domingo, 20 de fevereiro de 2011

Yōsuke Matsuoka

During March and April 1941, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Yosuke Matsuoka, conducted a tour, visiting Stalin and Ribbentrop. That was eight months before the attack on Pearl Harbour.

This trip has kept Britain and the United States in a state of great attention to the entry of Japan to war, given the Tripartite Pact.

During the visit, Churchill wrote a letter to Matsuoka, delivered through the Japanese Ambassador in England. Below is the transcript thereof:

I venture to suggest a few questions which it seems to me deserve the attention of the Imperial Japanese Government and people.
1. Will Germany, without the command of the sea or the command of the British daylight air, be able to invade and conquer Great Britain in the spring, summer, or autumn of 1941? Will Germany try to do so? Would it no be in the interests of Japan to wait until these questions have answered themselfs?
2. Will the Greman attach on British shipping be strong enough to prevent American aif from reaching British  shores, with Great Britain and the United States transforming their whole industry to war purposes?
3. Did Japan's  accession to the Triple Pact made it more likely or less likely that the United States would come into the present war?
4. If the United States entered the war at the side of Great Britain, and Japan ranged herself with the Axis Powers, would not the naval superiority of the two English-speaking nations enable them to dispose of the Axis Powers in Europe before turning their united strength upon Japan?
5. Is Italy a strength or a burden to Germany? is the Italian Fleet as good at sea as on paper? Is it good on paper as it used to be?
6. Will the British Air Force be stronger than the German Air Force before the end of 1941, and far stronger before the end of 1942?
7. Will the many countries which are being held down by the German Army and Gestapo learn to like the Germans more or will they like them less as the years pass by?
8. It is true that the production of steel in the United States during 1941 will be 75 million tons, and in Great Britain about 12 1/2, making a total of nearly 90 millions tons? If Germany should happen to be defeated, as she was the last time, would not the 7 million tons steel production of Japan be inadequate for a single-handed war?
From the answers to these questions may spring the avoidance by Japan of a serious catastrophe, and a marked improvement in the relations between Japan and the great sea-Powers of the West.
(Churchill, Winston. The grand alliance. 1950. Pages 167-168)

Churchill comment about his letter: "I was rather pleased with this when I wrote it, and I don't mind the look of it now".

Next post: Matsuoka answer.

The last successful battlefield cavalry charge

A very interesting article, from The Telegraph:

quinta-feira, 17 de fevereiro de 2011

Speech: The Birth Throes of a Sublime Resolve ("The Old Lion", 1941-06-16)

I am grateful, President Valentine, for the honour which you have conferred upon me in making me a Doctor of Laws of the University of Rochester in the State of New York. I am extremely complimented by the expressions of praise and commendation in which you have addressed me, not because I am or ever can be worthy of them, but because they are an expression of American confidence and affection which I shall ever strive to deserve.
But what touches me most in this ceremony is that sense of kinship and of unity, which I feel exists between us this afternoon. As I speak from Downing Street to the University of Rochester and through you to the people of the United States, I almost feel I have the right to do so, because my mother, as you have stated, was born in your city, and here my grandfather, Leonard Jerome, lived for so many years, conducting as prominent and rising citizen a newspaper with the excellent eighteenth-century title of the Plain Dealer.
The great Burke has truly said, "People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors," and I feel it most agreeable to recall to you that the Jeromes were rooted for many generations in American soil, and fought in Washington's armies for the independence of the American Colonies and the foundation of the United States. I expect I was on both sides then. And I must say I feel on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean now.
At intervals during the last forty years I have addressed scores of great American audiences in almost every part of the Union. I have learnt to admire the courtesy of these audiences; their sense of fair play; their sovereign sense of humour, never minding the joke that is turned against themselves; their earnest, voracious desire to come to the root of the matter and to be well and truly informed on Old World affairs.
And now, in this time of world storm, when I have been called upon by King and Parliament and with the support of all parties in the State to bear the chief responsibility in Great Britain, and when I have had the supreme honour of speaking for the British nation in its most deadly danger and in its finest hour, it has given me comfort and inspiration to feel that I think as you do, that our hands are joined across the oceans, and that our pulses throb and beat as one. Indeed I will make so bold as to say that here at least, in my mother's birth city of Rochester, I hold a latchkey to American hearts.
Strong tides of emotion, fierce surges of passion, sweep the broad expanses of the Union in this year of fate. In that prodigious travail there arc many elemental forces, there is much heart-searching and self-questioning; some pangs, some sorrow, some conflict of voices, but no fear. The world is witnessing the birth throes of a sublime resolve. I shall presume to confess to you that I have no doubts what that resolve will be.
The destiny of mankind is not decided by material computation. When great causes are on the move in the world, stirring all men's souls, drawing them from their firesides, casting aside comfort, wealth and the pursuit of happiness in response to impulses at once awe-striking and irresistible, we learn that we are spirits, not animals, and that something is going on in space and time, and beyond space and time, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty.
A wonderful story is unfolding before our eyes. How it will end we are not allowed to know. But on both sides of the Atlantic we all feel, I repeat, all, that we are a part of it, that our future and that of many generations is at stake. We are sure that the character of human society will be shaped by the resolves we take and the deeds we do. We need not bewail the fact that we have been called upon to face such solemn responsibilities. We may be proud, and even rejoice amid our tribulations, that we have been born at this cardinal time for so great an age and so splendid an opportunity of service here below.
Wickedness, enormous, panoplied, embattled, seemingly triumphant, casts its shadow over Europe and Asia. Laws, customs and traditions are broken up. Justice is cast from her seat. The rights of the weak are trampled down. The grand freedoms of which the President of the United States has spoken so movingly are spurned and chained. The whole stature of man, his genius, his initiative and his nobility, is ground down under systems of mechanical barbarism and of organized and scheduled terror.

