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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

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Thursday, 15 November 2012

Cast aside

Friday, November 15th., Yacht Club, London.

My resignation from Ministry took effect yesterday. Buchan, the liquidator, came down to see me, and was very explanatory and apologetic. The behaviour of the Cabinet to me was of course scandalous. But they have treated many others similarly, so I was not surprised. The only notice I got was a Roneo'd copy of the War Cabinet minute. I was never consulted in any way.

In February 1918, Lloyd George entrusted Lord Beaverbrook with the responsibility of establishing a new Ministry of Information. From March 4, 1918, this ministry took over control of all propaganda activities, being split into three departments to oversee domestic, foreign and military propaganda. The foreign propaganda division was under the headship of John Buchan and consisted of four branches; propaganda in military zones was the responsibility of the Foreign Office department MI7; domestic propaganda was controlled by the National War Aims Committee. It was a fulfilment of the recommendations regarding centralisation laid out in the second report of Robert Donald, acting as an independent body outside of the remit of the Foreign Office. Nevertheless, there were still problems and criticisms related to the new ministry. Tensions existed between the new Ministry of Information and older ministries such as the Foreign Office and the War Office, and many in government were concerned about the growing power of the press as symbolised by the journalistic control of the new propaganda ministry. In October, Lord Beaverbrook became seriously ill and his deputy, Arnold Bennett, assumed his position for the final weeks of the war. After peace was declared, the propaganda machinery was essentially dissolved and control of propaganda returned to the Foreign Office.

Luncheon to Robert Donald at Connaught Rooms. 400 there to honour him because he had not sold himself to the new proprietors of the Chronicle.

Robert Donald, the son of a stone mason,was born in Corsemaul, Banffshire, on 29th August, 1860. Donald became a newspaper reporter in Edinburgh before moving to London in 1893 where he founded the Municipal Journal. He left this periodical in 1902 and took up the post as editor of the Daily Chronicle. He successfully increased the circulation and influence of this Liberal newspaper. 
In 1914 Donald was able to claim that the net sale of the Daily Chronicleexceeded the combined sales of the The Times, Daily Telegraph, Morning Post,Evening Standard and the Daily Graphic.

The Toast-master in a red coat was the cream of the show. He had a terrifically bland manner, especially with his supplicating hands. And having prayed silence for toast of King he rushed madly right round the room and played "God save the K." on the piano.
At night, dinner to American editors of Trade Journals at Savoy. Smuts in the chair. Nothing special except that Smuts claimed some German colonies for British dependencies.

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