Max Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook

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The Right Honourable
The Lord Beaverbrook
PC ONB
Lord Beaverbrook 1947b.jpg
Lord Beaverbrook in 1943
Lord Privy Seal
In office
1943–1945
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Preceded by Viscount Cranborne
Succeeded by Arthur Greenwood
Minister of War Production
In office
4 February 1942 – 19 February 1942
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by Oliver Lyttelton (as Minister of Production)
Minister of Supply
In office
29 June 1941 – 4 February 1942
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Preceded by Sir Andrew Duncan
Succeeded by Sir Andrew Duncan
Minister of Aircraft Production
In office
14 May 1940 – 1 May 1941
Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by John Moore-Brabazon
Minister of Information
In office
10 February – 4 November 1918
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Office created
Succeeded by The Lord Downham
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
In office
10 February – 4 November 1918
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by Sir Frederick Cawley
Succeeded by The Lord Downham
Member of Parliament
for Ashton under Lyne
In office
3 December 1910 – 23 December 1916
Preceded by Alfred Scott
Succeeded by Albert Stanley
Personal details
Born William Maxwell Aitken
(1879-05-25)25 May 1879
Maple, Ontario, Canada
Died 9 June 1964(1964-06-09) (aged 85)
Surrey, England, UK
Political party Liberal Unionist
Conservative
Occupation Legislator, author, entrepreneur

William Maxwell "Max" Aitken, 1st Baron Beaverbrook, PC, ONB, (25 May 1879 – 9 June 1964) was a Canadian-British business tycoon, politician, newspaper publisher, and writer who was an influential figure in British society of the first half of the 20th century.[1]

The young Max Aitken had a gift for making money[further explanation needed] and was a millionaire by 30. His business ambitions quickly exceeded opportunities in Canada and he moved to Britain. There he befriended Bonar Law and with his support won a seat in the House of Commons at the general election held in December 1910. A knighthood followed shortly after. During World War I, he ran the Canadian Records office in London and played a role in the removal of H. H. Asquith as prime minister in 1916. The resulting Tory-led coalition government (with Lloyd George as prime minister and Bonar Law as Chancellor of the Exchequer), rewarded Aitken with a peerage and, briefly, a Cabinet post as Minister of Information.

Post-war, the now Lord Beaverbrook concentrated on his business interests. He built the Daily Express into the most successful mass circulation newspaper in the world and used it to pursue personal campaigns, most notably for tariff reform and for the British Empire to become a free trade bloc. Beaverbrook supported the government of Stanley Baldwin and that of Neville Chamberlain throughout the 1930s and was persuaded by another long standing political friend, Winston Churchill, to serve as his Minister of Aircraft Production from May 1940. Churchill and others later praised his Ministerial contributions.[2] He resigned due to ill-health in 1941 but later in the war was appointed Lord Privy Seal. Beaverbrook spent his later life running his newspapers, which by then included the London Evening Standard and the Sunday Express.[3] He served as Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick and developed a reputation as a historian with his books on political and military history.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

Aitken was born in Maple, Ontario, Canada, (near Keele Street and Major Mackenzie Drive) in 1879, one of the ten children of William Cuthbert Aitken, a Scottish-born Presbyterian minister[6] and Jane Noble, the daughter of a prosperous local farmer and storekeeper. When he was a year old, the family moved to Newcastle, New Brunswick which Aitken later considered to be his hometown. It was here, at the age of 13, that he set up a school newspaper, The Leader. Whilst at school, he delivered newspapers, sold newspaper subscriptions and was the local correspondent for the St. John Daily Star.[7] Aitken took the entrance examinations for Dalhousie University, but because he had refused to sit the Greek and Latin papers he was refused entry. He registered at the King's College Law School, but left after a short while. This was to be his only formal higher education. Aitken worked in a shop then borrowed some money to move to Chatham, New Brunswick where he worked as a local correspondent for the Montreal Star, sold life insurance and also collected debts. Aitken attempted to train as a lawyer and worked for a short time in the law office of Richard Bedford Bennett, a future Prime Minister of Canada. Aitken managed Bennett's successful campaign for a place on Chatham Town Council. When Bennett left the law firm, Aitken moved to Saint John, New Brunswick where he again sold life insurance before moving to Calgary where he helped to run Bennett's campaign for a seat in the Legislative Assembly of the North-West Territories in the 1898 general election. After an unsuccessful attempt to establish a meat business, Aitken returned to Saint John and to selling insurance.[8]

Early business career[edit]

