But the Delilah project, manifestly too late for the German war, could not possibly expect a high priority, as he must have known. It was not like the work at Bletchley.
And so even if angry over what he saw as incomprehensible waste and stupidity, he could also afford to stand aside and see the establishment in a more detached way.
In this respect he and Robin Gandy would see things in very much the same light, and they both enjoyed reading Nigel Balchin's novel The Small Back Room, which had appeared in 1943.
This presented with unconcealed bitterness, yet also with a mordant wit, the frustrations felt by young scientists trying to get the war won and over with, and hamstrung by games of one-upmanship and empire-defending.
At Hanslope a number of amusing stories were told, fairly or unfairly, about the plots and coups of the upper echelons,
but Alan certainly did not suffer from all the tribulations Balchin described, and in particular he was spared the problem of dealing with dead-wood 'eminent scientists' who stifled initiative in the name of efficiency.
In fact no one took any interest, scientific or otherwise, in the Delilah project.
This remained true even when the addition of the key generator showed that he had a means of giving complete speech security with two small boxes of equipment.