Lord Lloyd and the Decline of the British Empire by John Charmley (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, £18) THIS is about a man on the fringes of power who never quite made it as a successful politician. Born George Lloyd, of the family of Stewart and Lloyd, the tube manufacturers, he went to Eton, married Lord Harewood's niece, was a friend of Churchill and T E Lawrence, an Arabist, an antiappeasement man in the days when success seemed to come to politicians through supporting the appeasement of Hitler;
Governor General of Bombay and there responsible for locking Gandhi up; High Commissioner in Egypt, sending British gunboats to Alexandria; the only cabinet minister to fly over Germany in a bombing raid.
Lord Lloyd's main characteristic seems to have been an obsessive restlessness which took him all over the place (mainly the Middle East) on his travels and must have made life difficult for his family. He seems to have had many good qualities but somehow never comes across with any vividness.