In 1900, Aitken made his way to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where John F. Stairs, a member of the city's dominant business family, gave him employment and trained him in the business of finance. In 1904, when Stairs launched the Royal Securities Corporation, Aitken became a minority shareholder and the firm's general manager. Under the tutelage of Stairs, who would be his mentor and friend, Aitken engineered a number of successful business deals and was planning a series of bank mergers. Stairs' unexpected early death in September 1904 led to Aitken acquiring control of the company and moving to Montreal. There he bought and sold companies, invested in stocks and shares and also developed business interests in both Cuba and Puerto Rico. He started a weekly magazine, the Canadian Century in 1910, invested in the Montreal Herald and almost acquired the Montreal Gazette.[8] In 1907 he founded the Montreal Engineering Company.[9] In 1909, also under the umbrella of his Royal Securities Company, Aitken founded the Calgary Power Company Limited, now the TransAlta Corporation, and oversaw the building of the Horseshoe Falls hydro station.[10]

In 1910-11 Aitken acquired a number of small regional cement plants in Canada, including Sandford Fleming's Western Canada Cement Co. plant at Exshaw, Alberta, and amalgamated them into Canada Cement, eventually controlling four-fifths of the cement production in Canada. Canada was booming economically at the time and Aitken had a monopoly on the material. There were irregularities in the stock transfers leading to the conglomeration of the cement plants, resulting in much criticism of Aitken, as well as accusations of price-gouging and poor management of the cement plants under his company's control.[11] Aitken sold his shares, making a large amount of money.

Aitken had made his first visit to Britain in September 1908 and when he returned there in the Spring of 1910, in an attempt to raise money to form a steel company, he decided to make the move permanent,[8] but not before he led the underwriting, with a preponderance of British money, of the Steel Company of Canada. Very shortly later Aitken moved his family to the UK.[12]

Move to Britain[edit]

Cherkley Court

In 1910 Aitken moved to Britain and he became friends with Bonar Law, a native of New Brunswick and the only Canadian to become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. The two men had a lot in common, — they were both sons of the manse from Scottish-Canadian families and both were successful businessmen. Aitken persuaded Bonar Law to support him in standing for the Unionist Party in the December 1910 general election at Ashton-under-Lyne. Aitken was an excellent organiser and, with plenty of money for publicity, he won the seat by 196 votes.[8][13]

Aitken rarely spoke in the House of Commons, but did promise substantial financial support to the Unionist Party, and in 1911 he was knighted by King George V. Aitken's political influence grew when Bonar Law replaced A.J. Balfour as leader of the Unionist party late in 1911. Aitken bought Cherkley Court near Leatherhead and entertained lavishly there. In 1913 the house was offered as a venue for negotiations, between Bonar Law and the Prime Minister H.H. Asquith, over Ulster and Irish home rule.[8] Later in life Aitken wrote about his early political efforts:[14]

Aitken continued to grow his business interests while in Parliament and also began to build a British newspaper empire. After the death of Charles Rolls in 1910, Aitken bought his shares in Rolls-Royce Limited, and over the next two years gradually increased his holding in the company. However, Claude Johnson, Rolls-Royce's Commercial managing director, resisted Aitken's attempt to gain control of the company, and in October 1913 he sold his holding to James Buchanan Duke, of the American Tobacco Company.[15] In January 1911, Aitken, secretly, invested £25,000 in the failing Daily Express. An attempt to buy the London Evening Standard failed but he did gain control of another London evening paper, The Globe. In November 1916 a share deal worth £17,500, with Lawson Johnson, landed Aitken a controlling interest in the Daily Express, but again he kept the deal secret.[8]

World War One[edit]

Lord Beaverbrook

During World War I, the Canadian government placed Aitken in charge of creating the Canadian War Records Office in London, and he made certain that news of Canada's contribution to the war was printed in Canadian and British newspapers. He was innovative in the employment of artists, photographers, and film makers to record life on the Western Front. Aitken also established the Canadian War Memorials Fund that evolved into a collection of art works by the premier artists and sculptors in Britain and Canada.[16] His visits to the Western Front, with the honorary rank of colonel in the Canadian Army, resulted in his 1916 book Canada in Flanders, a three-volume collection that chronicled the achievements of Canadian soldiers on the battlefields. After the war, Aitken wrote several books including Politicians and the Press in 1925 and Politicians and the War in 1928.

Aitken became increasingly hostile towards the Prime Minister, H.H. Asquith whom he considered to be mismanaging the war effort. Aitken's opinion of Asquith didn't improve when he failed to get a post in the Cabinet reshuffle of May 1915. An attempt by Bonar Law to secure the KCMG for Aitken was also blocked by Asquith. Aitken was happy to play a small part, which he greatly exaggerated, as a go-between when Asquith was forced from office and replaced by David Lloyd George in December 1916.[8] Lloyd George offered to appoint Aitken as President of the Board of Trade. At that time, an MP taking a cabinet post for the first time had to resign and stand for re-election in a by-election. Aitken made arrangements for this, but then Lloyd George decided to appoint Albert Stanley instead. Aitken was a friend of Stanley and agreed to continue with the resignation, so that Stanley could take Aitken's seat in Parliament and be eligible for ministerial office. In return, Aitken received a peerage on 23 January 1917 as the 1st Baron Beaverbrook,[17][18] the name "Beaverbrook" being adopted from a small community near his boyhood home. He had initially considered "Lord Miramichi", but rejected it on the advice of Louise Manny as too difficult to pronounce.[19][20][21] The name "Beaverbrook" also had the advantage of conveying a distinctive Canadian ring to the title.