For more than a year we British have stood alone, uplifted by your sympathy and respect and sustained by our own unconquerable will-power and by the increasing growth and hopes of your massive aid. In these British Islands that look so small upon the map we stand, the faithful guardians of the rights and dearest hopes of a dozen States and nations now gripped and tormented in a base and cruel servitude. Whatever happens we shall endure to the end.
But what is the explanation of the enslavement of Europe by the German Nazi regime? How did they do it? It is but a few years ago since one united gesture by the peoples, great and small, who are now broken in the dust, would have warded off from mankind the fearful ordeal it has had to undergo. But there was no unity. There was no vision. The nations were pulled down one by one while the others gaped and chattered. One by one, each in his turn, they let themselves be caught. One after another they were felled by brutal violence or poisoned from within by subtle intrigue.
And now the old lion with her lion cubs at her side stands alone against hunters who are armed with deadly weapons and impelled by desperate and destructive rage. Is the tragedy to repeat itself once more? All no! This is not the end of the tale. The stars in their courses proclaim the deliverance of mankind. Not so easily shall the onward progress of the peoples be barred. Not so easily shall the lights of freedom die.
But time is short. Every month that passes adds to the length and to the perils of the journey that will have to be made. United we stand. Divided we fall. Divided, the dark age returns. United, we can save and guide the world!

Speech: Until Victory is Won (1941-06-12)

(Yeap, the sound could be better. )

In the twenty-second month of the war against Nazism we meet here in this old Palace of St. James’s, itself not unscarred by the fire of the enemy, in order to proclaim the high purposes and resolves of the lawful constitutional Governments of Europe whose countries have been overrun ; and we meet here also to cheer the hopes of free men and free peoples throughout the world. Here before us on the table lie the title-deeds of ten nations or States whose soil has been invaded and polluted, and whose men, women, and children lie prostrate or writhing under the Hitler yoke. But here also, duly authorized by the Parliament and democracy of Britain, are gathered the servants of the ancient British Monarchy and the accredited representatives of the British Dominions beyond the seas, of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, of the Empire of India, of Burma, and of our Colonies in every quarter of the globe. They have drawn their swords in this cause. They will never let them fall till life is gone or victory is won. Here we meet, while from across the Atlantic Ocean the hammers and lathes of the United States signal in a rising hum their message of encouragement and their promise of swift and ever-growing aid.

What tragedies, what horrors, what crimes have Hitler and all that Hitler stands for brought upon Europe and the world ! The ruins of Warsaw, of Rotterdam, of Belgrade are monuments which will long recall to future generations the outrage of the unopposed air-bombing applied with calculated scientific cruelty to helpless populations. Here in London and throughout the cities of our Island, and in Ireland, there may also be seen the marks of devasta­tion. They are being repaid, and presently they will be more than repaid.

But far worse than these visible injuries is the misery of the conquered peoples. We see them hounded, terrorized, exploited. Their manhood by the million is forced to work under conditions indistinguishable in many cases from actual slavery. Their goods and chattels are pillaged, or filched for worthless money. Their homes, their daily life are pried into and spied upon by the all-pervading system of secret political police which, having reduced the Germans themselves to abject docility, now stalk the streets and byways of a dozen lands. Their religious faiths are affronted, persecuted, or oppressed in the interests of a fantastic paganism devised to perpetuate the worship and sustain the tyranny of one abominable creature. Their traditions, their culture, their laws, their institutions, social and political alike, are suppressed by force or undermined by subtle, coldly-planned intrigue.

The prisons of the Continent no longer suffice. The concen­tration camps are overcrowded. Every dawn the German volleys crack. Czechs, Poles, Dutchmen, Norwegians, Yugoslavs and Greeks, Frenchmen, Belgians, Luxembourgers, make the great sacrifice for faith and country. A vile race of quislings—to use the new word which will carry the scorn of mankind down the centuries—is hired to fawn upon the conqueror, to collaborate in his designs, and to enforce his rule upon their fellow-countrymen, while grovelling low themselves. Such is the plight of once glorious Europe, and such are the atrocities against which we are in arms.

It is upon this foundation that Hitler, with his tattered lackey Mussolini at his tail and Admiral Darlan frisking by his side, pretends to build out of hatred, appetite, and racial assertion a new order for Europe. Never did so mocking a fantasy obsess the mind of mortal man. We cannot tell what the course of this fell war will be as it spreads remorseless through ever-wider regions. We know it will be hard, we expect it will be long ; we cannot predict or measure its episodes or its tribulations. But one thing is certain, one thing is sure, one thing stands out stark and undeniable, massive and unassailable, for all the world to see.

It will not be by German hands that the structure of Europe will be rebuilt or the union of the European family achieved. In every country into which the German armies and the Nazi police have broken there has sprung up from the soil a hatred of the German name and a contempt for the Nazi creed which the passage of hundreds of years will not efface from human memory. We cannot yet see how deliverance will come, or when it will come, but nothing is more certain than that every trace of Hitler’s footsteps, every stain of his infected and corroding fingers will be sponged and purged and, if need be, blasted from the surface of the earth.

We are here to affirm and fortify our union in that ceaseless and unwearying effort which must be made if the captive peoples are to be set free. A year ago His Majesty’s Government was left alone to face the storm, and to many of our friends and enemies alike it may have seemed that our days too were numbered, and that Britain and its institutions would sink for ever beneath the verge. But I may with some pride remind your Excellencies that, even in that dark hour when our Army was disorganized and almost weapon­less, when scarcely a gun or a tank remained in Britain, when almost all our stores and ammunition had been lost in France, never for one moment did the British people dream of making peace with the conqueror, and never for a moment did they despair of the common cause. On the contrary, we proclaimed at that very time to all men, not only to ourselves, our determination not to make peace until every one of the ravaged and enslaved countries was liberated and until the Nazi domination was broken and destroyed.

See how far we have travelled since those breathless days of June a year ago. Our solid, stubborn strength has stood the awful test. We are masters of our own air, and now reach out in ever­growing retribution upon the enemy. The Royal Navy holds the seas. The Italian fleet cowers diminished in harbour, the German Navy is largely crippled or sunk. The murderous raids upon our ports, cities, and factories have been powerless to quench the spirit of the British nation, to stop our national life, or check the immense expansion of our war industry. The food and arms from across the oceans are coming safely in. Full provision to replace all sunken tonnage is being made here, and still more by our friends in the United States. We are becoming an armed community. Our land forces are being perfected in equipment and training.

Hitler may turn and trample this way and that through tortured Europe. He may spread his course far and wide, and carry his curse with him : he may break into Africa or into Asia. But it is here, in this island fortress, that he will have to reckon in the end. We shall strive to resist by land and sea. We shall be on his track wherever he goes. Our air power will continue to teach the German homeland that war is not all loot and triumph. We shall aid and stir the people of every conquered country to resistance and revolt. We shall break up and derange every effort which Hitler makes to systematize and consolidate his subjugation. He will find no peace, no rest, no halting-place, no parley. And if, driven to desperate hazards, he attempts the invasion of the British Isles, as well he may, we shall not flinch from the supreme trial. With the help of God, of which we must all feel daily conscious, we shall continue steadfast in faith and duty till our task is done.

