The Edwardians (1972) s01e08 Episode Script

Lloyd George

(Horse trots by outside) (Footsteps on stairs) Erm gentlemen I have invited you to erm No.
My lords and gentlemen I have invited you to this conference table at the Board of Trade and you have consented to accept because of the gravity of the situation which now confronts the British people.
Now, you know better than me that a general railway strike would, at this moment erm erm No, no, I wouldn't er I wouldn't be on my feet, would I? I'd be at the table with a Heh heh heh.
Confidential with equals.
Gentlemen, some of us are friends in the great game of public life, and some of us are opponents.
No.
My God, what's wrong with me this morning? Erm For months now, gentlemen, you and the great railway companies you represent have been at wrangleheads with your employees erm Wrangleheads? Ha ha! and now they threaten to paralyse the railways by strike action with consequences for our national economy national economy too far reaching to be contemplated by an unruffled mind, - nor, indeed - Finished with your cup, have you? - Eh? No, it's not mine.
- Not yours? No.
Erm I had my breakfast at six o'clock, as you well know, woman.
I was active before you were out of your pit of idleness.
Listen, if it's Margaret's cup, ask her.
- Where is she? - Seeing that Megan cleans her teeth.
- I always cleaned mine.
- You were a blessed saint.
I used to go to the water butt and rub them with a stick.
The Welsh orphan boy brought up by his mother's brother.
I was too poor to buy a brush.
Your Uncle Lloyd was a village shoemaker, very respectable, and employed two or three men - so lift your elbow.
- Are you in for your supper? - I don't know.
Me and missus fancied lamb stew.
You may not like it, but she does.
I am called to the Board of Trade to avert a national railway strike! What's simmering in the pot won't come to no harm.
- Morning, David.
- Maggie.
Mm.
Oh, there's a lovely teasing scent.
Ha ha.
It's pine soap.
I like it when you laugh with me.
Does anyone else, David? - The boys off to school? - Of course.
- Has Megan cleaned her teeth? - "Scrub dub," she says.
"Scrub dub.
Scrub dub.
" Listen to this, Margaret.
It's my opening remarks to the Lords and hypocrites of the railway companies.
Listen.
Erm For months now, gentlemen, negotiations have dragged on.
You refuse to recognise the men's unions, let alone discuss wages with them, but unless you consent What's wrong? They know all that, David.
Say something fresh.
Oh.
Ha ha ha! Without your criticisms, Margaret, where would my speeches be now? - I mentioned the stew, missus.
- Lift your skirt.
- Lift it? - There, look.
- Look at the big stubborn feet on you.
- Don't be a mischief.
If women wore shorter skirts, we'd have an idea of who was self-willed.
- From their feet? - Yes.
Mine are beautiful.
The feet of a dancer.
- Nonsense.
- Postman's daughter to you.
- Postman's daughter? - Yes, at Caernarfon.
At Caernarfon? What? Interested, are you? - Who are you talking about? - Betty.
Young Betty.
- Betty? - What happened to her? Same as happens to most, sooner or later.
Oh.
Only in her case, much too soon.
Oh, I remember.
- She was a slut.
- Her eyes were much too close together.
- Say that again.
- Her eyes were much too - No, I'll not be tricked.
- Oh, you are a hopeless mischief.
- Daddy, not again.
- Again? The respective merits of broad feet and narrow eyes.
Not the merits, my throstle, the significance.
- You and your old wives' tales.
- I like your hair like that.
Lovely.
- Don Juan.
- Mair! - Are you well enough to go to school? - Well enough? What's wrong? - Nothing.
- Tummy upset.
- Are you sure it's nothing? - Certain.
I bet you were a Don Juan in the old, days.
Was he, Mummy? - Don't be impertinent.
- Go to school, Mair.
- She can come with me.
We'll take a hackney.
- You spoil her.
How can you spoil a throstle? A throstle is wild.
Ask Sarah to run into the road and wave her apron at the rank down the street.
- The drivers are so scared of her.
- Go on.
Off you go, Mair.
It's a beautiful day, isn't it, even though it is autumn? Ha ha ha! All right.
Well, what's the honest thing to say to the railway companies? - I don't know.
- You don't know? Well, that's the first time you've been stuck for an answer now in 20 years of political battles.
Shall I get your hat and stick? Maggie? I always know when you've done something wrong.
There's a little shift in the way you look.
Wrong? What have I done wrong? Oh, tease Sarah? Spoil Mair? Why not? I love her, you see.
- Ha ha ha! - You see? Do you remember? Do you remember when I courted you, Margaret, on your father's farm? Those long walks in the rain and big splashes coming down from the trees? You've seen that red-headed woman again.
I haven't! Damn.
- They've waved for a hansom.
- Margaret - Sarah's bringing your coat.
- Margaret, I can't be happy unless you are.
I can only be happy with the truth.
All right, then, I've seen her.
- I have seen her.
- Why? For God's sake, why do men see women? - Don't snatch! - I'm not snatching.
Lucky it wasn't Mair or Megan overheard you.
- I am lucky, didn't you know? - I hate you when you're cocky.
Well, most people are deceived by it, you see.
What are the terms of the conference? Terms? Oh, they're settled.
- Settled? - Yes.
- How can they be? - Because they are.
By my negotiator, Mr George Askwith.
- I like him.
- Yes, so do I.
Well, what's he done? Well, he's persuaded the railway companies to draft a compromise.
- Do the union know? - No, certainly not.
Well, will they accept it? Eventually.
You didn't think I'd call a conference unless I was sure I'd win, did you? Do you know, I think I ought to let my hair grow longer.
What is the plan? It's rubbish.
It gives the union a loophole.
So, your speech to the railway owners is a sham.
No, it's a lubricant.
Now, Mair's late.
I must go.
Bye-bye.
- Lamb stew and look sharp.
- David! Yes! Why did you practise it on me? You have just discussed a speech you don't need to give.
