Winston S. Churchill quotes

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Winston S. Churchill

Birthdate: 30. November 1874
Date of death: 24. January 1965

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a British statesman, army officer, and writer. He served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. As a Member of Parliament , he represented five constituencies over the course of his career. As Prime Minister, Churchill led Britain to victory during the Second World War. He led the Conservative Party for fifteen years from 1940 to 1955.

Churchill was born into an aristocratic family, the son of an English politician and American socialite. Joining the British Army, he saw action in British India, the Anglo–Sudan War, and the Second Boer War, gaining fame as a war correspondent and writing books about his campaigns. Moving into politics, before the First World War, he served as President of the Board of Trade, Home Secretary, and First Lord of the Admiralty as part of Asquith's Liberal government. During the war, Churchill departed from government following the disastrous Gallipoli Campaign. He briefly resumed active army service on the Western Front as a battalion commander in the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He returned to government under Lloyd George as Minister of Munitions, Secretary of State for War, Secretary of State for Air, then Secretary of State for the Colonies. After two years out of Parliament, he served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in Baldwin's Conservative government of 1924–1929, controversially returning the pound sterling in 1925 to the gold standard at its pre-war parity, a move widely seen as creating deflationary pressure on the UK economy.

Out of office during the 1930s, Churchill took the lead in warning about Nazi Germany and in campaigning for rearmament. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was again appointed First Lord of the Admiralty. Following Neville Chamberlain's resignation in May 1940, Churchill became Prime Minister. His speeches and radio broadcasts helped inspire British resistance, especially during the difficult days of 1940–41 when the British Commonwealth and Empire stood almost alone in its active opposition to Adolf Hitler. He led Britain as Prime Minister until after the German surrender in 1945. After the Conservative Party's defeat in the 1945 general election, he became Leader of the Opposition to the Labour Government. He publicly warned of an "Iron Curtain" of Soviet influence in Europe and promoted European unity. He was re-elected Prime Minister in the 1951 election. His second term was preoccupied by foreign affairs, including the Malayan Emergency, Mau Mau Uprising, Korean War, and a UK-backed Iranian coup. Domestically his government laid great emphasis on house-building. Churchill suffered a serious stroke in 1953 and retired as Prime Minister in 1955, although he remained an MP until 1964. Upon his death, he was given a state funeral.

Named the Greatest Briton of all time in a 2002 poll, Churchill is among the most influential people in British history, consistently ranking well in opinion polls of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom. As a writer, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 for his overall, lifetime body of work. His highly complex legacy continues to stimulate intense debate amongst writers and historians.

Works

The Second World War
The Second World War
Winston S. Churchill
The World Crisis
The World Crisis
Winston S. Churchill
My Early Life
My Early Life
Winston S. Churchill
The River War
The River War
Winston S. Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
Lord Randolph Churchill
Winston S. Churchill

„Everyone is in favour of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

"The Coalmining Situation", Speech to the House of Commons (October 13, 1943)
The Second World War (1939–1945)
Source: Google books link https://books.google.com/books?id=hc8pAAAAQBAJ&pg=PT373&lpg=PT373&dq=%22if+anyone+says+anything+back+that+is+an+outrage%22&source=bl&ots=vQG7eKCVNO&sig=FgGJGUVc7MSNY3-hyQrYpC8tiOY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFEQ6AEwDWoVChMI-J-rpoiWyQIVF9tjCh2cLAel#v=onepage&q=%22if%20anyone%20says%20anything%20back%20that%20is%20an%20outrage%22&f=false

„Unless Germany is beaten in a manner which leaves no room for doubt or dispute, unless she is convinced by the terrible logic of events that the glory of her people can never be achieved by violent means, unless her war-making capacity after the war is sensibly diminished, a renewal of the conflict, after an uneasy and malevolent truce, seems unavoidable.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

The War by Land and Sea, Part IV, The London Magazine, January 1917.
Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 147-8.
Early career years (1898–1929)
Context: The German hope is that if the frontiers can be unshakeably maintained for another year, a peace can be obtained which will relieve Germany from the consequences of the hideous catastrophe in which she has plunged the world, and leave her free to scheme and prepare a decisive stroke in another generation. Unless Germany is beaten in a manner which leaves no room for doubt or dispute, unless she is convinced by the terrible logic of events that the glory of her people can never be achieved by violent means, unless her war-making capacity after the war is sensibly diminished, a renewal of the conflict, after an uneasy and malevolent truce, seems unavoidable.

