William Purdie Treloar.

A lord mayor's diary, 1906-7 online

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" I have heard with great satisfaction the
result of the ftte which was held during the summer
in aid of ' The Lord Mayor's Cripples' Fund,' and
am much interested to learn that a special effort is
now to be made to raise the additional sum of 10,000
which is still required to complete the endowment
fund for the Home and College at Alton.

" I trust most sincerely that this sum, which is so
essential to the success of the undertaking, will be
given by the many kind people who are interested
in so good a cause, and that you personally will have
the satisfaction before leaving office of knowing that
your lifelong efforts on behalf of those poor suffering
children will, with God's blessing, be crowned with
perfect success, and that everything that can possibly
be done to alleviate their condition and conduce to
their ultimate cure had been fully accomplished.
" Believe me, yours sincerely,


The result of Queen Alexandra's letter was imme-
diate and certain, and before my year of office had
ended I received from a generous public more than
the amount I had estimated for viz., 60,000.

It was decided after long discussion with several


of my friends, including Sir Ernest Flower and Sir
William Soulsby, to name the Institution at Alton
" The Lord Mayor Treloar's Cripples' Hospital and
College." Sir William Soulsby was the originator
of this title, and strongly urged its adoption; the
idea in his mind being that the name should at once
show that the Hospital was founded by a Lord Mayor,
whose name was Treloar. Many people have given
me the credit of inventing this title, but the actual
idea came from my old friend Soulsby, and I wish to
put the fact on record once and for all.

It is now twelve years since then, and I have
included in this book three illustrations, which,
although they do not refer to incidents during my
year of office, are yet the direct results of it.
(i) The reception at the Alton railway-station of
the first batch of patients on the 8th of September,
1908; (2) the gracious and never-to-be-forgotten visit
of Queen Alexandra to Alton, accompanied by Queen
Amelie of Portugal, when both the Queens planted
trees in commemoration of their visit; and (3) the
first patients at Sandy Point Branch at Hayling
Island, who came on the nth of September, 1919;
they are shown on the balcony of the pavilion, which
is situated on the edge of the sea.

Her Majesty graciously became the President of
' The Queen Alexandra League of Children to Help
Poor Crippled Children," and contributed 100
towards the Fund for its inauguration.

I issued many collecting cards to the little members
of the League, and so collected a large sum.

The royal grandchildren had cards, one of which,
that used by Princess Mary, I have reproduced.

From the beginning Queen Alexandra has taken the


greatest interest in my work, and is always ready to
do everything she can to assist and encourage me.

November 2jth, 1906.


" I am commanded by the King and Queen
to let you know with what interest their Majesties
have read the appeal you are making to the public
on behalf of the poor crippled children of the Metro-
polis, and to assure you that their Majesties most
heartily and sincerely wish all success to your philan-
thropic endeavour to relieve these poor suffering
children. I have now the pleasure to enclose two
cheques for 100 guineas each (one from the King
and one from the Queen), as donations from their
Majesties towards the Fund being raised for this
most worthy object.

" Their Majesties authorise me to say they cannot
conceive any method better calculated to assist in
rescuing from crippledom a large portion of these
poor little sufferers than the establishment on a firm
and sound basis of such an institution as is contem-
plated in the scheme which you have laid before the
British public.

" I remain, my dear Lord Mayor,
" Very truly yours,

" D. M. PROBYN."


I cannot resist adding this testimony from a great
authority. Sir George Newman, in writing to me in
December, 1919, says: " I have been for many years
a warm admirer of the splendid work which has been
done at Alton. It has not only proved invaluable
as a body-repairing and life-saving institution of


Will you help us up by taking a Shilling Rung?

*Che Spaces are for Names or Intii&k.


To face p 1 70


inestimable benefit to hundreds of little children, but
it has proved itself a pioneer in setting a new standard
for the treatment of non-pulmonary tuberculosis in
children. I am very pleased that it was a President
of the Board of Education (Lord Gainford) who first
provided Exchequer grants in aid of Alton, and I
hope that in future years a number of Altons will
spring up in various parts of the country."

Earlier in my diary (Saturday, the i6th of March)
I told of a dinner at which I presided in aid of the
German Society of Benevolence. I was induced to
take the chair by my friend the late Mr. De Keyser,
who told me that the German Ambassador, Count
Metternich, would be present, and was anxious to
meet me.

De Keyser gave me a hint that the Ambassador
intended to speak to me about a visit to Berlin which
it was hoped I would pay.

