Lloyd George special (broadsheet)
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LLOYD GEORGE SPECIAL. No. 1. PRICE ONE PENNY. How Lloyd George Won the Land for the People! THE MAN WHO MADE ENGLAND FIT ONLY FOR HEROES! THE WORD AND THE DEED. THE WORD. The Right Honourable David Lloyd George, the most gifted, consistent and remarkable member of the great Liberal Party, has an outstanding record in the history of modern politics. His eloquence and versatility are only equalled by his matchless and unprecedented nimbleness. Some of the greatest audiences in the country have been held spellbound by the torrent of his golden rhetoric. Who forgets the wizardry of his eloquence during the memorable years when he attacked the plundering band of landlords who exploit the people for the privilege of living in England? In order that his burning words may not be forgotten we reproduce a few sentences from the now historical speech on "The Land and the People" delivered in 1909. It is rather a shame that a rich country like ours — probably the richest in the world, if not the richest the world has ever seen — should allow those who have toiled all their days to end in penury and possibly starvation. It is rather hard that an old workman should have to find his way to the gates of the tomb, bleeding and footsore, through the brambles and thorns of poverty. Not far from here, not so many years ago, between the Lea and the Thames, you had hundreds of acres of land which was not very useful even for agricultural purposes. In the main it was a sodden marsh. The commerce and the trade of London increased under Free Trade, the tonnage of your shipping went up by hundreds of thousands of tons and by millions; labour was attracted from all parts of the country to cope with all this trade and business which was done here. What happened ? There was no housing accommodation. This Port of London became overcrowded, and the population overflowed. That was the opportunity of the owners of the marsh. All that land became valuable building land, and land which used to be rented at £2 or £3 an acre has been selling within the last few years at £2,000 an acre, £3,000 an acre, £6,000 an acre, £8,000 an acre. Who created that increment? Who made that golden swamp? Was it the landlord? Was it his energy ? Was it his brains — a very bad look-out for the place if it were — his forethought? There was a case from Greenock the other day. The Admiralty wanted a torpedo range. Here was an opportunity for patriotism ! These are the men who want an efficient Navy to protect our shores, and the Admiralty state that one element in efficiency is straight shooting, and say: "We want a range for practice for torpedoes on the coast of Scotland." There was a piece of land there which had a rating value of £11 2s., and it was sold to the nation for £27,225. And these are the gentlemen who accuse us of robbery and spoliation ! What is the landlord's increment? Who is the landlord? The landlord is a gentleman — I have not a word to say about him in his personal capacity — the landlord is a gentleman who does not earn his wealth. He does not even take the trouble to receive his wealth. He has a host of agents and clerks to receive it for him. He does not even take the trouble to spend his wealth. He has a host of people around him to do the actual spending for him. He never sees it until he comes to enjoy it. His sole function, his chief pride is stately consumption of wealth produced by others. The Gorringe case is a very famous case. It was the case of the Duke of Westminster. Oh, these dukes, how they harass us! Mr. Gorringe had got a lease of the premises at a few hundred pounds a year ground rent. He built up a great business there as a very able business man. When the end of the lease came he went to the Duke of Westminster, and he said, "Will you renew my lease? I want to carry on my business here." The reply was, "Oh, yes, I will; but only on condition that the few hundreds a year you pay for ground rent shall in the future be £4,000 a year." In addition to that Mr. Gorringe had to pay a fine of £50,000, and to build up huge premises at enormous expense, according to plans approved by the Duke of Westminster. All I can say is this — if it is confiscation and robbery for us to say to that duke that, being in need of money for public purposes, we will take 10 per cent. of all you have got, for those purposes, what would you call his taking nine-tenths from Mr. Gorringe ? The landlords are receiving eight millions a year by way of royalties. What for ? They never deposited the coal in the earth. It was not they who planted those great granite rocks in Wales. Who laid the foundations of the mountains? And yet he, by some divine right, demands as his toll - for merely the right for men to risk their lives in hewing these rocks — eight millions a year! Have you been down a coal mine? I went down one the other day. We sank down into a pit half a mile deep. We then walked underneath