Sir: I think your diarist (8 January) was wrong about Sidney Webb having been the last Cabinet minister to wear a beard. Tony Benn, in his diary, writes as follows:
There were jokes in Cabinet about my new beard and Michael Stewart reminded me of what Attlee had said when Sydney Silverman, MP for Nelson and Colne, grew a beard. He had said, "I move previous face" and indeed Harold began by saying, "Motions to move previous face are out of order." (p215 of the one-volume edition)
That was 19 August 1969.
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