My predecessor, Sir W. Vaughan-Morgan, had paid
a visit to Paris during his year of office, and I thought
it quite a likely idea that I should be invited to
Berlin, and it appealed to me. The Ambassador,
during dinner, asked me if I thought that the Kaiser
would be a welcome visitor if he came on a visit to
London. I said, Yes, I thought he would. " Will
you say so when you speak to-night ?" he said.
" Yes, I will," I said. After I had spoken, His
Excellency said to me: "Are you going to visit
Paris during your mayoralty, as the late Lord Mayor
did ?" " No," I answered, " I shall not go to Paris.
If I go abroad, I should like to go farther afield,
for I think the greater the distance from London,
the more consequence and importance is attached
to the position of Lord Mayor of London." He


laughed, and said : " Berlin is not so near to London
as Paris ; how would that suit you ? Would you be
inclined to accept an invitation to go to Berlin in
the summer?" I became a little coy, and thought
I might ; I would if I could, etc. I eventually fixed
on the only week I could get away viz., that begin-
ning on the 1 6th of June; and so it was left. I met
Mr. Haldane, who was at this time our War Minister,
on the following Saturday, the 23rd of March. He
was giving the prizes to the boys of the ist Cadet
Battalion King's Royal Rifle Corps at Guildhall, and
I was in the chair. I took the opportunity to tell
him that I had reason to believe I might be invited
to go to Berlin shortly, and I asked his opinion as
to my accepting such an invitation. He said he
would let me know. A day or two afterwards I
received the following letter :


" March 26th, 1907.


" I think that if the invitation we spoke of
comes from Germany you may safely accept it.
" Believe me,

" Yours sincerely,
(Signed) " R. B. HALDANE."

I announced to the Court of Common Council on
the 2nd of May that I had received a letter dated
the 1 3th of April from Herr Kirchner, Oberburger-
meister of Berlin, inviting me and the Sheriffs, and
forty or fifty members of the Corporation, to visit
Berlin, and the date selected for the proposed visit
was June 1 6 to 21.


The Court received the communication with
acclamation, and decided to choose members for the
visit by ballot.

On the 1 5th of May I went to the Foreign Office
by request. Sir Edward Grey received me very
genially. I remember he said: " Sit in this chair,
my Lord Mayor; it is very comfortable and easy;
we call it the Ambassador's chair." It was a com-
fortable armchair. " I hear you are going to Berlin."
" Yes," I said. " When do you go ?" he asked. I
replied: " On the i6th of June, for five days i.e.,
until the 2ist." " Who fixed the date ?" Sir Edward
asked. " I did," said I. " Are you sure ?" " Yes,
quite sure." " Well," he said, " we have heard that
it is intended by the Germans to call attention to the
fact that the i8th of Jun? is the anniversary of the
Battle of Waterloo in order to annoy France, and,
if possible, to create bitterness between us and the
French people, and no doubt you will be used as a
pawn in the game. The present strained feelings
between France and Germany will not be improved
if they make use of your visit to carry out such an
idea. Do you think your visit could be put off?"
" No," I said, " that cannot be." " Well," he said,
" forewarned is forearmed; you must do the best
you can."

When I got back to the Mansion House I sent a
telegram to the Oberburgermeister to ask that he
would be so kind as to leave the evening of the 1 8th
June free, as I had arranged a private dinner for
that day, and should be glad not to attend any public
function in the evening.

Shortly afterwards I had a visit from Mr. John
Walter, of The Times, who brought to see me his


Berlin correspondent, Mr. Saunders. He asked me
the same questions as Sir Edward Grey had put to
me; and he also suggested that the proposed visit
should be abandoned, or delayed. He said the
French Government were aware of the intention of
the Germans to use the Lord Mayor of London as
a pawn in their game, and he bid me beware.

Well, I went to Berlin as arranged ; and on the
1 8th I went with our party to Charlottenburg, where,
at a public luncheon in the Town Hall (it is interesting
to see how my objection to a dinner was avoided)
Burgomaster Matting recalled the fact that ninety-
two years ago to-day Englishmen and Prussians
had fought shoulder to shoulder; and that now, as
then, English and Germans must stand together.

In replying, I said I was glad to say that France,
which was our foe nearly a hundred years ago, was
now our stanchest ally. The following extract from
Le Petit Journal of the 2ist of June, 1907, showed
how alert Paris was at this time :

" Depdche de noire Correspondant.

"Berlin, 20 Juin.

