Official: Prime Minister: Correspondence etc.

Reference code: CHAR 20/1

Part of: CHAR 20
Next record: CHAR 20/2A-B

Date: May 1940 - Dec 1940

Scope/content:

All items are manuscript unless otherwise described.

Other details

Access:

Open.

Physical: 1 bound file and 1 folder (84 folios)
Publication: Alternative format:
Original Reference: Language:

Contained records

Reference Record Date
CHAR 20/1/1 Letter from Esmond Harmsworth [Chairman, Associated Newspapers Limited, later 2nd Lord Rothermere] to 1st Lord Beaverbrook [earlier Sir Max Aitken]. 06 Jun 1940
CHAR 20/1/2-5 Letter from Robert Boothby [Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Food] to WSC, annotated by WSC, on the mood of the country and the need for more extensive preparations. 19 Jun [1940]
CHAR 20/1/6 Letter from Robert Boothby to WSC, quoting from "The World Crisis" volume II. 20 Jun 1940
CHAR 20/1/7 Letter from WSC to Robert Boothby [Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Food] advising him to concern himself with the work with which he had been entrusted. [Manuscript]. 20 Jun 1940
CHAR 20/1/8 Letter from Robert Boothby to WSC observing his suggestions were made with good intentions. [Manuscript]. 20 Jun 1940
CHAR 20/1/9 Envelope, in WSC's manuscript, headed "Misc private correspondence": on Admiralty appointments, Lord Halifax [Foreign Secretary, earlier Edward Wood and Lord Irwin] and [David] Euan Wallace [Senior Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence in London]; endorsed with Prime Ministerial seal. Jun 1940 - Dec 1940
CHAR 20/1/10 List by WSC of names, places and planned action. [Manuscript]. [1940]
CHAR 20/1/11 Manuscript note reading, "Most Secret..R..Weekend". [1940]
CHAR 20/1/12 Manuscript letter from Eric Seal [Principal Private Secretary to WSC] on naval staff appointments, mentions: Vice-Admiral John Tovey [Commander-in-Chief Home Fleet], Vice-Admiral John Cunningham [Commanding First Cruiser Squadron], Rear-Admiral Tom Phillips [Vice-Chief of Naval Staff] and Vice-Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean; annotated by WSC. 16 Sep [1940]
CHAR 20/1/13 Letter from Lord Halifax [Foreign Secretary, earlier Edward Wood and Lord Irwin] to WSC on misunderstandings regarding R A Butler [Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs] and the Swedish Minister [? Bjorn Prytz, Swedish Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary in London]. 27 Jun 1940
CHAR 20/1/14-15 Letter from WSC to [David] Euan Wallace [Senior Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence in London] commiserating on his illness and promising to keep him in mind for future posts. [Manuscript]. 18 Dec 1940
CHAR 20/1/16 Typed note to WSC with suggestion from Barbara Wallace on a suitable message to her husband [David Euan Wallace, Senior Regional Commissioner for Civil Defence in London]. Dec 1940
CHAR 20/1/17-20 Letter from 1st Lord Baldwin to WSC wishing him strength [manuscript] with note from Kathleen Hill, Private Secretary to WSC, asking him to reply to Baldwin, and letter from WSC to Baldwin, thanking him for his letter. [Manuscript]. May 1940 - Jun 1940
CHAR 20/1/21-25 Letter from WSC to [Alfred] Duff Cooper [Minister of Information, later 1st Lord Norwich] disagreeing with his opinions about the defeat of the Italian Army at Caporetto [Italy, 1917]. [Copy and carbon, with envelope]. [1940]
CHAR 20/1/26-27 Letter from W B Courtney, correspondent with Colliers Magazine, to his editor expressing his dislike of Italians [copy]; with envelope in WSC's manuscript: "Mr. W B Courtney's opinion of the Italians". [1940]
CHAR 20/1/28-31 Letter from Lieutenant-Colonel Eliot Crawshay-Williams to WSC suggesting Britain seek a peace settlement [copy]; with reply from WSC to Crawshay-Williams returning his letter, and chastising him for favouring a settlement with Hitler [copy]. 27 Jun 1940 - 28 Jun 1940
CHAR 20/1/32-35 Letter and envelope from King George VI to WSC enclosing list of names for Admiralty posts, mentions Rear-Admiral [William] Campbell Tait and Lord Louis Mountbatten; list of names of captains: Rhoderick McGrigor [Chief of Staff, China Station]; Loben Maund [Naval Chief of Staff, Narvik [Norway] operations]; Charles Woodhouse; George Creasy; H Oram; Charles Lambe; Michael Denny [Deputy Director of Naval Ordnance, Admiralty] and G Menzies. [Manuscript]. 29 Oct 1940
