Paul Dickson, in The Official Rules
, Delacorte Press, 1978, gives this:Stamp's Statistical Probability
The government [is] extremely fond of amassing great quantities of statistics. These are raised to the n
th degree, the cube roots are extracted, and the results are arranged into elaborate and impressive displays. What must be kept ever in mind, however, is that in every case, the figures are first put down by a village watchman, and he puts down anything he damn well pleases.
(Attributed to Sir Josiah Stamp, 1840-1941, H.M. collector of inland revenue. From rules collected by Donald Rumsfeld.)
Mr. Dickson, unfortunately, provides no further information about Mr. Rumsfeld or his collection of rules. It seems fairly probable, but by no means certain, that this is the same Donald Rumsfeld who has twice been US Secretary of Defense; however, a WSJ article on "Rumsfeld's Rules" http://www.opinionjournal.com/wsj/?id=85000505
does not include this one.
This quotation is included, however (albeit in a slightly different form) in the Wikipedia article on Josiah Stamp: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josiah_Stamp,_1st_Baron_Stamp
The article also doesn't provide information about when and where he said it, and indicates that HE attributed it to a judge.
[This message was edited by kmccary on 06-21-07 at 08:01 AM.]