Later in 1917, Beaverbrook's controlling stake in the Daily Express became public knowledge and he was criticised by parts of the Conservative Party for financing a publication they regarded as irresponsible and often unhelpful to the party.[8]

In February 1918, Beaverbrook became the first Minister of Information in the newly formed Ministry of Information, was also made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and was sworn of the Privy Council.[22] Beaverbrook became responsible for propaganda in Allied and neutral countries and Lord Northcliffe (owner of the Daily Mail and The Times) became Director of Propaganda with control of propaganda in enemy countries. Beaverbrook established the British War Memorials Committee within the Ministry, on lines similar to the earlier Canadian war art scheme, but when he established a private charity that would receive income from BWMC exhibitions, it was regarded as a conflict of interest and he dropped the scheme.[16] Beaverbrook had a number of clashes with the Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour over the use of intelligence material. He felt that intelligence should become part of his department, but Balfour disagreed. Eventually the intelligence committee was assigned to Beaverbrook but they then resigned en masse to be re-employed by the Foreign Office. In August 1918, Lloyd George became furious with Beaverbrook over a leader in the Daily Express threatening to withdraw support from the government over tariff reform. Beaverbrook increasingly came under attack from MPs who distrusted a press baron being employed by the state. Beaverbrook survived but became increasingly frustrated with his limited role and influence, and in October 1918, he resigned due to ill health.[8] In fact, a tooth had become infected with actinomycosis and the often fatal disease progressed into his throat; his English doctors were unable to discover a cure and it was a Portuguese medic who cured him by administering orally iodine solution until the fungus was arrested.[12]

A J P Taylor later wrote that Beaverbrook was a pathbreaker who "invented all the methods of publicity" used by Britain to promote the war, including the nation's first war artists, the first war photographers, and the first makers of war films. He was especially effective in promoting the sales of war bonds to the general public. Nevertheless, he was widely disliked and distrusted by the political elite, who were suspicious of all they sneeringly called "press lords."[23]

Baron of Fleet Street[edit]

Lord Beaverbrook, c. August 1941

After the war, Beaverbrook concentrated on running the Daily Express. He turned the dull newspaper into a glittering and witty journal with an optimistic attitude, filled with an array of dramatic photo layouts. He hired first-rate writers such as Francis Williams and the cartoonist David Low. He embraced new technology and bought new presses to print the paper in Manchester. In 1919 the circulation of the Daily Express was under 40,000 a day; by 1937 it was 2,329,000 a day, making it the most successful of all British newspapers and generating huge profits for Beaverbrook whose wealth was already such that he never took a salary. After the Second World War, the Daily Express became the largest-selling newspaper in the world, with a circulation of 3,706,000. Beaverbrook launched the Sunday Express in December 1918, but it only established a significant readership after John Junor became its editor in 1954. In 1923, in a joint deal with Lord Rothermere, Beaverbrook bought the London Evening Standard. Beaverbrook acquired a controlling stake in the Glasgow Evening Citizen and, in 1928, he launched the Scottish Daily Express.[8]

Beaverbrook purchased The Vineyard, a "tiny Tudor house in Hurlingham Road" which ... "far from the centre of London I was relieved of casual callers and comparatively free of long-winded visitors. I provided facilities by means of private telephone lines without any direct contact with the Telephone Exchanges. Thus the political conferences held there were safeguarded against interruption."[24] Powerful friends and acquaintances such as Asquith, Lloyd George, Churchill, Frederick Edwin Smith, Philip Sassoon, Diana and Duff Cooper, Balfour and Timothy Michael Healy were guests at both Cherkley and the Vineyard. The circle included Valentine Castlerosse, H. G. Wells and Rudyard Kipling, who was godfather to Beaverbrook's youngest son Peter, but this did nothing to repair the rift that developed between them when Beaverbrook endorsed Irish Home Rule.[12]

Beaverbrook would become regarded by some historians as the first baron of Fleet Street and as one of the most powerful men in Britain whose newspapers could make or break almost anyone. Beaverbrook enjoyed using his papers to attack his opponents and to promote his friends. From 1919 to 1922 he attacked David Lloyd George and his government on several issues. He began supporting independent Conservative candidates and campaigned for fifteen years to remove Stanley Baldwin from the leadership of the Conservative Party. He very shrewdly sold the majority of his share holdings before the 1929 crash and in the resulting depression launched a new political party to promote free trade within the British Empire. Empire Free Trade Crusade candidates had some success. An Independent Conservative who supported Empire Free Trade won the Twickenham by-election in 1929. The Empire Free Trade candidate won the South Paddington by-election in October 1930. In February 1931, Empire Free Trade lost the Islington East by-election and by splitting the vote with the Conservatives allowed Labour to hold a seat they had been expected to lose.[12] Duff Cooper's victory for the Conservatives in St. George's Westminster by-election in March 1931 marked the end of the movement as an electoral force.[8]