„The salvation of the common people of every race and of every land from war or servitude“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Speech at Zurich University (September 19, 1946) ( partial text http://www.churchill-society-london.org.uk/astonish.html) ( http://www.peshawar.ch/varia/winston.htm).
Post-war years (1945–1955)
Context: The salvation of the common people of every race and of every land from war or servitude must be established on solid foundations and must be guarded by the readiness of all men and women to die rather than submit to tyranny.

„The crowd was unarmed, except with bludgeons. It was not attacking anybody or anything. It was holding a seditious meeting. When fire had been opened upon it to disperse it, it tried to run away. Pinned up in a narrow place considerably smaller than Trafalgar Square, with hardly any exits, and packed together so that one bullet would drive through three or four bodies, the people ran madly this way and the other. When the fire was directed upon the centre, they ran to the sides. The fire was then directed to the sides. Many threw themselves down on the ground, and the fire was then directed on the ground. This was continued for 8 or 10 minutes …“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Speech in the House of Commons, July 8, 1920 "Amritsar" http://lachlan.bluehaze.com.au/churchill/am-text.htm
Early career years (1898–1929)
Context: Let me marshal the facts. The crowd was unarmed, except with bludgeons. It was not attacking anybody or anything. It was holding a seditious meeting. When fire had been opened upon it to disperse it, it tried to run away. Pinned up in a narrow place considerably smaller than Trafalgar Square, with hardly any exits, and packed together so that one bullet would drive through three or four bodies, the people ran madly this way and the other. When the fire was directed upon the centre, they ran to the sides. The fire was then directed to the sides. Many threw themselves down on the ground, and the fire was then directed on the ground. This was continued for 8 or 10 minutes... [i]f the road had not been so narrow, the machine guns and the armoured cars would have joined in. Finally, when the ammunition had reached the point that only enough remained to allow for the safe return of the troops, and after 379 persons … had been killed, and when most certainly 1,200 or more had been wounded, the troops, at whom not even a stone had been thrown, swung round and marched away. … We have to make it absolutely clear … that this is not the British way of doing business. … Our reign, in India or anywhere else, has never stood on the basis of physical force alone, and it would be fatal to the British Empire if we were to try to base ourselves only upon it.

„What kind of a people do they think we are? Is it possible they do not realise that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

Speech to a joint session of the United States Congress, Washington, D.C. (26 December 1941) http://www.winstonchurchill.org/learn/speeches/speeches-of-winston-churchill/1941-1945-war-leader/288-us-congress-1941.
The Second World War (1939–1945)
Context: When we consider the resources of the United States and the British Empire compared to those of Japan, when we remember those of China, which has so long and valiantly withstood invasion and when also we observe the Russian menace which hangs over Japan, it becomes still more difficult to reconcile Japanese action with prudence or even with sanity. What kind of a people do they think we are? Is it possible they do not realise that we shall never cease to persevere against them until they have been taught a lesson which they and the world will never forget?
Members of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives, I turn for one moment more from the turmoil and convulsions of the present to the broader basis of the future. Here we are together facing a group of mighty foes who seek our ruin; here we are together defending all that to free men is dear. Twice in a single generation the catastrophe of world war has fallen upon us; twice in our lifetime has the long arm of fate reached across the ocean to bring the United States into the forefront of the battle. If we had kept together after the last War, if we had taken common measures for our safety, this renewal of the curse need never have fallen upon us.
Do we not owe it to ourselves, to our children, to mankind tormented, to make sure that these catastrophes shall not engulf us for the third time?

