The Prime Minister must deal with a worsening financial crisis that requires all government Departments to cut their budgets. The belt-tightening coincides with a hoped-for civil service pay increase and Sir Humphrey and Sir Frank Gordon, the Treasury Secretary, decide they need to ensure the pay rise is announced as soon as possible. The PM thinks he has Sir Humphrey this time when his political adviser provides challenging questions about the pay rise. Sir Humphrey seeks advice from his predecessor, Sir Arnold Robinson, and develops a plan to win over the PM. Written by
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You are Cabinet Secretary. You must insist that we get papers circulated earlier.
Sir Humphrey Appleby
Alas, there are grave problems about circulating papers before they are written.