On 17 March 1931, during the St. George's Westminster by-election, Stanley Baldwin described the media barons who owned British newspapers as having "Power without responsibility – the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages."[12] In the 1930s, while personally attempting to dissuade King Edward VIII from continuing his affair with American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, Beaverbrook's newspapers published every titbit of the affair, especially allegations about pro-Nazi sympathies. Beaverbrook supported the Munich Agreement and hoped the newly named Duke of Windsor would seek a peace deal with Germany.

Testifying before a Parliamentary inquiry in 1947, former Express employee and future MP Michael Foot alleged that Beaverbrook kept a blacklist of notable public figures who were to be denied any publicity in his papers because of personal disputes. Foot said they included Sir Thomas Beecham, Paul Robeson, Haile Selassie and Noël Coward. Beaverbrook himself gave evidence before the inquiry and vehemently denied the allegations; Express Newspapers general manager E.J. Robertson denied that Robeson had been blacklisted, but did admit that Coward had been "boycotted" because he had enraged Beaverbrook with his film In Which We Serve, for in the opening sequence Coward included an ironic shot showing a copy of the Daily Express floating in the dockside garbage bearing the headline "No War This Year".[25][26][27]

The Second World War[edit]

Lord Beaverbrook during the Second World War

In the late 1930s Beaverbrook had used his newspapers to promote the appeasement policies of the Chamberlain government. The slogan 'There will be no war' was used by the Daily Express.[28] During the Second World War, in May 1940, his friend Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, appointed Beaverbrook as Minister of Aircraft Production. With Churchill's blessing Beaverbrook overhauled all aspects of war-time aircraft production;- he increased production targets by 15% across the board, took control of aircraft repairs and RAF storage units, replaced the management of plants that were underperforming, and released German Jewish engineers from internment to work in the factories. He seized materials and equipment destined for other departments and was perpetually at odds with the Air Ministry.[29] His appeal for pots and pans “to make Spitfires” was afterwards revealed by his son Sir Max Aitken to have been nothing more than a propaganda exercise. Still, a Time Magazine cover story declared, "Even if Britain goes down this fall, it will not be Lord Beaverbrook's fault. If she holds out, it will be his triumph. This war is a war of machines. It will be won on the assembly line."[30]

Under Beaverbrook, fighter and bomber production increased so much so that Churchill declared: "His personal force and genius made this Aitken's finest hour." Beaverbrook's impact on wartime production has been much debated but he certainly energised production at a time when it was desperately needed. However it has been argued that aircraft production was already rising when Beaverbrook took charge and that he was fortunate to inherit a system which was just beginning to bear fruit.[31] Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, Head of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain wrote that "We had the organization, we had the men, we had the spirit which could bring us victory in the air but we had not the supply of machines necessary to withstand the drain of continuous battle. Lord Beaverbrook gave us those machines, and I do not believe that I exaggerate when I say that no other man in England could have done so."[12][32][33]

Beaverbrook resigned on 30 April 1941 and, after a month as Minister of State, Churchill appointed him to the post of Minister of Supply. Here Beaverbrook clashed with Ernest Bevin who, as Minister of Labour and National Service, refused to let Beaverbrook take over any of his responsibilities. In February 1942, Beaverbrook became Minister of War Production and again clashed with Bevin, this time over shipbuilding. In the face of Bevin's refusal to work with him, Beaverbrook resigned after only twelve days in the post. In September 1943 he was appointed Lord Privy Seal, outside of the Cabinet, and held that post until the end of the war.[8]

In 1941, Beaverbrook headed the British delegation to Moscow with his American counterpart Averell Harriman. This made Beaverbrook the first senior British politician to meet Soviet leader Joseph Stalin since Adolf Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union. Much impressed by Stalin and the sacrifice of the Soviet people, he returned to London determined to persuade Churchill to launch a second front in Europe to help draw German resources away from the Eastern Front to aid the Soviets.[34] Despite their disagreement over the second front, Beaverbrook remained a close confidant of Churchill throughout the war, and could regularly be found with Churchill until the early hours of the morning. Clement Attlee commented that "Churchill often listened to Beaverbrook's advice but was too sensible to take it."[citation needed]

In addition to his ministerial roles, Beaverbrook headed the Anglo-American Combined Raw Materials Board from 1942 to 1945 and accompanied Churchill to several wartime meetings with President Roosevelt. He was able to relate to Roosevelt in a different way to Churchill and became close to Roosevelt during these visits. This friendship sometimes irritated Churchill who felt that Beaverbrook was distracting Roosevelt from concentrating on the war effort. For his part Roosevelt seems to have enjoyed the distraction.

