Churchill war ministry
The Churchill war ministry was the United Kingdom's coalition government for most of the Second World War from 10 May 1940 to 23 May 1945. It was led by Winston Churchill, who was appointed Prime Minister by King George VI following the resignation of Neville Chamberlain in the aftermath of the Norway Debate.
|Churchill war ministry|
Winston Churchill on 2 August 1944
|Date formed||10 May 1940|
|Date dissolved||23 May 1945|
|People and organisations|
|Prime Minister||Winston Churchill|
|Deputy Prime Minister||Clement Attlee (1942–1945)|
|Total no. of members||223 appointments|
|Status in legislature||Majority (coalition)|
|Legislature term(s)||37th UK Parliament|
|Incoming formation||Norway Debate|
|Predecessor||Chamberlain war ministry|
|Successor||Churchill caretaker ministry|
At the outset, Churchill formed a five-man War Cabinet which included Chamberlain as Lord President of the Council, Clement Attlee as Lord Privy Seal and later as Deputy Prime Minister, Viscount Halifax as Foreign Secretary and Arthur Greenwood as a minister without portfolio. Although the original war cabinet was limited to five members, in practice they were augmented by the service chiefs and ministers who attended the majority of meetings. The cabinet changed in size and membership as the war progressed but there were significant additions later in 1940 when it was increased to eight after Churchill, Attlee and Greenwood were joined by Ernest Bevin as Minister of Labour and National Service; Anthony Eden as Foreign Secretary – replacing Halifax, who was sent to Washington D.C. as ambassador to the United States; Lord Beaverbrook as Minister of Aircraft Production; Sir Kingsley Wood as Chancellor of the Exchequer and Sir John Anderson as Lord President of the Council – replacing Chamberlain who died in November (Anderson later became Chancellor after Kingsley Wood's death in September 1943).
The coalition was dissolved in May 1945, following the final defeat of Germany, when the Labour Party decided to withdraw in order to prepare for a general election. Churchill, who was the leader of the Conservative Party, was asked by the King to form a new, essentially Conservative, government. It was known as the Churchill caretaker ministry and managed the country's affairs until completion of the general election on 26 July that year.
The 1935 general election had resulted in a Conservative victory with a substantial majority and Stanley Baldwin became Prime Minister. In May 1937, Baldwin retired and was succeeded by Neville Chamberlain who continued Baldwin's foreign policy of appeasement in the face of German, Italian and Japanese aggression. Having signed the Munich Agreement with Hitler in 1938, Chamberlain became alarmed by the dictator's continuing aggression and, in March 1939, signed the Anglo-Polish military alliance which supposedly guaranteed British support for Poland if attacked. Chamberlain issued the declaration of war against Germany on 3 September 1939 and formed a war cabinet which included Winston Churchill (out of office since June 1929) as First Lord of the Admiralty.
Dissatisfaction with Chamberlain's leadership became widespread in the spring of 1940 after Germany successfully invaded Norway. In response, the House of Commons held the Norway Debate from 7 to 9 May. At the end of the second day, the Labour opposition forced a division which was in effect a motion of no confidence in Chamberlain. The government's majority of 213 was reduced to 81, still a victory but nevertheless a shattering blow for Chamberlain.
9–13 May 1940: Creation of a new governmentEdit
On Thursday, 9 May, Chamberlain attempted to form a National Coalition Government. In talks at Downing Street with Viscount Halifax and Churchill, he indicated that he was quite ready to resign if that was necessary for Labour to enter such a government. Labour's leader Clement Attlee and his deputy Arthur Greenwood then joined the meeting, and when asked, they indicated that they must first consult their party's National Executive Committee (then in Bournemouth to prepare for the annual conference), but it was unlikely they could serve in a government led by Chamberlain; they probably would be able to serve under some other Conservative.
After Attlee and Greenwood left, Chamberlain asked whom he should recommend to the King as his successor. The version of events given by Churchill is that Chamberlain's preference for Halifax was obvious (Churchill implies that the spat between Churchill and the Labour benches the previous night had something to do with that); there was a long silence which Halifax eventually broke by saying he did not believe he could lead the government effectively as a member of the House of Lords instead of the House of Commons. Churchill's version gets the date wrong, and he fails to mention the presence of David Margesson, the government Chief Whip.