CHAR 20/1/36 Letter from WSC to A V Alexander, First Lord of the Admiralty, about an appointment for Eric Seal [Principal Private Secretary to WSC], mentions Sir Horace Wilson [Permanent Secretary of the Treasury and official Head of the Civil Service]. [Typescript]. 28 Dec 1940
CHAR 20/1/37 Letter from WSC to Eric Seal [Principal Private Secretary to WSC] agreeing that he should remain with him as he wishes rather than returning to the Admiralty. [Typescript]. 28 Dec 1940
CHAR 20/1/38 Letter from Eric Seal to WSC on acting as his Principal Private Secretary, appointments at the Admiralty, particularly a successor to George Cotton [Under-Secretary, Admiralty] at Bath [Somerset]. [Manuscript]. 19 Dec [1940]
CHAR 20/1/39 Letter from A V Alexander [First Lord of the Admiralty] to WSC on the appointment of a new Permanent Secretary; mentions Eric Seal replacing George Cotton as Under-Secretary at Bath [Somerset]. 16 Dec 1940
CHAR 20/1/40 Envelope, headed in WSC's manuscript, "Careless Talk by Ministers", endorsed with Prime Ministerial seal. Jun 1940
CHAR 20/1/41 Letter from Eric Seal [Principal Private Secretary to WSC] to WSC on careless talk, suggests Alexander [? A V Alexander, First Lord of the Admiralty] should talk to Greenwood [? Arthur Greenwood, Minister without Portfolio]. 11 Jun [1940]
CHAR 20/1/42 Letter from John Peck [Private Secretary to WSC] to Eric Seal [Principal Private Secretary to WSC] on careless talk by Greenwood [? Arthur Greenwood, Minister without Portfolio] about Narvik [Norway]. [Manuscript]. 11 Jun [1940]
CHAR 20/1/43 Envelope, addressed by WSC "Private Correspondence with Mr. Anthony Eden", [Secretary of State for War, later 1st Lord Avon] endorsed with Prime Ministerial seal. [Manuscript]. Jul 1940 - Sep 1940
CHAR 20/1/44 Letter from Anthony Eden [later 1st Lord Avon, Secretary of State for War] (War Office, Whitehall [London]) to WSC recommending that [Major-General Hastings] Ismay should be awarded a KBE [Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire] instead of a KCB [Knight Commander of the Bath]. Signed typescript. 05 Jul 1940
CHAR 20/1/45 Note to WSC discussing an honour for [Major-General Hastings] Ismay and suggesting that he deserves a KCB [Knight Commander of the Bath] instead of a KBE [Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire]. Typescript annotated by WSC with a note that he agrees. 05 Jul 1940
CHAR 20/1/46 Copy of a letter from WSC to Anthony Eden [later 1st Lord Avon, Secretary of State for War] informing him that he believes that [Major-General Hastings] Ismay should be awarded a KCB [Knight Commander of the Bath] because of his high position in the 'executive machine'. Carbon typescript. 05 Jul 1940
CHAR 20/1/47 Copy of a letter to Victor Bouvenzier [Private Secretary to Anthony Eden, later 1st Lord Avon, Secretary of State for War] enclosing a copy of a letter from WSC to Eden [see CHAR 20/1/48] suggesting that he should find out whether WSC's decision [regarding an honour for Major-General Hastings Ismay] had been altered. Carbon typescript. 06 Jul 1940
CHAR 20/1/48 Copy of a letter from [WSC] to Anthony Eden [later 1st Lord Avon, Secretary of State for War] informing him that he believes that [Major-General Hastings] Ismay should be awarded a KCB [Knight Commander of the Bath] because of his high position in the 'executive machine'. Unsigned typescript. 05 Jul 1940
CHAR 20/1/49-50 Letter from WSC to Anthony Eden [Secretary of State for War, later 1st Lord Avon], annotated, on War Office repatriation of French troops to Casablanca [Morocco]. [Carbon]. 10 Jul 1940
CHAR 20/1/51 Letter from Anthony Eden, Secretary of State for War, [later 1st Lord Avon] to WSC expressing disquiet at the theories of [John] Moore-Brabazon [Minister of Transport, later 1st Lord Brabazon] and commenting on value of help provided by Max [Minister of Aircraft Production, 1st Lord Beaverbrook, earlier Sir Max Aitken]. Manuscript. 29 Jul 1940
CHAR 20/1/52 Letter from WSC to Anthony Eden [Secretary of State for War, later 1st Lord Avon] on misleading information about equipment, mentions Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Keyes [copy]. 30 Sep 1940
CHAR 20/1/53-55 Letter from Admiral of the Fleet Sir Roger Keyes to WSC detailing fighting in Belgium and the efforts of King Leopold of Belgium to aid the British Expeditionary Force. 04 Jun 1940
CHAR 20/1/56 Envelope, annotated by WSC, "Private Correspondence with Mr. Neville Chamberlain", endorsed with Prime Ministerial seal. [Aug] 1940