Later life[edit]

Beaverbrook devoted himself to Churchill's 1945 General Election campaign, but a Daily Express headline warning that a Labour victory would amount to the 'Gestapo in Britain' was a huge mistake and completely misjudged the public mood.[7] Beaverbrook renounced his British citizenship and left the Conservative Party in 1951 but remained an Empire loyalist throughout his life. He opposed both Britain's acceptance of post-war loans from America and Britain's application to join the European Economic Community in 1961.[8] In 1953 he became chancellor-for-life of the University of New Brunswick through an Act of the local legislature.[35] He became the university's greatest benefactor, fulfilling the same role for the city of Fredericton and the province as a whole. He would provide additional buildings for the university, scholarship funds, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Beaverbrook Skating Rink, the Lord Beaverbrook Hotel, with profits donated to charity, the Playhouse, Louise Manny's early folklore work, and numerous other projects. He bought the archive papers of both Bonar Law and David Lloyd George and placed them in the Beaverbrook Library within the Daily Express Building.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Gladys Drury, sometime before her marriage

On 29 January 1906, in Halifax, Aitken married Gladys Henderson Drury, daughter of Major-General Charles William Drury CBE (a first cousin of Admiral Sir Charles Carter Drury) and Mary Louise Drury (née Henderson). They had three children before her death on 1 December 1927.[12] Their son Max Aitken Jr. became a fighter pilot with 601 Squadron, rising to Wing Commander with 16 victories in World War Two. Beaverbrook remained a widower for many years until 1963 when he married Marcia Anastasia Christoforides (1910–1994), the widow of his friend Sir James Dunn. Beaverbrook was rarely a faithful husband, and even in old age was often accused of treating women with disrespect.[8] In Britain he established the then-married Jean Norton as his mistress at Cherkley. Aitken left Norton for a Jewish ballet dancer named Lily Ernst whom he had rescued from pre-war Austria.[36]

Historian[edit]

After the First World War, Beaverbrook had written Politicians and the Press in 1925 and Politicians and the War in 1928 and had the two books were reprinted as one volume in 1960.[37] Upon their original publication, the books were largely ignored by professional historians and the only favourable reviews were in Beaverbrook's own newspapers.[38] However, when the combined edition came out, the reviews were more positive.[39] A. J. P. Taylor said it was "Tacitus and Aubrey rolled into one".[40][39]

Later Taylor said "The enduring merits of the book are really beyond cavil. It provides essential testimony for events during a great political crisis...It contains character sketches worthy of Aubrey. On a wider canvas, it displays the behaviour of political leaders in wartime. The narrative is carried along by rare zest and wit, yet with the detached impartialty of the true scholar".[41] Sir John Elliot in 1981 said the work "will remain, despite all carping, the authoritative narrative; nor does the story want in the telling thereof".[42]

Men and Power 1917–1918 was published in 1956. It is not a coherent narrative but divided by separate episodes centred on one man, such as Carson, Robertson, Rothermere and others. The reviews were favourable, with Taylor's review in The Observer greatly pleasing Beaverbrook.[43] The book sold over 23,000 copies.[44]

When The Decline and Fall of Lloyd George was published in 1963, favourable reviewers included Clement Attlee, Roy Jenkins, Robert Blake, Lord Longford, Sir C. P. Snow, Lady Violet Bonham Carter, Richard Crossman and Denis Brogan.[45] Kenneth Young said the book was "the finest of all his writing".[45]

Beaverbrook was both admired and despised in Britain, sometimes at the same time: in his 1956 autobiography, David Low quotes H.G. Wells as saying of Beaverbrook: "If ever Max ever gets to Heaven, he won't last long. He will be chucked out for trying to pull off a merger between Heaven and Hell after having secured a controlling interest in key subsidiary companies in both places, of course."[citation needed]

Beaverbrook was of an imperialist mindset, with the quote, “There are countries so underdeveloped today that the gift of independence is like the gift of a razor to a child” attributed to him in a panel discussion on Canadian TV.[46]

Death[edit]

Lord Beaverbrook died in Surrey in 1964, aged 85. He had recently attended a birthday banquet organised by fellow Canadian press baron, Lord Thomson of Fleet, where he was determined to be seen on his usual good form, despite being riddled with cancer. The Beaverbrook Foundation continues his philanthropic interests. In 1957, a bronze statue of Lord Beaverbrook was erected at the centre of Officers' Square in Fredericton, New Brunswick, paid for by money raised by children throughout the province. A bust of him by Oscar Nemon stands in the park in the town square of Newcastle, New Brunswick, not far from where he sold newspapers as a young boy.[35] His ashes are in the plinth of the bust.[12]

