chapter  9
Persuasion
WithC. D. Foster
Pages 16

The discussions between Ministers and Chairmen and between Board officials and Ministry officials are mostly intended to be opportunities for reciprocal persuasion. What give the Minister and his officials their opportunity are what Herbert Morrison, who certainly seems to have seen the role of the Minister as persuasive rather than authoritative, saw as ‘the respectful relations’ between the two. In many of the most important areas persuasion seems to have worked very slowly and – it could be argued – only over things which command consensus beyond party. What is one of the most impressive functions of the British civil service – the great lengths it goes to in order to relate new legislation to old and make all consistent – may in the end be it persuasive. There is wide agreement that the quantity of intervention by Government and Parliament in the nationalized industries has increased, much of it in search of information.