Halifax's account omits the dramatic pause and gives an additional reason: "PM said I was the man mentioned as most acceptable. I said it would be hopeless position. If I was not in charge of the war (operations) and if I didn't lead in the House, I should be a cypher. I thought Winston was a better choice. Winston did not demur." According to Halifax, Margesson then confirmed that the House of Commons had been veering to Churchill.
In a letter to Churchill written that night, Bob Boothby asserted that parliamentary opinion was hardening against Halifax, claiming in a postscript that according to Liberal MP Clement Davies, "Attlee & Greenwood are unable to distinguish between the PM & Halifax and are not prepared to serve under the latter". Davies (who thought Chamberlain should go, and be replaced by Churchill) had lunched with Attlee and Greenwood (and argued his case) shortly before they saw Chamberlain. Labour's Hugh Dalton, however, noted in his diary entry for 9 May that he had spoken with Attlee, who "agrees with my preference for Halifax over Churchill, but we both think either would be tolerable".
On the morning of Friday, 10 May, Germany invaded the Netherlands and Belgium. Chamberlain initially felt that a change of government at such a time would be inappropriate, but upon being given confirmation that Labour would not serve under him, he announced to the War Cabinet his intention to resign. Scarcely more than three days after he had opened the debate, Chamberlain went to Buckingham Palace to resign as Prime Minister. Despite resigning as PM, however, he continued to be the leader of the Conservative Party. He explained to the King why Halifax, whom the King thought the obvious candidate, did not want to become Prime Minister. The King then sent for Churchill and asked him to form a new government; according to Churchill, there was no stipulation that it must be a coalition government.
At 21:00 on 10 May, Chamberlain announced the change of Prime Minister over the BBC. Churchill's first act as Prime Minister was to ask Attlee to come and see him at Admiralty House. Next, he wrote to Chamberlain to thank him for his promised support. He then began to construct his coalition cabinet: before he went to bed at 03:00 on Saturday, 11 May, six hours after Chamberlain's original announcement, Churchill had established the composition of the new War Cabinet and appointed the heads of the three Service Ministries.
On Saturday, 11 May, the Labour Party agreed to join a national government under Churchill's leadership and he was able to form his war cabinet. In his biography of Churchill, Roy Jenkins described the Churchill cabinet as one "for winning", while the former Chamberlain cabinet was one "for losing". Labour leader Clement Attlee relinquished his official role as Leader of the Opposition to become Lord Privy Seal (until 19 February 1942 when he was appointed Deputy Prime Minister). Arthur Greenwood, Labour's deputy leader, was appointed a minister without portfolio.
The main problem for Churchill as he became Prime Minister was that he was not the leader of the majority Conservative Party and, needing its support, was obliged to include Chamberlain in the war cabinet, but this was not to Labour's liking. Initially, Churchill proposed to appoint Chamberlain as both Leader of the House of Commons and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Attlee objected and Churchill decided to appoint Chamberlain as Lord President of the Council. The fifth member of the war cabinet was Halifax, who retained his position as Foreign Secretary. Instead of Chamberlain, Kingsley Wood became Chancellor but, until 3 October 1940, he was not a member of the war cabinet.
Churchill appointed himself as Leader of the House (it was normal procedure until 1942 for a prime minister in the Commons to lead the House) and created for himself the new role of Minister of Defence, so that he would be permanent chair of the Cabinet Defence Committee which included the three service ministers and the three service chiefs. Anthony Eden became Secretary of State for War, Labour's A. V. Alexander succeeded Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty and the leader of the Liberal Party, Sir Archibald Sinclair, became Secretary of State for Air. The three service Chiefs of Staff (CoS) at this time were Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, the First Sea Lord; Air Marshal Sir Cyril Newall, the Chief of the Air Staff; and Field Marshal Sir Edmund Ironside, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff (CIGS). (On 27 May, Ironside was replaced at Churchill's request by his deputy Field Marshal Sir John Dill, and Ironside became Commander-in-Chief, Home Forces.)
