Eric Geddes and the ‘Experiment’ with Businessmen in Government, 1915–22

  • Peter K. Cline


Businessmen were among the momentous additions to government during the First World War. Lloyd George, taking credit for their recruitment, called it his ‘experiment’. When they were included in Lloyd George’s government in 1916, Joseph Maclay, Albert Stanley, Lords Inverforth, Rhondda and Cowdray and Sir William Weir attracted favourable responses from a public weary of thirty months of an inconclusive war. Although many M.P.s and some men in the front ranks of the parties had business backgrounds, Lloyd George’s new men were in most cases innocent of any political training. The experiment obviously had great publicity value. The plutocrat and technocrat recruits were titans fresh from a realm whose power would ultimately determine the war’s outcome.


Prime Minister Rail Transport Economy Campaign Public Career General Staff 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1974

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  • Peter K. Cline

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