the mountain, and we had about three-quarters of a mile of rock and shale above us. The earth seemed to be straining — around us and above us — to crush us in. You could see the pit-props bent and twisted and sundered, their fibres split in resisting the pressure. Sometimes they give way, and then there is mutilation and death. Often a spark ignites, the whole pit is deluged in fire, and the breath of life is scorched out of hundreds of breasts by the consuming flame. In the very next colliery to the one I descended, just a few years ago, 300 people lost their lives in that way; and yet when the Prime Minister and I knock at the doors of these great landlords, and say to them: "Here, you know these poor fellows who have been digging up royalties at the risk of their lives, some of them are old, they have survived the perils of their trade, they are broken, they can earn no more. Won't you give something towards keeping them out of the workhouse?" they scowl at us. We say, "Only a ha'penny, just a copper. They retort, "You thieves!" And they turn their dogs on to us, and you can hear their bark every morning. If this is an indication of the view taken by these great landlords of their responsibility to the people who, at the risk of life, create their wealth, then I say their day of reckoning is at hand. Mr. Lloyd George has made many other declarations regarding the robber bands who control the land of this country. We quote a few further extracts from important speeches he made from time to time: — Who ordained that a few should have the land of Britain as a perquisite; who made 10,000 people owners of the soil and the rest of us trespassers in the land of our birth; who is it? Who is responsible for the scheme of things whereby one man is engaged through life in grinding labour to win a bare and precarious subsistence for himself . . and another man who does not toil receives every hour of the day, every hour of the night whilst he slumbers, more than his poor neighbour receives in a whole year of toil? Where did the table of the law come from? Whose finger inscribed it? These are the questions that will be asked. The answers are charged with peril for the order of things the Peers represent. — Newcastle, 30th September, 1909. "Let's Burst It." — Search out every problem, look into these questions thoroughly, and the more thoroughly you look into them you will find that the land is at the root of most of them. Housing, wages, food, health, the development of a virile, independent, manly, Imperial race — you must have a free land system as an essential condition of these. To use a gardening phrase, our social and economic condition is root-bound by the feudal system. It has no room to develop, but its roots are breaking through. Well, let's burst it. — Aberdeen, 29th, November, 1912. Vested Interests to be Beaten. — When they enclosed the commons they did it through Commissioners, and those Commissioners did the work they were set out to accomplish so neatly, so completely, so thoroughly, that we decided that, the Commissioners having deprived the people of their interest in the land, Commissioners are just the people to restore the land to the people. It is a great undertaking. It is a gigantic one, but we mean to put it through. It is one that may take time; it is one that may involve us in a struggle with great interests. We are accustomed to that. We have beaten vested interests and we will do it again. — Swindon, 22nd October, 1913. New Sources of Revenue Essential. — You cannot build houses without land; you cannot lay down trams for the purpose of spreading the population over a wider area without land. As long as the landlords are allowed to charge prohibitive prices for a bit of land, even waste land, without contributing anything to local resources, so long will this terrible congestion remain in our towns. That is the first great trust to deal with, and for another reason — the resources of local taxation are almost exhausted. It is essential that you should get some new resources for this purpose. What better resources can you get than this wealth created by the community, and how better can it be used than for the benefit of the community, Take the question of evercrowding. This land question in the towns bears upon that. It is all very well to produce Housing of the Working Classes Bills. They will never be effective until you tackle the taxation of land values. — Newcastle, 4th March, 1903. What Shall We Tax ? — Year by year the value of that land and house passes out of the man that built it, who sweated for it, who raised money for it, into the hands of the man who never spent a penny in erecting that house. What do we say? We say the country has need of money, and we are looking out for someone to tax. We do not want to tax food; we will tax no man's raiment; we will not tax the house that shelters him and his family. What shall we tax? We do not want to tax industry; we do not want to tax enterprise; we do not want to