Cabinet Secretaries' notebooks (CAB 195/16): The Prime Minister
The Prime Minister.
Had hoped to carry on. In recent weeks recurrence of abdominal symptoms. Read doctors' report. The considered view of 4 doctors.
Saw Queen y'day & informed her of situation.
It is my duty to resign.
i) Risk of infection to liver ii) Decreasing efficiency m'while. Great regret.
Propose to tender formal resignation this p.m. This means tht. Admn. ends - offices at disposal of successor - m'while carry on until relieved.
Had wished to carry on during this period - great opportunities tho' difficult. Wish you all good fortune.
Thanks for loyalty shown to me.
In view of doctors' rept. can't ask for decn. to be modified.
Deep sorrow. Oldest political friend - over 30 yrs. Bitter blow. Pattern courage integrity. Rare vision. Courage in recent months intensified affectn. & admirn. of people.
Rough times. Never divided. In yrs. ahead shall try to carry on in spirit of his example & leadership.
Awful shock. Love & sympathy to Clarissa. Hope, after rest, fully restored to health. Don't abandon hope of further service. Talents needed.
In country yr. repute is steadily rising.
Not only personal shock therefore but gt. political blow.
32 years in H/C. together.
In yrs after 1918 we felt survivors of a generation of which many had perished. That was bond betwn. us.
You were trustee of young men who suffered in 2nd. war.
When Suez understood you will be held to have acted in acc. motives of highest order. Prs., followg yr. example, we may turn to advantage oppies. you have opened to us. You have rejected easy ways out.
Loyalty of colleagues. Thanks.
Taken from C.M. 4(57) - Meeting held on 9 January 1957.