London: The Associated Press Ltd., 13 December 1957. Photograph. This is an original press photo of Winston S. Churchill with Prime Minister Harold Macmillan at 10 Downing Street on 13 December 1957. This press photo once belonged to The Daily Telegraph’s working archive. The image measures 11 x 8.75 in (27.9 x 22.2 cm) on matte photo paper. Condition is very good minus. The slightly irregularly trimmed paper is crisp and free of scuffing with original crop markings, minor edge wear, and some intermittent bruising. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “The Associated Press Ltd.”, a published stamp of The Daily Telegraph from 13 December 1957, remnants of a typed caption, handwritten printing notes, and a clipping of the caption as it appeared in print. The caption reads: “SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL saying farewell to Mr. Macmillan at the door of 10, Downing Street yesterday, after lunching there. The Prime Minister is leaving this evening for the N.A.T.O. meeting in Paris.”
Macmillan had that year become Prime Minister (in January), following Churchill’s successor and longtime heir apparent, Anthony Eden, whose resignation was forced by the Suez crisis and ill-health. Churchill had left 10 Downing Street himself only two and a half years before, when he resigned his second and final premiership at the age of 80 in April 1955.
Prime Minister from 1957-1963, Harold Macmillan (1894-1986) was first elected a Conservative member of parliament in 1924. He spent much of the 1930s with his political career impeded by his advocacy of social reform and his anti-appeasement stance. As it did for Churchill, the outbreak of the Second World War proved his qualities and brought him into the government as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Supply. In 1942, he both became under-Secretary at the Colonial Office and was sworn of the privy council – “an unusual honour for a junior minister.” (ODNB)
By the end of 1942, Churchill appointed Macmillan Minister Resident at allied forces HQ in Algiers, where Macmillan was to act as political advisor to Eisenhower and represent the British government in developing allied policy in North Africa and the Mediterranean. Significantly, Macmillan reported directly to Churchill. This role made Macmillan an important go-between. It also nearly cost him his life, when he was badly burnt in a plane crash in North Africa. In his crucial role as a wartime liaison, “On several occasions his diplomacy saved the day” and was dubbed 'Viceroy of the Mediterranean’. (ODNB)
Macmillan’s diplomacy and accommodations often both vexed and ably served Churchill. By war’s end, Macmillan had acted as president of the allied commission for Italy, superintended the political arrangements for the German surrender in Italy on 29 April 1945, and returned to Britain to join the Cabinet as secretary of state for air – just before for the Labour won the General Election in July 1945. When the Conservatives returned to power in 1951, Macmillan served as minister of housing and then, in quick succession, minister of defence, foreign secretary, and chancellor of the exchequer under the premierships of Churchill and Eden. Macmillan remained prime minister until October 1963, when Cabinet scandals and ill health forced his resignation.
When Churchill broke his hip in Monte Carlo on June 1962, there was concern that the injury might prove fatal and Churchill’s secretary conveyed to 10 Downing Street Churchill’s wish: I want to die in England”. It was Prime Minister Macmillan who ordered an RAF Comet to ferry Churchill home. Macmillan’s grandfather had founded Macmillan publishers, who published Churchill’s 1906 biography of his father, Lord Randolph Churchill. During the Second World War Macmillan reprinted several of Churchill’s books and, after his premiership, Harold Macmillan went on to chair his family’s publishing firm. Item #005415