In the oblong cabinet room of 10 Downing Street, nine Prime Ministers met in solemn, smoke-filled conclave to discuss the fate of the world, so far as it can be influenced by the British Commonwealth.

It was no mean feat to maintain serenity among men of such dissimilar temperaments as India's Nehru and South Africa's Daniel Malan, but Sir Winston Churchill did it—largely by the device of doing most of the talking himself.

Each day, Sir Winston opened the discussion by giving the Churchill view of this or that aspect of world affairs. Occasionally, some other P.M. would impress himself on...

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