Files from the National Archive reveal preposterous acts both grand and petty.
Julian Putkowski distills them down.
Klimowicz was just another Polish stowaway seeking political asylum in London in 1954.
The Home Office got ready to boot him out.
Then the Prime Minister, Churchill, got involved.
His solution? Send in the destroyers.
With Shami Chakrabarti
Reader: Crawford Logan
Producer: Matt Thompson
A Loftus production for BBC Radio 4.
When an asylum seeker is found on a ship Churchill sends in destroyers - to bring him back.
Julian Putkowski presents a series on cases from the National Archives that show up Civil Service bureaucracy at its nonsensical and frequently hilarious worst.
In 1954, stevedores reported finding an unconscious young man on board a Polish ship berthed at Bermondsey Docks.
Was he an asylum seeker or a stowaway?