This, then, is the message which we send forth to-day to all the States and nations bond or free, to all the men in all the lands who care for freedom’s cause, to our allies and well-wishers in Europe, to our American friends and helpers drawing ever closer in their might across the ocean : this is the message—Lift up your hearts. All will come right. Out of the depths of sorrow and sacrifice will be born again the glory of mankind.


quarta-feira, 16 de fevereiro de 2011

Speech: Give Us The Tools (1941-02-09)

Five months have passed since I spoke to the British nation and Empire on the broadcast. In war-time there is a lot to be said for the motto "Deeds, not Words." All the same, it is a good thing to look around from time to time and take stock. And certainly our affairs have prospered in several directions during these last four or five months far better than most of us would have ventured to hope. We stood our ground and faced the two dictators in the hour of what seemed their overwhelming triumph and we have shown ourselves capable, so far, of standing up against them alone.

After the heavy defeat of the German Air Force by our fighters in August and September, Herr Hitler did not dare attempt the invasion of this island, although he had every need to do so and although he had made vast preparations. Baffled in this grandiose project, he sought to break the spirit of the British nation by the bombing, first of London and afterward of our great cities. It has now been proved to the admiration of the world and of our friends in the United States that this form of blackmail and murder and terrorism, so far from weakening the spirit of the British nation, has only roused it to a more intense and universal flame than was ever seen before in any modern community.

The whole British Empire has been proud of the mother country and they long to be with us over here in even larger numbers. We have been deeply conscious of the love for us which has flowed from the Dominions of the Crown across the broad ocean spaces. There is the first of our war aims-to be worthy of that love and to preserve it.

All through these dark Winter months the enemy have had the power to drop three or four tons of bombs upon us for ton we could send to Germany in return. We are arranging so that presently this will be rather the other way around, but meanwhile London and our big cities have had to stand their pounding. They remind me of the British squares at Waterloo. They are not squares of soldiers, they do not wear scarlet coats; they are just ordinary English, Scottish and Welsh folk, men, women and children, standing steadfastly together. But their spirit is the same, their glory is the same and, in the end, their victory will be greater than far-famed Waterloo.

All honour to the civil defence services of all kinds, emergency and regular, volunteer and professional, who have helped our people through this formidable ordeal, the like of which no civilized community has ever been called upon to undergo. If I mention only one of these services tonight, namely the police, it is because many tributes have been paid already to the others. But the police have been in it everywhere, all the time, and, as a working woman wrote to me in a letter, what gentlemen they are!

More than two-thirds of the Winter has now gone and so far we have had no serious epidemic. Indeed, there is no increase of illness in spite of the improvised condition of the shelters. That is most creditable to our local medical and sanitary authorities, to our devoted nursing staffs and to the Ministry of Health, whose head, as you may have seen, Mr. Malcolm MacDonald, is now going to Canada in the important office of High Commissioner.

There is another thing which surprised me when I asked about it. In spite of all these new wartime offences and prosecutions of all kinds, in spite of all the opportunities for looting and disorder, there has been less crime this Winter and there are now fewer prisoners in our jails than in the years of peace.

We have broken the back of the Winter. The daylight grows. The Royal Air Force grows and is already certainly master of the daylight air. The attacks may be sharper, but they will be shorter. There will be more opportunities for work and service of all kinds, more opportunities for life.

So, if our first victory was the repulse of the invader, our second was the frustration of these acts of terror and of torture against our people at home.

Meanwhile, abroad in October a wonderful thing happened. One of the two dictators, the crafty, cold-blooded, black-hearted Italian who had thought to gain an empire on the cheap by stabbing fallen France in the back-he got into trouble. Without the slightest provocation, stirred on by lust of power and brutish greed, Mussolini attacked and invaded Greece only to be hurled back ignominiously by the heroic Greek Army, who I will say, with your assent, have revived before our eyes the glories which from the Classic Age gild their native land.

While Signor Mussolini was writhing and smarting under the Greek lash in Albania, Generals Wavell and Wilson, who were charged with the defence of Egypt and of the Suez Canal in accordance with our treaty obligations, whose task seemed at one time so difficult, had received very powerful reinforcements, reinforcements of men, cannon, equipment and, above all, tanks, which we had sent from our island in spite of the invasion threat; and large numbers of troops from India, Australia and New Zealand had also reached them. Forthwith began that series of victories in Libya which have broken irretrievably the Italian military power on the African Continent. We have all been entertained, and I trust edified, by the exposure and humiliation of another of what Byron called "those Pagod things of saber sway with fronts of brass and feet of clay."

Here, then, in Libya is the third considerable event upon which we may dwell with some satisfaction. It is just exactly two months ago to a day that I was waiting anxiously, but oh so eagerly, for the news of the great counter-stroke which had been planned against the Italian invaders of Egypt. The secret had been well kept. The preparations had been well made, but to leap across those seventy miles of desert and attack an army of ten or eleven divisions, equipped with all the appliances of modern war, and who had been fortifying themselves for three months: that was a most hazardous adventure.

When the brilliant, decisive victory at Sidi Barrani, with its tens of thousands of prisoners, proved that we had quality, manoeuvring power and weapons superior to the enemy, who had boasted so much of his virility and his military virtue, it was evident that all the other Italian forces in Eastern Libya were in great danger. They could not easily beat a retreat along the coastal road without running the risk of being caught in the open by our armoured divisions and brigades ranging far out into the desert in tremendous swoops and scoops. They had to expose themselves to being attacked piecemeal.

General Wavell-nay, all our leaders and all their live, active, ardent men, British, Australian, Indian, in the Imperial Army-saw their opportunity. At that time I ventured to draw General Wavell's attention to the seventh chapter of the Gospel of St. Matthew, at the seventh verse, where, as you all know or ought to know, it is written: "Ask, and it shall be given; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you."

