British Prime Minister
David Lloyd George
Visits Toronto in 1923
The facts as presented:
The photograph showing below was found in a family photo album from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. On the back of the photo was the caption "Lloyd George's Visit, 1923". The photograph showed a building with bunting and flags across it's face. Some of the lettering on the building's face was obscured by streams of bunting. All that could be discerned were 'CI ...... LL".
Could anything be discovered about this visit? When did it take place? What was it all about? And so on.
The records examined:
Following general queries to wikipedia, daily editions of The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) which were published between 1 September 1923 and 31 October 1923 were surveyed.
David Lloyd George had been both a much revered and a much reviled Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the later years of the Great War and the early reconstruction period. He served in this Office from 6 December 1916 until 19 October 1922. Following his Liberal party's defeat in the fall of 1922, Lloyd George arranged a tour of North America, and he visited Toronto on 10 October 1923. He sailed from England, to New York early in October, and travelled leisurely to Toronto, and then extended his travels beyond.
Two newspaper articles published in Toronto provide more details about this particular visit. One item, published in The Globe and Mail on 22 September 1923 (5th column, centre of page 1) presented an overview of the events planned for the Toronto portion of Lloyd George's visit in Otober. The second article, also published in The Globe and Mail, on 10 October 1923 (4th column, centre of the page), presents details about Lloyd George's visit on that day. It was noted in this article that "The City Hall is profusely decorated for the [civic] reception" that took place early in the morning of the 10th. The photograph above shows the facade of City Hall at that time. There was no clock on the facade of Toronto's City Hall, so we can't know for sure, but the shadow angles on this south facing facade suggest that the above photograph was probably taken shortly after noon on that day.
The photograph also shows a number of school age children on the front steps of the City Hall. But, an article published in the Globe and Mail at the top of page 1 on the 10th, refutes the idea that school age children might have been given the day off to attend the ceremonies. These children may have been there during a lunch break, or perhaps a teacher in the area decided to take her class on an outing at that time.
Dozens of additional articles published in The Globe and Mail during the search period noted above provide more detail about the lead-up and planning for Lloyd George's visit, and about other stops he made from the time he left England until he returned home to England. It is strongly suspected that the other Toronto newspapers of the day - The Daily Star and The Telegram, both being papers with a different political slant than had The Globe and Mail, would offer different insight in to the events of the day, and it's lead-up, and the aftermath.
It's also probable that surveys of newspapers published in the period in other places - places such as Ottawa, Montreal, and New York, for instance, and any other place that Lloyd George visited or passed through, might yield more interesting facts.
"Wonderful! Thank you! Now we need to consider who in the family took that photograph"
- - - - - - Project #200601 (completed 6 June 2020)
- Bruce D. Murduck
- Category: 2020