Labour and Whitehall mistrusted each other
CABINET SECRETS OF 1964: Stephen Ward and Stephen Castle review files n ow in the public domain
Monday 02 January 1995
On 30 October, just after Labour narrowly won the election, Derek Mitchell, private secretary at Downing Street, sent a memo to the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, on the eve of the first Labour Budget, giving a message that highlighted the new Government's inexperience: "Warn Cabinet against leaking." Only three of the new Cabinet had served as ministers before.
Mr Wilson's inexperience of office and suspicion of the civil service, or his colleagues, led him, after a month as Prime Minister, to demand to see every document from every important meeting.
Mr Mitchell sent him a memorandum on 29 October 1964 saying: "We make a point of course of receiving and scanning papers of all Ministerial Cabinet Committees . . . It would be helpful to know how many you would like to see yourself.
"Are you content that we should pull out ones which are important, or would you like us to show to you all papers of certain committees?"
The Prime Minister scribbled his reply at the top of the memorandum: "Certainly Economic Development. I think all the others for the time being 'til I get clear which are important."
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 Friends 20th anniversary: Alison Jackson photographs reunited cast
- 3 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...
£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...