Returning to the remarkable story of the surfacing of some of Michael Foot's library in a Lambeth bookshop - I've found an intriguing handwritten note. Here's the tale.
I bought a pamphlet at the bookshop in Lower Marsh where a fair bit of Foot's library has been for sale. It doesn't have Foot's signature. But it does bear that of Jon Kimche, Foot's predecessor as editor of 'Tribune' in the 1940s. Inside I found a folded slip of paper marked on the outside, as above, 'SEC. OF STATE FOR EMPLOYMENT.'.
Well, Michael Foot was Secretary of State for Employment from 1974 to 1976, and as such the architect of the "Social Contract" with the trade unions. The slip of paper has the feel of something passed on discreetly during a meeting, or perhaps when Foot was on the government front bench in the Commons. It's posted below.
And the cast list: Len Murray was general secretary of the TUC - Donald Derx was a top civil servant at the Department of Employment - the PM at the time would have been Harold Wilson - and the Chancellor, Denis Healey.
What was 'the question of retrospection'? Who wrote the note? I can't read the signature - possibly 'David' or 'Denis'. Certainly not 'Neil' - Neil Kinnock was Foot's Parliamentary Private Secretary for a year in 1974-75. But it feels more a politician's note than a civil servant's.
Anyone with more information?
UPDATE: Was this note written by Bernard Donoughue, now Lord Donoughue and in the mid-'70s the head of Harold Wilson's policy unit? Over to you!
Andrew Whitehead's blog
Welcome - read - comment - throw stones - pick up threads - and tell me how to do this better!