I always rehearse my speeches.
- Especially to me.
- Well, I need your judgment, you see.
Which is the biggest mockery? What you've just said to me or what you will say to the railway workers? Life must be kept moving, Margaret.
And that's not a mockery.
Goodbye.
(Door closes) Is my watch correct? 7pm? 7pm, my lord.
Mr Lloyd George has been absent for an hour.
He must be locked in conference with the other side, my lord.
Hm.
Good gracious, don't you want more light? We find this restful, Minister, thank you.
Oh.
Well, one question, gentlemen, in the matter of the two parties disagreeing as to the choice of an arbitrator.
Might not the appointment be made by the Speaker of the House of Commons? That was agreed this morning.
Indeed.
I forgot.
Was it, really? I think you remember, Minister.
Willie, type that clause up again, will you, now? At once.
At once, Minister.
So you will need more light, won't you? There.
Well, while you gentlemen were debating among yourselves, Mr Askwith and I stepped outside for some fresh air.
(Typewriter clicks) We might have envied you, had we known.
I stand rebuked, but what else must I do since you won't even talk to the unions yourselves? - Blackguards! - Since you won't even speak to them, Mr Askwith and I must run from one of you to the other.
You've known the substance of our compromise plan for two weeks.
Mr Askwith and I met a crowd outside.
As the streetlamps came on, they showed tragic faces.
There was a young couple - the young man a shipping clerk, I'd say.
His wife was pregnant.
If it comes to a strike - and I heard him say this - "If it comes to a strike, I'll be laid off and that's the truth.
" His wife was weeping.
At each one of the many meetings between us, we have made it clear that, with us, the question of not recognising the union is one of very deep principle, indeed.
All I want is peace for the public interest.
How's that typing, Willie? - Minister.
- Check the the wording, gentlemen.
Lord Allerton, Sir Alex.
Do you think it'll work? If you do a little play acting.
Me? Play acting? Tut tut.
Well, gentlemen, I take it that's agreed with your other proposals.
And your acceptance, Minister.
My lord, I give my word.
Fetch the decanters, Willie, please.
I'll see what can be done in the next room.
In our father's day, upstarts like him simply didn't become ministers of the Crown.
No, I don't think they did.
George, what do you notice about Lord Stalbridge's head? His head? Well, I'm not honestly sure I noticed anything.
It's very small.
Tiny.
That's a very bad sign.
Hands and feet, George.
Extremities of the body.
- Small head equals small mental capacity.
- Surely, you don't think Hands and feet, boy, speak louder than sworn statements.
Look at my feet - beautiful.
You should see them naked.
- I know Stalbridge can be devious.
- Devious? He hates the sight of me.
Right, here we are.
Brace yourself.
LG, what news? Any change? Good old faithful Dick Bell.
Is there a glass of water, please, gentlemen? Yes, to you Dick Bell is just a good union secretary, but to me he's a parliamentary colleague.
Eh? And many is the battle he returned.
Many's the Liberal lobbies we've been through together, despite the shot - Thank you.
- Through shot and shell.
But you were the general, LG.
We were just the radical troops.
Ah.
True.
The strategy.
That's the question.
The vision.
See, at the window here, the streetlamps reveal tragic faces.
I saw a young couple.
The young man was a shipping clerk, I think.
His wife's shawl wants darning.
I saw a young boy with no shoes on his feet.
I remember my own boyhood in Wales in sight of the dear mountains.
Now, in the richest city the world has ever known, I see another boy without shoes.
Why? Because privilege siphons off the wealth that we all created.
The question that Dick and I ask - and Dick remembers more battles than me - the question that we ask in Parliament is the same question that you ask yourselves when you've toiled outside in the rain.
What is the strategy to destroy and defeat the privileged? Hear, hear.
When the Liberal Party - the Liberal government - was elected, we knew what Tory privilege would do, yes, yes.
Fight through the House of Lords, block every bill, tooth and nail.
Like the railway companies today.
Have you seen bargaining like it, George? - And have you seen a day like this? - Never a day like this.
Yeah, well, I fought them, Richard.
I've argued commas and colons, but there you are.
There's the concession on your last point, but as for the rest Let's see.
This is the best we'll do, and we know the answer - fight them in Parliament.
Destroy the power of the House of Lords and that way justice will follow.
- This doesn't give us what we want.
- It gives us reconciliation machinery.
- They still haven't recognised the union.
- A great deal may be obtained.
- We've been cheated.
- Negotiations aren't a cheat, boy! They are a practical coming together.
Now, reject this and what must you do? - Call a general railway strike.
- Correct, correct.
Will the other unions support you? The footplate men? How can you win without them? - We've been cheated.
- There's no cheating, boy.
Just facts.
Facts.
I'll give you 20 minutes to decide.
- We must consult our members.
- 20 minutes.
- Mr Secretary - I'm doing my best, brothers.
Brothers? Brothers, indeed.
The battleground on which to defeat privilege is Parliament.
Upset public support with strikes, where are you? The great common purpose is defeated.
Think deeply.
20 minutes.
(Muttering) - We've been cheated! - Brothers! Too bloody clever in these places.
Brothers, a great deal may be obtained through this.
We stand here for men who work 18 hours a day.
LG's right.
Practical politics.
Now, will you vote, please, brothers? Those for acceptance? Those against? I declare that by vote of the Executive Committee we accept this settlement.
DAVID: Peace with honour.
- Front-page headlines.
MAIR: It says the same in this newspaper.
It fits across the columns, you see.
- Don't pretend to be cynical, Daddy.
MARGARET: Mair? Finish your breakfast.
Listen.
"For the brilliant compromise which he has imposed on both railway directors and union officials, Mr Lloyd George deserves well, and will receive the congratulations of his countrymen.
" "Mr Lloyd George is the most unpopular man in the country.
" What? Little mischief.
Mischief.
- It really says "popular".
- (They laugh) Listen.
