Myth and mystery continue to cloud the supersession of Herbert Henry Asquith by David Lloyd George half-way through the First World War. Then, and long afterwards, there was much talk of intrigue and conspiracy, often inspired by those who believed Asquith had been jockeyed out of the premiership by an unholy alliance of low schemers who scrupled at nothing. It is tempting to dismiss such charges as baseless, as the loser's perennial excuse. Yet in the records that have come to light there are enough gaps, irregularities, and teasing hints of suppressed evidence to keep alive old suspicions that some things occurred which many of the participants wished forgotten. Walter (later Viscount) Long, for instance, once wrote to Lord Beaverbrook in response to a request for his version of events: “I have omitted a great deal that happened at the time, as I believe I promised not to mention certain very interesting incidents.” Before he died Long seems to have weeded out of his private papers material relating to Asquith's overthrow. And in a massive three-volume biography of Lord Curzon there are only two slight references to the change of government in 1916, a remarkable feat of omission considering Curzon's role. The biographer, Lord Ronaldshay, later professed innocent astonishment at finding nothing pertinent to this great event in Curzon's voluminous papers. Another minister who was near the center, Herbert (later Viscount) Samuel, appears to have reshaped his chronicle of events in a manner more flattering to himself but less useful to historians.
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