The Army of the Nile has asked, and it was given; they sought, and they have found; they knocked, and it has been opened unto them. In barely eight weeks, by a campaign which will long be studied as a model of the military art, an advance of over 400 miles has been made; the whole Italian Army in the east of Libya, which was reputed to exceed 150,000 men, has been captured or destroyed; the entire province of Cyrenaica, nearly as big as England and Wales, has been conquered; the unhappy Arab tribes who have for thirty years suffered from the cruelty of Italian rule, carried in some cases to the point of methodical extermination, these Bedouin survivors have at last seen their oppressors in disorderly flight or led off in endless droves as prisoners of war. Egypt and the Suez Canal are safe. And the port, the base and the air fields of Bengazi constitute a strategic point of high consequence to the whole of the war in the Eastern Mediterranean.

This is the time, I think, to speak of the leaders who, at the head of their brave troops, have rendered this distinguished service to the King. The first and foremost-General Wavell, Commander in Chief of all the armies of the Middle East-has proved himself a master of war, sage, painstaking, daring and tireless. But General Wavell has repeatedly asked that others should share his fame. General Wilson, who actually commands the Army of the Nile, was reputed to be one of our finest tacticians, and few will now deny that quality. General O'Connor, commanding the Thirteenth Corps, with General Mackay, commanding the splendid Australians, and General Creagh, who trained and commanded the various armoured divisions which were employed-these three men executed the complicated and astounding erratic movements which were made, and fought the actions which occurred. I have just seen a telegram from General Wavell. He wishes to add that the success at Bengazi was due to the outstanding leadership and resolution of O'Connor and Creagh, ably backed by Wilson.

I must not forget here to point out the amazing mechanical feats of the British tanks, whose design and workmanship have beaten all records and stood up to all trials, and shown us how closely and directly the work in the factories at home is linked with the victories abroad. Of course, none of our plans would have succeeded had not our pilots, under Air Chief Marshal Longmore, wrested the control of the air from a far more numerous enemy.

Nor would the campaign itself have been possible if the British Mediterranean Fleet, under Admiral Cunningham, had not chased the Italian Navy into its harbours and sustained every forward surge of the army with all the flexible resources of sea-power.

How far-reaching these resources are we can see from what happened at dawn this morning when our Western Mediterranean Fleet, under Admiral Somerville, entered the Gulf of Genoa and bombarded in a shattering manner the naval base from which perhaps a Nazi German expedition might soon have sailed to attack General Weygand in Algeria or Tunis.

It is right that the Italian people should be made to feel the sorry plight into which they have been dragged by Dictator Mussolini, and if the cannonade of Genoa, rolling along the coast, reverberating in the mountains, has reached the ears of our French comrades in their grief and misery, it may cheer them with the feeling that friends, active friends, are near and that Britannia rules the waves.

The events in Libya are only part of the story. They are only a part of the story of the decline and fall of the Italian Empire. That will not take a future Gibbon so long to write as the original work. Fifteen hundred miles away to the southward, a strong British and Indian army, having driven the invaders out of the Sudan, is marching steadily forward through the Italian colony of Eritrea, thus seeking to complete the isolation of all the Italian troops in Abyssinia. Other British forces are entering Abyssinia from the west, while the army gathered in Kenya, in the van of which we may discern the powerful forces of the Union of South Africa organized by General Smuts, are striking northward along the whole enormous front. Lastly, the Ethiopian patriots whose independence was stolen five years ago have risen in arms and their Emperor, so recently an exile in England, is in their midst to fight for their freedom and his throne.

Here, then, we see the beginnings of a process of reparation and of the chastisement of wrong-doing which reminds us that though the mills of the gods grind slowly they grind exceedingly small.

While these auspicious events have been carrying us stride by stride from what many people thought a forlorn position and once certainly a very grave position, in May and June, to one which permits us to speak with sober confidence of our power to discharge our duty, heavy though it be, in the future-while this has been happening a mighty tide of sympathy, of good-will and of effective aid has begun to flow across the Atlantic in support of the world cause which is at stake.

Distinguished Americans have come over to see things here at the front and to find out how the United States can help us best and soonest. In Mr. Hopkins, who has been my frequent companion during the last three weeks, we have the envoy of the President, who has been newly re-elected to his august office. In Mr. Wendell Wilkie we have welcomed the champion of the great Republican party. We may be sure that they will both tell the truth about what they have seen over here, and more than that we do not ask. The rest we leave with good confidence to the judgment of the President, the Congress and the people of the United States.

I have been so very careful since I have been Prime Minister not to encourage false hopes or prophesy smooth and easy things, and yet the tale that I had to tell today is one which must justly and rightly give us cause for deep thankfulness and also, I think for sound comfort and even rejoicing. But now I must dwell upon the more serious, darker and more dangerous aspects of the vast scene of the war. We must all of us have been asking ourselves what is that wicked man, whose crime-stained regime and system are at bay and in the toils, what has he been preparing during these Winter months? What new deviltry is he planning? What new small country will he overrun or strike down? What fresh form of assault will he make upon our island homes and fortress? Which, let there be no mistake about it, is all that stands between him and the domination of the world.

We may be sure that the war is soon going to enter upon a phase of greater violence. Hitler's confederate, Mussolini, has reeled back in Albania. But the Nazis, having absorbed Hungary and driven Rumania into a frightful internal convulsion, are now already upon the Black Sea. A considerable German army and air force is being built up in Rumania and its forward tentacles have already penetrated Bulgaria with, we must suppose, the acquiescence of the Bulgarian Government. Airfields are being occupied by German ground personnel numbering thousands, so as to enable the German air force to come into action from Bulgaria. Many preparations have been made for the movement of German troops into or through Bulgaria. And perhaps this southward movement has already begun.

We saw what happened last May in the Low Countries-how they hoped for the best, how they clung to their neutrality, how awfully they were deceived, overwhelmed, plundered, enslaved and, since, starved. We know how we and the French suffered when at the last moment, at the urgent, belated appeal of the King of the Belgians, we went to his aid. Of course, if all the Balkan people stood together and acted together, aided by Britain and by Turkey, it would be many months before a German army and air force of sufficient strength to overcome them could be assembled in the Southeast of Europe. And in those months much might happen.

Much will certainly happen as American aid becomes effective, as our air power grows, as we become a well-armed nation, and as our armies in the East increase in strength. But nothing is more certain that that, if the countries of Southeastern Europe allow themselves to be pulled to pieces one by one, they will share the fate of Denmark, Holland and Belgium, and none can tell how long it will be before the hour of their deliverance strikes.

