Catalogue Browser

Back to Catalogue Browser

Back to CHAR 2 Public and political: general

CHAR 2/393 Public and Political: General: Personal Office correspondence, C-D, many congratulating WSC on becoming Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party and praising his leadership.

  Reference Description Date range  
CHAR 2/393/25

Letter from Anne Chamberlain to WSC, explaining that she had just got back from the Nursing Home and wanted to tell him that [Arthur] Neville Chamberlain's operation had gone most successfully. She writes that the doctors had said Chamberlain bore it extremely well, and that there was no need for a further operation. She adds that she knew WSC would like to hear this, ending by saying how lovely it was to think that it was over. Signed manuscript.

1 folio
29 Jul 1940
CHAR 2/393/27

Letter from [Arthur] Neville Chamberlain to WSC, thanking him for his note, and letting him know that Chamberlain's doctors were still professing complete satisfaction with his progress. Chamberlain remarks that as this was his first experience of an operation, he was probably exaggerating its drawbacks, but still found these more numerous and various than he had expected, but should be past the worst symptoms by now, and hoped to get out of bed by the next day. He adds that he would like to take a week off in the country, as he thought it should do him good, and ends by saying "Damn those Japs!" and wishing that they could give the Japanese a kick in the pants. Signed manuscript.

1 folio
06 Aug 1940
CHAR 2/393/28

Letter from [Arthur] Neville Chamberlain to WSC, explaining that he had previously proposed to return on 2nd September, but would like to take another week, until 9th September, bringing it up to six weeks since his operation. Chamberlain is confident that the extra time would help him to work harder when he returns, as he had progressed more in the last few days than in the two preceding weeks. He describes his improving progress, adding that Lord Halifax [Foreign Secretary, earlier Edward Wood and Lord Irwin] had told him that he could adapt his own plans to fit in with Chamberlain's continued absence. He assures WSC that he received information every day and was following affairs closely, and heartily agreed with WSC's policy on taking American destroyers [in return for] allowing the United States use of British territory [as naval and air bases]; he adds that the American attitude infuriated him, but they couldn't win without American help. Chamberlain remarks on WSC's recent visit to Dover [Kent], saying that he was glad WSC hadn't been shelled, and noting that the German invasion was now supposed to happen in early September, though he hadn't noticed which year was specified. He also remarks that there hadn't been any bombs falling too close, though he had heard a time delayed bomb going off recently, and says that he is sure they were being dealt with, though he couldn't imagine how. Signed manuscript.

1 folio
29 Aug 1940
CHAR 2/393/34

Letter from Anne Chamberlain to WSC, letting him know that she had given [Arthur] Neville Chamberlain his note, and that he was taking WSC's advice [to leave London]. She explains that they were leaving that night, which would ensure Chamberlain a good night's rest. She also notes that 1st Lord Horder [consultant physician and cancer specialist] would be in the same neighbourhood, as they were going to the same place as before, and they hoped to have better nights. She explains how grateful she is, as she was sure Chamberlain's recent upset had been greatly due to lack of sleep. In a postscript, she passes on Chamberlain's appreciation for WSC's consideration. Signed manuscript.

1 folio
19 Sep 1940
CHAR 2/393/39

Letter from [Arthur] Neville Chamberlain to WSC, thanking him for his letter; he states that WSC's acceptance of his resignation was not unexpected, and his only regret was that he couldn't give WSC the help which he'd hoped to offer until the end of the war. Chamberlain supposes that WSC would delay announcing the resignation until he'd reordered the Government, and that he would then publish their correspondence. As he thought that their letters were too detailed for this purpose, Chamberlain proposes to rewrite his, just to recapitulate his reasons for resigning, and the letters could then be published with the announcement of other changes. Signed manuscript.

1 folio
30 Sep 1940
CHAR 2/393/41

Letter from [Arthur] Neville Chamberlain to WSC, enclosing his letter [of resignation, for publication]. He explains that he wouldn't have time to see WSC's reply before publication, but assures him that he was happy to leave its terms to him. He also says how kind it was of WSC to think of putting him forward for the Order of the Garter (or for a peerage, as WSC had offered before), but explains that he would rather die as "plain Mr Chamberlain", like his father before him. He ends by saying that he would continue to watch WSC's conduct of affairs with anxious solicitude, and with earnest wishes for his success. Signed manuscript.

1 folio
01 Oct 1940
CHAR 2/393/42

Letter from [Arthur] Neville Chamberlain to WSC, explaining that on his return to London after his operation, he had hoped to increase his capacity for work until he could answer any call that WSC might make on him. However, unfortunately he had not been able to make progress, due to the minor difficulties following the operation, and the unusual stress of the situation. Chamberlain assures WSC that since his return to the country, his condition had improved, but it was evident that it would be a long time before he could take on the duties essential for a member of the War Cabinet, so in the national interest he offered his resignation. Chamberlain expresses his appreciation of WSC's kindness and consideration since the formation of his Government, and states his unshaken confidence that under his leadership Britain would succeed "in overcoming the forces of barbarism" which had reduced much of Europe to a condition little better than slavery. Signed manuscript [intended for publication].

1 folio
01 Oct 1940
CHAR 2/393/44

Letter from Anne Chamberlain (Highfield Park, Heckfield, Basingstoke [Hampshire]) to WSC, thanking him for his letter [of condolence, following the death of (Arthur) Neville Chamberlain]. She explains that she finds it hard to say anything more, but tells him that Chamberlain shared his sense of comradeship, and had felt sure that WSC too would never give in. Signed manuscript.

1 folio
12 Nov 1940
CHAR 2/393/98-101

Copy of a letter from Kathleen Hill [Secretary to WSC] to the Editor of the Daily Herald [Percy Cudlipp] about a misrepresentation of WSC's speech in the House of Commons. She encloses a cutting and transcript of the extract from the Daily Herald and an extract from the Official Report of WSC's speech, explaining that WSC was not "'promising' to sink all German ships in the Skagerrak and Kattegat [between Norway and Denmark], but only to give the fullest liberty of action to our submarines employed there to sink ships 'as opportunity serves.'", and asks [Cudlipp ] to reply.

Carbon typescript annotated "Copy sent to Press Section for information". Enclosures present.

4 folios
11-27 Apr 1940
CHAR 2/393/102

Letter from Percy Cudlipp, Editor, Daily Herald (2-12 Endell Street, Long Acre, London) to Kathleen Hill, Secretary to WSC, in reply to her letter [CHAR 2/393/98-101] disputing that he had distorted WSC's words to make a hostile comment. He explains that a number of national newspapers interpreted WSC's words in a similar way; that he does not think the Daily Herald "was unfair in referring to a "promise" by Mr Churchill to sink all German ships on the Skagerrak and Kattegat [between Denmark and Norway]."; and that he feels WSC's speech gave the public an optimistic impression.

Signed typescript.

1 folio
29 Apr 1940
CHAR 2/393/109

Letter from [1st] Lord Davies [of Llandinam] (Horseferry House, Horseferry Road, Westminster, London) to WSC marked "private and personal" on his conviction that WSC should lead the country because he is not "tarred with the Munich brush" and has urged rearmament and the protection of small nations. He also suggests that WSC's role as Chairman of the Committee for the co-ordination of the war effort should be a full-time one and mentions rumours that WSC is a "tired man". He encloses a song (see CHAR 2/393/110).

Signed typescript.

1 folio
02 May 1940