"What Mr Lloyd George wanted in the interests of the public" Mair! - Mair! - What's wrong? - She's in pain! - Sarah! Sarah! Oh, Daddy! It hurts! - Hold her.
Hold her.
I can't bear pain.
MAIR: Daddy! DAVID: I'll fetch the doctor.
Don't go, Daddy! - Lie on the floor, love.
- He's fetching the doctor, love.
- Why didn't he telephone? - He was upset! - Hold on to me, my lamb.
- Daddy? He'll come back.
He'll come back.
Oh, hello.
Can I speak to the doctor, please? This is Mrs Lloyd George.
Yes.
I'm dizzy.
I think I'm floating.
Shall we say a little prayer? Our Father, which art in heaven Yes, thank you.
I couldn't think which way.
I just - I should have telephoned myself.
- I've done it.
- Why didn't you say she had stomach pains? - I did! - You laughed it off.
- I did not! Oh, for God's sake.
- What's happened? - I think she's fainted.
- What's wrong with her breathing? - The doctor's only round the corner.
MARGARET: Mair? You see, I couldn't think which way.
MARGARET: You couldn't think? - I just stood in the middle of the road.
(Doorbell rings) - That's him.
- Well, I can't let go of her.
- No, I'll go.
(Mutters) I can't bear to look at her.
SARAH: It's only a faint, I'm sure.
- Abdominal pains for two days? - Thank God, Doctor.
Keep calm, David, keep calm.
- Queasy? - Er, yes.
Vomiting? Loose motion? - I think so.
- You only think so? - Well, she was up half the night.
- She said she was better this morning.
Yeah, but she didn't want to trouble anyone.
She's my angel.
- Daddy.
MARGARET: Bless her.
DOCTOR: Tell us where it hurts, Mair.
Is it here? Is it here? Is it here? (Mair screams) DOCTOR: Lie flat.
You'll be more comfortable.
Sarah, fetch my coat.
What is it? - I think appendicitis.
- Oh, God.
Oh, there's no danger in this day and age.
- An operation.
- But it soon passes away.
The first thing is to get her upstairs.
Ah, would you help me carry the lady upstairs? Yes.
Here.
- Argh! - He doesn't know what he's doing, man! He knows this like you know the House of Commons, David.
Sarah? (Mair gasps for air) (David mutters) "The Prime Minister said he wished to thank his friend and colleague, Mr Lloyd George, for his great gift of unquenchable helpfulness, unfailing courage and alert diplomacy.
" God, that's better than "Taffy was a thief.
" She may be in great danger, David.
Ah Well, erm I'd better I'd better go.
I'm expected at the office.
You understand, don't you? Yes.
I'll call your nephew Charlie Williams.
It won't take him long from Regent's Park.
- Good boy, Charlie.
- Yes.
Listen, erm I might just have to stay at the office tonight.
- David! - No, just for tonight.
Only for tonight.
(Telephone rings) (Telephone continues ringing) Willie Willie.
Willie, wake up, wake up.
Wake up, Willie.
- For God's sake, what time is it? - Answer the phone, man! It's not my place, LG! (Telephone continues ringing) Mr Lloyd George's office, his private secretary speaking.
Oh.
Yes, he is.
Do you wish to? Yes? Your daughter's dead.
- Who's that? - Mrs Lloyd It was inevitable, wasn't it? After what we heard this afternoon.
- Won't you speak yourself? - No.
- Will you return home? - No Yes.
LG says he'll join you shortly.
I'm sorry, Mrs Lloyd George.
You know how highly we all place Mair.
I'm sorry.
I know the word's inadequate.
- Shall I chase up some transport for you? - No.
No? - But you promised - Don't tell me what I promised.
I'm sorry, Minister, I don't mean any I know what you mean.
And I know what I mean.
(Sniffs) Of all the filthy, dishonest, greedy, self-important dirty-minded, toad-like men that pass through this office of all the human slime in cravats none of them are dead, are they? But my girl is.
My angel.
With no selfish thought, or as pure Every day, we soil our hands with men who have hearts like pus! But that girl in her muslin dr I know why it happened.
Of course, I know why she's been taken.
It's to get at me, you see! Revenge! It burst, you know.
A big abscess, it spread yellow slime all through her belly.
Do you think it dribbles out when they open the bowels? Do you know? I don't.
We're so ignorant.
Why won't life work? Why do they hate you when you're clever? Well, they've had their revenge, haven't they? - Minister I really must ask you - Don't ask me, just listen for once, Willie! The public school, that's what you are.
I'm very conscious of my situation.
Frightened of girls because you never knew any.
- Really, Minister.
- Now you hate me.
- How was chapel? - Chapel? School chapel.
Oh, it was an inspiration, I suppose.
Polite claptrap.
I was baptised, Willie.
I was baptised.
In a brook.
It runs behind the chapel at Criccieth.
You have to push through a hedge to get to the brook.
Mountains here, sea there and sunshine that's so brilliant that it makes you screw your eyes up.
But if a cloud passes over the mountains are black.
And if it passes over where you're standing, suddenly you feel cold and you're in shadow.
I felt like that as a lad and I still do.
Cold and perplexed.
The black sadness.
The overwhelming fear that there is no sense to life.
I felt like that when I talked to Uncle Lloyd - he was the elected minister, you see.
He assured me that there would be no more of that sadness.
So he baptised me in the brook, you see? He took his boots and his socks off and he rolled his trousers up.
Anyway on the way home afterwards from the baptism, a cloud came over and I was in shadow.
My heart, it sank like lead.
It's the old fear, you see.
Ha ha! Acceptance into Christ's flock made no difference.
Oh.
So now I'm the political champion of Welsh Nonconformity and I don't believe a bloody word of it.
- But you've a scriptural quotation for everything.
- As the art mistress said to the gardener.
- No, I don't mean flippant.
- Your shoes are dirty.
You see, you're pickled in respectability.
