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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 March, 2005, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Lloyd George's letters go online
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George was born in Manchester and raised in Wales
More than 3,000 letters from former prime minister David Lloyd George to his brother have been published in a new online archive.

The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth launched the digitised collection to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the statesman's death.

For nearly 40 years the World War I premier wrote to his brother William, a solicitor in Criccieth, Gwynedd.

Major landmarks, such as his rise to power and the war, are mentioned.

The letters are part of the William George Papers bought by the library in 1989. Lloyd George died in March 1945.

They date from 1886 when many of the letters were written in various parts of Wales. Many of the later ones were penned when Lloyd George was at the height of his power at Westminster.

He (William) savoured the sometimes highly confidential political gossip which poured from the pen of his elder brother
National Library of Wales

More than 2,000 letters by Lloyd George to his wife Dame Margaret were bought by the library in 1969.

A spokesman for the national library said: "William George was himself fascinated by political life.

"He savoured the sometimes highly confidential political gossip which poured from the pen of his elder brother, and was more than willing to act as his local political agent within the Caernarfon boroughs.

"Small wonder that Lloyd George wrote regularly to his brother, often daily, on occasion twice or even three times a day."

Lloyd George, who was chancellor of the exchequer before becoming prime minister in 1916, wrote full letters to his brother up until his appointment to the cabinet as president of the board of trade in 1905.

The National Library of Wales
The library owns more than 5,000 letters written by Lloyd George

Many of the later offerings are brief, hastily scribbled notes, but they have the "inestimable advantage of giving their author's immediate, uncensored gut reaction to events as they occur," said the spokesman.

He added: "Occasionally these were national events of momentous significance.

"Political news and family gossip intermingle freely as the author alternates easily between English and Welsh, perhaps to defeat the prying eyes of the security services."

As Lloyd George rose through the ranks at Westminster his political career was illustrated in letters to his brother.

There are also references in his private observations to the famous people's budget of 1909, and the suffragette movement.

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