Legacy[edit]

Beaverbrook House, formerly the Old Manse Library, and earlier the boyhood home of Aitken, in Newcastle, Miramichi, New Brunswick (IR Walker 1983)

Beaverbrook and his wife Lady Beaverbrook left a considerable legacy to both New Brunswick and the United Kingdom. In 2016, he was named a National Historic Person on the advice of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.[47] His legacy, and memorials, includes the following buildings:

Beaverbrook's published works[edit]

Bust of Lord Beaverbrook, where his ashes are deposited, in the town square of Newcastle, Miramichi, New Brunswick (IR Walker 2008)
  • Canada in Flanders London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1916.
  • Success. Small, Maynard and Company, 1922, 2003. ISBN 978-0-7661-5409-4.
  • Politicians and the Press. London: Hutchinson, 1925.
  • Politicians and the War, Vol. 1. London: Oldbourne, 1928.
  • Politicians and the War, Vol. 2. London: Oldbourne, 1932.
  • The Resources of The British Empire. London: Lane Publications, 1934.
  • Why Didn't you Help the Finns? Are you in the Hands of the Jews? And 10 Questions, Answers. London: London Express, 1939.
  • Spirit of the Soviet Union. London: The Pilot Press, 1942.
  • Don't Trust to Luck. London: London Express Newspaper, 1954.
  • The Three Keys to Success. London: Hawthorn Books, 1956.
  • Men and Power, 1917–1918. North Haven, Connecticut: The Shoe String Press, 1956.
  • Friends: Sixty years of Intimate personal relations with Richard Bedford Bennett. London: Heinemann, 1959.
  • Courage, The Story of Sir James Dunn. Fredericton: Brunswick Press, 1961.
  • My Early Life. Fredericton: Atlantic Advocate Book, 1962.
  • The Divine Propagandist. London: Heinnemann, 1962.
  • The Decline and Fall of Lloyd George: and great was the fall thereof. London: Collins, 1963, 1981 ISBN 978-0-313-23007-3.
  • The Abdication of Edward VIII. NY: Atheneum, 1966.

Descendants[edit]

  • Hon. Janet Gladys Aitken (9 July 1908 – 18 November 1988); she married Ian Douglas Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll, on 12 December 1927 and they were divorced in 1934. They have one daughter and two granddaughters. She remarried Hon. William Montagu on 5 March 1935. They have one son and three grandchildren. She remarried again, Major Thomas Kidd, on 11 July 1942. They have two children, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
    • Lady Jeanne Campbell (10 December 1928 – 9 June 2007); she married Norman Mailer in 1962 and they were divorced in 1963. They have a daughter. She remarried John Sergeant Cram in March 1964. They have one daughter.
    • William Montagu (9 February 1936 – 6 November 2002); he married Edna Ahlers in 1969. They have three children:
      • Michael Drogo Montagu (1968)
      • Nicola Lilian Montagu (1971)
      • Monette Edna Montagu (1973)
    • Jane Kidd (1943); she married Graham Morison Vere Nicoll in 1972.
    • John Kidd (12 December 1944); he married Wendy Madeleine Hodge on 2 April 1973. They have three children and three grandchildren:
      • Jack Kidd (1973)
      • Jemma Kidd (20 September 1974); she married Arthur Wellesley, Marquess of Douro, on 4 June 2005. They have three children.
      • Jodie Kidd (25 September 1978); she married Aidan Butler on 10 September 2005 and they were divorced in 2007. She remarried David Blakeley on 16 August 2014 and they were divorced on 1 May 2015.
  • Sir John William Maxwell Aitken, for three days before disclaiming, 2nd Baron Beaverbrook (15 February 1910 – 30 April 1985); he married Cynthia Monteith on 26 August 1939 and they were divorced in 1944. He remarried Ursula Kenyon-Slaney on 15 August 1946 and they were divorced in 1950. They have two daughters, five grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. He remarried again Violet de Trafford on 1 January 1951. They have two children, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
    • Hon. Kirsty Jane Aitken (22 June 1947); she married Jonathan Morley on 6 September 1966 and they were divorced in 1973. They have two sons and two granddaughters. She remarried Christopher Smallwood in 1975. They have one daughter.
      • Dominic Max Michael Morley (1967)
      • Sebastian Finch Morley (1969); he married Victoria Whitbread in 1993. They have two daughters.
        • Violet Mary Davina Morley (3 February 2004)
        • Myrtle Rose Beatrice Morley (13 December 2005)
      • Eleanor Bluebell Smallwood (1982)
    • Hon. Lynda Mary Kathleen Aitken (30 October 1948); she married Nicholas Saxton on 25 April 1969 and they were divorced in 1974. She remarried Jonathan Dickson in 1977. They have two sons.
      • Joshua James Dickson (20 February 1977)
      • Leo Casper Dickson (1981)
    • Maxwell Aitken, 3rd Baron Beaverbrook (29 December 1951); he married Susan O'Ferrall on 19 July 1974. They have four children and four grandchildren.
    • Hon. Laura Aitken (18 November 1953); she married David Mallet in 1984. They have one son. She remarried Martin K. Levi in 1992. They have two children.
      • David Sonny Victor Maxwell Mallet (1984)
      • Lucci Violet Levi (1993)
      • Louis Max Adam Levi (1 December 1994)
  • Captain Hon. Peter Rudyard Aitken (22 March 1912- 3 August 1947); he married Janet Macneil on 25 January 1934 and they were divorced in 1939. They have one daughter and three grandsons. He remarried Marie Patricia McGuire on 28 October 1942. They have two sons and four grandsons.
    • Caroline Ann Christine Aitken (4 April 1935); she married Conyers Baker on 7 September 1957. They have three sons:
      • William Hugh Massey Baker (26 June 1958)
      • Philip Massey Baker (13 March 1960)
      • Jonathan Piers Massey Baker (14 July 1967)
    • Timothy Maxwell Aitken (28 October 1944); he married Annete Hansen on 10 May 1966. He remarried Julie Filstead in 1972. They have two sons.
      • Theodore Maxwell Aitken (1976)
      • Charles Howard Filstead Aitken (1979)
    • Peter Michael Aitken (20 February 1946); he married, secondly, Hon. Joan Rees-Williams in 1981 and they were divorced in 1985. He remarried Iryna Iwachiw on 12 September 1992.
      • James Aitken
      • Jason Aiken

