CHURCHILL, Winston Spencer (1874-1965). A series of two autograph letters signed and sixteen letters signed to Norman Brook (later Lord Normanbrook), 10 Downing Street, 28 Hyde Park Gate, Chartwell, The Middlesex Hospital, 22 August 1950 - 4 December...
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CHURCHILL, Winston Spencer (1874-1965). A series of two autograph letters signed and sixteen letters signed to Norman Brook (later Lord Normanbrook), 10 Downing Street, 28 Hyde Park Gate, Chartwell, The Middlesex Hospital, 22 August 1950 - 4 December 1964 and n.d., 3 pages, 8vo, in autograph, and 2 pages, 8vo, and 13 pages, 4to, typescript (occasional slight discolouration), pasted or tipped in to an album, with supplementary material including three letters from Clementine Churchill, photographs of the Brooks with the Churchills at Chartwell, and papers relating to Churchill's funeral, 56 pages, 4to , some blanks, half red morocco, lettered on spine 'W.S.C. and N.C.B.' (spotting); [ with :] Norman BROOK, a lockable notebook recording 'Unconsidered Sayings of W.S.C.' on Tito, Clement Attlee, foreign affairs and other subjects, with notes on Mackenzie King, Balfour, Oliver Stanley and others, and letters from Clementine Churchill (4), Attlee, and Harold Macmillan (6), 18½ pages, 4to in Brook's autograph , black roan (worn). Provenance . Norman Brook; and by descent. PRIVATE LETTERS FROM CHURCHILL TO HIS SECRETARY OF THE CABINET. The earliest letter sends thanks for help with his The Second World War , and reflects Churchill's prevailing gloom at the state of post-war Europe, 'I am continually oppressed by the sense of the perils which surround us now'. A number of the letters offer congratulations or thanks, reflecting the intimate relationship between the Prime Minister and the linchpin of his cabinet administration: on 14 May 1953 Churchill writes that he is recommending Brook for a Privy Counsellorship, and on 22 June 1954 for an honorary degree at Bristol University; an undated letter later the same year offers thanks for Brook's 'very great help...with my statement on the Hydrogen Bomb'. Two letters pay direct tribute to Brook's indispensability: an illness in September 1954 prompts Churchill to assure him that 'Although your absence is always unwelcome, I am sure it would be a mistake for you to return to your office before you are restored to your normal health and vigour'; on Brook's impending retirement in 1963 Churchill declares that 'an irreplaceable part has been taken from the machinery of government'. In an interesting letter of 29 May 1955 Churchill comments after his own retirement from office: 'I feel that the Prime Minister [Eden] is well established in the goodwill and confidence of the country. The stability of Britain plays a great part in the stability of the world'. Norman Craven Brook, Baron Normanbrook (1902-1967) was Secretary of the Cabinet from 1947 to 1962, a post he combined from 1956 with those of joint Permanent Secretary of the Treasury and head of the Home Civil Service, as well as being for sixteen years Secretary to the Meetings of the Commonwealth Heads of Goverment. Combining 'exceptional administrative ability' ( DNB ) with firm views on the importance of self-effacing and minimalist administration, he was the foremost civil servant of his generation. (2)
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