By John F. Naylor
The talk surrounding the book of Richard Crossman's cupboard Diaries (1975) delivered to the fore opposing techniques of 'open' and 'closed' govt inside of Britain's unfastened society. whereas a stability has for the instant been struck in regards to the secrecy of cupboard lawsuits, a old query continues to be: by means of what strategy, and with what effects, has authentic secrecy come to envelop the practices of recent cupboard executive? This ebook tackles that key query, drawing upon a uniquely wide selection of reliable and personal papers to ascertain the ancient improvement of the cupboard place of work, the custodian of cupboard secrecy. demonstrated via Lloyd George within the administrative chaos of 1916, the cupboard Secretariat - because it used to be first identified - emerged because the significant organisation for the administration of cupboard company, operating heavily with the top Minister himself. In Sir Maurice Hankey's twenty-two-year time period as cupboard secretary, he presided over the institutionalisation of the Secretariat as an workplace unfastened from partisan taint and he for my part served all Britain's inter-war leading Ministers as confidant and influential consultant.
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Extra resources for A Man and an Institution: Sir Maurice Hankey, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Custody of Cabinet Secrecy
165 Confronted by Hankey's full explanation, Curzon yielded, although not without one further egotistical outburst. ' 168 In dealing with Curzon, Hankey had underscored the direct use of Cabinet Minutes in the execution of policy by the departments; thus he had to clarify deliberations which sometimes made an unambiguous decision difficult to discern. In this regard his own talents were brought to bear, according to the description of a post-war Cabinet Office associate, Frederick Leith-Ross: He had an uncanny instinct for extracting a decision out of a Cabinet dicussion.
C. 98 There is little question that Hankey made his mark upon the ministers with whom he came into contact: Asquith did not hesitate to name him Secretary to the War Council, formed in November 1914. '101 Hankey walked away from that historic meeting - the first 'outsider' to attend a Cabinet meeting to maintain a record of its proceedings102 - with a massive task at hand. 104 One senses that Carson thought the old Cabinet far too discursive - hence the success of the smaller version; yet it was also the tendency to duplicate discussion in war committee and full Cabinet which the new ' system of control' had been devised to correct.
The records of the two men afford a unique view of the operation of the new system of Cabinet government. Jones stood on peculiar footing from the first, possessing what he described as ' the privilege of direct access [to Lloyd George] whenever I sought it,'110 in addition to functional responsibilities within the Secretariat. His first interview with his superior established Jones' style: ' I . . talked over the sort of work I might do. L. G. had spoken to him. I explained that I didn't want to touch office machinery but rather to act as a fluid person moving about among people who mattered and keeping the P.
A Man and an Institution: Sir Maurice Hankey, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Custody of Cabinet Secrecy by John F. Naylor