- Forever poised between a cliché and an indiscretion.
on the life of a Foreign Secretary
in Newsweek 30 April 1956
- Let us be frank about it: most of our people have never had it so good.
‘You Never Had It So Good’ was the Democratic Party slogan during the 1952 US election campaign
speech at Bedford, 20 July 1957
- I thought the best thing to do was to settle up these little local difficulties, and then turn to the wider vision of the Commonwealth.
on leaving for a Commonwealth tour, following the resignation of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and others
statement at London airport, 7 January 1958; in The Times 8 January 1958
- The wind of change is blowing through this continent, and, whether we like it or not, this growth of [African] national consciousness is a political fact.
speech at Cape Town, 3 February 1960
- As usual the Liberals offer a mixture of sound and original ideas. Unfortunately none of the sound ideas is original and none of the original ideas is sound.
speech to London Conservatives, 7 March 1961
- If people want a sense of purpose, they should get it from their archbishops. They should not hope to receive it from their politicians.
to Henry Fairlie, 1963; H. Fairlie The Life of Politics (1968)
- First of all the Georgian silver goes, and then all that nice furniture that used to be in the saloon. Then the Canalettos go.
on privatization; often quoted as, ‘Selling off the family silver’
speech to the Tory Reform Group, 8 November 1985
- The opposition of events.
on his biggest problem; popularly quoted as, ‘Events, dear boy. Events’
David Dilks The Office of Prime Minister in Twentieth Century Britain (1993)
- Power? It's like a Dead Sea fruit. When you achieve it, there is nothing there.
Anthony Sampson The New Anatomy of Britain (1971)