By Anthony King (eds.)
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Additional info for The British Prime Minister
Harold Wilson 23 Recent working dinners at Number 10 have assembled, on separate occasions, groups of leading industrialists, merchant bankers and other city leaders, and representatives of the film industry; in addition, there was a small lunch to discuss the National Enterprise Board (NEB) and another to consider the provision of public (or private) funds for technological innovation in industry. After March 1974, a series of' city' dinners was arranged, alternatively in Number 10 and the governor's flat in the Bank of England, with the city representatives, including some of the younger generation, chosen by the governor.
The formal taking of a decision by cabinet depends on the form of words used by the prime minister in summing up, subject to their agreement by cabinet with such drafting amendments as might be proposed. Winston Churchill, though a great and heroic war leader and an unrivalled master of the English language, had no claims to crispness and conciseness in reaching a decision and embodying it in a summing up, certainly on non-military issues, which tended to bore him. In my address to the British Academy, I described my own expenence: In 1940, on a famous occasion, I recorded the Cabinet minutes, at the age of 24.
Telephone communication was difficult and not as secret as it is now. m. I was at the cabinet table having dinner when the prime minister came down and sat next to me. As his other neighbour was a minister of cabinet rank not in the cabinet, I could not comment on events which we were pledged to keep secret. Equally, I felt he would be too preoccupied for small talk. Suddenly he turned to me and said, 'Just been reading Guedalla. '. I answered, 'Arthur Bryant'. 'So do 1', he said and for half an hour we discussed their books.
The British Prime Minister by Anthony King (eds.)