Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Churchillian advice for Blair

The covering minute sheet on archived government files provides space for officials and ministers to comment on the content of the official papers within. The minutes often provide highly entertaining banter that reveals far more than the dry documents they enclose.

Here’s Churchill tempering the enthusiasm of his private secretary, Edward Marsh, for the Americans’ contribution to the Allied victory in the First World War:

EM: ‘I’m in favour of kissing him [Uncle Sam] on both cheeks.’
WSC: ‘But not on all four.’
(Christopher Hassall, Edward Marsh, London 1959, p.484)

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