In popular culture[edit]

Lord Beaverbrook plaque in Maple, Ontario

For a period of time Beaverbrook employed novelist Evelyn Waugh in London and abroad. Waugh later lampooned his employer by portraying him as Lord Copper in Scoop and as Lord Monomark in both Put Out More Flags and Vile Bodies.

The Kinks recorded "Mr. Churchill Says" for their 1969 album Arthur, which contains the lines: "Mr. Beaverbrook says: 'We've gotta save our tin/And all the garden gates and empty cans are gonna make us win...'."

Beaverbrook was one of eight notable Britons cited in Bjørge Lillelien's famous "Your boys took a hell of a beating" commentary at the end of an English football team defeat to Norway in 1981, mentioned alongside British Prime Ministers Churchill, Thatcher and Attlee.[51][52]

In the alternate history novel, Dominion by C. J. Sansom, Beaverbrook served as Prime Minister from 1945 to 1953, heading a coalition government that consisted of the pro-Treaty factions of the Conservative Party and Labour Party, as well as the British Union of Fascists.[53]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Aitken, William Maxwell, 1st Baron Beaverbrook." The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved: 6 July 2011.
  2. ^ Churchill 1949
  3. ^ Peter Jackson & Tom de Castella (14 July 2011). "Clash of the press titans". BBC News. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  4. ^ John Ramsden (Editor) (2005). Oxford Companion to Twentieth Century British Politics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-861036-X. 
  5. ^ Peter Mavrikis (Editor) (2005). History of World War II. Marshall Cavendish Corporation. ISBN 978-0-7614-7231-5. 
  6. ^ who served under the Bounty or Augmentation Scheme, see Beaverbrook 1963 p.107
  7. ^ a b Frank N. Magill (Editor) (1999). Dictionary of World Biography Vol VII The 20th Century A-Gl. Salem Press. ISBN 0-89356-321-8. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o HCG Matthew & Brian Harrison (Editors) (2004). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Vol 1 (Arron-Amory). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-861351-2. 
  9. ^ Gregory P. Marchildon (1996). "5. The Montreal Engineering Company". Profits and politics: Beaverbrook and the gilded age of Canadian finance. University of Toronto Press. pp. 97–121. 
  10. ^ "100 Years, 100 People:1909–1919". TransAlta. 2 December 2011. Retrieved 20 October 2014. 
  11. ^ The New York Times, 13 May 1911, "Canadian Cement Scandal,"; Edmonton Bulletin, Nov. 30, 1911
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Janet Aitken Kidd (1988). The Beaverbrook Girl: An Autobiography. Collins. 
  13. ^ Firstworldwar.com. "Who's Who – Lord Beaverbrook". Firstworldwar.com. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  14. ^ Beaverbrook 1963, p. 16-7
  15. ^ Peter Pugh (2001). The Magic of a Name: The Rolls-Royce Story, The First 40 Years. Icon Books. ISBN 1-84046-151-9. 
  16. ^ a b Merion Harries & Susie Harries (1983). The War Artists, British Official War Art of the Twentieth Century. Michael Joseph, The Imperial War Museum & the Tate Gallery. ISBN 071812314X. 
  17. ^ Blake 1955, pp. 346–347.
  18. ^ "No. 29913". The London Gazette. 23 January 1917. p. 842. 
  19. ^ "St John NB & The Magnificent Irvings + Art heist at Beaverbrook Gallery." wordpress.com, 18 August. 2008. Retrieved: 6 July 2011.
  20. ^ Rayburn, A. Naming Canada: Stories about Canadian Place Names. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2001.
  21. ^ Rayburn 1975
  22. ^ "No. 30557". The London Gazette. 5 March 1918. p. 2775. 
  23. ^ Taylor 1972, pp. 137 (quote), 129, 135, 136.
  24. ^ Beaverbrook 1963, p. 65ff
