Members of an exclusive London gentlemen's club expressed shock and outrage after a new rule was introduced allowing the "American custom" of talking at breakfast.
Reporting on the end of one of the most cherished traditions of the 111-year-old Savile Club, the Sunday Telegraph, a pillar of the British establishment, said the death knell was sounded in just 13 words.
"The general committee has agreed to a trial period of conversation at breakfast," a club announcement said.
Club secretary Peter Aldersly said members had liked to be able to read their newspapers in peace, but times have changed.
"There are some members who want business breakfasts. It's an American custom," he explained.
But historian Lord Dacre, a member for nearly 50 years, reacted angrily. "Good God! I shall resign at once," he said.