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55 Note by Bruce

[LONDON], 6 October 1942

I learnt to-day of the Prime Minister's reactions to my letter of
the 25th September and my two Memoranda. [1]

Apparently he became somewhat violent on the subject and dictated,
and in fact signed, a letter to me in which I gather he suggested
that I was advocating a change of Government here and pointing out
that that was a matter for the United Kingdom Parliament to
decide, but he, the Prime Minister, did not take the view that
Parliament desired any such change. [2]

What else was in the letter I did not discover but I am under the
impression that it was fairly acid.

Apparently, contrary to what I would have expected, the Prime
Minister showed the Memorandum to somebody-whether it was any
other member of the War Cabinet I do not know. I am inclined to
think not, but it was probably Bridges and possibly Brown, his
Private Secretary. Whoever he showed the Memorandum to, and his
letter, apparently took the view that the Prime Minister had
somewhat gone off the rails and by some miracle persuaded him not
to send the letter. This, I think, is as well, because certainly
if what was in the letter was anything like what I gather, it
would have been no reply to what was in my Memorandum because
certainly the last thing I suggested was any change of Government

It seems the position is that the Prime Minister is not going to
send me any reply with regard to the Memorandum dealing with the
functioning of the War Cabinet here. This is possibly as well. As
far as I am concerned I have freed my conscience from any
responsibility of not telling the Prime Minister frankly what I
think, and it is quite possible that my frankness may have sown
some seed in the Prime Minister's mind.

It would be interesting to know whether in fact he showed the
Memorandum to any of his colleagues in the War Cabinet. If he did,
such colleague or colleagues would have been faced with a position
where he would either have to say that he was quite satisfied with
the way the Government was being run and that my contentions were
absurd, or he would have had to say that there was a good deal in
my point of view and have been compelled to press the Prime
Minister to make some changes even if they were not the changes I

With regard to the Memorandum in respect to the AIR I gather that
the Prime Minister has sent that to the Chiefs of Staff I will
have to wait for a day or so to try and confirm whether this is
so, but if the Prime Minister has not done anything about my
Memorandum I will have to return to the charge-probably by
insisting on my Memorandum being distributed to the Members of the
War Cabinet. This, however, can wait for the moment.

1 See Document 52 and Enclosures.

2 There is a copy of this letter in PRO:PREM 4/50/11.

[AA:M100, October 1942]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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