Talk:Anthony Eden

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this should be a separate entry with a link from Eden disambiguation:

Anthony Eden (1976 - ) is a Java software developer developing numerous open source projects such as JPublish, FormProc, and DataBind. CTO of Signature Domains, Inc. in Miami, FL.


Source for the amphetamines stuff? john 18:18, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I beleive the amphetamines thing is true to some extent, however!, and it's a BIG however, this needs a complete rewrite. The article discusses Suez in the context of amphetamines rather than the other way round. Mintguy (T) 00:52, 4 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Sir Anthony Eden?[edit]

How come he was Sir Anthony Eden; was he knighted if when and which order, or was he a baronet, and then when did his father die?

He was created a Knight of the Garter in 1954, hence the "KG" after his name. Proteus (Talk) 11:01, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

He wasn't actually a baronet, despite Rab Butler's famous witticism at his expense. The title passed to his surviving older brother Tim.Paulturtle (talk) 21:50, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

Link suggestions[edit]

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Wikipedia pro-western bias: A. E. drug abuse cover-up[edit]

The Eden was a long-time drug abuser, who dosed himself with meth-amphetamines ever since the early 1930s, following an accident. There was an one-hour british TV documentary on Discovery History channel, where they researched the issue thoroughly and gave proof that the substance made him paranoid and the 1956 Suez War he made because he had visions of Nasser morphing into Hitler.

Other famous meth abuser was JFK who also started to take it due to injury (of the back and spine) and it made him reckless and he almost started a nuclear war where he spoke nonsense about sausages in a Berliner platz. Many western politicians are either drunkards or drug abusers, morphine and amphetamines are common even these days. Paranoids lead many countries and ordinary citizens don't even know. Dubya is heavily back to whiskey now, because of Iraq fiasco and public opinion loss. Laura complained about this to friends and National Enquirer journalists taped that. 15:30, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

[1] has Bill Deedes saying "I was close enough to the Suez scene to know that he was relying heavily on prescribed amphetamine and barbiturate. His nervous system had been damaged by the gall bladder operation and the steps that had to be taken to put it right. He suffered sleepless nights and fevers." --Henrygb 14:23, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I didn't like the wording of the Suez Invasion. Just the fact that the mention of Eden's motives, i.e. Nasser supposedly being like Mussolini and being bent on invading land supposedly belonging to other countries sounded a bit biased. So I added the fact that the canal itself has always been on Egyptian soil, was built by Egyptian slave labour and that nationalization met with popular support amongst the Egyptian people. (Canadianpunk77 01:54, 13 October 2007 (UTC)).

Eden's operation[edit]

According to the BBC (, Eden's gall bladder operation was a complete failure - apparently the knife "slipped", causing serious damage to his bile duct. Hence the continued need to use pain killers. Unfortunately he also took other drugs to counter the pain killers. Some belived that his dependance on drugs affected his judgement during the Suez Crisis.

In light of the above (yours and others), should the article read that the Suez crisis led to the breakdown in Eden's health? I believe in Lucas' "The Lion's Last Roar", we see commentary from his physician corraborating the above (re: drugs) as well as notes on Eden's health contributing to the fateful decision, in what Lucas described as relenting to French pressure due to exhaustion. -- 23:35, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

It could probably be amended to say that it certainly didn't help...

A learned article has been published in the United States about Eden's medical problems, evidently with the support of his widow, now in her late 80s: John W. Braasch, Anthony Eden’s (Lord Avon) Biliary Tract Saga: Ann Surg. 2003 November; 238(5): 772–775;

The version of the original operation that I heard from a surgeon who was a contemporary of the first surgeon was: They cystic duct was clamped with a Mayo clamp. This was a standard method at the time. A ligature was passed around the clamp and tied. The clamp had been placed too close to the common bile duct, an by tying it, the bile duct was damaged, later becoming stenosed. (Today, in an open operation, the cystic duct would be exposed, a Lahey or similar clamp passed under it, and a suture introduced into the clamp, pulled around the cystic duct and then tied.) I don't know if the cystic duct was divided with scissors or a scalpel.

In any event, Eden sustained an injury which should not have happened, for a biliary stricture is a problem which is very difficult to fix. Eden clearly suffered bouts of Charcot's fever, ascending cholangitis, with the triad of abdominal pain, jaundice and fever. It's unsurprising that his judgement was impaired.

The Lahey clinic developed very considerable expertise in the repair of biliary strictures; the world leader in this field.

I cannot say if my source (Sir Ian Fraser) had the correct facts; it was related as an anecdote.