Indeed.
Like your Welsh chapel-goers.
My chapel-goers believed that what the man of Nazareth said was true! It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
When I sat on the committee of the House of Commons which enquired into the possibility of old age pensions for persons of the age of 65, the scheme was rejected and abandoned because we were given irrefutable evidence that the diet and condition of most of the working population are so bad that most of them will not reach the age of 65.
My chapel-goers are outraged by that.
Their passion storms.
What's the cabinet compared to them? Herbert Asquith, he knows nothing about his chauffeur, let alone the coal miners.
John Morley, no blood in him.
Mr John Grey.
Very, very, very, very grey, indeed.
Winston Churchill.
Brilliant, but military mad.
Ha ha Mr John Burns, our great union leader, now our Minister of Labour He sold his soul, poor devil, and for what? Respectability.
Being well thought of by his former opponents because they always impressed him, you see.
Ha ha ha! Ha ha! My Uncle Lloyd, who brought me up, has more passion than all of them.
And I'm impressed by none because they all have the same behind their fly buttons.
I'm quicker than them, see? I'm an orphan boy, studied at night, practised to be a solicitor.
They hate me because I am quicker.
I like to juggle with them.
I like to feel the speed of the game.
There's always some damned thing to ruin it.
Some shadow.
(Sobs) I hate life.
Because it's taken Mair.
Doctors with their hands in her pulling pus out of her.
- She was pure - (Telephone rings) Leave me alone! Who is? Charlie Charlie Williams, yes.
Yes.
I will bury her at Criccieth, Charlie where she can look on the mountains.
Uncle Lloyd can read the words.
Tell them that, won't you? She was worth ten of me, Charlie.
She was pure.
Huh? Oh, aye.
Well, thank you, Charlie, thank you.
You're a good boy.
Bye.
Charlie says it's almost daylight.
The first task for you, Willie put 3 Routh Road on the market.
Get an estate agent.
- Put it on the market.
I can't live there any more.
- But Mrs Lloyd George.
Then get a messenger to send for more of my clothes.
As a practical fact, Minister, it may take some weeks to find a new home.
- Shouldn't you consider a hotel? - No, I'll stay here.
- Will you go to the funeral? - Yes! I'll be as quick as I can abroad.
- But what about Mrs Lloyd George? - She must stay here.
I'll take the boys.
The family gesture.
Yes, I'll take them to the French Riviera.
(Seagulls cry outside) There you are.
No, no, no, no.
Erm I don't drink.
No dla mnie.
Chociaz jedna kropla.
Zrob to dla Twej ptaszyny.
No, no, erm I erm not even in your hotel room.
Co mowisz? Co mowisz? Mowisz.
Co mowisz.
No, no, erm not even in Oh, what's the use? Ha ha ha! (Knock on door) - Co to?! Someone's got a pass key.
Szybko! I hope it's not your mother.
Father? Richard! Richard! Er Erm Well, don't just er fidget there, boy.
Erm Well, don't you want to be introduced to the lady? Er This is Countess Halecka from Poland.
- How do you do? - And this is my son, Richard Lloyd George.
Ktokolwiek to jest nie chce go widziec.
Richard confided in me last night that he thinks you're the prettiest girl on the Riviera.
I brought you these flowers.
Nie chce go widziec! Sorry, Richard, I can't er converse with her, you see, because of the erm er language and er Well, I er I suppose you'd just better run along.
I I bribed the porter.
DAVID: Yes.
I I thought I'd leave the flowers.
DAVID: Yes.
Thank you, boy.
RICHARD: I'm sorry.
(Door closes) I ty masz byc dzentelmenem! - The boy has a crush on you.
- I to Cie bawi! "From an anonymous admirer.
" - He's very romantic, is Richard.
- Ah Idz sobie.
Idz, blagam Ha ha ha! Here Oh You're ashamed, aren't you? Ashamed to be caught in bed by a boy and a hotel porter.
Ashamed to be comical.
Ha ha ha! Well, who isn't? There, be virginal, God help us.
Ha ha.
Answer to the question, who isn't ashamed to be comical? Me.
Me, I'm like a climbing plant.
I have no shame whatsoever.
Ha ha.
And in Utopia neither will anyone else.
Sarah? Oh, Sarah which chest has the cutlery? - Which chest has the what? - Cutlery.
Cutlery's gone.
- Oh.
- Why? I've six teaspoons here.
Shall you give them to me, then, or what? - Sarah, you're treating me like a child.
- No, I'm not.
I'm trying to keep cheerful.
You are cheerful.
No, I'm not.
Mair did mean more to David than to me.
Nonsense.
He loves her more than I did.
You broke your heart.
When I was carrying her, I wanted a boy.
There.
I've never told anyone that before.
Just talked about it in my prayers.
David knows, of course.
- Never.
He's too selfish.
- He does.
He guesses everything.
And then I see it in his eyes.
Mair loved this room, didn't she? Have the sunlight.
First time I met David, my heart gave a great jump.
I thought, "He guesses everything about me.
" Then he should be here now.
I know he should.
I know.
He never holds it against me, you know, when he guesses anything bad.
And I hold everything against him.
- Missus - I blame him all the time.
Oh, I'll not hold my tongue.
You've every right to blame him.
Well, the wife is the keystone of the family.
When I think of your father, reading his Bible in a farm kitchen, and then see how your husband behaves, my blood boils.
That's it, you see.
I'm like my father - strong beliefs.
(Sniffs) Now we have gone and upset ourselves, after all.
You may have.
I'm cheerful.
(Knock on door) - Oh, who's that? It must be the removal men.
And, anyway, France is no place for me.
- No? - No.
Holidays with small children are best.
- Oh - Oh, I startled you.
Mr Clark.
I'm sorry, Mrs Lloyd George, I didn't mean I mean, the door was open.
Lucky you found us still here.
Well, don't be shy, now, Mr Clark.
No.
