The latest release of Cabinet meeting minutes from the National Archive seem a fascinating read.
At a cabinet discussion in 1954 about immigration, Churchill is quoted (with abbreviations by the Cabinet Secretary) as saying:
Coloured Workers - Problems wh. will arise if many coloured people settle here. Are we to saddle ourselves with colour problems in UK? Attracted by Welfare State. Public opinion in UK won't tolerate it once it gets beyond certain limits.
This sounds awfully like a summary of Enoch Powell's 1968 "Rivers of Blood" speech without the emotional rhetoric.
As usual with these cabinet papers, one finds cabinets spending hours on the most surprising items.
Macmillan's cabinet seem to spend hours discussing the extermination of squirrels (or was it badgers or rabbits?).
Churchill's cabinet spent hours discussing the surplus of plums. In the end, action was agreed to provide sugar for preserving the excess and the debate was ended by the Prime Minister in most rousing Churchillian terms:
"Plums shall not rot".
So much better than "Never in the field of human conflict......" don't you think? No? Ah, perhaps you are right.