Korhomme (talk) 10:00, 29 February 2016 (UTC)

Amphetamines, "speed"[edit]

"Eden was prescribed the wonder drug of the 1950s - Benzedrine. Regarded by doctors in the 1950s as a harmless stimulant, it belongs to the family of drugs called amphetamines – the illegal drug we now call speed." -- Deleted bolded as misleading. Amphetamines are not now illegal per se. Per Speed, that term can refer to "amphetamines, methamphetamine, and other psychostimulant drugs". -- Writtenonsand (talk) 22:22, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

The Eden Trust[edit]

I was wondering of someone could tell me if the Eden Trust, a registered UK charity and whole owner of the Eden Project in Cornwall, was founded by or named after Sir Anthony Eden, or someone else in his immediate family. --Mark2196 (talk) 00:21, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Most unlikely. Despite Eden's well documented love of gardens and plants, the Eden project is surely a reference to the biblical Garden of Eden. IXIA (talk) 05:38, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

External links don't work[edit]

Somebody ought to go over the external links. Serveral of them don't work any more. --Maxl (talk) 11:49, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Son's death[edit]

I don't feel strongly enough to change this - but I would say we die we die rather than decease. Especially in war. And what does Eden "accepting" his son's death mean? Had he a choice? Rogersansom (talk) 11:02, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't have an Eden biog to hand to check (most of my library is boxed up after a series of house moves) but my recollection is that his son was MIA and his death was never proven. Lot of parents harbour false hopes under such circumstances.Paulturtle (talk) 03:29, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

The release of war criminals[edit]

The lengthy coverage of this controversial topic is perhaps disproportionate. IXIA (talk) 05:36, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

... and more generally[edit]

I wonder whether this article draws a bit too heavily on Dutton who is, on the whole, less sympathetic to Eden than, say Rhodes James or Thorpe. LymeRegis (talk) 17:12, 8 April 2010 (UTC)


I'm not sure the current war in Libya is really relevant to Eden; the 2003 Iraq war where Britain and the US decided to go it alone without the backing of the UN might be a better comparison. (HantersSpade (talk) 10:42, 3 April 2011 (UTC))

But maybe the point is that, with Libya, Britain and France did seek a UN mandate and ensured that America was, broadly speaking, on board, despite apparent initial misgivings - i.e. pretty much the opposite of Suez. I understand the UN point, but perhaps the main one, in terms of realpolitik was the stance of the USA in all three instances. LymeRegis (talk) 06:05, 31 August 2011 (UTC)


On one point, he learned French and German as a child and studied Persian with Arabic at Oxford, but do we have a source on his Russian? suggests on page 23 that he didn't learn it. Is it a matter of what we mean by "learn" and "speak"? Prometheus-1234 (talk) 12:00, 6 January 2014 (UTC)

He needed a translator for his meeting with Stalin in 1935 (although Stalin spoke with a strong Georgian accent which may have made him hard to follow). He had a bash at studying Russian in the trenches (at that point he was toying with studying Slavonic languages) with a view to becoming a diplomat, but like many before and after him gave it up as he felt he wasn't making enough progress. David Carlton says he learned Turkish at Oxford, but I'm not sure this is true - most books say it was Persian and Arabic.Paulturtle (talk) 22:04, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Eden knew Turkish, or at least claimed to in Parliament, when he said he read Turkish newspapers in an exchange on Suez. This is my memory of Hansard, I can't give the reference. Might be worth mentioning that ha got first-class honours at Oxford - Can't give a reference for this either, but I think it is true. Seadowns (talk) 13:19, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

His dabbling with Turkish, and his double first in Persian and Arabic, are already in the article.Paulturtle (talk) 12:52, 4 August 2017 (UTC)

Spanish Civil War[edit]

There is lamentably brief and inadequate coverage of his failure to support the democratically elected Spanish government against the fascist coup of Franco. This "neutral" stance contributed in no small way, along with appeasement, to encouraging fascist aggression which precipitated WW2. I am no historian so i suggest someone with expertise write a para on this important subject.Richwil (talk) 14:22, 1 November 2014 (UTC)

The western powers had an agreement to keep out, as they did not want a repetition of July 1914.Paulturtle (talk) 16:50, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
On a related note, didn't A.J.P. Taylor once write apropos of Eden's memoirs that "he didn't "Face the Dictators", he pulled faces at them". Might make a nice addition if somebody can remember when and where.Paulturtle (talk) 03:39, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Standing Ovation[edit]

According to William Manchester, in 1933 he made "a speech that brought him a standing ovation in the House".

