chief, but few of his recommendations had been implemented before the change of government in December 1905.[28] Haldane's reforms also created the Territorial Force of 14 divisions (the original plan was for 28) and 14 mounted Yeomanry brigades at home,[26] the Officer Training Corps and the Special Reserve.

In all the reforms, Haldane worked closely at the War Office with Major-General Haig. By coincidence, both men had been born in Charlotte Square, in Edinburgh. J.A. Spender later wrote of how Haldane got the best work out of an able but verbally-incoherent soldier (thought to refer to Haig) by not scoring verbal points off him, as many politicians would have done.[3]

Usually critical, Rosebery remarked on Haldane's interest in philosophy, declaring: "I have read his Secret Memorandum, and that was enough". In 1907 and 1908, Haldane passed far-reaching reforms to Army management. He was accredited as an efficient bureaucratic leader, notably founding the Territorial Army in a Second Memorandum. His reforms re-oriented British military policy, revamped army organization along the lines of the German General Staff, upgraded the training of the auxiliary forces, and created an efficient and economically run service. Those reforms enabled Britain to send some 120,000 men to France in fifteen days in August 1914.[29]

Haldane was also instrumental in the creation the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics in 1909, which provided the fledgling aircraft industry in the United Kingdom with a sound body of science on which to base the development of aircraft for the next seventy years (it was disbanded in 1979).


Throughout his long career and association with the modernisers or 'Limps' Haldane used his considerable intellect to great advantage against economy.[30] A radical liberal,[31] Haldane was also, according to historian Martin Pugh, one of the "best supporters" of David Lloyd George's "People's Budget."[32] During the constitutional and budget crisis of 1909–11, Haldane advised his friend and Prime Minister, Asquith on the legal niceties of his stance towards the monarch, who was outraged at the firebrand speeches from Churchill and Lloyd George. Stumbling from illness to illness, Haldane's own bad health was similar to King Edward's declining fortunes.

The Viscount Haldane, Lord Chancellor, 1912

Two elections ensued, one in January and another in December 1910, before in 1911 he was raised to the peerage as Viscount Haldane, of Cloan in the County of Perth.[33] He became Leader in the Lords, responsible for the passage of the Parliament Act. On Lord Loreburn's retirement in June 1912, Haldane succeeded him as Lord Chancellor,[34] making a self-deprecating speech as to his abilities as a legal expert.[35]

Haldane Mission

1912 saw the unsuccessful attempt of the Haldane Mission, an effort to quell the friction between Britain and Germany arising because of their naval arms race.[36] The mission was a failure because the Germans attempted to link a "naval holiday" with a British promise to remain neutral if Germany should become engaged in a war where "Germany could not be said to be the aggressor." Essentially, the British reserved the right to join whatever country was attacking Germany,even if Germany did not start a war dooming the talks to failure. .[37][38] On 19 May 1913 he was appointed a Knight of the Thistle.

First World War

In March 1914 Haldane's successor at the War Office, Jack Seely, resigned following the Curragh incident. Rather than appoint a successor, Asquith decided to take over responsibility for the War Office directly himself. Asquith relied heavily on Haldane as the previous War Secretary and empowered him to carry out tasks at the War Office on his behalf. As the situation in Europe worsened, Asquith kept Haldane abreast of developments with Sir Edward Grey at the Foreign Office. Haldane was one of the first members of the Cabinet to recognise that war with Germany was inevitable and persuaded Asquith to mobilise by assembly of the Army Council on 3 August.[39] With war imminent, Asquith was happy for Haldane to continue at the War Office formally as Secretary of State for War, but Haldane persuaded him to appoint Field Marshal Kitchener.[39]

Following the outbreak of World War One Haldane was falsely accused of pro-German sympathies, in July 1914, for hosting Albert Ballin, a German shipping magnate and unofficial mediator between Germany and Britain. The accusations were widely believed, even being echoed in a popular music hall song ("All dressed up and nowhere to go") in the revue "Mr Manhattan". He was harried in particular by Beaverbrook's Daily Express, which gave great publicity to the claim by Professor Onkel of Heidelberg that he had said that "Germany was his spiritual home". He had in fact said that about Professor Hermann Lotze's classroom at Göttingen, at a dinner party given by Mrs. Humphrey Ward in April 1913 to enable him to meet some German professors during his mission.[3]

In 1915, Asquith ranked his Cabinet, putting Haldane only sixth of the inner cabinet members.[40] He also inveigled Kitchener and Haldane to sign the King's Pledge, a vow to abstain from alcohol for the duration of the war, which Haldane resented and which Churchill and Asquith himself completely ignored.

