Prime Minister of England.
CHURCHILL ACCEPTS NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN’S RESIGNATION FROM THE CONSERVATIVE RESEARCH DEPARTMENT.
Typewritten Letter Signed, one page, quarto, [London], October 31, 1940. On his imprinted stationery, as Prime Minister, to Sir Kingsley Wood, Chancellor of the Exchequer in Churchill’s War Cabinet.
“Neville [Chamberlain] has written to tell me of his wish to resign the Chairmanship of the Conservative Research Department and in present circumstances I do not feel I could press him to reconsider his decision. As you know the operations of the Research Department were suspended some months ago for the duration of the war in order that the remaining staff should be free to undertake war work, but it is important that the framework of the Organization should be kept in being ready to start again when the time comes. The Chairman should be a Cabinet Minister of senior rank with keen political insight and I should be very grateful if you would be willing to undertake this task.”
Neville Chamberlain, who was ill, died nine days after Winston Churchill wrote this letter. Sir Kingsley Wood, who is here offered Chamberlain’s old party job, was among those who had earlier helped to oust him from power. The conservative Research Department had been founded after the Conservative General Election defeat of 1930, with Chamberlain as its second chairman and his close friend Sir Joseph Ball as its director. It was at Ball’s suggestion that Churchill offered Wood the chairmanship while hoping that Chamberlain would stay on as a trustee, a post the dying man felt unable to accept.
Together with photocopies of the retained copy of Chamberlain’s letter to Winston Churchill offering his resignation, drafted by Sir Joseph Ball, and of Ball’s accompanying letter to Chamberlain dated October 15, 1940.
Framed in gold gilt with cream and brown mats, dimensions are 19 1/2 inches wide by 16 inches high.
This item is associated with these categories in our inventory:
- World Leaders
- World War II