December 13, 2015

Hugh Gaitskell, Minister of Fuel and Power in the Labour Government during the post Second World War period, was urging energy conservation; his advice proved too much for Churchill, renowned for his love of frequent bathing.

Gaitskell: ‘Personally, I have never had a great many baths myself, and I can assure those who are in the habit of having a great many that it does not make a great difference to their health if they have less.’

Churchill replied on 28 October 1947: ’When Ministers of the Crown speak like this on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the Prime Minister and his friends have no need to wonder why they are getting increasingly into bad odour. I had even asked myself, when meditating upon these points whether you, Mr. Speaker, would admit the word “lousy” as a Parliamentary expression in referring to the Administration, provided, of course, it was not intended in a contemptuous sense but purely as one of factual narration.’

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