Applause is frowned upon in the House of Commons, although there have been a few occasions of it in modern years, e.g. Tony Blair was applauded by his newly-elected MPs in 1997. The normal procedure is a rumble of "hear, hear"s, or in extreme cases shouts of approval and waving of order papers. I suspect it may have been the latter. I don't have copy of Manchester (an entertaining read but hardly the greatest of historians) to hand to check what he actually wrote. Is this mentioned in the reputable biographies (Carlton, Rhodes James, Dutton, Thorpe)?Paulturtle (talk) 20:10, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Right, I've found a mention of this in David Dutton (Thorpe doesn't appear to mention it) and sharpened up the section a bit. No mention of a "standing ovation" either in Dutton or in the online Hansard record. Probably no need to be too hard on Eden or the government for this - Hitler had only just come to power and lots of people at the time thought the French were bullies (e.g. marching into the Ruhr in 1923) and that the Versailles Treaty had been unfair and unnecessarily humiliating to Germany, which was why there wasn't much complaint later in the year when Hitler repudiated it - indeed there wasn't really much of a consensus that Hitler needed to be "stood up to" until he marched into Prague in March 1939, at which point it was clear that "further negotiation was pointless" as an old man said to me a year or two ago.Paulturtle (talk) 13:29, 20 September 2015 (UTC)


Closing discussion started by banned editor HarveyCarter. Binksternet (talk) 03:35, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

If somebody has the books to hand there ought to be something about the strong hints which the US Administration are now known to have dropped that they wanted him out as Prime Minister after Suez. My Eden biographies are in storage at the moment so I can't do it myself.Paulturtle (talk) 12:40, 22 July 2015 (UTC)

The main reason was ill health - Eden was told that if he continued as Prime Minister he would not live for more than two years. (LanceCaldwell (talk) 18:37, 26 July 2015 (UTC))
Thats a long standing text you just removed, if it was on grounds of ill-health, you'll of course be able to provide a cite for that. Most of the books I've read indicate it was an excuse. WCMemail 19:34, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Eden's doctors said in January 1957 that his physical and mental health was too bad for him to continue as Prime Minister. He had major surgery in April 1957 which would have ended his premiership even without the Suez Crisis. These "hints" from the US administration are not new revelations - it was widely reported at the time that the Americans would be unwilling to take a British government led by Eden into their confidence again. (LanceCaldwell (talk) 19:40, 26 July 2015 (UTC))
ill health was certainly a factor--but of course his political health was also bad. 1) Victor Rothwell (1992). Anthony Eden: A Political Biography, 1931-1957. pp. 245-. calls the reason a "mystery." 2) D R Thorpe emphasizes his political collapse. He adds: ""On 5 January, after receiving medical advice that allowed no other choice" Eden told said he was resigning. 2a) Heppell (2007) says "ill-health and the legacy of the Suez crisis caused Eden to resign". 3) John Plowright (2006) p 90 says "Ill health forced Eden to resign." 4) however Charles Hauss - 2014 says: "Eden's actions had cost him the confidence of his own party. Sensing that, he resigned the following year, citing his declining health. In fact, he did not resign because of his health-he lived until 1977." 5) Robert Eccleshall and Graham S. Walker - 1998 say: "there is still some mystery over Eden's decision to resign on 9 January 1957. His health had deteriorated and...he had decided that he was unfit to continue. His decision may also have been influenced by...." Rjensen (talk) 19:54, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
If Eden had not been seriously ill he would have remained Prime Minister. The Americans tried to force out Harold Wilson due to his opposition to the Vietnam War, yet he remained in office until 1976. (LanceCaldwell (talk) 20:24, 26 July 2015 (UTC))
He did indeed, but Wilson's situation was different. Eden had destroyed his credibility by invading another country with questionable legal authority and strong suspicions (later proven to be correct) that he was doing so in secret collusion with other powers, only then to pull out. The leading members of his Cabinet were united in trying to push him out (if Butler had realised that the premiership was not simply going to fall into his lap he might have acted differently, one supposes - he was equally out of touch in other ways and was genuinely shocked when the Cabinet chose Macmillan instead). Eden had been subject to attack in the Tory press throughout his premiership and his political position was untenable by the time he came back from Jamaica. I seem to remember even Rhodes James' hagiography mentioning his frosty reception in the Commons. Had he been in better health he might have tried to cling on and there might have been an ugly scene - power is a drug and Prime Ministers are notorious for coming out with reasons for carrying on, as Churchill had done for most of his early 1950s premiership. But then again, had he had the backing of his Cabinet he might have ignored the doctors - he was not, after all, any sicker than he had been in 1956. And as far as the other matter which was deleted from the introduction goes, Eden's premiership - less than two years - was the second-briefest since 1945 and one of the briefest of the twentieth century.Paulturtle (talk) 21:30, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

