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Lord Salisbury, 19th-century Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, dismissed the Daily Mail as "a newspaper produced by office boys for office boys." With Harold running the business side of the operation and Alfred as Editor, the Mail from the start adopted an imperialist political stance, taking a patriotic line in the Second Boer War, leading to claims that it was not reporting the issues of the day objectively.
From the beginning, the Mail also set out to entertain its readers with human interest stories, serials, features and competitions (which were also the main means by which the Harmsworths promoted the paper).
(For full list see Daily Mail aviation prizes.) Before the outbreak of World War I, the paper was accused of warmongering when it reported that Germany was planning to crush the British Empire.
When war began, Northcliffe's call for conscription was seen by some as controversial, although he was vindicated when conscription was introduced in 1916.
By 1922 the editorial side of the paper was fully engaged in promoting the benefits of modern appliances and technology to free its female readers from the drudgery of housework.
On 25 October 1924, the Daily Mail published the forged Zinoviev letter, which indicated that British Communists were planning violent revolution.
Fifteen hundred members of the London Stock Exchange burned unsold copies and called for a boycott of the Harmsworth Press. When Kitchener died, the Mail reported it as a great stroke of luck for the British Empire.This was a contest with a prize of £100 for a new design of hat — a subject in which Northcliffe took a particular interest.There were 40,000 entries and the winner was a cross between a top hat and a bowler christened the Daily Mail Sandringham Hat.In 1900 the Daily Mail began printing simultaneously in both Manchester and London, the first national newspaper to do so (in 1899, the Daily Mail had organised special trains to bring the London-printed papers north).The same production method was adopted in 1909 by the Daily Sketch, in 1927 by the Daily Express and eventually by virtually all the other national newspapers.