One of our difficulties is to convince some of these neutral countries in Europe that we are going to win. We think it is astonishing that they should be so dense as not to see it as clearly as we do ourselves.

I remember in the last war, in July, 1915, we began to think that Bulgaria was going wrong, so Mr. Lloyd George, Mr. Bonar Law, Sir F. E. Smith and I asked the Bulgarian Minister to dinner to explain to him what a fool King Ferdinand would make of himself if he were to go in on the losing side. It was no use. The poor man simply could not believe it, or couldn't make his government believe it. So Bulgaria, against the wishes of her peasant population, against all her interests, fell in at the Kaiser's tail and got sadly carved up and punished when the victory was won.

I trust that Bulgaria is not going to make the same mistake again. If they do the Bulgarian peasantry and people, for whom there has been much regard both in Great Britain and the United States, will for the third time in thirty years have been made to embark upon a needless and disastrous war.

In the Central Mediterranean, the Italian Quisling, who is called Mussolini, and the French Quisling, commonly called Laval, are both in their different ways trying to make their countries into doormats for Hitler and his new order, in the hope of being able to keep or get the Nazi Gestapo and Prussian bayonets to enforce their rule upon their fellow countrymen. I cannot tell how the matter will go, but at any rate we shall do our best to fight for the Central Mediterranean.

I dare say you will have noticed a very significant air action which was fought over Malta a fortnight ago. The Germans sent an entire Geschwader (squadron) of dive-bombers to Sicily. They seriously injured our new aircraft carrier Illustrious, and then, as this wounded ship was sheltered in Malta harbour, they concentrated upon her all their force so as to beat her to pieces.

But they were met by the batteries of Malta, which is one of the strongest defended fortresses in the world against air attack. They were met by the Fleet Air Arm and by the Royal Air Force and in two or three days they had lost, out of 150 dive-bombers, upward of ninety-fifty of which were destroyed in the air and forty on the ground. Although the Illustrious in her damaged condition was one of the great prizes of the air and naval war, the German Geschwader accepted the defeat. They would not come any more.

All the necessary repairs were made to the Illustrious in Malta harbour, and she steamed safely off to Alexandria under her own power at twenty-three knots. I dwell upon this incident not at all because I think it disposes of the danger in the Central Mediterranean but in order to show you that there, as elsewhere, we intend to give a good account of ourselves. But, after all, the fate of this war is going to be settled by what happens on the oceans, in the air and, above all, in this island.

It seems now to be certain that the government and people of the United States intend to supply us with all that is necessary for victory. In the last war the United States sent two million men across the Atlantic, but this is not a war of vast armies, hurling immense masses of shells at one another. We do not need the gallant armies which are forming throughout the American Union. We do not need them this year, nor the next year, nor any year that I can foresee. But we do need most urgently an immense and continuous supply of war materials, and technical apparatus of all kinds. We need them here and we need to bring them here. We shall need a great mass of shipping in 1942, far more than we can build ourselves if we are to maintain and augment our war effort in the West and in the East.

These facts are, of course, all well known to the enemy, and we must therefore expect that Herr Hitler will do his utmost to prey upon our shipping and reduce the volume of American supplies entering these islands. Having conquered France and Norway, his clutching fingers reach out on both sides of us into the ocean. I have never underrated this danger and you know I have never concealed it from you. Therefore, I hope you will believe me when I say that I have complete confidence in the Royal Navy, aided by the air force of the Coastal Command, and that, in one way or another, I am sure they will be able to meet every changing phase of this truly mortal struggle, and that, sustained by the

courage of our merchant seamen and of the dockers and workmen of all ports, we shall outwit, out-manoeuvre, outfight and outlast the worst that the enemy's malice and ingenuity can contrive.

I left the greatest issue to the end. You will have seen that Sir John Dill, our principal military adviser, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, has warned us all yesterday that Hitler may be forced by the strategic economic and political stresses in Europe to try to invade these islands in the near future.

That is a warning which no one should disregard. Naturally, we are working night and day to have everything ready. Of course, we are far stronger than we ever were before-incomparably stronger than we were in July, August, and September. Our Navy is more powerful, our flotillas are more numerous. We are far stronger, actually and relatively, in the air above these islands than we were when our Fighter Command beat off and beat down the Nazi attack last Autumn. Our Army is more numerous, more mobile and far better equipped and trained than in September, and still more than in July. And I have the greatest confidence in our Commander in Chief, General Brooke, and in the generals of proved ability who under him guard the different quarters of our land. But most of all I have put my faith in the simple, unaffected resolve to conquer or die which will animate and inspire nearly four million Britons with serviceable weapons in their hands.

It is not an easy military operation to invade an island like Great Britain without the command of the sea and without the command of the air, and then to face what will be waiting for the invader here.

But I must drop one word of caution, for next to cowardice and to treachery, overconfidence leading to neglect or slothfulness is the worst of martial crimes. Therefore, I drop one word of caution: A Nazi invasion of Great Britain last Autumn would have been a more or less improvised affair. Hitler took it for granted that when France gave in we should give in. But we did not give in. And he had to think again. An invasion now will be supported by a much more carefully prepared tackle and equipment for landing craft and other apparatus, all of which will have been planned and manufactured during the Winter months. We must all be prepared to meet gas attacks, parachute attacks and glider attacks, with constancy, forethought and practiced skill.

I must again emphasize what General Dill has said and what I pointed out myself last year: In order to win the war, Hitler must destroy Great Britain. He may carry havoc into the Balkan States; he may tear great provinces out of Russia; he may march to the Caspian; he may march to the gates of India. All this will avail him nothing. He may spread his curse more widely throughout Europe and Asia, but it will not avert his doom.

With every month that passes the many proud and once happy countries he is now holding down by brute force and vile intrigue are learning to hate the Prussian yoke and the Nazi name, as nothing has ever been hated so fiercely and so widely among men before. And all the time, masters of the sea and air, the British Empire-nay, in a certain sense, the whole English-speaking world-will be on-his track bearing with them the swords of Justice.

The other day President Roosevelt gave his opponent in the late Presidential election a letter of introduction to me, and in it he wrote out a verse in his own handwriting from Longfellow, which, he said, "applies to you people as it does to us." Here is the verse:

. . . Sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears
With all the hopes of future years
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!