Dismissal from office

Haldane's dismissal from office in May 1915 is widely regarded by historians as unfair. Following the shell crisis and the resignation of Lord Fisher the Liberals were obliged to form a coalition government with the Conservatives who, under the leadership of Bonar Law, insisted on the removal of Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty and the dismissal of Haldane.[41][42] Haldane's removal was on account of the popularity of the press's campaign relating to Haldane's alleged pro-German sympathies.[43] Neither the former prime minister Arthur Balfour, Haldane's closest friend amongst the Conservatives, nor Asquith, the Liberal prime minister of the day and Haldane's closest political ally and friend for over 30 years, did anything to resist Bonar Law's demands.[44][43] Roy Jenkins in his biography of Asquith describes the charges as "absolute nonsense” and Max Egremont describes Balfour as "knowing the injustice behind the charges,” and, “being privately indignant."[45][43]

To the permanent detriment of his previously close relationship with Haldane, Asquith compounded his mistake by not expressing directly to Haldane his feelings on the latter's dismissal and the value of his previous service to the government and country.[46] Jenkins describes this omission as “the most uncharacteristic fault of Asquiths whole career” attributing it to Asquith suffering the "indescribable blow" of the surprise announcement of the engagement of the woman he loved, Venetia Stanley, to one of his government ministers, Edwin Montagu.[47]{sfn|Adams|1999|p=186}}

Following his departure from the government Haldane went to the front to meet his old friend General Haig, and his cousin, General Aylmer Haldane; but he was exhausted on being ejected from Cabinet.[48] Having been awarded the Order of Merit in 1915, in the personal gift of George V, he wrote a Memorandum of Events, 1906–15, to defend his reputation. It was published in April 1916. Haldane thought Lloyd George's new government, formed in December 1916, "very low class". Haldane told Lord Buckmaster at this time, "Asquith is a first-class head of a deliberative council. He is versed in precedents, acts on principle, and knows how and when to compromise. Lloyd George knows nothing for precedents and cares for no principles, but he has fire in his belly and that is what we want".[49]

As the war progressed Haldane moved increasingly close to the Labour Party, but he was held back by his ties to the Liberal Party and to Asquith. When the Irish War of Independence broke out in 1919, Haldane was one of the first British politicians to argue that the solution lay in compromise rather than force.

Contribution to Canadian constitutional law

As Lord Chancellor, Haldane was a member of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, at that time the court of last resort for the Empire. He retained the position even when he was no longer Chancellor. He sat on several cases from Canada dealing with the division of powers between the federal and provincial governments under the Canadian Constitution, particularly the interplay between sections 91 and 92 of the British North America Act 1867. He gave the decision for the Judicial Committee in several of those cases, and showed a marked tendency to favour the provincial powers at the expense of the federal government. For instance, in the case of In re the Board of Commerce Act, 1919, and the Combines and Fair Prices Act,[50] he gave the decision striking down federal legislation which attempted to regulate the economy, challenging the legality of the Canadian legislature.[c] In doing so, he gave very restrictive readings to both the "peace, order and good government" power of the federal government, as well as the federal criminal law power. Similarly, in Toronto Electric Commissioners v. Snider,[51] Lord Haldane struck down a federal statute attempting to regulate industrial disputes, holding that it was not within federal authority under either the peace, order and good government power, nor the federal trade and commerce power. He went so far as to suggest that the trade and commerce power was simply an ancillary federal power, which could not authorise legislation in its own right. The effects of some of these decisions have subsequently been modified by later decisions of the Judicial Committee and the Supreme Court of Canada, but they have had the long-term effect of recognising substantial provincial powers.

Haldane's approach to the division of powers was heavily criticised by some academics and lawyers in Canada, such as F. R. Scott[52] and Chief Justice Bora Laskin, as unduly favouring the provinces over the federal government and depriving it of the powers needed to deal with modern economic issues. More recently, one major study has characterised him as "the wicked stepfather" of the Canadian Constitution.[53]

Influence on education

In 1895 Haldane helped the Webbs found the London School of Economics. A fundamental believer in the power of improving education, he prepared the London University Act 1898. The philosophy of 'national efficiency' was central feature of the Hegelian complex, and the ideas of Schopenauer, he had learnt on the continent, that accentuated freedom and decentralisation from an historicist's perspective.[53] His moral centrism sought to unify The New Liberalism, as he published it in Contemporary Review.[54] From a pan-European perspective he analysed the German character and economic advances towards militarism. He was largely responsible for the cross-party support for Balfour's Education Act 1902. He told Rosebery "a sense of nation is working towards ...a great centre party."[55] He was also involved in the founding of Imperial College in 1907 and in his honour the University contains the Haldane Recreational Library.