Series of blunders?[edit]

Closing discussion initiated by banned user HarveyCarter. Binksternet (talk) 18:34, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

It is strange to suggest that Eden made a "series of blunders". Had he not taken action against Nasser then he would have been forced out anyway by his own MPs. (Gafbns (talk) 14:09, 29 July 2015 (UTC))

He was certainly much criticised throughout the 1950s by the Tory right and their press supporters, as an appeaser (negotiating with the North Vietnamese, pulling out of the Suez Base in 1954 etc), not big enough to fill Churchill's shoes etc. That was a factor in his desire to pursue a hawkish policy. However, the sentence refers to the views of historians and his mishandling of the Americans/failure to realise that Britain could no longer go it alone etc.Paulturtle (talk) 14:17, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Britain was not alone in the Suez Crisis, it could only act with the support of France and Israel. The Suez Canal Base Agreement happened before Eden became Prime Minister. The introduction should be reworded as he took a gamble as he had in Iran in 1953, only it didn't work out in 1956. In any case it is questionable whether the UK could not take action in foreign policy - the Americans did not support a military solution to the Falklands Crisis until Argentina rejected their offer of peace talks. (Gafbns (talk) 14:24, 29 July 2015 (UTC))
Very well then, his failure to realise that Britain and France could not act without at least the acquiescence of the US Administration. As Foreign Secretary Eden was the main mover in pulling out of the Suez Base in 1954 - the "Suez Group" of Tory backbenchers were furious, as (privately) was Churchill. Not sure what the relevance of Iran in 1953 is - if you mean the coup to overthrow Mossadeq, the CIA were the main movers in that one. Thatcher and one or two others were very active in demanding US backing in 1982 - perhaps if she'd been around to give a handbagging to John Foster Dulles the way she famously did to Al Haig, things might have been different; as it was Dulles was unimpressed by Eden's hazy grasp of the 1936 Treaty about the Suez Canal which Eden had himself helped to negotiate. Are you the same person who was involved in the discussion above?Paulturtle (talk) 15:13, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The 1936 treaty was carried out in full 18 years before Suez. No I'm not. I'm surprised Eden is blamed for Churchill's mistakes. (Gafbns (talk) 16:51, 29 July 2015 (UTC))

Succession to Eden[edit]

Both of the books I've ploughed through so far - Rothwell and Rhodes James which is so obviously a hagiography that I wouldn't dream of using uncorroborated on anything other than obvious points of fact - say that Eden was not asked for his advice as to his successor (not that he was in any way entitled to be asked, as it related to the Queen's role of Head of State rather than her purely nominal role as Head of Government). I seem to recall Anthony Howard's biog of Butler mentioning that he too was scathing about the Queen afterwards, so perhaps she gave him the nod to push Eden out and then - entirely correctly - appointed Macmillan instead.

After reading about this stuff for about 25 years I seem to recall that some books say that this is an error and Eden was asked. So I'm happy to be corrected on this point of detail if somebody has a book which says different. I haven't had a chance to check Carlton, Dutton or Thorpe yet.Paulturtle (talk) 22:19, 4 October 2015 (UTC)

Howard was wrong about many things. ( (talk) 23:49, 8 March 2016 (UTC))

He may or may not have been, but on this specific matter Eden later wrote a memo (or 2, I forget), a decade or more later, stating that he had indeed been asked, contrary to incorrect reports at the time, that he declined to disclose his advice, but that events had turned out in accordance with his advice. Whatever that means. Eden had no love for either man. Clarissa did, however, commiserate with Butler for having been passed over. I have a great many notes on Eden, but don't really have time for article-writing at the moment.Paulturtle (talk) 03:01, 27 March 2016 (UTC) And as Michael Jago points out in his recent biography of Rab Butler, whatever advice Eden gave, he cannot (assuming he was later telling the truth) have endorsed Butler as his successor. He may have endorsed Macmillan, or he may have advised the Queen to have a straw poll taken of the Cabinet (as actually happened), or some other logical possibility.Paulturtle (talk) 21:00, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Anthony Eden/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Article has a lot of material and pictures. Tom 11:57, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Article needs more than that to be A-class.--Rmky87 21:08, 8 March 2007 (UTC) Quote: in later years [Eden] was often wrongly supposed to have resigned as Foreign Secretary in protest at the Munich Agreement. Unquote. Eden resigned in Febuary, 1938. The Munich agreement was signed in September, 1938. No one could suppose he resigned as a result of the Munich agreement.