What is the answer that I shall give in your name to this great man, the thrice-chosen head of a nation of 130,000,000? Here is the answer which I will give to President Roosevelt.

Put your confidence in us. Give us your faith and your blessing, and under Providence all will be well. We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.

Speech: Address to Italy (1940-12-23)

This is a repost.

Tonight I speak to the Italian people and I speak to you from London, the heart of the British islands and of the British Commonwealth and Empire. I speak to you in what the diplomatists call "words of great truth and respect."

We are at war. That is a very strange, and terrible thought. Whoever imagined until the last few melancholy years that the British and Italian nations would be trying to destroy one another? We have always been such friends.

We were the champions of the Italian Risorgimento. We were the partisans of Garibaldi. We were the admirers of Mazzini and Cavour - all that great movement toward the unity of the Italian nation which lighted the nineteenth century was aided and was hailed by the British Parliament and British public.

Our fathers, and our grandfathers longed to see Italy freed from the Austrian yoke and to see all minor barriers in Italy swept away so that the Italian people and their fair land might take an honoured place as one of the leading powers upon the Continent and as a brilliant and gifted member of the family of Europe and of Christendom.

We have never been your foes till now. In the last war against the barbarous Huns we were your comrades. For fifteen years after that war, we were your friends. Although the institutions which you adopted after that war were not akin to ours and diverged, as we think, from the sovereign impulses which had commanded the unity of Italy, we could still walk together in peace and good-will. Many thousands of your people dwelt with ours in England; many of our people dwelt with you in Italy.

We liked each other. We got on well together. There were reciprocal services, there was amity, there was esteem. And now we are at war - now we are condemned to work each other's ruin.

Your aviators have tried to cast their bombs upon London. Our armies are tearing - and will tear - your African empire to shreds and tatters. We are now only at the beginning of this sombre tale. Who can say where it will end? Presently, we shall be forced to come to much closer grips. How has all this come about, and what is it all for?

Italians, I will tell you the truth.

It is all because of one man - one man and one man alone has ranged the Italian people in deadly struggle against the British Empire and has deprived Italy of the sympathy and intimacy of the United States of America.

That he is a great man I do not deny. But that after eighteen years of unbridled power he has led your country to the horrid verge of ruin - that can be denied by none.

It is all one man - one man, who, against the crown and royal family of Italy, against the Pope and all the authority of the Vatican and of the Roman Catholic Church, against the wishes of the Italian people who had no lust for this war; one man has arrayed the trustees and inheritors of ancient Rome upon the side of the ferocious pagan barbarians.

There lies the tragedy of Italian history and there stands the criminal who has wrought the deed of folly and of shame.

What is the defence that is put forward for his action? It is, of course, the quarrel about sanctions and Abyssinia. Let us look at that.

Together after the last war Italy and Britain both signed the covenant of the League of Nations, which forbade all parties to that covenant to make war upon each other or upon fellow-members of the League, and bound all signatories to come to the aid of any member attacked by another.

Presently Abyssinia came knocking at the door, asking to be a member. We British advised against it. We doubted whether they had reached a stage in their development which warranted their inclusion in so solemn a pact. But it was Signor Mussolini who insisted that Abyssinia should become a member of the League and who, therefore, bound himself and bound you and us to respect their covenanted rights.

Thus the quarrel arose; it was out of this that it sprang. And thus, although no blood was shed between us, old friendships were forgotten.

But what is the proportion of this Abyssinian dispute arising out of the covenant of the League of Nations, to which we had both pledged our word; what is it in proportion compared to the death grapple in which Italy and Britain have now been engaged?

I declare - and my words will go far - that nothing that has happened in that Abyssinian quarrel can account for or justify the deadly strife which has now broken out between us.

Time passed. Then the great war between the British and French democracies and Prussian militarism or Nazi overlordship began again.

Where was the need for Italy to intervene? Where was the need to strike at prostrate France? Where was the need to declare war on Britain? Where was the need to invade Egypt, which is under British protection?

We were content with Italian neutrality. During the first eight months of the war we paid great deference to Italian interests. But all this was put down to fear. We were told we were effete, worn out, an old chatterbox people mouthing outworn shibboleths of nineteenth-century liberalism.

But it was not due to fear. It was not due to weakness. The French Republic for the moment is stunned. France will rise again. But the British nation and Commonwealth of Nations across the globe, and indeed I may say the English-speaking world, are now aroused. They are on the march or on the move. All the forces of modern progress and of ancient culture are ranged behind them.

Why have you placed yourselves, you who were our friends and might have been our brothers, why have you placed yourselves in the path of this avalanche, now only just started from its base to roll forward on its pre-destined track? Why, after all this, were you made to attack and invade Greece? I ask why, but you may ask why, too, because you were never consulted. The people of Italy were never consulted. The Army of Italy was never consulted. No one was consulted.

One man, and one man alone, ordered Italian soldiers to ravage their neighbour's vineyard.

Surely the time has come when the Italian monarchy and people, who guard the sacred center of Christendom, should have a word to say upon these awe-inspiring issues. Surely the Italian Army, which has fought so bravely on many occasions in the past but now evidently has no heart for the job, should take some care of the life and future of Italy.

I can only tell you that I, Churchill, have done my best to prevent this war between Italy and the British Empire, and to prove my words I will read you the message which I sent to Signor Mussolini in the fateful days before it began. Cast your minds back to the 16th of May of this year, 1940. The French front had been broken; the French Army was not yet defeated; the great battle in France was still raging. Here is the message which I sent to Signor Mussolini:

"Now that I have taken up my office as Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, I look back to our meetings in Rome and feel a desire to speak words of good-will to you, as chief of the Italian nation, across what seems to be a swiftly widening gulf. Is it too late to stop a river of blood from flowing between the British and Italian peoples?

"We can, no doubt, inflict grievous injuries upon one another and maul each other cruelly and darken the Mediterranean with our strife. If you so decree, it must be so. But I declare that I have never been the enemy of Italian greatness, nor ever at heart the foe of the Italian lawgiver. It is idle to predict the course of the great battles now raging in Europe. But I am sure that whatever may happen on the continent, England will go on to the end, even quite alone, as we have done before; and I believe, with some assurance, that we shall be aided in increasing measure by the United States and, indeed, by all the Americas.

