Cofiant arweinydd y Blaid Ryddfrydol wedi'r Ail Ryfel Byd, gyda chyfeiriadau at ei anturiaethau cynnar, ei yrfa a'i fywyd personol; yn cynnwys 18 ffotograff du-a-gwyn.
A comprehensive biography of post-war Liberal Party leader Clement Davies, with reference to his early adventures as well as his later career and personal life; includes 18 black-and-white photographs.
The name of Clement Davies, the long-serving Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire, has long fallen into obscurity and we need to be reminded who exactly he was.
Born at Llanfyllin in 1884, he was one of the last politicians from the heyday of the Liberal Party, serving the county from 1929 to 1962 and leading his party from 1945 to 1956. A barrister by profession, like so many of his kind, he is still perhaps the least known leader the Liberal Party has ever produced.
He was, above all, a man who worked behind the scenes. He helped to bring about the downfall of Chamberlain and ensure that he was replaced by Churchill. It is said that, in 1951, at the nadir of the Liberal Partys fortunes, he refused Churchills offer of a coalition between his government and the Liberals as well as a Cabinet post for himself, thus preserving the integrity of his party as an independent political force but managing to keep it out of office yet again. He was still active in the Partys ranks when it showed signs of revival in the 1950s, but he died before it could entertain any hope of being restored as a radical alternative to Labour. There is not much more to say about his political career.
His personal life was marked by tragedy: three of his four children died suddenly at the age of twenty-four and his wife suffered mental ill health. He was addicted to alcohol. The inevitable honour was thwarted by his own illness. In 1962 his son went to see Harold Macmillan with a view to getting his father a viscountcy or baronry. A letter was drafted by the Prime Minister, but before it could be delivered Clem Davies was on his death-bed and died later the same day.
This book traces Daviess early years in Montgomeryshire and his dazzling career as a businessman; he was an executive director of Unilever. But the author, an active Liberal, is unable to breathe much life into what seems in retrospect a life that was lacking in great incident. Perhaps Daviess most impressive achievement outside the House of Commons was his report on tubercolosis in which he tried to shake the country out of its indifference to bad housing and poverty.
He was followed as MP for Montgomeryshire by Emlyn Hooson (now Lord Hooson) who, in a Foreword, opines: Without Clement Davies, I am convinced that the Liberal Party would not have survived the latter part of the twentieth century. That may be so, but I wish this rather bland book had given a stronger idea of the part he played.
It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgement should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
Gellir defnyddior adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatad Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.