Alfred Milner stood above all others at the centre of this elite cabal. He was involved from the start and dedicated to the cause of elite Anglo-Saxon global rule. He maintained unquestioned authority among fellow members of the secret society, no matter their great riches and background. He was perhaps the one man among them who completely understood the entire process of manipulating power and dictating history, and was fearless in his ultimate objective. Without Milner at the helm from the moment of Rhodes death in 1902, it is doubtful if any other could have held the Secret Elite together with the steely determination to instigate the First World War. Unelected and unaccountable, he later sat in the inner-most sanctum of Lloyd George’s War Cabinet directing the British war policies from 1916-1918, a testament to his true stature. Yet he is virtually unknown to all but a few academics, deliberately airbrushed from history, hidden from unwanted intrusion from those who still seek to know and understand the First World War.
Milner was cocooned by the most powerful men in the British Empire. He held sway with the Rothschilds and other immensely wealthy bankers, with the shadowy Lord Esher who controlled access to the monarch, with the press baron, Lord Northcliffe and editors and writers for The Times and other major newspapers. He had the ear of monarchs and was ennobled as Viscount Milner. While Governor General in South Africa he had drawn around him a select group of Oxford graduates from Balliol and New College, moulding them into the most loyal and trustworthy acolytes known as Milner’s Kindergarten. Names like Lionel Curtis, Leo Amery, Philip Kerr, Robert Brand, Geoffrey Dawson and John Buchan went on to play highly significant roles for the Secret Elite in their war against Germany, and were rewarded with stellar careers in politics, law, business and finance. They were always Milner’s men. He was likewise intimately associated with top men in British politics. In the Liberal party they included Henry Asquith, Edward Grey, David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. His association with Conservative leaders such as Arthur Balfour, Lord Lansdowne, Lord George Curzon, Robert Cecil and Edward Carson was born in Oxford, blossomed through the Boer War years, and never ceased to bear fruit in directing policy from behind closed doors. Milner was also closely linked to the British military hierarchy, Field Marshall Lord Roberts in particular, during his years in South Africa at the time of the Boer War.
The Boer War proved an embarrassment which demonstrated clearly that the British Army was not fit for purpose and had to be reformed. This vital task was given to Alfred Milner’s trusted friend, the Liberal member of parliament, Richard Haldane. As Secretary of State for War from 1905-1912, Haldane successfully created the British Expeditionary Force and modernised the War Office. However, the all powerful Field Marshall Lord Roberts who, although nominally retired from the army in 1905, retained his influence on military high command from behind the scenes. Like many of the earliest members of the Secret Elite, Roberts had bonded with Milner in the heat of the Boer War and was encouraged to continue his elder-statesman role among the high ranking officers of the British Army. As a member of the Secret Elite, Roberts’s approval for those appointed to most senior posts was a pre-requisite for their success, and they ultimately formed a cadre of senior officers that we have named the ‘Robert’s Academy’.
Officers with outstanding leadership qualities and clear strategic thinking were overlooked for promotion, while members of the Roberts Academy with little discernible talent were promoted on the basis of their intense loyalty to the old field marshal and the secret agenda to which he was committed. The ordinary British soldier paid a very high price indeed for the disgraceful nepotism and outdated ideas of the Roberts Academy. Men such as General Douglas Haig, who ordered the disastrous attack at the Somme in 1916, retained greater faith in the effectiveness of the 19th century cavalry charge over the machine gun. Through Lord Roberts, Secret Elite influence over the British army and its preparations for war with Germany was absolute. In expanding our understanding of Secret Elite control, we have added the armed forces to Professor Quigley’s concept of their ‘triple-front penetration’ of politics, press and the writing of history.
