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Churchill v. Lloyd George

by
10 January 2014

9th January, 1914

IT IS almost pathetic to see how we are all clinging to Mr Winston Churchill as our protector against the dangerous doctrines of Mr Lloyd George. . . Mr Lloyd George does not always mean so much as he says, but it is a pity he cannot remember that he is a Minister of the Crown, whose published utterances, however silly they may be, are apt to be taken as having official sanction. In France, for instance, his Criccieth deliverance has been taken on its face-meaning. M. Clemenceau severely condemns him for recommending the reduction of armaments just at the moment when, owing to the latest action of the parties to the Triple Entente, there is a renewal of international discord. France is not unnaturally nervous at being led to believe that the English foreign policy as regards Germany is undergoing change. It is true that there is a Little Navyite faction among us, stronger, however - at least, we hope this is the case - in lungs than in numbers. But Mr Churchill is in a strong position if he chooses to stick to his guns, for, if he insists on carrying out his minimum programme, or even if he has the courage to go as far as the Two Keels to One standard, he will have the support of the whole Unionist party besides that of a considerable number of Liberals who have sense enough left to distinguish between scaremongering and con- sideration for the national safety. That safety may not, at the moment, be in peril, but when other navies are creeping up to the strength of our navy, which is our first and only real defence, we dare not even stand still, much less dare we go backward, unless we contemplate committing national suicide.

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