Hutchinson's Pictorial History of the War, Series 15 No 1

HISTORY of the WAR SERVANTS OF A GREAT PURPOSE By the Rl. Hon. Winston Churchill, P.C., C.H., iYl.P., Prime Minister Add res sing an historic meeting in Washington, U.S .A .,of both houses of the United States Con­gress on 26th December, 1941, Mr. Churchill said :Members o f the Senate and of the House of Representatives o f the United States, I feel greatly honoured you should have invited tome enter the United States Chamber and address representa­tives of both branches of Congress. The fact that my American forbears of so many generations played their part in the life of the United States, and that here I am ,an Englishman, welcomed in your midst, makes this ex­perience one of the most moving and thrilling in my life, which is already long and has not been entirely uneventful. I wish indeed that my mother, whose memory I cherish across the vale of years, could have been hereto see. By the way, 1 cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and m y mother British, instead of the other way round, I might have got hereon my own. In that case, this would not have been the first time you would have heard m y Invoice. that case, I should not have needed any invitation, but if I had, it is hardly likely it would have been unanimous. I must confess, therefore, that I do not feel quite alike fish out of water in a legislative assembly where English is spoken. I am a child of the House of Commons. I was brought up in my father’s house to believe in democracy. “Trust the people” —that was his message. I used to see him cheered at meetings and in the streets by crowds of workingmen way back in those aristocratic Victorian days when, as Disraeli said, the world was for the few, and for the very few. Therefore I have been in harmony all my life with the tides which have flowed on both sides of the Atlantic against privilege and monopoly, and I have steered confidently towards the Gettysburg ideal of “the government o f the people by the people for the people.” I owe m y advancement entirely to the House o f Commons, whose servant I am .In tny country, as in yours, public men are proud to bethe servants o f the State and would be ashamed to be its masters. But any (lay, if they thought the people wanted it, the Flouse o f Commons might by a simple vote remove me fromm y office. But I am not worrying about it at all. As a matter o f fact. I am sure they will approve very highly o f m y journey here, for which I obtained the Kin g’s permission in order to meet the President of the United States and to arrange with him all that mapping out of our military plans, and have all those intimate meetings o f the high officers o f the armed services in both countries which are indis­pensable to the successful prosecution of the war. I should like to say first of all how much I have been impressed and encouraged by the breadth of view and sense o f proportion which I have found in all quarters over hereto which I have had access. Anyone who did not understand the size and solidarity of the foundations of the United States might easily have expected to find an exciting, disturbed, self-centred atmosphere, with all minds focused upon the novel, startling, and painful episodes of sudden war as they hit America. After all, the United States has been attacked and set upon by three most powerfully armed dictator States— the greatest military power in Europe, the greatest military Power in Asia. Japan ,Germany and Italy have all declared, and are making, war upon you. The quarrel is opened, which can only end in theii overthrow or yours. But herein Washington, in these memorable days, I have found an Olympian fortitude which, far from being based upon complacency, is only 1 he bi'einnitm o fan inflexible purpose and the proof o f a h HUTCHINSON’S PICTORIAL AN HISTORIC SPEECH Mr. Winston Churchill addressing U.S. Congress. Behind ishim Vice-President Henry A. Wallace.
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