Download NATIONAL LIFE STORIES CITY LIVES Julius Neave Interviewed by David Phillips C409/34 PDF

TitleNATIONAL LIFE STORIES CITY LIVES Julius Neave Interviewed by David Phillips C409/34
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Page 69

James Neave C409/34
Tape 5 Side B (Part 10) Page 66

What happened when your founder chairman Richard Guinness died, which was in '49. Did that reverberate

throughout the industry?

Well - to some extent. Of course his influence on the business was always on the financial side and the

investment side. Never on the underwriting. Not significantly.

So it wouldn't have had a big impact on your day to day work?

No. No. Before leaving my training, there was one aspect of my training which was frustrated sadly. I was

going out to be with a French company. And I was going to spend 3 months with them. The idea was more to

learn French than anything else. But they were - one would have learnt a lot about marine business again from

being immersed in this thing. But I had a - a crash on a steeplechase - in a steeplechase. And - I broke my

collarbone, which doesn't sound very bad, but in fact it was a very bad break and it necessitated my going into

hospital for 3 weeks and having a bone graft taken out of my hip and stuffed into my shoulder. And -

That was a big operation wasn't it?

It was a big operation. And there was a marvellous man who did it called - Osmond Clark. He was later the

Queen's orthopaedic surgeon, but not at that time. Although he had - he was very well known. And this was at

the London Hospital. And I tell the story because it's really rather a marvellous story about doctors. And when

the whole thing was over, and I'd been in a private ward for - I suppose at least 3 weeks, and this major

operation had taken place. And it had been a complete success. In due course I got a bill for £250 I think it

was. And I wrote to him and I said - you know, I thanked him for all he'd done and said that I'm very sorry that

I couldn't send him a cheque just like that, but it would take me some time. And explained that my financial

position was one that having come back from the war I was only earning £400. And it was not possible to live

on that anyway. And he wrote back and he said if he'd had any idea that that was my financial position he'd

never have sent me a bill. Would I please tear it up. And it gave me a very good - marvellous feeling of - of -

top doctors of that kind.

Your firm wouldn't have paid. There was no such thing as employee insurance?

I would never have asked them to. I would never have asked them to. There was nothing like - no sort of

insurance, no BUPA, no - no nothing of that kind. No.

But that would have been a devastating bill, wouldn't it. You I suppose could have gone to some form of State

National Health hospital?

Well -

Did you contemplate doing that?

Page 70

James Neave C409/34
Tape 5 Side B (Part 10) Page 67

Well I - I - what had happened was that - after the accident I was taken actually to Chelmsford Hospital. And

when I got home my sister who had trained as a hospital nurse rather than going into one of the services for her

callup in the war. Quite clearly by the Monday morning what they'd done at the Chelmsford Hospital wasn't any

good at all. The whole thing was sort of - coming through the - skin here. It was extremely painful. And she

phoned up the matron at the London Hospital and - and - who arranged for me to go straight up there and see

them. And they kept me in there. Having seen this thing. And sort of - I mean I think if one - had been that

kind of chap you could have sued somebody - a certain amount for not having -

Did that shape your views on the National Health Service?

There wasn't such a thing as the National Health Service.

Just sort of coming in?

Just sort of - in the discussion stage. But anyrate, I only tell that story because I thought it was a marvellous

reaction of - of - Osmond Clark to an ex-serviceman's plight.

How long were you off work as a result of that?

I should think 5 or 6 weeks.

So your trip to France ..?

That was squashed. But by this time - I had established the nucleus of a marine department. And I took on a

splendid chap who had also been a cavalryman in the Third Hussars, as my assistant. Called Philip Flint. Who

was a tower of strength to the company for many years. And who died sadly about l8 months ago. But I always

remember my office which was not anything like as big as this room, about half this room. He and I sat in this

and it was on the way that my uncle used to come - arriving - to get into his office. And he used to open the

door and say "good morning". And I'd say "good morning uncle Dick". And he'd say "you're not writing any

marine risks I hope". And I said "oh no, of course not, nothing like that". But I mean it still - he still

remembered how the marine business had - had - shaken the very foundation of the M & G in its early days.

And - of course we were rescued by the Swiss on that occasion and -

But you were actually writing risks at this point and you had an assistant as well?

I suppose what he meant was that I personally wasn't. And - I wouldn't at that stage have referred any offer of

business to - Charles Calburn or Michael Stewart or one of my superiors. So I was - my conscience was quite

clear in saying that "no I -

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