By Monday, 13 May, most of the senior government posts were filled. That day was Whit Monday, normally a bank holiday but cancelled by the incoming government. A specially convened sitting of the House of Commons was held and Churchill spoke for the first time as Prime Minister:
I beg to move, that this House welcomes the formation of a Government representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion.
He explained that a War Cabinet of five members had been formed to represent the unity of the nation with all three main party leaders agreeing to serve either in the War Cabinet or in high executive office. Churchill was hoping to complete all ministerial appointments by the end of the 14th. He announced an adjournment of Commons business until the 21st and apologised for making only a short address for the present. Even so, his speech has become one of his most famous because he concluded with his statement of intent:
I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat". We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realised; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal. But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, "Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength".
In reply, Hastings Lees-Smith as acting Leader of the Opposition announced that Labour would vote for the motion to assure the country of a unified political front. After several other members had spoken, including David Lloyd George and Stafford Cripps, the House divided on the question: "That this House welcomes the formation of a Government representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion". 381 members voted "aye" in favour of the motion and, apart from the two tellers for the "noes", the wartime coalition was endorsed unanimously.
Leader of the OppositionEdit
There was no de facto Leader of the Opposition from 11 May 1940 until Attlee resumed the role on 23 May 1945. The Labour Party appointed an acting Leader of the Opposition whose job, although he was in effect a member of the national government, was to ensure the continued functionality of the House of Commons. Due process in the Commons requires someone, even a member of the government, to fill the role even if there is no actual opposition. The first acting leader was Hastings Lees-Smith, the MP for Keighley, who died in office on 18 December 1941. He was briefly succeeded by Frederick Pethick-Lawrence and then, from 22 February 1942, by Arthur Greenwood who had left the War Cabinet, until 23 May 1945.
14 May 1940 to 23 May 1945Edit
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- 2 August 1940: Lord Beaverbrook, Minister of Aircraft Production, joined the War Cabinet.
- 22 September 1940: resignation of Neville Chamberlain for health reasons (terminal colon cancer).
- October 1940: Sir John Anderson succeeded Chamberlain as Lord President and joined the War Cabinet. Sir Kingsley Wood, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Ernest Bevin, the Minister of Labour, also entered the War Cabinet. Lord Halifax assumed the additional job of Leader of the House of Lords.
- 9 November 1940: death of Neville Chamberlain.
- 22 December 1940: Anthony Eden succeeded Lord Halifax as Foreign Secretary (Eden held the post until 26 July 1945) and joined the War Cabinet as its eighth member. Halifax became Ambassador to the United States. His successor as Leader of the House of Lords was not in the War Cabinet.
- May 1941: Beaverbrook ceased to be Minister of Aircraft Production, but remained in the War Cabinet as Minister of State. His successor was not in the War Cabinet.
- June 1941: Beaverbrook became Minister of Supply, remaining in the War Cabinet.
- 1941: Oliver Lyttelton entered the Cabinet as Minister-Resident for the Middle East.
- 4 February 1942: Lord Beaverbrook became Minister of War Production; his successor as Minister of Supply was not in the War Cabinet.
- 19 February 1942: Beaverbrook resigned and no replacement Minister of War Production was appointed for the moment. Clement Attlee became Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister. Sir Stafford Cripps succeeded Attlee as Lord Privy Seal and took over the position of Leader of the House of Commons from Churchill. Sir Kingsley Wood left the War Cabinet, though remaining Chancellor of the Exchequer.
- 22 February 1942: Arthur Greenwood left the War Cabinet to assume the role of Leader of the Opposition, necessary for House of Commons functionality, till 23 May 1945.
- March 1942: Oliver Lyttelton filled the vacant position of Minister of Production ("War" was dropped from the title). Richard Casey (a member of the Australian Parliament) succeeded Oliver Lyttelton as Minister-Resident for the Middle East.
- October 1942: Sir Stafford Cripps retired as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Commons and left the War Cabinet. His successor as Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Cranborne) was not in the Cabinet, Anthony Eden took the additional position of Leader of the House of Commons. The Home Secretary, Herbert Morrison, entered the Cabinet.
- 21 September 1943: death of Sir Kingsley Wood.
