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Summer 1909 (Age 34)

The first Churchill child, Diana, was born on 11 July. The birth was very trying for Clementine and she spent the summer with her mother recuperating in Sussex where, she wrote Winston, “the butter is yellower, the cream thicker and the honey sweeter.” The baby remained in London with her father. “The P.K. [Puppy Kitten] is very well,” he wrote, “but the nurse is rather inclined to glower at me as if I was a tiresome interloper. I missed seeing her [the PK] take her bath this morning. But tomorrow I propose to officiate”

‘He had a soft spot for dukes— Blenheim and all that…’

On the political front, the battle raged with fellow Liberal ministers as well as with the Tories. Within Cabinet the row was over how many dreadnoughts were required to meet the German naval challenge. McKenna, the First Lord, wanted six; Lloyd George and WSC maintained that four were sufficient. Sir John Fisher, the First Sea Lord, recognized the formidable political power of the Lloyd George-Churchill partnership when he suggested, with delicious irony, that four dreadnoughts be named “No. 1. WINSTON, No. 2. CHURCHILL, No. 3. LLOYD, No. 4. GEORGE. How they would fight! Uncircumventable!”

The price extracted by LG and WSC for the dreadnoughts was the “People’s Budget,” which increased taxes, particularly of the property owners. Although Lloyd George questioned the depth of Churchill’s support, (“He had a soft spot for dukes— Blenheim and all that,”) the latter’s actions brought opprobrium from his class on him.

Winston’s mother sent him a draft of a play she was writing. He replied, “The utility of most things can be measured in terms of money. I do not believe in writing books which do not sell, or plays which do not play.”

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