By John Darwin
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Extra info for Britain, Egypt and the Middle East: Imperial policy in the aftermath of war 1918–1922
His 'indocentric' view of the imperial system, derived, perhaps, from the exercise of supreme power in India, had made him indifferent, even hostile, to the enthusiasm of Joseph Chamberlain and Milner for the closer integration of Britain and the settler colonies before 1914. 59 After 1918, Curzon dedicated himself to securing India's frontiers, and the strategic routes to India, against any future onslaught, and regarded this as the first priority of imperial diplomacy. His conviction that this purpose could only be served by the destruction of Turkey as an expansionist power, and as the seat of pan-Islamic sentiment, became, as will be argued, the key to his policy in the Middle East.
10 Although Churchill, with the forceful advocacy of his military advisers behind him, eventually extracted a grudging acquiescence to his plans from Lloyd George and the War Cabinet, the prospect of prolonged peacetime conscription was viewed with evident distaste by the Prime Minister, by Bonar Law as leader of the Conservative party, and by Austen Chamberlain, who had become Chancellor of the Exchequer early in January. Lloyd George had been reminded by Christopher Addison, as the coalition Liberal minister with the main responsibility for social policy and for keeping in touch with workingclass opinion, that continued recruitment under the Military Service Acts would be unpopular and would provoke industrial unrest 11 - a judgment which repeated attacks by the leaders of the Triple Alliance of miners, railwaymen and transport workers seemed to vindicate.
43 'The middle classes mean to insist upon a drastic cut-down,' Lloyd George told Chamberlain in June 1921. 'Nothing will satisfy them next year except an actual reduction in taxes. ' 44 The defeat of the official Conservative at the St George's election, he went on, represented 'the real sentiment which may overwhelm us if we do not deal with it in time'. 45 The shared determination of Lloyd George and Chamberlain to preserve the coalition's authority among Conservatives, and to appease the discontent of their supporters in the country, lent, in the summer of 1921, a fresh urgency to the search for economies; and led eventually to the adoption of a device which ministers had rejected the previous year: the appointment of a committee of non-ministerial experts to review expenditure.
Britain, Egypt and the Middle East: Imperial policy in the aftermath of war 1918–1922 by John Darwin