Mmayers. Mmayers (talk) 05:50, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Last edited at 05:50, 21 September 2011 (UTC). Substituted at 07:58, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Mmayers, whoever he may be, was being a little obtuse. Poorly-informed people often "wrongly" suppose things which are clearly false, especially when such factoids serve to promote their political world view. Julian Critchley, in his 1987 biography of Michael Heseltine, makes that incorrect claim about Eden (writing after Westland, he was making the point that a politician can cement his reputation as an A-Lister by a dramatic resignation on a "matter of principle"). I have a page number kicking around somewhere, but as no drive-by nuisance has seen fit to tag the statement I'm not going to look for it just yet unless I have to.Paulturtle (talk) 03:25, 1 May 2016 (UTC)


The real reason Eden resigned was because the Americans refused to work with a British government led by him. ( (talk) 12:05, 16 June 2016 (UTC))

there were multiple reasons. His doctors said the job was literally killing him. He had failed badly in 1956 and lost his aura of competence. He had lied to Parliament (saying he did not know Isreal's plans). The Americans were angry but did not make demands for his removal. Rjensen (talk) 12:12, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
The Eisenhower administration made clear it was not prepared to work with Eden. This is covered in detail in "1956: The Year That Changed Britain" by Francis Beckett and Tony Russell. ( (talk) 12:16, 16 June 2016 (UTC))
no it is not covered in detail. they make that claim by citing Pat Buchanan, an american politician who has written very poor histories. None of the biographers of Eisenhower make that assertion. Eden told Mollet that it was false ("no doubt at all that the friendship between us all is restored and even strengthened"). Ike wrote Eden, I "assure You that my admiration and affection for you have never diminished; I'm truly sorry that you had to quit the office"...That's much too strong language if Ike had forced him out of office. Rjensen (talk) 12:55, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
It was well known at the time that the US government would not be prepared to take any government led by Eden into its confidence. Eisenhower actually told a British official he blamed the Suez operation for the West's inability to respond to the Soviet invasion of Hungary. ( (talk) 13:28, 16 June 2016 (UTC))
OK, source please. Other than that, we don't know what may have been said in private, but history ultimately has to be based on what the surviving evidence says. Conversely there is some (admittedly modest) evidence that Butler, who assumed that the succession was going to drop into his lap, may have colluded with Eden's doctors to nudge him out (which in turn may be why Butler didn't notice Macmillan beavering away with Cabinet Ministers and sucking up to the Americans to steal the succession). I wrote up most of this stuff last autumn. But I'm afraid this just looks like tedious trolling by somebody with no edit history, about topics which have been subject to this kind of nonsense before. Notwithstanding his half-hearted toying with the idea of a return to Parliament in 1960, Eden kept out of the public eye after his resignation to a degree which was unusual at the time, especially for a man who had been one of the dominant politicians of his generation, and clearly, the effect of drug use (drugs which he had legitimately been told by his doctors to take, as opposed to snorting coke) on his temper and judgement is notable enough for the introduction as it has been much discussed over the years.Paulturtle (talk) 13:40, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
Chamberlain also kept out of the public eye after he resigned. ( (talk) 13:53, 16 June 2016 (UTC))
Chamberlain was a leading member of Churchill's War Cabinet, and still leader of the Conservative Party, until his final weeks when he was dying of cancer.Paulturtle (talk) 14:30, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
Churchill rarely appeared in public or attended parliament after he resigned in 1955. ( (talk) 15:24, 16 June 2016 (UTC))
Again, nonsense. Quite apart from the fact he was already in his eighties, Churchill appeared in public a fair bit in the late 1950s and made quite a few speeches; the last which he helped to write himself was as late as 1959. Whatever one thinks of the man, he was a revered world statesman whose comings and goings were usually newsworthy. You are right that he seldom attended Parliament, especially after 1959 when he was sinking into decrepitude, but he was still an MP until 1964 with letters dealing with constituency business being sent out in his name, although a few years before that his secretary Anthony Montagu Browne had asked that Tory MPs stop writing to him and asking his opinion about things, as he was no longer capable of "forming considered opinions" or of "marshalling arguments". This is becoming very tedious.Paulturtle (talk) 15:41, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
I've just received an email from Lady Avon. She says Anthony decided to set a new trend for his successors by not taking too much part in politics as Harold was just as involved in the secret Suez planning as he was, and also because times had clearly changed in the post-war world. ( (talk) 16:00, 16 June 2016 (UTC))
Deeply fascinating. Perhaps you can arrange to have your e-mail published in a reputable history book so we can cite it. However, since you now seem to agree that Eden was setting a new precedent by playing a reduced role in public life, which is what the article already says, there seems little purpose in any further discussion.Paulturtle (talk) 17:00, 16 June 2016 (UTC)
The point is he did still play a role in politics behind the scenes, and the fact that he did not regularly appear in public was not just due to Suez as the article previously implied. Did you know he considered revealing the Iranian coup after the Americans forced him to order a ceasefire? ( (talk) 17:02, 16 June 2016 (UTC))

