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By John F. Naylor

The talk surrounding the e-book of Richard Crossman's cupboard Diaries (1975) delivered to the fore opposing strategies of 'open' and 'closed' executive inside of Britain's loose society. whereas a stability has for the instant been struck in regards to the secrecy of cupboard lawsuits, a historic query is still: by means of what approach, and with what effects, has legitimate secrecy come to envelop the practices of contemporary cupboard govt? This booklet tackles that key query, drawing upon a uniquely wide variety of legitimate and personal papers to envision the old improvement of the cupboard workplace, the custodian of cupboard secrecy. confirmed by means of Lloyd George within the administrative chaos of 1916, the cupboard Secretariat - because it used to be first identified - emerged because the principal organization 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 in my opinion served all Britain's inter-war top 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

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Across Downing Street, within the ambit of the Prime Minister, the day of the secretary of the CID dawned in 1904; he was to prove no scribe either, nor was his lineal descendant, the Cabinet Secretary of December 1916. Yet in its dozen years of pre-war experience the CID did not become the powerful agency which Esher hoped to secure in the 1904 reorganization. The reason was structural: Balfour did not insist that CID conclusions should be the basis upon which the War Office and Admiralty shape their roles; thus the CID judgment of 1905 that Britain need not take seriously the prospect of invasion did not influence the services' military planning.

Lord Derby's restrained language of 1877 - ' he understood that the recollection of some of his colleagues was of a different character' - stands as an early epitaph for a lack of system which, at its worst, precipitated unjustified and unnecessary ministerial resignations. 62 Earlier, Hankey had witnessed at a remove ministerial misunderstanding and the imprecise execution of a Cabinet decision on 29 July 1914 to put into immediate operation measures deemed precautionary in view of the outbreak of war in Europe.

Any Minister requiring to bring up a matter either of Departmental or of public importance had to seek the permission of the Prime Minister to do so. No one else, broadly speaking, was armed in advance. It was difficult for any Minister to secure an interstice in the discussion in which he could place his own case. No record whatever was kept of our proceedings, except the private and personal letter written by the Prime Minister to the Sovereign, the contents of which, in any case, are never seen by anybody else.

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