11 Le jour anniversaire de la Bataille de Waterloo
le lord-maire et un certain nombre d'ediles de Londres
qui font actuellement un voyage en Allemagne
assistaient a un dejeuner qui leur offrait la munici-
palite de Charlottenburg pres de Berlin.

" A 1'heure des toasts le Bourgemestre crut bon
de rappeler que ce mcme jour il y a juste quatre-
vingt-douze ans les armees anglaises et allemandes
avaient combattu cote a cote dans les plaines de
Waterloo. II termina son allocution en disant que


' Maintenant comme alors Allemands et Anglais
devaient marcher ensemble.' Avec beaucoup de tact,
le lord-maire se contenta de repondre :

" ' Je suis un homme de paix et non un homme
de guerre. Tout ce que je peux dire, c'est que le
vaillant ennemi de 1'Angleterre en 1815 est aujourd-
'hui notre plus sur allie (our stanchest ally).' Les
Anglais presents a ce banquet ont & vraiment
affect e"s par la preuve de mauvais gout donnde par
ce bourgemestre tudesque. Les Allemands sans parti
pris ont deplore" qu'il se fut attire* la fine rdplique du
lord-maire de Londres."

An article appeared in Nash's Magazine of January,
1910, called " The Terror on Europe's Threshold."
The author, Mr. Alexander Powell, displayed quite
a prophetic instinct about the war which was to
break out four years later. He points out how the
ambition of the Kaiser was to dominate the Continent
and the world, how he bullied France, and how he.
was always striving to test the strength of the Anglo-
French alliance. Mr. Powell then goes on to refer
to " the cleverly arranged plot " to trap the Lord
Mayor, and I venture to give his own words, written
some three years after my visit to Berlin :

" Behind the documentary dust of diplomacy are
hidden comedies as well as tragedies, and the fierce
battle which is being raged in the underworld of
Anglo- Franco-German politics has produced instances
of both. Here is the story of one of the comedies
a petty affair, it is true; but it bade fair to be a
tragedy; and if the conspirators who planned it had
succeeded, it would probably have ended the friend-
ship of England and France. On this occasion the


city of Berlin prepared a vociferous welcome for a
Lord Mayor of London, in which triumphal arches,
banquets, toasts, and decorations all bore their part.
There was to be a great dinner with the Lord Mayor,
as its chief figure, with a chinking of glasses and a
making of speeches to proclaim to the world the fact
that the peoples on both sides of the North Sea were
brothers despite the war talk. But scarcely had the
Lord Mayor set foot on German soil than a dis-
quieting report reached the British Foreign Office
through French secret service sources, that some-
thing besides a banquet was afoot in Berlin. There
was a cleverly arranged plot, said the Suret officials,
to trap the Lord Mayor, whose utterances would be
taken as those of the British nation, into making
some indiscreet remark which would be seized upon
by the Anglophobe pens of Paris as an excuse for
denouncing the Anglo-French alliance. The secret
agents of the French Government were right. The
occasion utilised was an official luncheon in Berlin,
at which the chairman reminded his guests that on
that day fell the anniversary of Waterloo, and ex-
pressed the hope that in the future as in the past,
Germans and Britons would stand shoulder to
shoulder against the common foe the foe, of course,
being France.

" Most men would not have seen the danger until
it was too late, and would have replied, thoughtlessly
enough, that they seconded such a wish, and that
they drank to the health of their friends and brothers
the Germans. But that Lord Mayor was a diplomat,
if ever there was one; he sold good Persian carpets
in his private capacity, and that is why, perhaps, he
was so imbued with Oriental cunning. For, amid


an expectant silence, he rose in his place, imposing
in his fur-trimmed robes and his chain of office, and
replied that the anniversary of Waterloo but served
to remind all Englishmen of the progress they had
made in friendship and understanding with their
good neighbours, the French, and taking this as his
theme, he availed himself very adroitly of the opening
thus given him by German diplomacy to applaud
the entente with France."

Saturday, 15th June. Departed from Victoria
Station at 8.35 p.m. for Berlin, via Queenborough
and Flushing. I have been feeling ill for some days,
and once or twice I was afraid I might have to
abandon my intention of going on this visit to
Germany. I wrote to the Head Burgomaster asking
to be allowed to take with me my doctor, the late
Henry Hetley. Dr. Kirchner at once consented, and
sent personal invitations for him to all the functions
which had been arranged. This was a great comfort
to me, because Hetley was a very dear friend of mine.
I am sure he enjoyed the tour, for he was a very
hard-working man, and seldom took any relaxation.