"I beg of you to believe that it is in no spirit of weakness or of fear that I make this solemn appeal, which will remain on record. Down the ages, above all other calls, comes the cry that the joint heirs of Latin and Christian civilization must not be ranged against one another in mortal strife. Hearken to it, I beseech you in all honor and respect, before the dread signal is given. It will never be given by us."

That is what I wrote upon the 16th day of May. And this is the reply which I received from Signor Mussolini upon the 18th:

"I reply to the message which you have sent me in order to tell you that you are certainly aware of grave reasons of a historical and contingent character which ranged our two countries in opposite camps.

"Without going back very far in time, I remind you of the initiative taken in 1935 by your government to organize at Geneva sanctions against Italy, engaged in securing for herself a small space in the African sun without causing the slightest injury to your interests and territories or those of others. I remind you also of the real and actual state of servitude in which Italy finds herself in her own sea. If it was to honour your signature that your government declared war on Germany, you will understand that the same sense of honour and of respect for engagements assumed in the Italian - German treaty guides Italian policy today and tomorrow in the face of any event whatsoever."

That was the answer; I make no comment upon it. It was a dusty answer; it speaks for itself. Any one can see who it was that wanted peace and who it was that meant to have war.

One man and one man only was resolved to plunge Italy, after all these years of strain and effort, into the whirlpool of war.

Calling in "Attila"

And what is the position of Italy today? Where is it that the Duce has led his trusting people after eighteen years of dictatorial power? What hard choice is open to them now?

It is to stand up to the battery of the whole British Empire on sea, in the air and in Africa, and to the vigorous counter-attack of the Greek nation. Or, on the other hand, to call in Attila over the Brenner Pass with his hordes of ravenous soldiery and his gangs of Gestapo policemen to occupy, to hold down and to protect the Italian people, for whom he and his Nazi followers cherish the most bitter and outspoken contempt that is on record between races.

There is where one man, and one man only, has led you. And there I leave this unfolding story until the day comes - as come it will - when the Italian nation will once more take a hand in shaping its own fortunes.


Speech: Frenchmen! (1940-10-21)

This is a repost.

Original, in French

In English

For more than thirty years in peace and war I have marched with you, and I am marching still along  the same road. To-night I speak to you at your firesides wherever you may be, or whatever your fortunes are. I repeat the prayer around the louis d' or: "Dieu protège la France." Here at home in England, under the fire of the Boche, we do not forget the ties and links that unite us to France, and we are persevering steadfastly and in good heart in the cause of European freedom and fair dealing for the common people of all countries, for which, with you, we drew the sword. When good people get into trouble because they are attacked and heavily smitten by the vile and wicked, they must be very careful not to get at loggerheads with one another. The common enemy is always trying to bring this about, and, of course, in bad luck a lot of things happen which play into the enemy's hands. We must just make the best of things as they come along.
Here in London, which Herr Hitler says he will reduce to ashes, and which his aeroplanes are now bombarding our people and bearing up unflinchingly. Our Air Force has more  than held its own. We are waiting for the long-promised invasion. So are the fishes. But, of course, this for us in only the beginning. Now in 1940, in spite of occasional losses, we have, as ever, command of the seas. In 1914 we shall have the command of the air. Remember what that means. Herr Hitler with his tanks and other mechanical weapons, and also by Fifth Column intrigue with traitors, has managed to subjugate for the time being most of the finest races in Europe, and his little Italian accomplice is trotting along hopefully and hungrily, but rather wearily and very timidly, at his side. They both wish to carve up France and her Empire as if it were a fowl: to one  a leg, to another a wing or perhaps part of the breast. Not only the French Empire will be devoured by these two ugly customers, but Alsace-Lorraine will go once again under the German yoke, and Nice, Savoy, and Corsica - Napoleon's Corsica - will be torn from the fair realm of France. But Herr Hitler is not thinking only of stealing other people's territories, or flinging gobbets of them to his little confederate. I tell you truly what you must believe when I say that this evil man, this monstrous abortion of hatred and defeat, is resolved on nothing less than the complete wiping out of the French nation, and the disintegration of its whole life and future. By all kinds of sly and savage means he is plotting and working to quench for ever the fountain of characteristic French culture and French inspiration to the World. All Europe, if he has his way, will be reduced to one uniform Boche-land, to be exploited, pillaged, and bullied by his Nazi gangsters. You will excuse my speaking frankly, because this is not a time to mince words. Its is not defeat that France will now be made ti suffer at German hands, but the doom of complete obliteration. Army, Navy, Air Force, religion, law, language, culture, institutions, literature, history, tradition, all are to be effaced by the brute strength of a triumphant army and the scientific low-cunning of a ruthless Police Force.
Frenchmen - rearm your spirits before it is too late. Remember how Napoleon said before one of his battles: "These same Prussians who are so boastful to-day were three to one at Jena, and six to one at Montmirail." Never will I believe that the soul of France is dead. Never will I believe that her place amongst the greatest nations of the world has been lost for ever! All these schemes and crimes of Herr Hitler's are bringing upon him and upon all who belong to his system a retribution which many of us will live to see. The story is not yet finished, but it will not be so long. We are on his track, and so are our friends across the Atlantic Ocean, and your friends across the Atlantic Ocean. If he cannot destroy us, we will surely destroy him and all his gang, and all their works. Therefore have hope and faith, for all will come right.
Now what is it we British ask of you in this present hard and bitter time? What we ask at this moment in our struggle to win the victory which we will share with you, is that if you cannot help us, at least you will not hinder us. Presently you will be able to weight the arm that strikes for you, and you ought to do so. But even now we believe that Frenchmen, wherever they may be, feel their hearts warm and a proud blood tingle in their veins when we have some success in the air or on the sea, or presently - for that will come - upon the land.
Remember we shall never stop, never weary, and never give in, and that our whole people and Empire have vowed themselves to the task of cleansing Europe from the Nazi pestilence and saving the world from the new Dark Ages. Do not imagine, as the German-controlled wireless tell you, that we English seek to take your ships and colonies. We seek to beat the life and soul out of Hitler and Hitlerism. That alone, that all time, that to the end. We do not covet anything from any nation except their respect. Those Frenchmen who are in the French Empire, and those who in are so-called Unoccupied-France, may see their way form time to time to useful action. I will not go into details. Hostile ears are listening. As for those, to whom English hearts go out in full, because they see them under the sharp discipline, oppression, and spying the Hun - as to those Frenchmen in the occupied regions, to them I say, when they think of the future let them remember the words which Gambetta, that great Frenchman, uttered after 1870 about the future of France and what was to come: "Think of it always: speak of it never."
Good night then: sleep to gather strength for the morning. For the morning will come. Brightly will it shine om the brave and true, kindly upon all who suffer for the cause, glorious upon the tombs of heroes. Thus will shine the dawn. Vive la France! Long live also the forward march of the common people in all the lands towards their just and true inheritance, and towards the broader and fuller age.
Churchill, Winston. Their finest hour. Páginas 451-453.