Haldane was a member of the Coefficients dining club of social reformers set up in 1902 by the Fabian campaigners Sidney and Beatrice Webb. He wrote a biography of Adam Smith, extollng the virtues of free trade. Unlike Chamberlain, he thought there was no strong connection between fiscal and imperial unity. He opposed any attempt to protection of British trade.[56][57]

In 1904 he was President of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club and gave the Toast to Sir Walter at the Club's annual dinner, addressing "The dedicated life" to a group of students on 10 January 1907. He also served as second Chancellor of the University of Bristol where he made an important address titled "The Civic University" outlining his educational philosophy in 1911. At the end of his life Lord Haldane was elected Chancellor of the University of St Andrews in June 1928. Perhaps his greatest speech on education was made in House of Lords on 12 July 1916, at the height of the terrible slaughter on the Western Front.[58]


Haldane co-translated the first English edition of Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation, published between 1883 and 1886. He wrote several philosophical works, the best known of which is The Reign of Relativity (1921), which dealt with the philosophical implications of the theory of relativity. Haldane published "The Pathway to Reality", based on the Gifford Lectures which he had delivered at the University of St Andrews.[59] Some of his public addresses have also been published, including The future of democracy (1918).

• The Pathway to Reality. London: John Murray. 1903.
• The Pathway to Reality: Stage the Second. New York: E. P. Dutton and Co. 1904.
• Army Reform and Other Addresses (1907)
• The Conduct of Life, and Other Addresses. London. 1914.
• Before the War. 1920.
• The Reign of Relativity. Toronto: Macmillan. 1921.
• The philosophy of humanism and of other subjects. Toronto: Macmillan. 1922.
• Human Experience: A Study of Its Structure. E.P. Dutton. 1926.
• Papers and photographs of Richard Burdon Haldane, 1st viscount Haldane, and of the Haldane family., National Library of Scotland
• An Autobiography. London: Hodder and Stoughton. 1929. OCLC 771158008. OL 19765733W

Personal life

Portrait by Philip de László, 1928

Haldane had health problems all his life. He suffered from bad rheumatism, a stigmata in the eye and in 1909, he had to take bed rest when going blind from iritis. A lifelong walker and cigar smoker, he was diagnosed diabetic. "The latter is a large, fat man" was Haig's initial impression of a dignified but portly demeanour. Yet, added Haig, "One seems to like the man at once." Having worked on the Army Regulations of 1909, Haig applauded "a most clear headed and practical man––very ready to listen and weigh carefully all that is said to him." Osbert Sitwell described him as "entering a room with the air of a whole procession". Leo Amery said he looked like "the old-fashioned family butler".[3] Another Imperialist, Winston Churchill also respected Haldane, although they were from differing social backgrounds. On promoting Churchill to First Lord of the Admiralty, Asquith advised him to seek Haldane's advice at a meeting held at Archerfield, North Berwick.[d] From 1907 to 1908, he was president of the Aristotelian Society.

Haldane remained a lifelong bachelor after his fiancée, Miss Valentine Ferguson, broke off their engagement. He died suddenly of heart disease at his home in Auchterarder, Scotland, on 19 August 1928, aged 72.[60] The viscountcy became extinct on his death.

Later years

In December 1918, Lloyd George appointed Haldane chairman of 'The Machinery of Government' committee.[61] However, the Armistice had taken all impetus out of the reform agenda.

At the time of the Paisley by-election of January 1920 Haldane was in the process of shifting his sympathies from Liberal to Labour, and was wrongly thought to have endorsed Labour (earning a rebuke from Margot Asquith, whom Haldane thought "tiresome because she is ignorant", to his aged mother). In fact he favoured Asquith's election on a personal level.[62]

Being a fluent German speaker, ascetic philosopher and atheist, he played host to Albert Einstein, when he visited London in 1921. As President of the Institute of Public Administration, he was a leading intellectual on the philosophy of governance. "The Reign of Relativity" combined Haldane's love of all things German expressed by Goethe and his works, with the Hegelian military-industrial complex.[63] Haldane admired the fact that Germans were "trained to obey".[21] Hegel's aristocratic desire for law and order and defence of property against revolution had a mathematical symmetry. Hegel was a purist: his work attempted to keep science and philosophy apart The rising tide of New Liberalism and moral realism was for Haldane, Hegel's philological precept to improve behaviour, using the empiricism of scientific data as a proof.[64][65]

