A Man and an Institution: Sir Maurice Hankey, the Cabinet by John F. Naylor

By John F. Naylor

The debate surrounding the book of Richard Crossman's cupboard Diaries (1975) dropped at the fore opposing suggestions 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 court cases, a old query is still: through what strategy, and with what effects, has legit secrecy come to envelop the practices of recent cupboard executive? This e-book tackles that key query, drawing upon a uniquely wide variety of legitimate and personal papers to ascertain the ancient improvement of the cupboard place of work, the custodian of cupboard secrecy. verified by means of Lloyd George within the administrative chaos of 1916, the cupboard Secretariat - because it was once first identified - emerged because the valuable company for the administration of cupboard enterprise, operating heavily with the leading 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 place of work unfastened from partisan taint and he in my view 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

Sample text

The whole arrangement appeared to be effective and businesslike, but I [C. P. Scott, Carson's interlocuter] remarked that it appeared to place the great officers of State in an extremely subordinate position. 106 To strengthen the Secretariat's personnel, the War Cabinet approved, on 18 December, the appointments of four Assistant Secretaries: G. M. 28 A man and an institution Young transferred from the Board of Education; Thomas Jones, for the rest of his life a confidant of the great and their satraps, was posted with Young to the civilian side; Captain Clement Jones and Temporary Captain L.

Etc. 118 Obviously, the Secretariat experimented in order to improve the flow of business, surely sharing - whatever the temporary setbacks - the conviction voiced by Leo Amery to the Prime Minister of Australia that secretarial techniques could overcome the failures of the old order: We have in fact swept away altogether the old system which you saw working at the very height of its inefficiency when you were over here of twenty-three gentlemen assembling without any purpose and without any idea of what they were going to talk about, and eventually dispersing for lunch without any idea of what they had really discussed or decided, and certainly without any recollection on either point three months later.

Neither basic question was settled with the establishment of the Cabinet Secretariat, but Hankey and his staff strove for answers which would make the new system an effective means of government, while at the same time protecting the integrity of War Cabinet proceedings. Although the records of the Committee of Imperial Defence represented a precedent of sorts, there the pattern of recordkeeping had changed considerably over a decade. 150 Despite this change, there was no formal repeal of the secretarial precepts laid down in 1903 for the 'part-timer who did not pretend to know the job':151 It was agreed that no attempt should be made in the Minutes to summarize the conclusions of the Committee or to record the arguments used during the discussions.

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