Part Two: In Opposition 1945-1951
...Churchill’s reference in his letter to the value for money which his American publishers were receiving was borne out by the amount of work he was doing; his American publishers did not, however, entirely appreciate this. Daniel Longwell, the editor of Life, was later to write scathingly, in an internal memorandum, of Churchill’s style of work and living while he was on his overseas journeys. ‘We’ve given him $60,000 or $70,000 worth of expense money on those trips to work on the book,’ Longwell wrote five years later. ‘They did hasten the various books and help their completion—that I know. But this is very delicate money.’ Longwell added: ‘However, and this we must keep private, these were very lavish trips. Always some of the family went along to get their holiday. He had his cronies with him; he sent for various people from England. He had the best in food and hotels.
We paid for his sort of state dinners to noteworthy folk, and the last expedition to Marrakech presented an expense account I wouldn’t want anyone to peer into too far.’
Longwell went on to explain that the money paid could not be cited by Time-Life as payments for the volumes ‘because they weren’t payments—they were free-will expense gifts. If we so much as breathe they were payments, he’d have to pay income tax on them, and I believe we’d have to pay a retrospective 20 per cent withholding tax.’
Speaking in the House of Commons on 17 December 1947, Sir Stafford Cripps had defended the Government’s decision to give Princess Elizabeth an additional £25,000 a year (to the £15,000 she already received under the former Civil List Act) as from the day of her marriage, and to give the Duke of Edinburgh £10,000 a year from the day of his marriage, and a further £15,000 a year after her death while any of their children might be Heir Presumptive to the Throne. It was essential, he argued, that the Duke of Edinburgh ‘may enjoy a proper degree of independence in financial matters’. Some Labour MPs had tried to reduce Princess Elizabeth’s additional income to £20,000. This Cripps stoutly rejected. ‘If I can live on £1,000 a year, including expenses,’ said William Gallacher (Communist) ‘why is it necessary for this couple to have £1,000 a week?’ The amendment was defeated by 345 votes to 33: those voting for it included Bessie Braddock, William Gallacher, John McGovern, Ian Mikardo and D. N. Pritt. He hoped, Cripps concluded, ‘that we have got through this Debate without anything having been said which will cause any distress to these two young people’.