Style over substance[edit]

'Born in the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, he thus died in the year of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee.' This sentence is essentially drivel, style over substance. It has no meaning, since neither royal anniversary is connected with his birth or death. You may as well say, 'Born in the year that Aston Villa won the FA Cup, he thus died in the year they won the League Cup.' This is rather better, in fact, since Eden was often seen down the Villa. --OhNoPeedyPeebles (talk) 09:00, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

Then take it up with his biographers, who draw attention to the coincidence. The point is that his life coincides more or less exactly with the Decline and Fall of the British Empire. As does Churchill's active career, incidentally. That doesn't make it "essentially drivel", and whilst he pursued a career which was devoted to Britain's role in the world he never had anything to do with the management of any football team. I wish this article didn't attract so many silly edits.Paulturtle (talk) 20:49, 24 August 2016 (UTC)

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Died of AIDS?[edit]

This article says he died of aids. Where on earth is that from? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:16, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

That was his younger (and only surviving) son.Paulturtle (talk) 04:21, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

Military rank[edit]

He was demobilised on 13 June 1919. He retained the rank of captain.

I thought it was only majors and above who could use honorific rank. Under what arrangement could he retain the rank of captain in civilian life? Valetude (talk) 13:20, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
I've no idea, but that's what the source says. He was still "on the books", was recalled to service for the general-strike-that-almost-was in Spring 1921 (part of the fun and educative value of biography as an art form is how famous people, like anybody's else's granddad, are crowd extras in the events of their youth), and was in the TA until 1923. I think he's even in uniform in one of his early election posters. Eden called himself "captain" in the 1920s, as did Harold Macmillan. It was perfectly common at the time - it was not unheard of for men to call themselves "Lieutenant" or "Pilot Officer". After WW2 it became frowned-upon for temporary officers to try to use their rank - Robert Maxwell was much sniggered at for insisting on being called "captain".Paulturtle (talk) 00:55, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

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MP resignation date[edit]

Conflict of information. The sidebar lists his MP resignation date as in January 1957 (same as his PM resignation date) but in the text it lists it as March 1957 (unlikely given the by-election was the 7th of March which would be too short a time in between). Anyone have confirmation? (talk) 15:56, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Fixed.Paulturtle (talk) 21:38, 3 January 2019 (UTC)


Why do we put Eton in the infobox, but not put it for other Prime Ministers who have graduated from it? --Yomal Sidoroff-Biarmskii (talk) 09:14, 6 January 2019 (UTC)

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion[edit]

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Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 22:13, 9 June 2019 (UTC)

Some probably repetitive content in the same section[edit]

In the Section of Foreign Affairs Minister, 1931–1935, there are two mentions of Eden's meeting with Hitler in 1935. The first one was added by me, from Mitrokhin archive. The second was added by someone else and the source is Litvinov biograhy. Although written separtely and without other sources for now, I doubt the two mentions are actually about the same meeting. If so, the two parts should be merged.--Aronlee90 (talk) 07:54, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

"The famous Grey family of Northumberland (see below)" - something missing or error?[edit]

In the family section it says that "Eden's mother, Sybil Frances Grey, was a member of the famous Grey family of Northumberland (see below)". However there is nothing later in the article about the Grey family or their connection to Eden. I am not sure if something has been edited out or if someone intended to add something (possibly relating to Eden being a distant relation of his erstwhile colleague and fellow foreign Secretary Lord Halifax and the earlier holder of that office Sir Edward Grey via this familial connection). Indeed it is a bit odd that Halifax is not mentioned significantly in the article. However as it stands I am minded to remove the see below as it does not seem to relate to any current content, and as such is not of aid to readers of this article. Dunarc (talk) 21:28, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

I agree. There is no "below" and I've removed it. No Great Shaker (talk) 14:45, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for this prompt action. I think it is the right call and if anyone ever has something relevant to add about Eden's relationship to the Grey family this can always be revisited. Dunarc (talk) 21:53, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
I dare say somebody deleted a chunk of stuff. I haven't come across anything to suggest that Eden had any dealings with the Grey family in later life, or that this affected his dealings with Halifax. His father believed (or affected to believe) that he resembled his mother's family rather than his alleged natural father (a bit like a certain Royal Prince nowadays, I might add if I were a cheeky person). The reason there isn't much about the 1930s is because I was working on it in the autumn of 2015, using Dutton (1997), the most serious scholarly biography, for the period after 1931 (Rhodes James and Thorpe are both good up to 1931 but thin and hagiographic on the 1930s) but it came to a grinding halt when somebody else borrowed the library copy I was using, and by the time I'd bought another copy I'd kind of lost interest a bit. One day I may return to it. I'm not stopping anybody else posting stuff.Paulturtle (talk) 20:47, 18 March 2020 (UTC)

Deputy Prime Minister[edit]

I wanted to raise a discussion point as to whether Eden actually was Deputy Prime Minister. Britannica states as such and Hansard seems to suggest the same (but that could be in an unofficial sense, I suppose).

