Principia Mathmatica being finished, I felt somewhat at a
loose end. The feeling was delightful, but bewildering, like coming out of
prison. Being at the time very much interested in the struggle between the
Liberals and the Lords about the Budget and the Parliament Act, I felt an
inclination to go into politics. I applied to Liberal Headquarters for a
constituency, and was recommended to Bedford. I went down and gave an address
to the Liberal Association, which was received with enthusiasm. Before the
address, however, I had been taken into a small back room, where I was
subjected to a regular catechism, as nearly as I remember in the following
Q. Are you a member of the Church of England?
A. No, I was brought up as a Nonconformist.
Q. And have remained so?
A. No, I have not remained so.
Q. Are we to understand that you are an agnostic?
A. Yes, that is what you must understand.
Q. Would you be willing to attend church occasionally?
A. No, I should not.
Q. Would your wife be willing to attend church occasionally?
A. No, she would not.
Q. Would it come out that you are an agnostic?
A. Yes, it probably would come out.
In consequence of these answers, they selected as their
candidate Mr. Kellaway, who became Postmaster General, and held correct
opinions during the War. They must have felt that they had had a lucky escape.
— The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell, 1872-1914