I feel it is wholly appropriate that David Lloyd George should be commemorated this way in Parliament Square. Over the course of a decade, beginning approximately a century ago, he established himself as one of the greatest social reformers and war leaders of the 20th century. Though he never forgot his Welsh roots, it is as a national and international statesman that he will best be remembered.
Had he not died in the latter stages of the Second World War, I suspect that he would have had a statue somewhat earlier. However, we must be grateful to John Grigg and Lord Cledwyn for having the initiative and vision to launch the campaign for this statue when they did.
For whilst Sir Winston Churchill was surely right when he said that future generations would find “the pillars of his life’s toil upstanding, massive and indestructible”, the passage of time inevitably diminishes the recollection and understanding of the achievements of great public figures such as Lloyd George.
Even in the age of the Internet, we need tangible reminders of our political and social heritage. This statue will ensure future generations who visit Parliament Square will be prompted to enquire about what Lloyd George achieved to merit his place here.
It is not however enough simply to have any statue. To be true to its subject, it must surely capture the dynamism, charisma and sheer force of character which epitomized David Lloyd George. I hope that you will agree with me that Glynn Williams’ design truly achieves this aim.
It is now therefore the moment to let us all see this splendid new addition to Parliament Square, which my wife and I take great pleasure in unveiling.