By John F. Naylor
The debate surrounding the booklet of Richard Crossman's cupboard Diaries (1975) dropped at the fore opposing recommendations of 'open' and 'closed' govt inside Britain's unfastened society. whereas a stability has for the instant been struck about the secrecy of cupboard lawsuits, a ancient query continues to be: via what method, and with what effects, has respectable secrecy come to envelop the practices of contemporary cupboard govt? This ebook tackles that key query, drawing upon a uniquely wide selection of respectable and personal papers to check the old improvement of the cupboard place of work, the custodian of cupboard secrecy. demonstrated by means of Lloyd George within the administrative chaos of 1916, the cupboard Secretariat - because it used to be first recognized - emerged because the relevant corporation for the administration of cupboard company, operating heavily with the major 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 loose from partisan taint and he in my view served all Britain's inter-war leading Ministers as confidant and influential consultant.
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The debate surrounding the e-book of Richard Crossman's cupboard Diaries (1975) dropped at the fore opposing options of 'open' and 'closed' govt inside Britain's unfastened society. whereas a stability has for the instant been struck about the secrecy of cupboard lawsuits, a historic query is still: through what technique, and with what effects, has legitimate secrecy come to envelop the practices of contemporary cupboard executive?
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Extra info for A Man and an Institution: Sir Maurice Hankey, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Custody of Cabinet Secrecy
Some Ministers were in favour of no record of arguments at all and merely a bald statement of the Conclusions. There was a good deal of feeling against recording the views of individual members of the Cabinet unless they definitely expressed dissent with a Conclusion. 161 A year later, Hankey reiterated this concern for the doctrine of collective responsibility: 'Broadly speaking . . 162 However, Hankey acknowledged one exception to the precept that the views of individual War Cabinet ministers ought not be recorded: if he spoke upon a certain topic as an expert - he gave the diplomatic example of Curzon on India - then his views were recorded.
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. What was the basis for that system? Clearly it took its point of departure from Hankey's proposed' Draft Rules of Procedure,' drawn up for the War Cabinet and subsequently discussed by that body.
90 Though the CID studied specific war plans in the last months of 1914, its limited co-ordinating functions had already passed to The origins of the Cabinet Secretariat 25 the War Council, a partly advisory, partly executive body which served Asquith's style well. The CID Secretariat had been placed at the disposal of the War Council, and Hankey brought to that body a secretarial apparatus which went without challenge at the sub-Cabinet level. ' Through the end of 1916, and even into the last year of the war, the government proposed as they might; the military by and large disposed as they pleased.
A Man and an Institution: Sir Maurice Hankey, the Cabinet Secretariat and the Custody of Cabinet Secrecy by John F. Naylor