Attlee the enigma

Extract from the diary of Guy Liddell, Deputy Director General of the Security Service, September 1946 to March 1947 (KV 4/468)

I found the P.M. an extremely difficult man to talk to. He was, of course, tired, but he hardly ever responded. You say your piece and when you come to the end there is a long pause- you then begin the next item on the agenda. I think it is to some extent due to a curious shyness, which he radiates, and indeed, imparts to his visitors. He does not often look you in the face. I had the same impression on the other occasions when I spoke to him, and from what I can gather from others who have seen him, it is his usual form. After I had finished my piece there was a further pause; I therefore got up, saying that I did not think there was any other information to communicate to him, unless there was anything special that he wanted to know. He bundled out of his chair in a somewhat confused state.

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