However, Rodney Brazier in his new book, 'Choosing a Prime Minister: The Transfer of Power in Britain', on pages 72 and 77, states that Eden never officially was Deputy Prime Minister, because of the King's objection to the office. Does anybody else have any other sources on or thoughts about this? I don't have a copy of Eden's autobiography, but could that shed some light? FollowTheTortoise (talk) 12:08, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

In addition, neither the website nor the BBC history website mention that Eden was Deputy Prime Minister. FollowTheTortoise (talk) 12:19, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
See Evelyn Shuckburgh's diaries ("Descent To Suez", pp25-6) 27 Oct 1951. He walked in on Eden having a heated debate on the phone with Cabinet Secretary Norman Brook and Alan Lascelles (King's Private Secretary). Eden wanted the title to give him authority over colleagues, and pointed out that Attlee had had it during the war and Morrison after the war. The civil servants were telling him it had no constitutional significance, and was a breach of the King's Prerogative to ask anybody he liked to form a government when the job of PM fell vacant. ES assumed Eden was on the blower to Churchill, but Churchill at this point came on (?does this mean he was in conference with those other two gents?) and said that Eden could have the title after all. There was then a lot of "thank you dear" (Eden used to call other men "dear" and "my dear", for reasons best known to himself). This constitutional titbit is apparently mentioned in John Wheeler-Bennett's 1958 life of King George VI.Paulturtle (talk) 01:30, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
Churchill was appointed PM on the evening of 26 Oct, so 27 Oct would have been when he was making the senior Cabinet appointments. Churchill's most detailed biographer Martin Gilbert (Vol VIII p654) does not mention the above incident (Shuckburgh's Diaries were published in 1986, two years before Vol VIII), but does mention Norman Brook ringing up Jock Colville to insist he return as PM's Private Secretary. So Brook was probably closeted with Churchill that day.Paulturtle (talk) 01:50, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
That's very interesting, thank you. It seems like there's quite a lot of contradiction on the topic of whether Eden and a couple of others around that period actually ever officially held the office or simply deputised. I, myself, am unsure and so I'm going to defer it to somebody else to decide what to put on Wikipedia! FollowTheTortoise (talk) 15:11, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
I have added a note in the article about the fact that Eden was never officially appointed DPM by the King, according to Brazier, however I've left the infobox unchanged as per a discussion on the topic on Rab Butler's talk page (which I mistakenly refered to as this talk page in my edit summary). FollowTheTortoise (talk) 19:34, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I've taken this phrase out for the moment ", so he [The King, presumably] rejected it in both 1951 and 1952" as I'm not sure what it means. I haven't come across any mention of this in the books (Dutton 1997 is the most detailed and scholarly Eden biography - that was where I found a footnote referring me to Shuckburgh's diaries). AE had already been given the title informally by Churchill (as noted above). Did he make another demand to be formally given such an office in 1952? Was this off King George VI or off the new Queen Elizabeth II?Paulturtle (talk) 02:37, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
Dutton (p 245) mentions Churchill offering Eden a move from Foreign Secretary to a new role as Leader of the House and Deputy Prime Minister on 30 Aug 1954 (when Churchill was semi-recovered from his stroke and still desperately clinging to power in the hope of having a summit with Malenkov). Whether that would have meant putting the post of DPM on a more formal legal footing is not specified in the book (it might be in the original document, but I don't have access to that obviously).Paulturtle (talk) 03:32, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
Hi! Sorry for any confusion. As for your first question, Brazier 2020 (p 72) states: "Churchill agreed to drop the objectionable part of Eden’s proposed designation, although this did not stop him from suggesting it again the following year, with the same result." So it doesn't actually say whether the King or the Queen refused him. He references Seldon 1981 (p 39-40) at the end of that sentence. I don't think that I have access to that book, but it might shed some more light if you have a copy.
Your second note from Dutton sounds really interesting. I'm not sure what we could do with it in the article, but it might suggest that Churchill, for a third time, tried to formally appoint Eden to the office. Thanks so much for your help with this. Let me know if you need anything else from this new Brazier book. I will double check whether I can access the Seldon book. FollowTheTortoise (talk) 19:27, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
