- Yes Prime Minister 2.1 Quote
76 plays

Sir Humphrey: “It is characteristic of all committee discussions and decisions that every member has a vivid recollection of them and that every member’s recollection of them differs violently from every other member’s recollection. Consequently, we accept the convention that the official decisions are those and only those which have been officially recorded in the minutes by the Officials, from which it emerges with an elegant inevitability that any decision which has been officially reached will have been officially recorded in the minutes by the Officials and any decision which is not recorded in the minutes is not been officially reached even if one or more members believe they can recollect it, so in this particular case, if the decision had been officially reached it would have been officially recorded in the minutes by the Officials. And it isn’t so it wasn’t.”

 - Yes Minister 1.7 Quote
70 plays

Jim Hacker: “Humphrey, is everything all right about the Solihull-project?”
Sir Humphrey: “Yes Minister, I understand that the building works are proceeding quite satisfactory.”
Jim Hacker: “No, no, that’s not what I meant. Is something going on?”
Sir Humphrey: “Building is going on, Minister.”
Jim Hacker: “No, no, Humphrey. I mean something is up, isn’t it?”
Sir Humphrey: “Yes indeed, Minister.”
Jim Hacker: “What?”
Sir Humphrey: “Well the first floor is up and second floor is almost…”
Jim Hacker: “No Humphrey, I am talking about the whole basis of the thing.”
Sir Humphrey: “Oh, I see.”
Jim Hacker: “What can you tell me about that?”
Sir Humphrey: “Ah…well, as I understand it Minister, the basis is an aggregate of gravel and cement on six feet of best builder’s…”
Jim Hacker: “Humphrey, I think you know I am talking about the finance!”

Jim Hacker: "Well, anyway. Why are we bugging Hugh Halifax? Is he talking to the Russians?"
Sir Humphrey: "No, the French actually. That's much more serious."
Jim Hacker: "Why?"
Bernard Woolley: "The Russians already know what we are doing."
Jim Hacker:”I have made a policy decision. I am going to do something about the number of women in the Civil Service.”Sir Humphrey:”Surely there aren’t all that many?”

Jim Hacker:”I have made a policy decision. I am going to do something about the number of women in the Civil Service.”
Sir Humphrey:”Surely there aren’t all that many?”

 - Yes Prime Minister 1.3 Quote
9 plays

Sir Humphrey: “Notwithstanding the fact that your proposal could conceivably encompass certain concomitant benefits of a marginal and peripheral relevance, there is a countervailing consideration of infinitely superior magnitude involving your personal complicity and corroborative malfeasance, with a consequence that the taint and stigma of your former associations and diversions could irredeemably and irretrievably invalidate your position and culminate in public revelations and recriminations of a profoundly embarrassing and ultimately indefensible character.”
Jim Hacker: “Perhaps I can have a précis of that?”

There’s nicotine on your hands.

 - Yes Minister 1.2 Quote
158 plays

 Jim Hacker: “Humphrey, do you think it is a good idea to issue a statement?” [as a response to the planned speech of the President of Buranda urging the Scots and Irish to fight against English oppression]
Sir Humphrey: “Well, Minister, in practical terms we have the usual six options: One, do nothing. Two, issue a statement deploring the speech. Three, lodge an official protest. Four, cut of aid. Five, break off diplomatic relations. And six, declare war.”
Jim Hacker: “Which should be it?”
Sir Humphrey: “Well, if we do nothing we implicitly agree with the speech. Two, if we issue a statement we’ll just look foolish. Three, if we lodge a protest it’ll be ignored. Four, we can’t cut of aid because we don’t give them any. Five, if we break off diplomatic relations we can’t negotiate the oil rig contracts. And six, if we declare war it might just look as though we were over-reacting.”

 - Yes Minister 2.1 Quote
103 plays

 Sir Humphrey: “Minister, you said you wanted the administration figures reduced, didn’t you?”
Jim Hacker: “Yes.”
Sir Humphrey: “So we reduced the figures.”
Jim Hacker: “But only the figures, not the number of administrators.”
Sir Humphrey: “Well of course not.”
Jim Hacker: “Well that is not what I meant.”
Sir Humphrey: “Well really Minister, one is not a mind-reader, is one? You said reduce the figures, so we reduced the figures.”

 - Yes Minister 3.3 Quote
39 plays

Sir Humphrey: “But if they don’t send us the information and the plans and the requests for permission, well, what are we here for?”
Jim Hacker: “Good question. What are we here for?”
Sir Humphrey: “To collect the information, inspect the plans and withhold or grant permission.”
Jim Hacker: “And if we didn’t?”
Sir Humphrey: “I’m sorry, Minister. I don’t understand.”
Jim Hacker: “If we weren’t here and we didn’t do it, what then?”
Sir Humphrey: “I’m sorry, Minister. You’ve lost me.”
Jim Hacker: “You know, your trouble is that you’re more concerned with means than ends.”
Sir Humphrey: “There are no ends in administration, Minister, except loose ends. Administration is eternal.”
Bernard Woolley: “Forever and ever…”
Bernard & Sir Humphrey: “…amen.”

Apparently, the fact that you needed to know was not known at the time that the now known need to know was known, therefore those that needed to advise and inform the Home Secretary perhaps felt the information he needed as to whether to inform the highest authority of the known information was not yet known and therefore there was no authority for the authority to be informed because the need to know was not, at that time, known or needed.
 Bernard Wooley 
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