The members of the deputation (alas ! how many
of them have gone !) were Alderman Sir Vansittart
Bowater, Mr. Deputy Cuthbertson, Deputy Sir
George Woodman, Mr. Deputy Turner, Sir Thomas
Brooke-Hitching, Mr. J. Cloudsley, Mr. W. P. Neal,
Colonel Vickers Dunfee, Mr. W. H. Pitman, Mr.
W. H. Key, Mr. W. H.Thomas, Mr. W. Hacker,
Mr. J. Rowland Brough, Mr. R. Davies, Mr. Alex
Tillie, Mr. A. E. Palmer, Mr. James Lake, Mr. S.
Pollitzer, Mr. W. J. Downes, Mr. J. J. Redding,
Mr. W. W. Green, Mr. D. Haydon, Mr. F. D. Bowles,
Mr. Carl Hentschel, Mr. James Roll (now Alderman),


Mr. F. Brinsley-Harper, Mr. J. G. Howell, Mr. W.
Cambden, Mr. S. J. Sandle, Mr. E. H. Green, the
Rev. Percival Clementi-Smith, M.A., Mr. L. A.
Newton, Mr. R. Green, Mr. T. Robinson, Mr. L.
Bamberger, Mr. C. P. Whiteley, Mr. Howarth Barnes,
Mr. G. Frankel, Mr. H. G. W. Brinsley, Mr. C. McCraig
Wither, Mr. G. C. H. Jennings, Mr. T. Ellis, Mr. W.
Hurst Brown, the Chamberlain (Sir J. Dimsdale),
the Town Clerk (Mr., now Sir, James Bell), and the
Remembrancer (Mr. A. Pollock), Mr. Alderman and
Sheriff Crosby, Mr. Sheriff W. H. Dunn (since Alder-
man, and Baronet).

I see by the papers that the Municipality of Berlin
propose a vote of 40,000 marks i.e., 2,000 as the
cost of our visit.

Sunday, 16th June. We arrived at Berlin about
7 p.m., and were received by Burgomaster Kirchner
and other municipal representatives, and taken to
our hotels; mine was the Bristol, where a fine suite
of rooms on the first floor was placed at my disposal.
This is the programme of the work and enjoyment
confronting us :

Morning. Visit to the Government School, Wilhelmstrasse, No. 10.

Visit to Public Baths, Barwaldstrasse, No. 64.

Visit to the Frederick High School, Mittenwalderstrasse
Nos. 31-34.

Lunch in the Rheingold Restaurant.
Afternoon. Inspection of the Rudolf Virchow Hospital.
Evening. Dinner in Town Hall, 8 p.m.


Morning. Visit to the Royal Museum and Technical School'

Andreasstrasse, Nos. 1/2.
Journey on the High and Underground Railways from the

Schleswig Gate to Charlottenburg.
Lunch at Town Hall, Charlottenburg.


Afternoon. Visit to the Charlottenburg School of Forestry.

Grunewald Colony.
Evening. Opera, 8 p.m. Reception afterwards at the Houses

of Parliament.


Morning. Visit Zoological Garden and Picture Galleries.

Lunch at the Picture Galleries.

Afternoon. Visit to the Municipal Institution at Buch.
Evening. Dinner, Zoological Garden.


Morning. Drive to Potsdam.
Evening. Dinner at Kaiserhof, 7 p.m.

Monday, 17th June. This morning (by-the-by,
this is Ascot week at home), just before ten, we went
off in motor-cars flying English and German flags;
each car took four of us, and a Berlin alderman,
who talked English, to a Board School, where the
Chief Burgomaster spoke a few words from the
master's rostrum, or stand, in the centre of the room.
After he had finished, I entered the stand and made
a little speech. Children sang hymns of welcome;
then there was a great chorus-song sung by the boys,
" Long Live the Kaiser." Singing national songs
is part of a child's education in Germany.

Then we saw some wonderful swimming and
gymnastic performances.

We lunched at the new Rheingold Restaurant,
which has accommodation for seating five thousand
people. We had a good lunch and no speeches, and
were then taken to the great Municipal Hospital
named after Dr. Virchow. This is a free hospital,
or series of hospitals, maintained by the rates,
equipped as are only the very best and most expensive


hospitals here. Berlin has a right to be proud of
this magnificent hospital.

