MR. LLOYD GEORGE AND MOTORING.
[To THE EDITOR OF THE " SPECTATOR."'
x,—The difficulty which you found in your article "An Immortal Speech" of reconciling Mr. Lloyd George's denunciations of motoring and golf with his own practice may be illustrated by comparing the passage in his City 'emple speech with an article on "The Chancellor of the Exchequer at Home" which appears in the issue of the Car, the well-known illustrated organ of the motor world, for October 19th. In the speech in question he remarked:—
" There is a larger number of people of this class [the idle rich]
• in this country than probably in any other country in the world. You will find them in London clubs, or in the country walking about with guns on their shoulders and dogs at their heels ; or upon golf courses ; or tearing along country roads at perilous speeds ; not seeking to recharge exhausted nerve-cells spent in useful labour, but as the serious occupation of their lives. If you want to realise what a serious charge they impose upon the com- munity I will put it in this way. If you take these men, with their families and with their very large body of retainers, you will find that they account for something like two millions of the population of this country."
Shooting, motoring, and golf are especially singled out as the pursuits of the idle rich. Yet in the Car we read that Mr. Lloyd George was only able to withstand the strain of office by the "stimulating tonic" afforded by golf and motoring :— "Some years ago Mr. Lloyd George became a ready convert to -motoring, since which time he has undertaken many tours on his 15 h.p. Napier, not only in this country, but also abroad. The
• Chancellor is quite an enthusiastic believer in this new and rapid means of travel, and when spending his weak-ends at Brighton invariably motors down in preference to a train journey. Mr. Lloyd George has frequently been heard to remark that motoring is one of the finest of nerve tonics, and if further evidence is needed of this, the Chancellor personally told me that during the great strain upon him, caused by the long sittings in the Rouse of Commons in connection with the 1909 Budget, he on a par- ticular Friday afteenoon felt dead beat; when a political and motoring friend suggested a run to Rheims, and while fully appreciating the pleasure such an outing would afford, he explained to his friend that it was necessary for him to be • back in London on the following Monday. All difficulties being overcome, the Chancellor consented to unde:take the trip, and returning to town on the Monday he felt absolutely a different man, and fit in every way to again take up the hard work con- sequent upon the all-night sittings, of which there were many during that memorable Budget debate. Mr. Lloyd George is also an enthusiastic golfer, and this, in conjunction with motoring, enables him to enjoy excellent health."
Personally, I am no great lover of motorists or golfers as a .class, but for the life of me I cannot see how Mr. Lloyd George is in a position to claim immunity from the criticism which he lavishes on the idle rich who indulge in those pastimes. Apparently, if you belong to the upper two million, they are an indication of culpable extravagance ; if you are a Radical Minister with a salary of £5,000 a year, they are stimulating tonics for the recharging of "exhausted nerve- cells spent in useful labour."—I am, Sir, &c., G MINOR.