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By John F. Naylor

The debate surrounding the ebook of Richard Crossman's cupboard Diaries (1975) dropped at the fore opposing techniques of 'open' and 'closed' executive inside Britain's unfastened society. whereas a stability has for the instant been struck in regards to the secrecy of cupboard court cases, a ancient query continues to be: via what procedure, and with what effects, has respectable secrecy come to envelop the practices of recent cupboard govt? This ebook tackles that key query, drawing upon a uniquely wide selection of legitimate and personal papers to check the old improvement of the cupboard place of work, the custodian of cupboard secrecy. demonstrated through Lloyd George within the administrative chaos of 1916, the cupboard Secretariat - because it used to be first recognized - emerged because the important supplier 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 unfastened from partisan taint and he in my opinion served all Britain's inter-war best Ministers as confidant and influential consultant.

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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. 105 The record-keeping function is clear, but the communication of decisions is every bit as important; as well, the reverse flow of information to the War Cabinet was provided for. Another crucial fact of information-gathering was secured through the appearance before the War Cabinet of ministers and military leaders; in this regard Carson provided a contemporary impression of how the new system functioned: On the Agenda paper (of some 15 items) there was a rough time-table as an indication to the ministers and others concerned of the time when their presence might be required, though of course the indication was far from precise and, though the War Cabinet worked very hard (straight on from about 1130 to about 7:30 daily), they could not depend on getting through the whole of the agenda.

Apparently the Cabinet Secretary considered an exchange of some personnel, inquiring whether Jones might move over to Downing Street, with Adams joining his office; Jones was not enthused, and the scheme came to nothing. The close co-operation of the two operations served to blur the distinction between them. Within the' Garden Suburb' Milner's attempt to place his cohorts met with greater success than it had in Hankey's operation: both Lionel Curtis and Philip Kerr, soon the most prominent of its personnel, were well-known 'Milnerites,' although generally its political coloration is more complex than has usually been depicted.

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.

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