In 1916 the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, chose the very able administrator Alfred Milner to join his War Cabinet. Previously he had been in charge, successively, of food-production and coal - mining. The Prime Minister sent Milner on key international missions; most importantly to the Western Front where he successfully healed the serious rift that had developed between the British and French commands. At the end of the war Milner held the office of Secretary of State for War. This oil sketch was made by Guthrie in preparation for his great commission ‘Statesmen of the Great War’.