Haldane refused to join the platform for Asquith's speech at Westminster Central Hall in January 1922. He stated that his main interest in public life was now education reform and that the cause was not best served by endorsing the Liberal Party.[66] It was not until the general election of 1923 that Haldane formally sided with Labour, and made several speeches on behalf of Labour candidates.[citation needed] When the Labour government was formed by Ramsay MacDonald in early 1924, Haldane was recruited to serve once again as Lord Chancellor.[67] He was also joint Leader of the Labour Peers with Lord Parmoor. Haldane was a vital member of the Cabinet as he was one of only three members who had sat in a cabinet before.[68]

Haldane was responsible for drafting the London University Act 1926, purchasing properties in Euston. He made some famous speeches at Toynbee Hall for the Annual American Seminar.

Titles, styles, honours and arms

• 1856–1885: Mr Richard Haldane
• 1885–1890: Mr Richard Haldane MP
• 1890–1901: Mr Richard Haldane QC MP
• 1901–1902: Mr Richard Haldane KC MP
• 1902–1906: The Rt Hon. Richard Haldane KC MP
• 1906–1911: The Rt Hon. Richard Haldane KC MP FRS
• 1911–1913: The Rt Hon. The Viscount Haldane PC KC FRS
• 1913–1914: The Rt Hon. The Viscount Haldane KT PC KC FRS
• 1914–1915: The Rt Hon. The Viscount Haldane KT PC KC FRS FBA
• 1915–1928: The Rt Hon. The Viscount Haldane KT OM PC KC FRS FBA

Coat of arms of Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane
Crest: An eagle’s head erased Or.
Escutcheon: Quarterly 1st & 4th Argent a saltire engrailed Sable (Haldane); 2nd Argent a saltire between four roses Gules (Lennox); 3rd Or a bend chequy Sable & Argent (Menteith); in the centre of the quarters a crescent Sable, all within a bordure Or.
Motto: Suffer [69]
Orders: Order of the Thistle Order of Merit (not pictured)


In November 1923 Lord Birkenhead, the Conservative politician, praised Haldane's contribution to Britain's preparedness for the First World War:

In the welter of sentimentality, amid which Great Britain might easily have mouldered into ruin, my valued colleague, Lord Haldane, presented a figure alike interesting, individual, and arresting. In speech fluent and even infinite he yielded to no living idealist in the easy coinage of sentimental phraseology. Here, indeed, he was a match for those who distributed the chloroform of Berlin. Do we not remember, for instance, that Germany was his spiritual home? But he none the less prepared himself, and the Empire, to talk when the time came with his spiritual friends in language not in the least spiritual. He devised the Territorial Army, which was capable of becoming the easy nucleus of national conscription, and which unquestionably ought to have been used for that purpose at the outbreak of war. He created the Imperial General Staff. He founded the Officers' Training Corps.

— Lord Birkenhead (n.d.), Idealism in International Politics. A Rectorial Address, Delivered on November 23rd (PDF), Peterborough: The Peterborough Press, p. 9

On Haldane's death The Times described him as "one of the most powerful, subtle and encyclopaedic intellects ever devoted to the public service of his country".[3]

The military historian Correlli Barnett claimed that Haldane had "all-round personal talents far exceeding those of his predecessors" as Secretary of State for War and that he was "a man of first-class intellect and wide education".[70] Walter Reid believed Haldane to be the greatest of the Secretary for War.

Decided cases

• Heilbut, Symons & Co v Buckleton [1912] UKHL 2, no damages for non-fraudulent misrepresentation, reversed by Hedley Byrne
• British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co v Underground Electric Railway Co of London [1912] AC 673, 689, on mitigation
• Kreglinger v New Patagonia Meat & Cold Storage Co Ltd [1913] UKHL 1, no clog on equity of redemption
• Sinclair v Brougham [1914] AC 398, priority for depositors over shareholders
• Nocton v Lord Ashburton [1914] AC 932, fiduciary duty of giving non-negligent advice
• Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co Ltd v Selfridge & Co Ltd [1915] UKHL 1, no right to enforce resale price maintenance without a contract
• Lennard's Carrying Co Ltd v Asiatic Petroleum Co Ltd [1915] AC 705, directors are presumed to be the controlling minds of the company
• Cook v Deeks [1916] UKPC 10, no conflicts of interest for company directors
• Jones v Jones [1916] 2 AC 487
• Great West Saddlery Company Limited and others v The King [1921] UKPC 27
• Macedo v Stroud [1922] AC 330, property transfer
• Jasperson v Dominion Tobacco Co [1923] AC 709, interference with contractual relations
• Lake v Simmons [1927] AC 487