The fact is that, since LG's still on the Riviera, I have been sent here by some of his colleagues in the cabinet.
- Oh? - Yes.
I believe you have some sort of code in which you can send him a telegram.
Yes, I do.
He should come home.
They want him to be Chancellor of the Exchequer.
- Chancellor? - It's unofficial, but you know what it signifies.
Yes.
It's a dream come true, I think.
It is a dream.
- Well, I'm not so happy, I can tell you.
- Not happy? If you'd said a fishing trip on the River Dwyfor, I'd cut sandwiches.
Fishing? I don't entirely Oh, I think you're chaffing me, Miss Jones.
- Am I? - Yes.
It's this London, though, isn't it? What's it brought us? - It's all moving house here, isn't it? - Sarah, we are moving house.
Not to number 11 Downing Street we're not.
Oh, God bless us.
- Mrs Lloyd George - Oh, measuring curtains all over again.
Carpets are the expense.
I have a cab, Mrs Lloyd George.
I could drive you to the telegraph office.
It's a good idea.
I'll just get my coat.
- What would the great man do without you? - Indeed! I'd like to know myself.
(Muffled clatter of train on track) (Whispers) Richard? Gwilym? You've settled down fine, have you, boys? I told you it was better to wait till after Marseilles.
Isn't it noisy? Anyway, the train's on time.
How about you, Richard? Are you er? Good.
Good.
I hoped I could have a talk with you.
Is Gwilym asleep? Yes.
It was good of you to give him the top bunk? It's exciting for the younger ones, eh? Climbing up.
He's not upset, is he? - Gwilym.
- No, why should he be? Cutting short the holiday.
- No.
- You mean he didn't enjoy it? - No, I - No, of course you didn't.
No, it's just that erm It's just that your mother's telegram contained erm He does understand, doesn't he? - Is Mother ill? - Ill? I didn't think she was.
You mean, I'd only go back home for my business? Listen to me now, Richard.
Listen.
Things have happened on this holiday.
Well, not holiday, but I know you were close to Mair.
I know she protected you.
What's past is past.
However much it surprises us.
And that's what I want to explain to you.
The surprise of things, how they happen, how we happen ourselves.
Look at me, Richard, damn you! I'm tired.
You're not above using power.
I can see.
- That's not fair! - Don't shout.
You'll wake Gwilym.
Shh.
Listen, Richard.
Give a plant favourable soil.
Give it water and sunshine.
How far will it climb? How high? Who knows? Does the plant itself know? Do you know what you will be in six months' time? Did I know 20 years ago what I would feel now? You think about that before you condemn other people's behaviour.
- And think very hard why you condemn.
- I don't condemn.
- Yes, you do.
You're like your mother.
- What's the use? I'm here to help you, that's the use, boy.
If you What? Nothing.
Ask me, Richard, ask.
- If you - (Train clatters through tunnel) Ask me.
What did Mother's telegram say? Oh.
It was in code, wasn't it? Yes.
Oh, well, I'd better turn in now.
But what did it say? Well, it said that I am to be Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Oh.
- Congratulations.
- Thank you.
Are you delighted? Aren't you? Yes.
Well, you don't sound it.
It's still confidential, of course.
That's why I kept it secret at the hotel.
But I know that your discretion in this, Richard, is secure - this and other matters.
Especially the other matters, eh, Dad? - Especially? - You know.
No, I don't.
This is ridiculous.
How can we talk freely with Gwilym asleep? - Hey, listen.
Come into my compartment.
- I'd sooner stay here.
Don't you want to talk freely? Listen, Richard, I'm not going to be reproached by you, boy.
You're a man now! Either speak freely or lose my respect.
If father and son are to respect each other in manhood, they must behave like two unconnected men.
All you can do is sulk.
- No, it isn't.
- Yes, it is.
All you want is for me to ignore your sordid love affairs.
If the countess was sordid, why did you send her flowers? You don't love her.
Politicians, all you love is yourself.
If the countess was sordid, why did you send her flowers? Ah, ha ha ha.
No answer.
Silenced by pique.
Because another man stole his girl.
- You aren't another man.
- But I am.
The wife you betray is my mother! You have all of her faults, but none of her understanding.
- And as for your - Leave me alone! - Don't shout.
- I'm not shouting! Hello, Gwilym, boy.
No, no, no, it's no alarm.
It's Richard and me were just Good gracious, look at the state of your bed.
Sit up down here now.
And I'll tidy it for you.
While I'm doing it I'll tell you the secret I've just told Richard.
The reason we're going home is that something wonderful has happened.
I'm to be Chancellor of the Exchequer.
You know what he is, don't you? He's the man in the Government who looks after all the money, you see.
And the reason they've asked me is not that I'm good at sums, because as you know, I'm hopeless.
Remember when I did your homework wrong? No, the reason is that for hundreds of years now, people have been talking about taxing the rich to help the poor and nobody ever had the sense to do it.
But, anyway, jump in.
So, I say, let's do it.
And then we can give pensions and so on to people who live in slums.
Anyway, you understand, don't you? So, that's the reason why we're going home.
Good night.
Listen, he's settled down now.
You must warn him in the morning not to tell anybody.
No boasting to the attendant.
Listen, are we are we gonna talk sensibly in my compartment? Richard? (Train clatters through tunnel) (Piano playing in background) (David calls out) Maggie? - Sarah? - (Piano stops) God bless us, it's the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Oh, damn your big feet, woman.
How was the debate, then? As usual.
Men behaving like slum children.
Good evening.
- The boys in bed? - Yes.
- Should I brew that tea now? - No.
I will anyhow.
I think you'll need it.
What does she mean, we'll need it? I don't know.
Well, how was the debate, then? Well, how would it be? My budget is a new idea in the history of social science, so you would expect some serious sentiments, wouldn't you? But no! The Tory party literally scream with rage and our side scream back.
Men of wealth and education have foam on their lips.
