ABSTRACT

We went away for three weeks’ holiday in Cornwall on 26 July, - the very day on which the election results were announced! We came back to a totally different world: the UK had a Labour Government with a huge majority;1 the future of the world had been totally altered by the dropping of two atomic bombs; and the war in the Far East was over. The situation when I got back was quite transformed. In the first place, the coincidence of the end of the war with the beginning of the new Labour Government has put a strain of work on the central Whitehall machine such as I cannot remember since I came to Whitehall in 1940. The whole of the machinery and policy for the transition from war to peace must be put into operation months before it was expected to be necessary; all the Cabinet committees have had to be reconstituted and ministerial responsibilities re-allocated (a matter which has given rise to some remarkable jockeyings for position); many major issues of policy which are of urgent importance have needed to be reconsidered or reconfirmed; Lend-Lease has come to an abrupt end and urgent attention has had to be given to the problem of external f inancethe council of UNRRA and the interim commission charged at San Francisco to set up the new World Organisation are in session in London;4 the Potsdam conference between the Big Three was in session when the change of government took place and all its results have now to be worked out and to be applied in detail.5