  25. ^ Movie 'In Which We Serve' 0:05:57
  26. ^ Sweet 2005, p. 173.
  27. ^ Anne Chisholm & Machael Davie (1993). Lord Beaverbrook: A Life. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-394-56879-9. 
  28. ^ Geoffrey Cox 'Countdown to War' page 104
  29. ^ Geoffrey Best (2005). Churchill and War. Humbledon and London. ISBN 1852854642. 
  30. ^ "Great Britain: Shirts On." Time, 16 September 1940.
  31. ^ Deighton 1980, pp. 164–165.
  32. ^ "The Battle of Britain". The London Gazette (Supplement). No. 37719. 11 Sep 1946. pp. 4543–. 
  33. ^ spitfiresite.com: "Battle of Britain in the Words of Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding"
  34. ^ "Lord Beaverbrook." Spartacus. Retrieved: 6 July 2011.
  35. ^ a b unb.ca: "A Conversation with Ann Moyal, Lord Beaverbrook’s Researcher", JNBS vol 7 no 2
  36. ^ Leonie Jameson (2 December 1996). "Sex and Power". The Independent. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  37. ^ Taylor, p. 102.
  38. ^ Taylor, p. 251.
  39. ^ a b Dalhousie Review v59 n1 p129: "Lord Beaverbrook: Historian Extraordinary" by JM McEwen
  40. ^ Taylor, p. 645.
  41. ^ Taylor, pp. 102–103.
  42. ^ John Elliot, ‘Aitken, William Maxwell, first Baron Beaverbrook (1879–1964)’, Dictionary of National Biography (1981).
  43. ^ Taylor, pp. 629–630.
  44. ^ Taylor, p. 629.
  45. ^ a b Taylor, p. 655.
  46. ^ "Fighting Words: The perils of independence and Irish cry-babies". CBC Digital Archives. Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  47. ^ Sir William Maxwell Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook), Parks Canada backgrounder, Feb. 15, 2016
  48. ^ "Aitken House." unbf.ca. Retrieved: 6 July 2011.
  49. ^ "Lady Beaverbrook Residence." unb.ca. Retrieved: 6 July 2011.
  50. ^ "The Beaverbrook Chair in Ethics, Media and Communications." mcgill.ca. Retrieved: 6 July 2011.
  51. ^ Video on YouTube
  52. ^ "News." BBC via Youtube. Retrieved: 13 March 2012.
  53. ^ Sansom, C.J. "My nightmare of a Nazi Britain." The Guardian, 19 October 2012.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Lord Beaverbrook (1963). The Decline and Fall of Lloyd George. London: Collins. 
  • Deighton, Len. Battle of Britain. London: Johnathon Cape, 1980. ISBN 0-224-01826-4.
  • Rayburn, A. Geographical Names of New Brunswick. Ottawa: Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names, 1975.
  • Richards, David Adams. Lord Beaverbrook (Extraordinary Canadians). Toronto, Ontario:Penguin Canada, 2008. ISBN 978-0-670-06614-8.
  • Sweet, Matthew. Shepperton Babylon: The Lost Worlds of British Cinema. London: Faber & Faber, 2005. ISBN 978-0-571-21297-2.
  • Taylor, A. J. P. Beaverbrook: A Biography. London: Hamilton, 1972. ISBN 0-241-02170-7.

External links[edit]


Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Alfred Scott
Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne
19101916
Succeeded by
Albert Stanley
Political offices
New office Minister of Information
1918
Succeeded by
The Lord Downham
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Cawley
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
1918
New office Minister of Aircraft Production
1940–1941
Succeeded by
John Moore-Brabazon
Preceded by
Sir Andrew Duncan
Minister of Supply
1941–1942
Succeeded by
Sir Andrew Duncan
New office Minister of War Production
1942
Succeeded by
Oliver Lyttelton
as Minister of Production
Preceded by
Viscount Cranborne
Lord Privy Seal
1943–1945
Succeeded by
Arthur Greenwood
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baron Beaverbrook
1917–1964
Succeeded by
John William Maxwell Aitken
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Cherkley) 
1916–1964
Succeeded by
John William Maxwell Aitken