(Chuckles) I've heard better expositions in my Uncle Lloyd's shop, the village blacksmith.
I remember What, David? Huh? What do you remember? - Nothing.
- Nothing, David? You've read it, then? - Read what? - This newspaper, damn it! You mean the article about you? - Maggie, I swear - Is it true? - No! - David! What happened when The Bystander printed the same lies? They settled out of court, didn't they? What about the-the-the Edwards man? He tried to cite me in the divorce court, didn't he? Where was I on the day he named? I was in Parliament.
You were lucky.
I was luckiest in finding you.
- In your friends, I'd say.
- What do you mean? - You know.
- No, I don't.
- I have read the article.
- It's lies! It's the red-headed woman, isn't it? I've seen you with her.
She came here to a reception.
Her husband knew then.
When he threatened to cite you, you paid him L20,000.
- Where would I get L20,000 from? - From your rich friends.
- Ours? - Yours.
Who cares if it is true? - Me.
- The truth is not the point.
It is.
To me and the children.
The point is that a scandal now would end my career.
- I don't care.
- You don't care? - It would finish me.
- Good.
And you don't care? - I - What, what? Not upset you, has he? - No.
- If he does, send for me.
- Get out, woman! Get out! - Don't snap at me! Don't be bossy, Sarah.
Oh, most elegant, you bloody wild Welsh woman.
- Don't swear.
- Your father was the worst for swearing.
- Never.
- You should have heard what he called me.
- He thought you'd make her unhappy.
- I was a penniless upstart solicitor.
- I'd say you have made her unhappy.
- I swear I'll kill her.
Oh, stop it! Sarah, kitchen.
Margaret You don't want to end my career.
- And for my part - I don't want to hear.
- Maggie - No! I must sue this newspaper.
This time I must win in open court.
Do as you please.
Just leave me out of it.
- I can't.
- I think you can leave me out of anything.
Margaret, I must win now in a manner that leaves no doubts! You're frightened.
I've not seen that before.
Margaret, you must you must stand by me, otherwise it's all over with me.
Stand by you? What do you mean? - Come into the courtroom with me.
- No! I won't! Margaret, Maggie, I give you my oath that you'll never suffer like this again.
- Your oath? - I swear it.
- Will you go into the witness box - Yes! And you'll swear that this story is a lie? But it's true, David! - Margaret, I implore you.
I kneel to you.
- How can I trust your oath to me? Look, just sit by me in court.
No need to speak.
Demonstrate that you believe in me.
- I don't believe in you! - All right, then, don't.
Believe in my budget! - Damn your budget! - I'm a great man, Maggie.
That's why people hate me! Margaret, my budget is a landmark in history.
One day I'll be Prime Minister.
Listen, stand by me.
You'll not regret it, cariad.
Listen.
Think of our happiness.
Think of our laughter.
I could give that happiness to millions.
- I don't care about millions.
- I'm frightened.
I want to love you.
- Then save me.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness.
Margaret, if something happens to me, what chance has the Government? - Damn the Government! - Have pity.
- Don't you care about me? - Just sit by me in court.
No need to What? Don't you care about me? Oh Oh, Margaret, whatever happens to me, I exhaust my feelings about it very quickly.
I know I've not slept in your bed since Mair died.
Is that some kind of shame even for me? She was so like you.
Those long walks in the rain when we were young.
But you're the woman I need, Margaret.
I think I am.
Hey, I never used to be unhappy.
I know I need you.
Then hold me.
Margaret.
- David, David.
- (He sobs) Shh, don't cry.
There, there.
I'm holding you.
(Sobs and sniffles) Blow your nose, David.
- What? - Blow your nose.
Help me, Margaret.
Of course I will, David.
Will you come into court with me? - Yes.
- And sit by me? I'll show the world I trust you.
Well, then, things are rosier, aren't they? Yes.
Shall we Shall we what? Shall I make us that nice cup of tea? Ah.
LG.
- Prime Minister.
- Morning.
I want a private word before the cabinet meeting.
Well, I must say, Prime Minister, that for a man who's about to face a constitutional crisis, you have a very cheerful countenance.
I don't feel very cheerful.
Well, I have the feelings for all of us.
Sometimes that's what I'm afraid of.
There's no need to be.
My principle has always been if an opponent is massive and inert, provoke him.
Make him lose his temper and rush into a trap.
Isn't that just what we've done with the Tory party in the House of Lords? We've certainly provoked them.
But when you say that you planned to do so, I expect that you exaggerate from hindsight.
- I did plan it.
- Come now, LG.
Some things are too serious even for your mischief.
If you intend to draw the moral that we must be resolute, I agree.
We offered the country a decent, modest policy of reform.
And we've seen it spat upon by people, some of whom we've known like brothers, in our schools, our clubs, our regiments and our drawing rooms.
- When I saw the King last night - You've seen him? Yes.
I said only a sense of Christian duty continued to sustain me along such a distasteful path.
What did he say? He snorted and puffed, I suppose.
You've not lost your sharpness, then, have you? I should jolly well hope I haven't.
I had a sick headache.
And there the old boy sat, eating oysters.
And he said to me, "Now look here, Asquith, Lloyd George has presented his budget and it's passed the Commons.
Now word is that the Tories will use their majority in the House of Lords to reject it.
" I said, "Yes, sir.
" - And do you know what he said to me? - What? He said, "Can they do that? - I mean, it's unconstitutional, isn't it?" - Is he on our side? - I said, "With regard to the constitutional" - Is he on our side? - Don't be impatient.
- It's very hard not to be.
He's on our side.
- Marvellous! - He accepts our advice.
He will, if necessary, use his prerogative to create sufficient new peers to pass the bill.
- 600.
- It's a mockery.
Never.
The old peers are the mockery.
Well, be that as it may.
The King asked me to tell you, that he is most upset at the tone of your speeches.
- My speeches? - Too violent.