See also

• Haldane Reforms



1. Diary of Beatrice Webb, 20 January 1895,[9] cited in McKinstry 2005, pp. 338-339
2. He invited Colonel Huguet, the French Military Attache to Plan at War Office from Jan 1906.[21]
3. In 1912 Haldane visited the Canadian Bar in Montreal, Quebec Province, described in Haldane 1914
4. Haldane was impressed by the younger man's public speech at Bradford on 15 July 1898 during his early radicalism.


1. "Richard Burdon Haldane, 1st and last Viscount Haldane of Cloan".
2. "No. 26018". The London Gazette. 28 January 1890. p. 475.
3. Reid 2006, p. 132.
4. The House of Commons Constituencies Beginning with "H" at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-03-12)
5. Webb 1948, p. 98.
6. Webb 1986, p. 345.
7. "Letter from Haldane to Rosebery", Rosebery Collection, National Library Scotland, 6 June 1894
8. McKinstry 2005, p. 335.
9. "Papers of Beatrice and Sidney Webb, including Beatrice Webb's diaries and correspondence". Archives Hub. LSE Library Archives and Special Collections. n.d. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
10. Haldane Papers, Note to his letters.
11. Haldane Papers, Mss NLS 5951.
12. Matthew 2011.
13. "No. 27464". The London Gazette. 12 August 1902. p. 5174.
14. "The Coronation Honours". The Times (368044). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
15. Ridley 2012.
16. Ridley 2012, pp. 397-398.
17. McKinstry 2005, pp. 467-468.
18. Haldane Papers, Letter from Lord Haldane to Sir Francis Knollys, Private Secretary to Edward VII on 12 September 1905.
19. "No. 27862". The London Gazette. 8 December 1905. p. 8893.
20. McKinstry 2005, p. 476.
21. Haldane 1920.
22. Reid 2006, pp. 136-137.
23. Sommer 1960.
24. Ridley 2012, pp. 414-415.
25. Haldane 1929.
26. Reid 2006, p. 134.
27. Reid 2006, p. 140.
28. Reid 2006, p. 138.
29. Bond 1963, pp. 33-43.
30. Hobhouse 1977, pp. 51-52.
31. Tanner 2003, p. 45.
32. Pugh 2014, p. 46.
33. "No. 28480". The London Gazette. 28 March 1911. p. 2522.
34. Heuston 1987, pp. 166-.
35. Haldane 1929, p. 253.
36. Scott 1918, pp. 589–596.
37. Maurer 1992, pp. 284–308.
38. Langhorne 1971, pp. 359–370.
39. Maurice 1937, p. 355.
40. Hobhouse 1977.
41. Adams 1999, p. 188.
42. Jenkins 1964, p. 360.
43. Egremont 1980, p. 269.
44. Jenkins 1964, pp. 361-362.
45. Jenkins 1964, p. 362.
46. Sommer 1960, pp. 324-328.
47. Jenkins 1964, pp. 362-366.
48. Jenkins 2001, p. 268.
49. Koss 1985, p. 226.
50. In re the Board of Commerce Act, 1919, and the Combines and Fair Prices Act, 1919 [1922] 1 A.C. 191
51. Toronto Electric Commissioners v. Snider, [1925] AC 396.
52. F. R. Scott, Some Privy Counsel (1950), 28 Can. Bar. Rev. 780.
53. Vaughan 2010.
54. Contemporary Review, (London 1892),
55. Matthew 1973, p. 145: from a letter of 6 October 1902
56. Ashley 1904, Preface.
57. Matthew 1973, pp. 166–168.
58. Ashby & Anderson 1970, p. 135.
59. Reid 2006, p. 136.
60. "Ex-War Secretary and Lord Chancellor Succumbs Suddenly to Heart Disease". New York Times. 20 August 1928. Retrieved 15 August 2008. Lord Haldane, veteran statesman and philosopher, who will be remembered as one of the greatest of British War Ministers and who was twice Lord Chancellor of England, died suddenly today of heart disease at his home in Auchterarder, Scotland.
61. Report of the Machinery of Government Committee (PDF), HMSO, 1918
62. Koss 1985, p. 246-247.
63. Haldane 1929, pp. 183-185., A Hegelian Army.
64. Haldane 1922.
65. Haldane 1926.
66. Koss 1985, p. 253-255.
67. "No. 32901". The London Gazette. 25 January 1924. p. 769.
68. "The Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club". The Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club.
69. Debrett's Peerage. 1921.
70. Barnett 1970, pp. 362, 388.


