Joe Haines was not alone in his judgement of the effect of Whitehall on Labour governments in particular. Haines was Press Secretary to Harold Wilson from 1969 to 1976, and his feelings echo those of Richard Crossman, who was a member of Wilson’s government, and Marcia Williams, Wilson’s Personal and Political Secretary. The Conservative view of the Treasury is similar; Jock Bruce-Gardyne and Nigel Lawson, who have both had experience as Conservative MPs, felt that Treasury influence endured whatever the outcome of its policies, and ministers continued to be overawed by its reputation (Bruce-Gardyne and Lawson, 1976). One of the few books to illuminate the reality behind this fearsome reputation is Heclo and Wildavsky (1974). They talked to many high ranking civil servants and quoted them (anonymously) at length, concentrating mainly on treasury officials. It is impossible to portray the Treasury atmosphere without going into great detail, but a few illustrations should suffice to give an idea of what happens on the inside.
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- Unofficial Government
Lynn F. Pearson
- Palgrave Macmillan UK