(upon Bond turning a major disaster of the Moonraker into a minor disaster – M. discusses some of the fallout to Bond during the debriefing…)
M. paused and put a match to his pipe. ‘If the story holds,” he continued reflectively, ‘we shan’t come out of this too badly. We’ve wanted one of their [Soviet’s] high-speed U-boats and we’ll be glad of the clues we can pick up about their atom bombs. The Russians know that we know that their gamble failed. Malenkov’s none too firmly in the saddle and this may mean another Kremlin revolt. As for the Germans. Well, we all knew there was plenty of Nazism left and this will make the Cabinet go just a bit more carefully on German rearmament. And, as a very minor consequence,’ he gave a wry smile, ‘it will make Vallance’s security job [director of Special Branch], and mine for the matter of that, just a little bit easier in the future. These politicians can’t see that the atomic age has created the most deadly saboteur in the history of the world – the little man with the heavy suitcase.’
‘Will the Press wear the story?’ asked Bond dubiously.
M. shrugged his shoulders. ‘The Prime Minister saw the editors this morning,’ he said, putting another match to his pipe, ‘and I gather he’s got away with it so far. If the rumours get bad later on, he’ll probably have to see them again and tell them some of the truth. Then they’ll play all right. They always do when it’s important enough. The main thing is to gain time and stave off the firebrands. For the moment everyone’s so proud of the Moonraker that they’re not inquiring too closely into what went wrong.’