chapter  4
23 Pages

THE LLOYD GEORGE COALITION GOVERNMENT, 1918–22

Victory in war was bought at a considerable price; Britain was almost bankrupt as a result of the colossal expenditure demanded by the war effort, yet Lloyd George’s electioneering pledges in November 1918 promised a more socially just order and the creation of a ‘fit country for heroes to live in’.1 The fulfilment of these pledges would appear to demand that Britain, for a time, should become more inward-looking, and should concentrate on channelling her resources into rebuilding her social and economic fabric. But as a result of the Paris Peace Conference, Britain had acquired greater overseas commitments; her Empire had increased considerably and now included Tanganyika and South West Africa, the extensive new mandated territories in the Middle and Near East resulting from the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Transjordan, Mesopotamia and Palestine, whilst the Dominions themselves had acquired further responsibilities in New Guinea and Samoa.2