'RAB' RAPHAEL was head of the Information Division at the Treasury from 1959 to 1968 but was most unlike the archetype of a career civil servant, writes Peter Jay.
He was an india-rubber ball of energy, good humour and proactivity, always poking his head round people's doors: friendly, alert, keeping in touch, and sensitive to people and their moods and styles. He had more visibly human qualities than were customarily shown at the Treasury.
Journalists thought of Information Division Treasury (IDT) as a press office; but that was only one of the many functions it performed. It also published newsletters, handled public appearances, and broadcasting. Raphael as the Head of Information attended all the important meetings and was essentially the Chancellor of the Exchequer's spokesperson, in a time before the idea of public 'image' was current.
Raphael was immensely genial, likeable and liked. Indeed, he loved the Treasury and wanted very much for it to be successful. But I came to realise afterwards that he was a man of considerably more parts as a scholar and novelist than life at the Treasury allowed one to perceive.