- September 1943: Sir John Anderson succeeded Sir Kingsley Wood as Chancellor of the Exchequer, remaining in the War Cabinet. Clement Attlee succeeded Anderson as Lord President, remaining also Deputy Prime Minister. Attlee's successor as Dominions Secretary was not in the Cabinet.
- November 1943: Lord Woolton entered the Cabinet as Minister of Reconstruction.
- January to November 1944: Lord Moyne replaced Richard Gardiner Casey as Minister-Resident for the Middle East.
End of the ministry, 23 May 1945Edit
In October 1944, Churchill had proposed to the Commons that the current Parliament, which had begun in 1935, should be extended by a further year. He correctly anticipated the defeat of Germany in the spring of 1945 but he did not expect the end of the Far East war until 1946. He therefore recommended that the end of the European war should be "a pointer (to) fix the date of the (next) General Election".
Attlee, along with Eden and others, attended the San Francisco Conference and had returned to London by 18 May 1945 (ten days after V-E Day) when he met Churchill to discuss the future of the coalition. Attlee, in agreement with Churchill, wanted it to continue until after the Japanese surrender but he discovered that others in the Labour Party, especially Morrison and Bevin, wanted an election in October after Parliament ended. On 20 May, Attlee attended his party conference and found that opinion was against him so he informed Churchill that Labour must leave the coalition.
On 23 May, Labour left the coalition to begin their general election campaign. Churchill resigned as prime minister but the King asked him to form a new government, known as the Churchill caretaker ministry, until the election was held in July. Churchill agreed and his new ministry, essentially a Conservative one, held office for the next two months until it was replaced by Attlee's Labour government after their election victory.
War Cabinet membersEdit
|Portfolio||Minister||Party||Joined war cabinet||Left war cabinet||Notes and citations|
|Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury||Winston Churchill||Conservative||10 May 1940||23 May 1945||Churchill also held the offices of Minister of Defence and Leader of the House of Commons.|
|Deputy Prime Minister||Clement Attlee||Labour||19 February 1942||23 May 1945||New office created for Attlee to have general responsibility for domestic affairs.|
|Minister of Defence||Winston Churchill||Conservative||10 May 1940||23 May 1945||Minister of Defence was a new role created by Churchill for himself to hold full responsibility for prosecution of the war.|
|Leader of the House of Commons||Winston Churchill||Conservative||10 May 1940||19 February 1942||Churchill relinquished this role on 19 February 1942. Succeeded by Cripps.|
|Sir Stafford Cripps||Labour||19 February 1942||22 November 1942||Previously British Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Simultaneously Lord Privy Seal. Became Minister of Aircraft Production (outside the war cabinet) and was succeeded by Eden as Leader of the House. His successor as Lord Privy Seal (Cranborne) was not in the war cabinet.|
|Anthony Eden||Conservative||22 November 1942||23 May 1945||Eden succeeded Cripps as Leader of the House and was simultaneously Foreign Secretary.|
|Lord President of the Council||Neville Chamberlain||Conservative||10 May 1940||29 September 1940||Resigned for health reasons (cancer of the colon) and died on 9 November 1940.|
|Sir John Anderson||National||3 October 1940||24 September 1943||Succeeded Chamberlain. Previously Home Secretary (from 12 May 1940), but was outside the war cabinet. Became Chancellor and was succeeded by Attlee.|
|Clement Attlee||Labour||24 September 1943||23 May 1945||Succeeded Anderson who became Chancellor on death of Kingsley Wood.|
|Lord Privy Seal||Clement Attlee||Labour||11 May 1940||15 February 1942||Change of role in February 1942. Succeeded by Cripps.|
|Sir Stafford Cripps||Labour||19 February 1942||22 November 1942||Previously British Ambassador to the Soviet Union. Simultaneously Leader of the House. Became Minister of Aircraft Production (outside the war cabinet) and was succeeded by Eden as Leader of the House. His successor as Lord Privy Seal (Cranborne) was not in the war cabinet.|