We dined, and were formally welcomed, at a
gorgeous state banquet in the Town Hall, where
over a thousand of Berlin's most illustrious citizens
gathered to do us honour. Amongst those present
were Dr. Von Bethman-Hollweg, Minister of the
Interior; Herr Nicherding, Secretary of State for the
Department of Justice; Herr Dernberg, Secretary of
State for the Colonies. Count Posadowsky, the
Imperial Home Secretary, proposed the joint toast
of "The Kaiser and King Edward." I am able to
give his words :

" Gentlemen, In this place, in the Town Hall of
the capital of the German Empire, where so many
events full of significance for the German Empire,
the State of Prussia, and the City of Berlin have
already been celebrated, we have to-day the honour
to salute the Head of the City of London, the greatest
city of earth, which was an important trading place
already at the time of the' Romans, before Christ.
We have taken over from England the principle of
communal self-government in the modern sense.
When the Lord Mayor of London, the head of the
greatest city self-government corporation of this
giant city, which can look back on a history and
experience of 2,000 years, accompanied by numerous
City representatives, comes to Germany in order to
see the communal arrangements of our country, this
can only fill us with genuine pleasure; this means the
recognition that the German city authorities have
known how to comply with the rising requirements
of their office, and thus to offer the representatives


of such an ancient place of culture as London, many
things worth enquiring into, and perhaps even
imitating. As the representative of the Empire at
this festive meeting, I heartily welcome in Germany
the Lord Mayor of London. The Empire and State
authorities, jointly with the communal corporations,
will do their best to show our guests all the arrange-
ments in the social and communal domain that they
consider worth their examination. The fact that
in modern times the communal corporations in Great
Britain, as well as in Germany, have reached such
a tremendous development, is due to the Monarchs
of the two countries having showed great under-
standing and interest in the welfare of the quickly
growing town population, and to their statesman-
like wisdom, which left' in full confidence to the self-
government of the cities the problems of general
state administration. We wish, therefore, now, in
the first place, to honour the Monarchs of the two
great States, and to express to them our homage by
calling long life to His Majesty the German Kaiser,
King of Prussia, and His Majesty the King of Great
Britain and Ireland."

It was one of the Ministers of State sitting next to
me at the dinner, who said : " Hullo ! you've got the
Vicar of Wakefield with you." He was referring to
the Rev. P. Clementi-Smith, one of our party, who
has a very good head of white hair and a fine healthy-
looking, good-humoured countenance, and who would
certainly make a good representation of the Vicar
of Wakefield on a film.

In responding to the toast of " The Guests," pro-
posed by Burgomaster Kirchner, I told them that if


I were not Lord Mayor of London I would like to be
Chief Burgomaster of Berlin, and that I should be
disengaged early in November.

Tuesday, 18th June. To-day we went to two
museums, the Pergamon and the Kaiser Frederick,
and then went to Charlottenburg, a suburb of Berlin,
with a population of three hundred thousand, and
a separate corporation. At lunch here occurred
the affair described on p. 176. What interested me
here was the " Forest School," to which delicate or
sickly children are taken in trams or other vehicles,
and given lessons suitable to their state of health
in the open air, after which they are sent home in
the same way. It is a splendid idea, and is all done
out of the rates.

Wednesday, 19th June. We went to-day to the
Zoological Gardens, to some art galleries, and an
annual exhibition of paintings.

This evening we went to a gala performance at the
opera, where Donizetti's Daughter of the Regiment
was given, followed by an informal supper in the
large lobby of the Reichstag.

Thursday, 20th June. I received this morning the
following telegram from the Kaiser :

" I have received with many thanks your Lord-
ship's and Corporation of London's kind message.
I am particularly pleased to know that you will
to-day be my welcome guests at Potsdam, and
sincerely hope you may enjoy your visit. I regret
not to be able to be present myself, and have ordered
His Royal Highness Prince Frederick Leopold of
Prussia to represent me and receive you in my
name. WILHELM."


A special train took us to Waunsee on the River
Havel, where we embarked on a pretty little steamer
for Potsdam. At Potsdam we were received by
Baron von Reischbach, Lord Chamberlain, who
escorted me to a handsome barouche; I found that
all our party were similarly accommodated in royal
carriages, with attendant footmen in royal liveries.
We had a pleasant drive through the royal borough.
Before proceeding to the New Palace, the Emperor's
residence, we halted at the Garrison Church at
Potsdam, where, in the name of the Corporation,
I deposited a wreath on the iron casket of Frederick
the Great, which rests on a plain stone vault behind
the altar.

After seeing the rooms at the New Palace, and
admiring the park, we drove to the Sans Souci

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Online LibraryWilliam Purdie TreloarA lord mayor's diary, 1906-7 → online text (page 12 of 17)