6 December 2013
CHURCHILL, Winston S. Speech typescript, a general election speech at Woodford, n.d. [ca. May 1955], with a few holograph annotations in Churchill's hand. 30 pages, 8vo, onion skin, punch holes at top left corner (some words at edges lost because of typist errors).
"IN THIS TERRIBLE 20TH CENTURY, OUR COUNTRY HAS PLAYED AN HONOURABLE AND FAMOUS PART"
CHURCHILL BLASTS THE LABOUR PARTY "SOCIALISTS" AND "PASSES THE TORCH" TO ANTHONY EDEN in this spirited general election speech, prepared by his typists in the stanza-style that particularly lends itself to the Churchillian cadence. "After 6 years of war followed by 6 years of Socialism, we found ourselves on the verge of bankruptcy." He lambastes and taunts his Labour Party opponents (always referring to them as "the Socialists"), denouncing them for their austerity policies "and the Nationalization flop." He takes a curious swipe at Clement Attlee for supporting the development of a hydrogen bomb: "He could hardly do otherwise, considering that he made the Atomic Bomb secretly for 4 years without even telling Parliament." Yet Churchill kept the "tube alloys" atomic bomb project just as secret during his own wartime government. He reserves his harshest attacks for Aneurin Bevan, calling him "this voluble careerist." Turning to foreign affairs, he surveys the state of U.S.-British-Soviet relations following Stalin's death. "I have been a lifelong opponent of Communism...But this is an internal issue for the Russian people to settle for themselves."
By contrast with the strong attacks on his opponents, his endorsement of his long-suffering understudy is mild by comparison. "In my successor, Sir Anthony Eden, we have a statesman long versed in Parliamentary and Cabinet Government...It is with full confidence founded on comradeship and co-operation through nearly 20 fateful years that I have passed the torch to him, and I call upon the electors of Britain as a whole to give him generous and effective support."
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