Who's Who

Can History ever be True?

Robin Bruce Lockhart asks if eyewitness history is more reliable than that of the historians

"Max [Beaverbrook] took me to his bedroom when he was going to bed. Expressed his fears of Winston. Knew a lot about arms but his judgement was terrifying. Decisions taken at 1.30 a.m. always bad – people agreed because wanted to go to bed ... We needed younger men – no-one stood up to PM in Cabinet Chiefs of Staff too old. Lethargy and lack of speed'.

'[Max] said to me, after reading my Home Intelligence stuff: "Morale is going to hell – country wants a Russian deal. The Government will break down on this. You see what I'm after. I am preparing for a bust up." I think he figures things out like this: – if Winston falls on Russia, the country will want the men who did things for Russia – Cripps and himself. The Tories will never have Cripps. Therefore MB becomes PM.'

'Max has one mania about the Tories and about Churchill. He cannot forgive them for the American loan which he considers has placed intolerable burdens on this country.'

These unpublished extracts from the diary of my father Robert Bruce Lockhart, and a good many others which have also never seen the light of day present a completely different picture to the generally accepted view of the close friendly relationship between Churchill and Beaverbrook.

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