Douglas Hurd

Last night I was hugely privileged to hear Douglas Hurd talk to us about his favourite Foreign Secretaries of the last 150 years. I had met Lord Hurd 20 years ago in Devon when on holiday. We were all watching a cricket match, yet he was still working on papers that he had with him as well. So he would not remember me. But I will remember him, a great gentleman, a true diplomat, a natural academic, and a very successful Foreign Secretary. His knowledge is immense, what I loved most was when someone in the audience, trying to catch him out asked a question about Canning and his involvement in Chile in the 19th century. Well I never knew that Canning was involved in Chile s history, but Lord Hurd knew, and in some detail. It makes you think that the quality of Maggie Thatcher s cabinet was exceptional. You don t have to agree with what she did, but she had a great skill of surrounding herself with bright and able men, and Douglas Hurd was one of them. A very special evening.

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