Framed ORIGINAL TYPED PARLIAMENTARY DIRECTIVE SIGNED by WINSTON CHURCHILL
From the Estate of Sir John Colville
3 1/4 x 8 inches
Item Number: 210430
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Original typed Directive on “Prime Minister” embossed letterhead initial-signed in ink: “WC.”
The Directive reads: “Statements affecting Cabinet proceedings and policy should not be made in relation to assertions in particular newspapers. If the great majority of the newspapers took up a matter of this character it would require special consideration. The proper course however is to await a Question in Parliament.”
File-punched at the upper left corner and straight-pinned, with a penciled date of “10, 7, 53., the Directive is in excellent condition, measuring 3 1/4 x 8 inches. An inked notation in John Colville’s hand below Churchill’s initial signature reads:
“No. 10 so instructed Mr. Fife Clark and Sir N. Brook informed Lord Swinton and Sir Adeane. JRC.”
Majestically framed, matted in silk, with a vintage press photograph of Churchill reading a newspaper in 1954.
In June 1953, Winston Churchill suffered a stroke that was kept a secret from all but Queen Elizabeth and a few political intimates. The PM’s day-to-day operations were left to John Colville and Churchill’s son-in-law, Christopher Soames, who managed matters, as Colville noted in his diary, “careful not to allow our own judgments to be given Prime Ministerial effect.” This Directive may well have been directed at keeping news of Churchill’s stroke out of the newspapers.
Acquired from the estate of Sir John Colville (1915-1987), Winston Churchill’s Principal Private Secretary during the war, and after, right through Churchill’s second stint as Prime Minister. No one was closer to Churchill at work than Sir John Rupert Colville, familiarly known as “Jock.”