Thursday, July 07, 2005

Three from Winston Churchill

"Upon the fraternal association and intimate alignment of policy of the United States and the British Commonwealth and Empire depends, more than on any other factor, the immediate future of the world. If they walk, or if need be march, together in harmony and in accordance with the moral and political conceptions to which the English-speaking peoples have given birth, and which are frequently referred to in the Atlantic Charter, all will be well. If they fall apart and wander astray from the commanding beacon-lights of their destiny, there is no end or measure to the miseries and confusion which await modern civilisation.

"It is fitting, my Lord Mayor, in a singular manner to speak upon this theme of the fraternal association of Britain and the United States amid the proud monuments and prouder ruins of the City of London, because nothing ever made a warmer feeling between the British and American peoples than the unflinching resistance of London to the formidable prolonged assault of the enemy. The phrase 'London can take it,' and the proof of it that was given, stirred every generous heart in the United States ...."

[June 30, 1943, from a speech at the Guildhall on receiving the Freedom of the City]

"What a triumph the life of these battered cities is, over the worst that fire and bomb can do. What a vindication of the civilized and decent way of living we have been trying to work for and work towards in our Island. What a proof of the virtues of free institutions. What a test of the quality of our local authorities, and of institutions and customs and societies so steadily built. This ordeal by fire has even in a certain sense exhilarated the manhood and womanhood of Britain. The sublime but also terrible and sombre experiences and emotions of the battlefield which for centuries had been reserved for the soldiers and sailors, are now shared, for good or ill, by the entire population."

[April 27, 1941, BBC broadcast, London]

"“You have committed every crime under the sun. Where you have been the least resisted there you have been the most brutal....We will have no truce or parley with you, or the grisly gang who work your wicked will. You do your worst—and we will do our best. Perhaps it may be our turn soon; perhaps it may be our turn now.”

[July 14, 1941, Speech to the London County Council]

[Has anyone got a full text of the July 14, 1941, City Council speech?]