One of the most secret bodies entrusted with the task of preparing Britain for war with Germany was the Committee for Imperial Defence, (CID) set up after the Boer War fiasco to assist and advise the prime minister. Few politicians knew of the Committee’s existence and fewer still were aware of its top-secret sub-committee empowered in 1905 to prepare for joint military and naval action with France. The CID was dominated and controlled by the Secret Elite. Lord Esher was given permanent membership. Maurice Hankey, the powerful secretary of the CID was approved by both Milner and Roberts, and likewise was on 3 August 1914 a member of the Secret Elite. He organised meetings, prepared agendas and minutes, and requested every government department in Whitehall to prepare a War Book with detailed instructions on what to do once war was declared. Hankey’s value to the Secret Elite was unmatched and his influence eventually extended to the War Cabinet itself. Only the Secret Elite and their agents in government, Asquith, Grey, Haldane, Churchill and Lloyd George, knew about the preparations being made jointly with France and Russia for war with Germany. By August 1914, Prime Minister Asquith and Foreign Secretary Grey had repeatedly denied Britain’s secret commitment to go to war, and continually lied about it in parliament.
The most powerful department of government, and one that seemed to be solely accountable to itself, was the Foreign Office. Headed from 1906 onwards by Sir Edward Grey, it manipulated treaties, approved secret codicils, organised royal visits, fostered Secret Elite-supported conferences across the Empire and the Dominions, and controlled every aspect of British foreign policy. Grey had been chosen as Foreign Secretary by the Secret Elite as a safe pair of hands to lead this global power-base even although he had no justifiable qualifications to do so. He was barely coherent in spoken French, then the international language of diplomacy, and as Foreign Secretary, never left the shores of Britain until 1914. He was guided at every turn by the Secret Elite’s carefully selected mandarins in permanent posts within the Foreign Office. Sir Edward Grey was academically undistinguished, took his politics from The Times editorials, and was protected by his associates in the Secret Elite. He was a staunch imperialist fully attuned to the Secret Elite objective and had the support of Alfred Milner. He was rarely challenged in parliament by either his own Liberal Party or the opposition, and on 3 August 1914 it was he who steamrollered the Cabinet and parliament into a declaration of war with Germany. The men who pulled the strings behind this puppet-statesman were linked to Milner and the Secret Elite in a variety of ways; they included the vehemently anti-German Sir Eyre Crowe, permanent secretary Sir Arthur Nicolson, Sir George Buchanan, ambassador to Russia, Sir Francis Bertie, ambassador to France and Viscount Bryce, who had been ambassador to the United States. These were the men who controlled the information that was passed to Grey, annotated diplomatic telegrams and prepared his speeches. All had important roles to play in the genesis of the war and in the war itself.
This secret, select, privileged, wealthy and frequently ennobled cabal steadily embraced the wealthiest international bankers and industrialists whose interests, by the eve of war, stretched across the Atlantic to America. Some were members of the Secret Elite inner core like Lord Nathaniel (Natty) Rothschild who ensured that Alfred Milner had no financial worries by giving him a directorship of his highly profitable Rio Tinto mining company. Milner was also made a member of the London Joint Stock Bank, director of the Mortgage Company of Egypt, and the Bank of British West Africa. Indeed, so many lucrative posts were thrust at him that Milner had to turn down a directorship of The Times and of the armaments giant, Armstrong-Whitworth. Despite these multiple directorships, Alfred Milner’s most important post was as unchallenged leader of the Secret Elite.
Do not for a second imagine that the financial world’s allegiance and patronage of Milner and the Secret Elite was limited to the Rothschilds. Sir Ernest Cassel, friend and financier to King Edward VII, Lord John Revelstoke of Barings Bank, members of the Bank of England, the Rand millionaires Sir Alfred Beit and Sir Abe Bailey and later associates like Waldorf Astor were all closely involved. The British South Africa Company was a nest of Secret Elite vipers, and most tellingly, they controlled vast holdings in the armaments industry. Vickers, the Nobel Dynamite Trust, Cammel Laird, John Brown Shipbuilders and Armstrong Whitworth were but some of the international companies whose major shareholders were linked to the secret society.