(One of a series of daily posts about Winston S. Churchill.)
As Prime Minister, Churchill frequently questioned what cabinet ministers said and did. Why were people assigned to that place? What excuse was there for problems with tank production? And why did he first learn about them when reading a newspaper?
While often sharp and angry, Churchill's communications could sometimes reveal his great sense of humor. One such follows.
Churchill is writing to his Secretary of State for Air, Archibald Sinclair. The two had formed a close friendship during WWI, when Churchill served in the trenches under Sinclair.
A Labour Party member, Sinclair supported Churchill's opposition to Chamberlain's appeasement policy. When Chuchill became Prime Minister, Sinclair joined him in Cabinet and some months later received the following from his friend:
I am very glad to find that you are as usual completely satisfied. I merely referred the Foreign Office telegram to you in order to test once more that impenetrable armour of departmental confidence which you have donned since you ceased to lead an Opposition to the Government and became one it its pillars._________________________________________
Either you must have been very wrong in the old days, or we must all have improved enormously since the change.
Cited in Roy Jenkins, Churchill: A Biography (p. 644).