Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor, O.M.

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28 March 1945.

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Photo of Mr George Lambert Mr George Lambert , South Molton 12:00, 28 March 1945

It is with some emotion that I rise to add a word or two to the tributes that have been paid to the man whom I knew so well. Mr. Lloyd George came into the House of Commons in 1890 and I came here in 1891, both at by-elections. I had an experience that he never had; I was once defeated. He was a prophet in his own country. He had a passionate devotion to Wales. I remember in the very early days when he got into conflict with that awesome figure, Mr. Gladstone, on the subject of Welsh Disestablishment.

The Prime Minister has paid a most eloquent tribute to him. I want to point out one angle which might be a little different. I want to say nothing about his great duel during the South African War, or, when he became a national figure, over the Education Act, 1902. Then, from being a Welshman, he became a great national figure, and he was in demand all over the country. May I illustrate this point? I was walking with him down one of the corridors here, where the lockers are, and he opened one of the lockers, and out came a litter of prepaid telegrams. He had not the time to answer them. He was a poor man. He had to earn his living. He became, as the Prime Minister has well said, the most outstanding figure in this House, and not only here but in the world. I am always proud to have belonged to this House. It shows what a House of distinction this is, because it recognises merit.

Take Mr. Lloyd George's great performances in the last war. He was put into a commanding position. I agree with the Leader of the Opposition that Britain was especially fortunate that at the time of crisis in 1918 it produced a man. If I may be permitted to say so, it produced a man again in 1940. Mr. Lloyd George came to a commanding position. He owed nothing to birth and to wealth, but achieved everything by his native ability and his perseverance. What an example that is to young men, that they can come into this Assembly and rise to the highest and most commanding position, by dint of ability and perseverance. During his stormy, turbulent career—and it was stormy and turbulent—I remember the great Budget days, as the Prime Minister can remember them. This is a tepid and formal Assembly compared with the House of Commons in those days. During the time of buffets and blows, Mr. Lloyd George was always able to return to a sheltering home and to a welcome by an appreciative and loving comrade. I cannot help thinking that he owed much of his success to Dame Margaret Lloyd George, that maternal female, proud of her husband and proud still more that she lived to see her son and her daughter leaving their mark upon the House of Commons. Wales has lost its most distinguished citizen, Parliament a great Parliamentarian and the Empire a devoted public servant.