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• Heuston, R. F. V. (1987). Lives of the Lord Chancellors: 1885-1940. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-821312-3.
• Hobhouse, Charles (1977). Inside Asquith's Cabinet: From the Diaries of Charles Hobhouse. Murray.
• Jenkins, Roy (1964). Asquith (first ed.). London: Collins. OCLC 243906913.
• Jenkins, Roy (2001). Churchill. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0330488058.
• Koss, Stephen (1985). Asquith. London: Hamish Hamilton. ISBN 978-0-231-06155-1.
• Langhorne, Richard (1971). "VII. The Naval Question in Anglo-German Relations, 1912–1914". The Historical Journal. 14 (2): 359–370. doi:10.1017/S0018246X0000964X. ISSN 0018-246X. JSTOR 2637960.
• Matthew, H.C.G. (1973). Liberal Imperialists: The Ideas and Politics of a Post-Gladstonian elite. Oxford. ISBN 0198218427.
• Matthew, H. C. G. (6 January 2011). "Haldane, Richard Burdon, Viscount Haldane (1856–1928)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/33643.(Subscription or UK public library membershiprequired.)
• Maurer, John H. (1992). "The Anglo-German Naval Rivalry and Informal Arms Control, 1912-1914". Journal of Conflict Resolution. 36 (2): 284–308. doi:10.1177/0022002792036002004. ISSN 0022-0027. JSTOR 174477.
• Maurice, Frederick (1937). Haldane: The Life of Viscount Haldane of Cloan. Vol. 1: 1856 to 1915. London: Fabe and Faber.
• Maurice, Frederick (1939). Haldane: The Life of Viscount Haldane of Cloan. Vol. 2 1915-1928. London: Fabe and Faber.
• McKinstry, Leo (2005). Rosebery: Statesman in Turmoil. John Murray. ISBN 978-0-7195-5879-5. OCLC 1004013256.
• Pugh, Martin (2014). Lloyd George. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-86942-9.
• Reid, Walter (2006). Architect of Victory: Douglas Haig. Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd. ISBN 1-84158-517-3.
• Ridley, Jane (2012). Bertie: a life of Edward VII. London: Chatto & Windus. ISBN 0099575442.
• Scott, James Brown (1918). "Lord Haldane's Diary of Negotiations Between Germany and England in 1912". The American Journal of International Law. 12 (3): 589. doi:10.2307/2188240. ISSN 0002-9300. JSTOR 2188240.
• Sommer, Dudley (1960). Haldane of Cloan: his life and times. London: G. Allen & Unwin. OCLC 75294052.
• Tanner, Duncan (2003). Political Change and the Labour Party 1900-1918. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-53053-8.
• Vaughan, Frederick (2010). Viscount Haldane: "the Wicked Step-father of the Canadian Constitution". University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-1-4426-4237-9 – via Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History.
• Webb, Beatrice (1948). Our Partnership. Longman Green. ISBN 978-0-521-20852-9.
• Webb, Beatrice (1986). The Diary of Beatrice Webb. London: Virago. ISBN 978-0-86068-845-7.

Further reading

• Cooper, Duff (1963). Old Men Even Die.
• Lyman, Richard W. (1957). The First Labour Government. London: Chapman & Hall. ISBN 9780846217848.
• Magnus, Philip (1964). King Edward VII. London: John Murray. ISBN 0719503450.
• Pringle-Pattison, A.Seth. "Richard Burdon Haldane (Viscount Haldane of Cloan) 1856–1928". Proceedings of the British Academy. XIV: 405–441.

External links

• Portraits of Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane at the National Portrait Gallery, London
• Works by Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane at Project Gutenberg
• Works by or about Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane at Internet Archive
• Works by Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
• Buckle, George Earle (1922). "Haldane, Richard Burdon Haldane, 1st Visct." . Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.).
• Archival Material at Leeds University Library
• Newspaper clippings about Richard Haldane, 1st Viscount Haldane in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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