Wigan Peer

Stephen Koss

  • The Crawford Papers: The Journals of David Lindsay, 27th Earl of Crawford and 10th Earl of Balcarres, during the Years 1892 to 1940 edited by John Vincent
    Manchester, 645 pp, £35.00, October 1984, ISBN 0 7190 0948 0

One evening in 1935, after a ‘copious’ dinner at Grillion’s, Austen Chamberlain retaliated against Winston Churchill. Course after course, Churchill had harangued his companions about British concessions in India ‘as though we were a public meeting... never letting anybody else get a word in’. Worthy of F.E. Smith’s gibe that he was the sort of gentleman who always played the game and always lost it, Austen waited for his adversary to depart before having ‘his revenge – pouring out an incessant flow of reminiscence which might be amusing were it crisp and to the point but every sentence is expanded and every trifling incident magnified, until dear good Austen begins to rank as a first-class bore – he is so insistent as to be a positive fatigue.’

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