Violent, really? He says it's unseemly enough for a minister of the Crown to be involved in a libel case I won it.
but when you drag the King's name into cynical speeches - Oh, Prime Minister.
- His words, LG, not mine.
It's when you say, "Who is to rule the nation - king and peers or king and people?" Things of that nature.
They drag him into politics.
He is in politics.
Only in so far that he accepts our advice.
Write him a note, LG.
To help me.
He'll only pester us both for an apology if you don't.
Shall we go now to the cabinet meeting? Yes.
- Have you read it? - Yes.
- Have you seen Father? - Not yet.
- He'll be bursting out of himself.
- Shh! Why should I be quiet? Everybody in this Gwilym knows.
The girls know.
They eat their breakfast quickly, so that it won't be them Father asks about the papers.
Megan loves her father.
What's the use? Have you been telling tales? Mother.
Richard.
Hold hands.
- Mother, why don't? - We've discussed it.
I've said why.
Whatever happens, you and I must not quarrel.
Morning.
Well, have you seen the papers, have you? Yeah, what a speech! One or two more like that and we'll provoke the Tories into voting out the Commons, let alone the budget.
"We will make poverty," I said, "as remote to the people of this country as the wolves which once infested its forests.
" What a meeting.
You should have been there.
I found the old excitement in the throat.
I could feel myself laughing.
The words kept spurting out of their own power.
The British aristocracy, I said, is like cheese! The older they are, the higher they are.
Well, their reaction to it was quite grand, I can tell you.
Almost as good as a game of golf.
- Bye, Mother.
- Bye, love.
- Where are you going? - I'm going to work.
- What's wrong with him? - Nothing.
(Mimics) "Nothing.
" - Maggie.
- He's at a difficult age.
You've upset him.
Oh, he's stuffy.
There's no fun in him.
Sarah says you're jealous of him.
Don't be ridiculous.
I know.
It should be.
What have I done to him? Hurt me.
He's been asking me about the libel case.
Why did I help you to win when I knew you were lying? Political necessity should be obvious even to Richard.
And why do I continue to live with you when we all know that you still have other women? - Good morning, Chancellor.
Mrs Lloyd George.
- Willie.
You should read this one immediately, I think.
It's a pleasant, sunny day.
Well, I think I'll rejoin the typists.
Thank you, Willie.
No, he never never stands up for himself, Richard, I mean.
Who can, against you? His Majesty the King for one.
- Don't joke about everything.
- I'm not joking.
He's written to me.
He's an out-of-date old ram, but we have to humour him.
He still dislikes the tone of my speeches.
In fact, since he asked me to moderate them, they've become even more violent.
I suppose I'll have to oblige him with an explanation.
- He's invited you on board his yacht.
- Yes.
- You hate boats.
- Yes.
(Chuckles) What's so comical? Nothing.
Tell me, what was your answer to Richard? - Richard? - Mm.
Oh, you mean when he asked why I go on living with you? Yes.
How do you think I answered him? Well, I suppose you said that living through your suffering justifies your religious beliefs or vice versa.
No.
I told him I loved you like a silly girl.
But when the young children are older, I expect to review the situation.
Oh, Margaret, I could cut my tongue out.
Too late, David.
- Is it? - Yes.
There's marmalade on your skirt.
Don't joke.
Oh.
Have you got a han? Thank you.
Seen yourself smile, have you? Smile? Like a child, David.
But certainly.
Poor village boy is visiting a king.
(Seagulls squawk) Your Majesty.
Mr Lloyd George.
Mr Lloyd George, it was considerate of you to come.
It was gracious of you to command, sir.
Sit.
Thank you.
- Cigar? - Oh, yes.
Delighted.
Hock and seltzer? Just the seltzer, please.
You still don't drink? No.
Betting? No.
Well, what do you do, then, eh? (Chuckles) No need to answer.
Now, then, what about these speeches of yours? What about them? A bit much, don't you think? Well, I think that what the Tories say about me is a bit much.
But they are the Opposition, damn it.
You are the Government.
Well, we must use the language of the day.
Well, I daresay I'm old-fashioned, but I don't like to see the Government set class against class.
And excite The lower orders? Exactly.
You excite them, and you make them expect far more than you can give.
Sir, until the Liberal government Let me finish.
Where was I? Setting class against class.
Now I ask you, should that be the business of the Government? You are not socialists, are you? No.
You don't want bloodshed and anarchy, do you? No, no, no, no.
Then why talk as though you did? I mean, to someone of my generation, this is all very distressing.
I agree that the Opposition have gone beyond all gentlemanly bounds.
At least beyond what used to be gentlemanly bounds.
But there's no reason why you should.
I agree with your budget.
Tax the rich to help the poor.
Very good.
I even agree that if the House of Lords throw out your budget, I must create hundreds of new peerages.
Damn it.
Sir? My cigar has gone out.
Oh.
Now, what I say, sir, is that we must use the language and the passions of the day.
What else is there? Indeed, Lloyd George.
What I mean is When I say, "Who is to rule the country - king and peers or king and people?" I mean no disrespect to you personally.
No, no, I see that.
I use the name "king" as I would use the name of any other element in our constitution.
Yes.
In this case, the most vital.
Well, perhaps I'm too sensitive.
Well, with respect, sir, yes, I think you are.
Are you sure you won't sample some of this hock? No, positive.
I've been drinking this stuff all day.
And I'm sure that one more won't Now, where was I? You were too sensitive.
Yes, I suppose I am.
Most people say so.
Delightful cigar, this is, if I might say so.
Oh, yes.
You see, the devil of it is it's not just our own public life that is affected.
It is all over the civilised world.
Bad manners.
General slackness.
Oh.
I said all the same things the last time I met the Kaiser.
I said, "Willie," I said, "for God's sake, man, tell me why Germany needs all these new battleships.
You must see that if you build yours we have got to build ours.
And that is just what we don't want to do.
" "We are a force for good in the world," I said.
