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Lord Leverhulme expressed grave concern at various points during the First World War about the disruption to trade. In truth Lever Brothers had done very well out of the war as the company met government and army needs for soap, glycerine and margarine, and it was poised to take advantage of pent-up demand. In the midst of the turbulent post-war years, Lever was devoting a considerable portion of his energy and enthusiasm to his new project in the Outer Hebrides. Amidst his fulminations against the raiders and the Scottish Office, Lever made a rare public concession to underlying economic realities in a speech at the Stornoway Highland Games. It is indeed difficult to imagine that Lever would have pulled the plug on his entire operation on Lewis just because of some small farms that were not essential to his schemes.

‘So clean’

Lord Leverhulme, soap and civilization


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