Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Today -100: May 26, 1915: Of cabinets, neutrality, and bitter Germans

The new British cabinet is formed. Asquith remains as PM, Grey as foreign secretary, and Lord Kitchener as hapless minister of war. Lloyd George moves from the Exchequer to the new post of Minister of Munitions, temporarily until he gets the shells shortage sorted (say that three times fast). He will be replaced by Reginald McKenna. Tory leader Bonar Law is brought in as colonial secretary and Austen Chamberlain (brother of Neville, son of Joseph) gets India. Churchill is replaced at the Admiralty by former PM Arthur Balfour. Churchill will be the chancellor of the Duchy of Lancashire, which is the equivalent of a waiter being tipped a nickle, or maybe it’s the equivalent of being sent to the naughty step. Ulster leader and pre-war treasonist Sir Edward Carson will be attorney general; Irish Nationalist party leader John Redmond refuses to take any Cabinet position. Lord Haldane is out as Lord Chancellor because rabid newspapers and idiots have been attacking him as supposedly pro-German. And there’s a member of the Labour Party in government for the first time, Arthur Henderson as president of the Board of education.

Portugal’s prime minister João Chagas resigns for health reasons – being shot in the head last week seems not to have agreed with him.

Italian troops invade Austria.

Headline of the Day -100:

Wilson’s special commissioner, Duval West, who has returned from investigating conditions in Mexico, reports that he has no idea who’s going to win power down there and recommends just doing more of the same – watching and waiting and selling arms to anyone who can afford them – because that’s working out so well.

Headline of the Day -100: 

They seem to think that US neutrality isn’t really very neutral, what with all the munitions being sold to Germany’s enemies.

I’ve noticed an increase in the use of the word Teutons when describing Germans + Austrians.

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