I have been reading about Her Majesty’s Treasury, with a view to research, and this week I finished Samuel Beer’s little 1956 book, Control of the Treasury. There is plenty for those who believe in the existence of an age-old “treasury view”. Gladstone was quoted as saying that the “candlestick economy” was “quite the measure of a good Treasury Secretary”. Winston Churchill’s view in 1929 that as a general rule the state can never create more jobs was an “unshakeable” “orthodox view” of the Treasury. Beer argues that the Treasury’s role is not to co-ordinate departments, but simply to say no, and comments: “Isn’t it a bit strange that such a Gladstonian institution as the Treasury should become the agency responsible for guide and control state intervention in the economy?” Co-ordination of economic policy at this time, he believed, was done through the Oxbridge networks and “tables of Pall Mall Clubs Luncheon”.