CHAR 20/1/57-58 Letter from Neville Chamberlain (11, Downing Street, Whitehall, [London]) to WSC marked "personal" reporting on his health. He writes that, although his surgeon is pleased with his progress, he does not feel able to return to work before 3 September. He notes the good offensive and defensive progress of the war and that Hitler is unlikely to invade in the autumn; predicts a German attack either towards Egypt or Northern Scotland; and comments on WSC's statement the following day "no doubt it will be a stirring one with such material as you know how to use to the utmost." Signed manuscript. 20 Aug 1940
CHAR 20/1/59 Letter from WSC to Neville Chamberlain on Max [1st Lord Beaverbrook, earlier Sir Max Aitken]'s place in the War Cabinet; mentions Arthur Greenwood [Minister without Portfolio], Clement Attlee [Lord Privy Seal], Herbert Morrison [Home Secretary and Minister of Home Security], and [John] Moore-Brabazon [Minister of Transport, later 1st Lord Brabazon] in relation to new posts, especially Minister of Aircraft Production. [Copy] See CHAR 20/2A/45 for copy. 21 Aug 1940
CHAR 20/1/60 Letter from Neville Chamberlain (11, Downing Street, Whitehall, [London]) to WSC thanking him for his letter of August 31. He says he would like to return to work the following Monday and to be "of some use". He expresses increasing confidence in the war situation, commenting "I can't see why, if Hitler thinks he can smash us, why he hasn't done so" and remarks on bombing. Signed manuscript annotated "PM has seen". 03 Sep 1940
CHAR 20/1/61 Letter from Neville Chamberlain (11, Downing Street, Whitehall, [London]) to WSC marked "personal" thanking him for his letter; expressing his hope to return to work but commenting that he is at WSC's disposal to "go or stay without any reserve or qualification"; commenting on his hopes that Dakar [Senegal] will be captured; and expressing pleasure that the United States is supplying rifles and encouragement at WSC's words. Signed manuscript annotated with a note by WSC "Show me at luncheon...". 25 Sep 1940
CHAR 20/1/62 Copy of a letter from WSC marked "personal" to Neville Chamberlain on Chamberlain's offer to resign, expressing the wish that Chamberlain will remain in post; agreeing with him about bombardment and sympathising over his illness, but urging him to remain in his post. Typescript marked "Put in personal box.". 24 Sep 1940
CHAR 20/1/63-64 Letter from Neville Chamberlain ("as from" 11, Downing Street, Whitehall [London]) to WSC thanking him for his generous and sympathetic response to his health problems. He says that he had not considered the bombing of London and his need for medical attention when planning to return to work and therefore offers his resignation. He leaves it up to WSC whether to make a public announcement about his resignation because of the "painful impression in many quarters" it would create and expresses pessimism about his health. Signed manuscript. 22 Sep 1940
CHAR 20/1/65 Note, annotated by WSC, on attached [missing] document. [Typescript]. May 1940
CHAR 20/1/66 Letter, annotated, from WSC to [Franklin Roosevelt], President of the United States, on surrendering or scuttling of the British Fleet. [Typescript]. [Jun 1940]
CHAR 20/1/67-68 Note from Kathleen Hill [Secretary to WSC] to Brendan Bracken [Parliamentary Private Secretary to WSC] on précis of a case put forward by Peregrine Churchill. [Typescript]. 06 Jul 1940
CHAR 20/1/69-78 Memorandum from Peregrine Churchill on delayed orders from the Ministry of Supply due to suspected sabotage by a Mr Paton, as reported to F A Lindemann [later 1st Lord Cherwell], with list of people who should be informed. [Typescript carbon with manuscript original]. 04 Jul 1940
CHAR 20/1/79 Manuscript letter from [? Brendan Bracken, Parliamentary Private Secretary to WSC] [to WSC] on Peregrine Churchill's allegations of sabotage against Mr. Paton of the Ministry of Supply. [Jul 1940]
CHAR 20/1/80 Note from Grace Hamblin [Secretary to WSC] to Kathleen Hill [Secretary to WSC] asking her to follow up Peregrine Churchill's enquiry with F A Lindemann [later 1st Lord Cherwell] and Brendan Bracken [Parliamentary Private Secretary to WSC]. 05 Jul 1940
CHAR 20/1/81-84 Manuscript jottings, including note from [?] Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding [Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Fighter Command], "I am dead against blackouts", and notes by WSC to [Private Secretary] reading "keep" or "put by". [1940]