Papers show Churchill's Cabinet battles

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Winston Churchill had bitter disputes with his Cabinet during the Cold War about building the hydrogen bomb and conducting private diplomacy with the Soviet Union — even threatening to resign at one point, declassified documents showed Thursday.

The aging British prime minister threatened to quit in 1954 in order to quell a revolt by Cabinet ministers, angered at his high-handed leadership style, according to Cabinet notebooks released by the National Archives.

The details are in Cabinet Secretary Sir Norman Brook's notebooks covering the year 1954.

The first flashpoint occurred during a two-day Cabinet meeting on July 7-8, when Churchill, then 79, announced that the time had come for a decision on whether to replace Britain's existing atomic weapons with the more powerful hydrogen bomb.

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