truthergw, on 13 April 2012 - 07:13 PM, said:
There are no minutes. That was deliberate policy which changed later on and I believe( without checking, I'm nothing if not daring) that Maurice Hankey was the first to introduce minute taking at war cabinets. I'd have to check on who exactly did what and when.
Not so Tom. Cab 42 at the National Archives is a superb source of many documents which preceded the formation of the War Cabinet by Lloyd George in late 1916. In it there are many examples of minutes from War Councils, the first being that of the 5th August 1914. Secretary, as for so many years to come, the then Captain M.P.A. Hankey. True there are gaps when the War Council did not meet and I am only a small way along in sorting them and all the other papers out; but they provide many details of meetings. In fact the minutes are often better than many of those of the 1917 onwards period as they are verbatim and not merely conclusions as many of the later ones tend to be.
Among the documents (on this topic) is a paper (Cab 42/1/8) from February 1915 by the much maligned Lloyd George where he is already calling for all the various industries to be put on a better war footing with greater central control if the necessary arms and munitions are going to be forthcoming. An answer by Kitchener (Cab 42/1/45) is interesting as it agrees to some extent with L-G but only in terms of his bringing the unions to heel. By the way, L-G's paper is the first mention of the rather controversial move, carried out later that year, to not allow pubs to open until 11am to stop workers arriving drunk at work.