Table 20 “Liberal Politics And Travel Tales”

table-card-20

A table of four people who have spent their lives in and out of the world of politics. Though none held political office, all were Liberal Party supporters. Their views on the world of politics would have been well informed. Mrs Alfred J King, 68, was the widow of a Quaker Liberal MP and herself was closely involved in women’s campaigns for peace. Her daughter, Mrs J.H. Whitworth, 43, widowed by the War, had four teenage daughters, and was later to be involved in refugee support. Her husband had been an aspiring politician. The Rev. J.T. Rhys, 68, a Congregational minister, temperance campaigner and writer, had worked with Margaret Rhondda’s mother, the Dowager Viscountess Rhondda and then had been Mrs Lloyd George‘s private secretary throughout almost all the Downing Street years, 1917 – 1922, and came from a passionately political Welsh family. Gordon West, the 37 year old Liberal Party supporting journalist and prolific travel writer, in 1928 toured the US during a Presidential campaign, with Lloyd George’s private secretary, A.J. Sylvester, to report on US electioneering techniques. In 1930 he published “Lloyd George’s Last Fight” and a travelogue “Jogging in Majorca” had been well received. His later travel book, “By Bus to the Sahara” is still in print today.

Outside politics and campaigning, former milliner Mrs King may have shared stories with former draper the Rev. J.T. Rhys, who in turn will certainly have enjoyed recounting travel tales with Gordon West.

Given that the guest list for this dinner has survived in the papers of J.T. Rhys it is quite possible that this table was choreographed by him. Tales of Lloyd George, speculation as to his prospects of a return to power, his attitudes to the rise of Hitler (LlG had not yet completely blotted his copybook by his infamous 1936 meeting with the Fûhrer) may have sprinkled the conversation. Gordon West’s views on the latest President (Roosevelt), who was already shaking things up with his Bank Holidays and New Deals, would probably certainly be sought. J.T. Rhys may have been lamenting the end of prohibition in the US which had begun in the past 24 hours.

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