The Prime Minister’s Statistical Section

  • Donald MacDougall


Soon after the outbreak of war in September Mr. Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, appointed Professor Lindemann, the Oxford physicist, as his personal adviser. At first he was intended to advise mainly on scientific matters, but in October the First Lord asked him to form a statistical branch as well, and within a month or so some half a dozen economists, nearly all in their twenties, had been collected from the universities. ‘S Branch’, as it was called, was to collect and co-ordinate Admiralty and cognate statistics for the First Lord and also to advise him on wider matters with which he was concerned as a member of the War Cabinet. When Mr. Churchill became Prime Minister in May 1940 the Branch was transformed into the Prime Minister’ s Statistical Section and the scope of its work greatly enlarged. It remained in being until the change of Government in July 1945. In December 1942 Professor Lindemann (now Lord Cherwell) was appointed Paymaster-General, and the Section was sometimes known thereafter as the Office of the Paymaster-General. An important part of its work was now to advise Lord Cherwell in his personal capacity as a member of the House of Lords, a Minister, an attender at meetings of the War Cabinet and a member of several Cabinet committees.


Political Economy Prime Minister Armed Force Economic Section Scientific Matter 
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Copyright information

© Sir Donald MacDougall 1975

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  • Donald MacDougall

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