Leading Article: One you needn't wait 30 years for

Click to follow
The Independent Online
WHILE other newspapers were combing the official papers of 1963, the Independent on Sunday enjoyed a privileged glimpse of Cabinet records from 1993. One document caught our eye: the minute of a meeting in Downing Street in the spring between John Major (PM) and Ted Dexter (D), then chairman of the England cricket committee. We reproduce it here.

'PM welcomed D and explained he wanted to discuss the performance of the England cricket side in their recent tour. D said it was poor and this was a pity. PM said it was a very great pity indeed. After a short silence PM asked if any changes were planned and D expressed the view that it would be foolish to rush into anything. PM observed that the Press was very hostile. D said he only read the Telegraph. PM thought this interesting (see note 431b to Press Secretary) but asked if D had considered recommending a more cautious approach to the batsmen and a more aggressive one to the bowlers. D thanked PM but said he already received excellent advice; PM might be better employed worrying about the economy. PM, surprised, said he too received excellent advice, from the Chancellor. D said he understood that (name deleted) had difficulty distinguishing between certain parts of his anatomy. PM again expressed surprise. D asked if PM had considered making changes; from what he read in the Telegraph the whole Cabinet was a pretty poor shower, but the aforementioned minister was particularly wanting. Concluding, PM thanked D for his views, said their talk had given him an important idea and asked whether they might discuss economics more often. D declined, saying he felt cricket was his strong suit.'