|Foreign Secretary||Viscount Halifax||Conservative||10 May 1940||22 December 1940||Was replaced by Eden and sent to Washington DC as British Ambassador to the United States.|
|Anthony Eden||Conservative||22 December 1940||23 May 1945||Succeeded Halifax. Previously Secretary of State for War (from 11 May 1940), but was outside the war cabinet. From November 1942, Eden was also Leader of the House.|
|Home Secretary||Herbert Morrison||Labour||22 November 1942||23 May 1945||Appointed Home Secretary on 2 October 1940 but was outside the war cabinet until 22 November 1942.|
|Chancellor of the Exchequer||Sir Kingsley Wood||Conservative||3 October 1940||22 February 1942||Appointed Chancellor on 12 May 1940 but was outside the war cabinet until 3 October. Left the war cabinet in February 1942 but remained Chancellor until his death on 21 September 1943.|
|Sir John Anderson||National||24 September 1943||23 May 1945||Appointed on death of Kingsley Wood. Previously Lord President.|
|Minister without portfolio||Arthur Greenwood||Labour||11 May 1940||22 February 1942||Left the war cabinet and was acting Leader of the Opposition until 23 May 1945.|
|Minister of Labour and National Service||Ernest Bevin||Labour||3 October 1940||23 May 1945||Appointed Minister of Labour and National Service on 13 May 1940 but was outside the war cabinet until 3 October 1940.|
|Minister of Aircraft Production||Lord Beaverbrook||Conservative||2 August 1940||30 April 1941||New office created for Beaverbrook who was new to politics. Successor (Moore-Brabazon) was not in the war cabinet.|
|Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs||Clement Attlee||Labour||15 February 1942||24 September 1943||Succeeded Cranborne. Successor (Cranborne again) was not in the war cabinet.|
|Minister of State||Lord Beaverbrook||Conservative||1 May 1941||29 June 1941||Nominal role only. Beaverbrook had no specific portfolio.|
|Minister of Supply||Lord Beaverbrook||Conservative||29 June 1941||4 February 1942||Succeeded Duncan. Successor (Duncan again) was not in the war cabinet.|
|Minister of War Production||Lord Beaverbrook||Conservative||4 February 1942||19 February 1942||New office created for Beaverbrook. Succeeded by Lyttelton as Minister of Production.|
|Minister of Production||Oliver Lyttelton||Conservative||12 March 1942||23 May 1945||Succeeded Beaverbrook. The office was initially called Minister of War Production when created on 4 February 1942.|
|Minister of Reconstruction||Lord Woolton||National||11 November 1943||23 May 1945||New role created to lead post-war planning. Woolton was previously Minister of Food (from 3 April 1940), but was outside the war cabinet.|
|Minister-Resident for the Middle East||Oliver Lyttelton||Conservative||29 June 1941||12 March 1942||New role created to relieve military commanders of civil responsibility. Lyttelton was previously President of the Board of Trade (from 3 October 1940), but was outside the war cabinet. Became Minister of Production and was succeeded by Casey.|
|Richard Casey||National||12 March 1942||14 January 1944||Previously Australian Ambassador to the United States. Became Governor of Bengal and was succeeded by Moyne.|
|Lord Moyne||Conservative||14 January 1944||6 November 1944||Succeeded Casey. Previously the Deputy Minister-Resident. Was assassinated by Jewish militants on 6 November 1944. Moyne was succeeded by Sir Edward Grigg, but he was outside the war cabinet.|
Ministers outside the War CabinetEdit
- Jenkins 2001, pp. 551–552.
- Jenkins 2001, pp. 576–582.
- quoted in Gilbert, as from David Dilks, ed. (1971). The Diaries of Sir Alexander Cadogan O.M 1938–45. London: Cassel. p. 280 (diary entry for 9 May 1940). ISBN 978-03-04937-37-0.
- Churchill 1968, pp. 523–524.
- Jenkins 2001, p. 583.
- Shakespeare 2017, p. 362.
- cited in Gilbert: "Letter of 9 May 1940, marked by Churchill 'secret, for dinner, in a box'; Churchill papers 2/392".
- Schneer, Jonathan (16 March 2015). Ministers at War. Oneworld Publications. p. 28. ISBN 978-17-80746-14-2.
