I often look back on it and thing that possible it started off on the wrong foot from old Lewis Silkin in 1946. I think he laid the foundation stone of extra problems, although he was a far seeing man he knew he was right in his conception, but his public relations weren’t as good as they might be at the time.
I’ve heard him described as acting like a dictator.
Yes, that’s right. I wouldn’t say that, I would say that he like most of us when we are in a cornered spot sometimes and get a lot of pressure might say something off the top of our heads that in more quieter times we wouldn’t have dreamed of saying, we would have thought about it and said it in a different way. I don’t think he meant to be a dictator as such, I think it came out like that but having once said it that was it, but he certainly didn’t start off on the right foot.
…of course I did have a lot of sympathy with the existing population of Old Stevenage. You put yourself in their position. Here we are a town, a village almost, of 6,000 and we’re going to have 60,000 dumped on their doorstep, we’re going to be flooded with it and naturally this is the normal human reaction to a situation like that and I quite see this is perfectly normal and there would be antagonisms, but not as such that there were, as you might say, physical clashes or anything of that sort, it was mainly rhetoric rather than anything real.