9 AUGUST 1975, Page 4

Lloyd George and reparation

Sir: Lord Shinwell (August 2) state' incorrectly that Lloyd George's view 0 reparations was to "squeeze them (th, Germans) until the pips squeak."

This notorious aspiration, oftel wrongly attributed, was actually voice* by Sir Eric Geddes in a speech at tiv Drill Hall, Cambridge, On December 9• 1918. He promised his audience:

will get everything out of her (Get' many) that you can squeeze out or t lemon and a bit more .... I will squeez.E her until you can hear the-pips squeak.' Lloyd George's attitude towards the ,reparations problem was inconsistent His estimate of Germany's ability tu meet a huge reparations demand WI" not as sanguine as that of Lord Cunliffe, the Governor of the Bank of England, or of Prime Minster Hughes of Australia, for example. Yet his own memoirs of the Peace Conference , conflict with the recollections of others I, near to him at the -time. Lord Riddell noted in his Intimate Diary of the Peace Conference and After that LloYd George thought that Germany "must pay to the uttermost farthing." Certainly, the definition of reparations favoured by the Prime Minister in the Council of Four meetings had been conceived to ensure that Great Britain would receive payments from the Germans.

On balance, Lloyd George seemed to favour demanding reparations consonant with Germany's capacity to PP' (itself the subject of some disagreement) while not wishing to ruin Germany completely, thereby weakening further her resistance to Bolshevik revolution and bankrupting an important trading partner.

11 Portland Avenu

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