„People say we ought not to allow ourselves to be drawn into a theoretical antagonism between Nazidom and democracy; but the antagonism is here now.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Winston Churchill, in "The Defence of Freedom and Peace (The Lights are Going Out)", radio broadcast to the United States and to London (16 October 1938).
The 1930s
Context: People say we ought not to allow ourselves to be drawn into a theoretical antagonism between Nazidom and democracy; but the antagonism is here now. It is this very conflict of spiritual and moral ideas which gives the free countries a great part of their strength. You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. On all sides they are guarded by masses of armed men, cannons, aeroplanes, fortifications, and the like — they boast and vaunt themselves before the world, yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts; words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home — all the more powerful because forbidden — terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic. They make frantic efforts to bar our thoughts and words; they are afraid of the workings of the human mind. Cannons, airplanes, they can manufacture in large quantities; but how are they to quell the natural promptings of human nature, which after all these centuries of trial and progress has inherited a whole armoury of potent and indestructible knowledge?

„The wars of peoples will be more terrible than those of kings.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

House of Commons, 13 May 1901, Hansard vol. 93 col. 1572. http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1901/may/13/army-organisation
Early career years (1898–1929)
Context: In former days, when wars arose from individual causes, from the policy of a Minister or the passion of a King, when they were fought by small regular armies of professional soldiers, and when their course was retarded by the difficulties of communication and supply, and often suspended by the winter season, it was possible to limit the liabilities of the combatants. But now, when mighty populations are impelled on each other, each individual severally embittered and inflamed—when the resources of science and civilisation sweep away everything that might mitigate their fury, a European war can only end in the ruin of the vanquished and the scarcely less fatal commercial dislocation and exhaustion of the conquerors. Democracy is more vindictive than Cabinets. The wars of peoples will be more terrible than those of kings.

„We live in a country where the people own the Government and not in a country where the Government owns the people.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

I Ask You—What Price Freedom? Answers, 24 October 1936.
Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 360.
The 1930s
Context: We live in a country where the people own the Government and not in a country where the Government owns the people. Thought is free, speech is free, religion is free, no one can say that the Press is not free. In short, we live in a liberal society, the direct product of the great advances in human dignity, stature and well-being which will ever be the glory of the nineteenth century.

„Some people regard private enterprise as a predatory tiger to be shot. Others look on it as a cow they can milk. Not enough people see it as a healthy horse, pulling a sturdy wagon.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

As quoted in the United States of America Congressional Record: Proceedings and Debates of the 105th Congress Second Session, Government Printing Office, Vol. 144, Part 4, p. 5738 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=nEI6WcjH8ykC&pg=PA5738
Post-war years (1945–1955)

„The British nation is unique in this respect: they are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

Speech in the House of Commons, June 10, 1941 "Defence of Crete" http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1941/jun/10/defence-of-crete#column_152, in The Churchill War Papers : 1941 (1993), Churchill/Gilbert, Norton, p. 785
The Second World War (1939–1945)
Context: I must point out … that the British nation is unique in this respect. They are the only people who like to be told how bad things are, who like to be told the worst, and like to be told that they are very likely to get much worse in the future and must prepare themselves for further reverses.

„Italy has shown that there is a way of fighting the subversive forces which can rally the masses of the people, properly led, to value and wish to defend the honour and stability of stabilized society. She has provided the necessary antidote to the Russian poison. Hereafter no great nation will be unprovided with an ultimate means of protection against the cancerous growth of Bolshevism.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

Press statement from Rome (20 January 1927), as quoted in Introduction: A Political-Biographical Sketch by Tariq Ali in Class War Conservatism and Other Essays (2015) by Ralph Miliband, with date of quote given in Go Betweens for Hitler by Karina Urbach.
Early career years (1898–1929)

„First there are the Jews who, dwelling in every country throughout the world, identify themselves with that country, enter into its national life and, while adhering faithfully to their own religion, regard themselves as citizens in the fullest sense of the State which has received them. Such a Jew living in England would say, 'I am an English man practising the Jewish faith.' This is a worthy conception, and useful in the highest degree. We in Great Britain well know that during the great struggle the influence of what may be called the 'National Jews' in many lands was cast preponderatingly on the side of the Allies; and in our own Army Jewish soldiers have played a most distinguished part, some rising to the command of armies, others winning the Victoria Cross for valour. There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution, by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews, it is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd) or of Krassin or Radek -- all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses. The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing.“

—  Winston S. Churchill

"Zionism versus Bolshevism", Illustrated Sunday Herald (February 1920)
Early career years (1898–1929)

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