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 William Gallacher Mr William Gallacher , Fife Western 12:00, 28 March 1945

As a Communist, I would like to add my tribute to what has already been said. It is a little over 4o years ago in the great days of which the Prime Minister spoke, that I first heard Lloyd George speak, and even now I can recall the throb and the thrill of that great meeting. Courage—it was there in abundance; eloquence—his tongue was like a silver trumpet or a flashing sword. This is not the time to recall old controversies, but it may be permissible to say that when others were not so kindly disposed towards him Glasgow opened its heart to him and gave him a welcome. Thirty years ago, I met him under different circumstances in Glasgow. But no matter how bitter and deep the dispute might be, the hon. Member for Dumbarton Burghs (Mr. Kirkwood) will join with me in saying that in the conversations we had he was always courteous, understanding and considerate.

In 1920 I met Lenin. I was a very difficult person to get on with, and Lenin advised me—I remember it so well—to study David Lloyd George. He held the opinion that David Lloyd George was the greatest political leader this country had known. Much has been said about the part he played in the first world war. It is true that his name is interwoven with every gigantic effort of that time, but we should also remember the effort he made in trying to preserve peace, and prevent this present terrible war from coming upon Europe and the world. Eagerly, anxiously, he sought for understanding and alliance with the Soviet Union. He recognised what a mighty combination that would be in maintaining peace. In this he had a common bond, one of many, with the present Prime Minister. In the strange drama of life he played many parts, great parts, always with the fervour and intensity of a son of the people, for it was the common people that bore him. It was the suffering of the common people that called him forth to battle against poverty and neglect. But the drama for him is ended. Others must take up the burden and the task. Very quietly, very softly, after all the storm and strife, the curtain has fallen. May he rest in gentle peace.