One interesting nugget that I just found was that Brazier (p 75), using Macmillan 1973 (p 41), points out that Macmillan recorded in his diary in 1961 that the Queen "has rightly in the past pointed out that there is no such official post" of Deputy Prime Minister. Clearly, Her Majesty must have changed her opinion over the ensuing decades! Although this does leave it open as to whether it was the King or the Queen who rejected Churchill's second attempt in 1952. FollowTheTortoise (talk) 19:43, 28 October 2020 (UTC)
Seldon 1981 is presumably “Churchill’s Indian Summer”, a history of the 1951-5 government which was well-received at the time. I’m not sure if I ever owned a copy but if I did I’ve long since mislaid it.
Andrew Roberts, in his 2018 biog of Churchill, mentions that Norman Brook and Alan Lascelles objected to the title “Deputy Prime Minister”, and states that Churchill agreed with them, but does not mention the – presumably informal – promise which Churchill made on the phone to Eden.
I can't find any independent confirmation that Churchill considered giving Eden a formal title in 1952. The nearest I can find is a plot to kick him upstairs to the Lords.
Gilbert pp702-4. Churchill consulted his doctor on the evening of 21 Feb 1952. He had suffered a “small arterial spasm” (ie. a mild stroke, a precursor to his more serious stroke the following year) which briefly affected his speech and powers of concentration. Next day there was a meeting between Churchill’s secretary Jock Colville, Moran (Churchill’s doctor) and Lord Salisbury. Both Colville and Moran left accounts of the meeting. Colville, who seems to have been the prime mover, asked if Churchill’s load could be lightened. After some sympathetic talk about how Churchill’s powers of work and concentration (and ability to come to the point in Cabinet meetings) varied a lot from day to day, Salisbury suggested that Churchill could go to the Lords as a figurehead Prime Minister until the new Queen’s Coronation in May 1953. Colville suggested that Eden could be Leader of the House and “virtual Prime Minister”. Salisbury agreed but they all felt Churchill would never agree. Moran and Colville went to see Alan Lascelles (Monarch’s Private Secretary) at the Palace, but he could not think of anyone who could persuade Churchill to semi-retire. Lascelles suggested that Moran should ask him to do so on medical grounds, but Moran replied that Churchill did not listen to him about politics. Lascelles said that the late King could have ordered him to, but he was “gone”. Next day (23 Feb) Colville phoned Churchill at Chartwell and asked him if he would delegate an upcoming speech to the War Secretary – Churchill retorted by asking if he’d been talking to Moran, and that was that. End of plot.
There was a small reshuffle on 1 Mar 1952 when Churchill handed over the job of Minister of Defence to Field Marshal Harold Alexander. It is possible that Churchill broached the topic of Eden's job description with the Palace again, although I haven't come across anything saying so.
as for 1954 ...
Gilbert pp1048-53 On 24 Aug 1954 Macmillan called on Churchill at Chartwell. Churchill now intended to stay on as PM until the next election in November 1955 (the last possible moment), instead of retiring in September 1954 as had been agreed, as he wanted to seek a summit meeting with Malenkov and on the somewhat dubious grounds that it would be unfair to Eden to expect him to head up a “fag-end” government for a year or so. He intended that Eden should “become” Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the House, also responsible for election campaigning. Macmillan, according to his diary, disagreed with all of this and thought Eden would not want to move from the Foreign Office. After an exchange of letters Eden then had a rather tense, if superficially polite, meeting with Churchill on 27 August (he had conferred with Butler and Macmillan beforehand – they all wanted Churchill to retire) and declined to move from the FO, although he accepted that Churchill was staying on for the moment. This is slightly different from the date of 30 Aug given by Dutton for the document he cites – maybe a separate memo was drawn up, or maybe the formal exchange of letters was filed on 30 Aug. Neither the formal exchange of letters nor Eden’s diary appear to mention him “becoming” DPM – that is just in Macmillan’s diary. Macmillan might not have been aware of Churchill’s informal granting of the title in October 1951.Paulturtle (talk) 06:06, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
Sorry for taking a couple of days to get back to you and, yes, it was 'Churchill's Indian Summer'. If I may say, that's some extremely impressive research that you've done! I'm not sure what you want to do vis-à-vis the article, but I think that it's clear from this that Eden was never 'officially' granted the office. Thanks again and Happy Halloween! FollowTheTortoise (talk) 13:11, 31 October 2020 (UTC)