162 Note by Bruce of Conversation with Attlee
I saw Attlee and had about half an hour with him. My object in
going to see him was to suggest that Orr should be included in the
United Kingdom Delegation to the Food Conference.  With this
view Attlee expressed his sympathy but pointed out that the matter
was not one for his decision but he undertook to take it up with
Woolton. I found subsequently that he had done so.
I then went on to wider questions and outlined to Attlee my view
of the necessity of dealing with post-war problems on an
imaginative basis. Everything I said is familiar and, as usual,
Attlee completely agreed but it is equally certain he will do
I then pointed out to Attlee that we had had an arrangement by
which he was to keep me advised of any Cabinet Meeting at which I
was not present.  That there had been three in the past week
and he had told me nothing.
Attlee, as usual, assumed an attitude of racking his mind for what
had happened and reached the usual conclusion that nothing had
been dealt with except domestic questions. I repeated my usual
offensive observation that it seemed to me an extraordinary thing
that the United Kingdom War Cabinet was doing nothing whatever,
but this failed to elicit any response from him.
I left him with the observation that the whole thing was a
complete farce and if I could only consult my own desires I would
give up the job. That, however, was not possible, but I added that
I would welcome it if circumstances forced me to do so. As usual
the conversation was very reminiscent of punching a pillow.
S. M. B.
[AA:M100, APRIL 1943]