tax commerce. What shall we tax? We will tax the man who is getting something he never earned, that he never produced, and that by no law of justice and fairness ought ever to belong to him. — Carnarvon, 8th December, 1909. No False Remedies. — I mean to raise these taxes in a way that will not interfere with any productive industry in this country, and I am not going to butter anybody's bread with taxes. . . . Do not let us have false remedies. We want to do something to bring the land within the grasp of the people. We want to put an end to the system whereby the land of this country is retailed by the ounce, so that there should not be an extra grain of breathing space. . . . No; I tell you what we want. The resources of the land are frozen by the old feudal system. I am looking forward to the spring time, when the thaw will set in, and when the people and the children of the people shall enter into the inheritance that has been given them from on high. — Liverpool, 21st December, 1909. THE DEED. These extracts show what Liberalism says on the platform. But what were the deeds as enforced by Mr. Lloyd George when he was Premier? In 1920 his Government passed the Finance Act. Under Section 57 (3) of this Act Mr. Lloyd George made it possible for the landlords to secure the refunding of taxes levied on land values! This change of front was one of the greatest betrayals in the history of politics. As an act of hypocrisy it stands unrivalled — even in the annals of Liberalism. Despite the speeches and policy of Liberal leaders the landlord class is stronger to-day than ever. It is the Liberals, with their Tory colleagues who are opposing Labour's attack upon the landlords and capitalists. The Liberals are at the present moment helping the landlords to defeat Labour's great housing scheme. They have destroyed the attempt made to assist the wages of the agricultural labourers. In any and every way they are preventing the Workers' Movement from carrying out its attack upon Big Profits and High Rents. Dare you place any trust in such pretentious hypocrites? Even now, after the infamous betrayal of the Finance Act of 1920, the idol of Liberalism and its modern leader, Mr. Lloyd George, is trying to regain the confidence of the masses by declaring that he is going to fight the landlords, who exploit the mine-owners through forcing them to pay mineral royalties. As a careerist out of office, he is making a desperate bid to get back again by repeating his Limehouse oration. To handle the spoils of office he will grovel and make slimehouse speeches if necessary. If you desire to maintain and add to the strength of capitalism and landlordism VOTE FOR THE LIBERALS If you wish to lend a hand to the rack-renters; if you are anxious to help the profiteers of the Federation of British Industries who are attacking the wages and hours of the working class — then DON'T VOTE FOR LABOUR. The Labour movement, through its trade unions, political organisations, and co-operative societies, is united in its determined struggle to destroy the propertied interests so ably defended by Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Asquith, and the other Liberal upholders of the present social system based upon the profits and rents extracted from the energy and ability of the working class. If you want to see the slums increase and expand; if you want your trade unions crippled by the master class; if you want your wages lowered and your rents increased; if you want another Geddes axe to cut at your children's education and food — then support the Liberals who dined recently with the Bosses' Big Union — the F.B.I. If you realise that peace and prosperity can come only when the workers rise in their might and sweep away Liberalism and all other parasitic growths upon society — then link up with Militant Labour and organise with those who are fighting on behalf of the masses. If you want the Liberals to plunge the world into another bloody war; if again you want to see the profiteers pile up their millions of pounds while you count your millions who have been butchered and wounded; if you want to see your women folks sink into the grave under the stress of another holocaust; if you want to see discharged soldiers showing their wounds and begging their way from town to town in pursuit of food; if you wish the hell of 1914-18 to be repeated on a larger and more terrible scale, then your duty is clear - support the Liberals and UP WITH LLOYD GEORGE !
|Archive collection||Iron and Steel Trades Confederation|
|Archive file||Labour Party|
|Title||Lloyd George special (broadsheet)|
|Issuing organisation||Labour Party (Great Britain). Rusholme Division|
|Contributors||Paul, William, b. 1884|
|Description||The parliamentary candidate for Rusholme, William Paul, was a member of the Communist Party, backed by the local Labour Party. Much of the content of the broadsheet therefore reflects Communist rather than official Labour Party rhetoric.|
|Course name||Governing Britain|