- quoted in Thomas-Symonds, Nicklaus (1 March 2012). Attlee: A Life in Politics. I.B.Tauris. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-08-57730-74-9.
- War Cabinet No. 119 of 1940, 4.30 p.m. (there were three War Cabinet meetings that day): Cabinet papers 65/7 cited in Gilbert.
- Wheeler-Bennett 1958, pp. 433–434.
- Churchill 1968, p. 525.
- Gilbert 1983, pp. 299–314.
- Jenkins 2001, pp. 714–715.
- Jenkins 2001, p. 587.
- Jenkins 2001, pp. 587–588.
- Jenkins 2001, p. 588.
- Hermiston 2016, p. 27.
- Hermiston 2016, p. 26.
- Hastings 2009, p. 25.
- "His Majesty's Government – Churchill". Hansard, House of Commons, 5th Series, vol. 360, col. 1501. 13 May 1940. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
- "His Majesty's Government – Churchill". Hansard, House of Commons, 5th Series, vol. 360, col. 1502. 13 May 1940. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- "His Majesty's Government – Lees-Smith". Hansard, House of Commons, 5th Series, vol. 360, cols 1504–1505. 13 May 1940. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
- "His Majesty's Government – Division". Hansard, House of Commons, 5th Series, vol. 360, col. 1525. 13 May 1940. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- "Ministers of the Crown Act 1937". Modern Law Review. Blackwell Publishing. 1 (2): 145–148. 1937. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2230.1937.tb00014.x. ISSN 0026-7961.
- Jenkins 2001, p. 685.
- Hermiston 2016, p. 356.
- Jenkins 2001, p. 790.
- Butler & Butler 1994, pp. 17–20.
- "Mr Donald Somervell". Hansard. London: UK Parliament. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
- "Civil Lord of the Admiralty". Hansard. UK Parliament
- "Financial Secretary to the Admiralty". Hansard. UK Parliament
- "First Lord of the Admiralty". Hansard. UK Parliament
- "Junior Lord of the Treasury". Hansard. UK Parliament
- "Deputy Chief Whip" Hansard. UK Parliament
- "Paymaster-General". Hansard. UK Parliament
- Butler, David; Butler, Gareth (1994). British Political Facts 1900–1994 (7 ed.). Basingstoke and London: The Macmillan Press.
- Churchill, Winston (1967) [1st pub. 1948]. From War to War: 1919–1939. The Gathering Storm. The Second World War. I (9th ed.). London: Cassell & Co. Ltd.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Churchill, Winston (1968) [1st pub. 1948]. The Twilight War: 3 September 1939 – 10 May 1940. The Gathering Storm. The Second World War. II (9th ed.). London: Cassell & Co. Ltd.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Churchill, Winston (1970) [1st pub. 1949]. The Fall of France: May – August 1940. Their Finest Hour. The Second World War. III (9th ed.). London: Cassell & Co. Ltd.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Gilbert, Martin (1983). Winston S. Churchill, Vol. 6: Finest Hour, 1939–1941. Heinemann. ISBN 978-04-34130-14-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Hastings, Max (2009). Finest Years. Churchill as Warlord, 1940–45. Hammersmith: Harper Collins. ISBN 978-00-07263-67-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Hermiston, Roger (2016). All Behind You, Winston – Churchill's Great Coalition, 1940–45. London: Aurum Press. ISBN 978-17-81316-64-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Jenkins, Roy (2001). Churchill. London: MacMillan Press. ISBN 978-03-30488-05-1.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Owen, David (2016). Cabinet's Finest Hour. London: Haus Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-19-10376-55-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Shakespeare, Nicholas (2017). Six Minutes in May. London: Vintage. ISBN 978-17-84701-00-0.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Wheeler-Bennett, John (1958). King George VI, His Life and Reign. London: Macmillan. OCLC 655565202.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Cawood, Ian (10 May 2013). "Liberal-Conservative Coalitions - "a farce and a fraud"?". History & Policy. History & Policy.
- "Cabinet papers, 1939–1945". National Archives.
- "Photo of the Churchill Coalition Government, 1940–45". Imperial War Museum.
Chamberlain war ministry
| Government of the United Kingdom
Churchill caretaker ministry