"And you well, you've got all your musicians.
" Not that I like them myself.
"But who are you afraid of?" I said.
"For God's sake, man, speak frankly.
" No reply.
He just waved his good arm at me.
One of the reasons we build our dreadnoughts, sir, is that it creates a great deal of employment.
Now, that's thrown me off my argument, damn it.
The Kaiser.
Oh, yes.
He thinks I'm an old fogey, you know.
"Willie," I said, "Willie if we have all got battleships, is it not more likely that we shall get excited and want to use them? I mean, to draw a parallel, Willie," I said (They chuckle) "if" (They chuckle) "if you leave a man alone with a pretty woman" Still, I don't need to remind you about that.
No, indeed not.
- But do you know what Willie said? - What? "Uncle, do you imply that I'm not faithful to my dear wife?" Ridiculous.
Ridiculous.
Yes, yes.
On the other hand, sir, do you imply that statesmanship cannot control (Band strikes up in the distance) destructive passions? Oh, my God.
Is it that time? Sir? The Royal Marine Band.
Ah.
I'd better dress for dinner.
Yes, of course.
Oh, but, God I am so sleepy.
It's It's that awning.
I see.
Traps the heat.
Ridiculous invention.
Be satisfied with your station in life.
That is what I have learned.
Or you won't be happy.
Yes.
Some stations have malnutrition.
Other stations have private boats to sleep in.
No, no, these are labour demands gone mad.
These are uneducated, undisciplined persons claiming the right to socialism - and to all kinds of - I don't think you follow.
No, you don't, Mr Buxton.
Even though you are President of the Board of Trade.
No, that's too strong.
The workers want to destroy the very basis of society and you say we should recognise the unions.
- Where are the military, sir? - Industry is closing down.
Mills, factories, dockworkers out in sympathy.
Answer me, where are the military? - Excellent question.
- You take the floor, David.
Why not? It's his railway settlement that's collapsed.
- Would increased wages prove a burden? - Of course they would.
The Government will not necessarily look unkindly on a bill to increase railway fares.
It's the first Buxton's heard of it.
But this is an entirely new offer.
As for the excellent question, "Where are the military?", I'll tell you.
The military are in despair because they know that the gunboats the Germans have sent to North Africa can mean war.
- War? - Yes, war.
As Germany turns envious eyes to North Africa As the Government, through my person, has stated quite explicitly, that our alliances with the French will be honoured As the German High Seas Fleet raises steam at this very moment in Kiel harbour As the world trembles in the balance How can we influence it? How can we mobilise without the railways? How can we bring coal to our fleet? How can we follow the call of duty when it is plain to every onlooker that we cannot follow words with deeds? Now, is this the time, I ask you yet again, to refuse to sit with your employees at the same conference table? Thank you, Sydney.
Much obliged.
Damn it.
All agreed? These are arguments that cannot be opposed.
- Thank you, gentlemen.
Sydney.
- Follow me, gentlemen.
I can effect the introductions to those on the union side.
No other argument would have swayed us.
Remember the increased fares.
Good day, Mr Askwith.
Chancellor.
If you'll just give us a few moments, Mr Emblem.
- As you see, it's a satisfactory outcome.
- Yes, sir.
Was that one of your men? - One of yours actually.
- Mine? It's Mr Emblem, a member of the union committee.
My God.
(Laughter) Well, there we are.
I knew you were our last hope.
- No, the German fleet was the last hope.
- I don't know.
Seriously.
I've been arguing it all week.
In the cabinet.
The Prime Minister and Winston.
They wanted a roughhouse with the workers, but I said, "Get the buggers back to work.
With the railways back at work, that's the danger avoided.
And then pick the rest off one by one.
" "Excellent," said Winston.
"Military thinking.
How are you going to make the railway companies surrender?" "German fleet," I said What's the matter? What is it? Are you one of the reporters? No, I'm a platelayer.
Mr Edward Emblem, one of the union negotiators.
We've met before, same situation.
So we did.
Ted.
- You don't remember! - Don't I? You twisting bastard.
He's a bloody twister! - You've got what you wanted, haven't you? - I want respect.
- And you got it.
- Not from you.
- I'm on your side.
- You think all working men are gits.
"Get them back to work!" Have you thought what our work is like? - Have you thought about the rest of life? - You don't care about anything as long as you're top dog - you on top of bitches.
Happy at home, are you? Kids respect you, do they? Mine respect me, I can tell you.
- I feel sorry for him.
- You stinking bastard.
(Groans) - I'm gonna spew.
- No, you're not.
Deep breaths.
Now come on.
That's a bit better.
Here take my handkerchief.
Come on, there's a first-aid room down the corridor.
- I'll find it.
- Would you like a drink? - No, I'm teetotal.
- So am I.
- You won't say anything rash, will you, Ted? - Rash? - No, we got what we came for, didn't we? - That's the spirit.
- I won't forget what I heard neither.
- What was that? I want to know.
- You do know.
- Why don't you have a general strike? - Have a revolution? - You and your women, you're a joke! You're like the Welsh chapel-goers.
All talk about Jerusalem, but no practical change in behaviour.
- You don't know what's changing.
- That's bleeding again.
You'd better get it seen to.
(Door slams) (Sighs) See, that's the sort of narrow-minded people you have to deal with.
Ha ha ha.
I wasn't too hard on him, was I? No, no, no.
In fact, I think he may have even learned something.
Do you think there'll be a war, LG? - What, with Germany? - Yes.
No.
No.
Despite everything, George, despite the talk of socialism and the violence of people's emotions, and the fact that in his heart the Prime Minister dislikes his own reforms, despite everything.
You see, I think that what the old King said, for example, was wrong.
We are not at the end of a serene epoch.
No, our statesmanship and our integrity have avoided the worst dangers.
No, what I see ahead now are years and years of progress.
Well, thanks again for the settlement.
Thank you, George.
I enjoyed the game.