Speech: House of Commons, Secret Session (1940-09-17)

Only audio... I tried to find the speech on HANSARD, but no succeed. Maybe the date is wrong... suggestions?

Hansard, the Official Report of debates in Parliament

The greatest place for finding speeches madded on UK Parliament. The first level of organization is the Century. This says all for me.

Here we have a condensed page about Winston Churchill, from 1901 to 1965.

terça-feira, 15 de fevereiro de 2011

Speech: The Few (1940-08-20)

Almost a year has passed since the war began, and it is natural for us, I think, to pause on our journey at this milestone and survey the dark, wide field. It is also useful to compare the first year of this second war against German aggression with its forerunner a quarter of a century ago. Although this war is in fact only a continuation of the last, very great differences in its character are apparent. In the last war millions of men fought by hurling enormous masses of steel at one another. "Men and shells" was the cry, and prodigious slaughter was the consequence.

In this war nothing of this kind has yet appeared. It is a conflict of strategy, of organisation, of technical apparatus, of science, mechanics, and morale. The British casualties in the first 12 months of the Great War amounted to 365,000. In this war, I am thankful to say, British killed, wounded, prisoners, and missing, including civilians, do not exceed 92,000, and of these a large proportion are alive as prisoners of war. Looking more widely around, one may say that throughout all Europe for one man killed or wounded in the first year perhaps five were killed or wounded in 1914-15.

The slaughter is only a small fraction, but the consequences to the belligerents have been even more deadly. We have seen great countries with powerful armies dashed out of coherent existence in a few weeks. We have seen the French Republic and the renowned French Army beaten into complete and total submission with less than the casualties which they suffered in any one of half a dozen of the battles of 1914-18.

The entire body - it might almost seem at times the soul - of France has succumbed to physical effects incomparably less terrible than those which were sustained with fortitude and undaunted will power 25 years ago. Although up to the present the loss of life has been mercifully diminished, the decisions reached in the course of the struggle are even more profound upon the fate of nations than anything that has ever happened since barbaric times. Moves are made upon the scientific and strategic boards, advantages are gained by mechanical means, as a result of which scores of millions of men become incapable of further resistance, or judge themselves incapable of further resistance, and a fearful game of chess proceeds from check to mate by which the unhappy players seem to be inexorably bound.

There is another more obvious difference from 1914. The whole of the warring nations are engaged, not only soldiers, but the entire population, men, women, and children. The fronts are everywhere. The trenches are dug in the towns and streets. Every village is fortified. Every road is barred. The front line runs through the factories. The workmen are soldiers with different weapons but the same courage. These are great and distinctive changes from what many of us saw in the struggle of a quarter of a century ago.

There seems to be every reason to believe that this new kind of war is well suited to the genius and the resources of the British nation and the British Empire and that, once we get properly equipped and properly started, a war of this kind will be more favourable to us than the sombre mass slaughters of the Somme and Passchendaele. If it is a case of the whole nation fighting and suffering together, that ought to suit us, because we are the most united of all the nations, because we entered the war upon the national will and with our eyes open, and because we have been nurtured in freedom and individual responsibility and are the products, not of totalitarian uniformity but of tolerance and variety.

If all these qualities are turned, as they are being turned, to the arts of war, we may be able to show the enemy quite a lot of things that they have not thought of yet. Since the Germans drove the Jews out and lowered their technical standards, our science is definitely ahead of theirs. Our geographical position, the command of the sea, and the friendship of the United States enable us to draw resources from the whole world and to manufacture weapons of war of every kind, but especially of the superfine kinds, on a scale hitherto practised only by Nazi Germany.

Hitler is now sprawled over Europe. Our offensive springs are being slowly compressed, and we must resolutely and methodically prepare ourselves for the campaigns of 1941 and 1942. Two or three years are not a long time, even in our short, precarious lives. They are nothing in the history of the nation, and when we are doing the finest thing in the world, and have the honour to be the sole champion of the liberties of all Europe, we must not grudge these years of weary as we toil and struggle through them. It does not follow that our energies in future years will be exclusively confined to defending ourselves and our possessions. Many opportunities may lie open to amphibious power, and we must be ready to take advantage of them.

One of the ways to bring this war to a speedy end is to convince the enemy, not by words, but by deeds, that we have both the will and the means, not only to go on indefinitely but to strike heavy and unexpected blows. The road to victory may not be so long as we expect. But we have no right to count upon this. Be it long or short, rough or smooth, we mean to reach our journey's end.

It is our intention to maintain and enforce a strict blockade not only of Germany but of Italy, France, and all the other countries that have fallen into the German power. I read in the papers that Herr Hitler has also proclaimed a strict blockade of the British Islands. No one can complain of that. I remember the Kaiser doing it in the last war. What indeed would be a matter of general complaint would be if we were to prolong the agony of all Europe by allowing food to come in to nourish the Nazis and aid their war effort, or to allow food to go in to the subjugated peoples, which certainly would be pillaged off them by their Nazi conquerors.

There have been many proposals, founded on the highest motives, that food should be allowed to pass the blockade for the relief of these populations. I regret that we must refuse these requests. The Nazis declare that they have created a new unified economy in Europe. They have repeatedly stated that they possess ample reserves of food and that they can feed their captive peoples.

In a German broadcast of 27th June it was said that while Mr. Hoover's plan for relieving France, Belgium, and Holland deserved commendation, the German forces had already taken the necessary steps. We know that in Norway when the German troops went in, there were food supplies to last for a year. We know that Poland, though not a rich country, usually produces sufficient food for her people. Moreover, the other countries which Herr Hitler has invaded all held considerable stocks when the Germans entered and are themselves, in many cases, very substantial food producers. If all this food is not available now, it can only be because it has been removed to feed the people of Germany and to give them increased rations - for a change - during the last few months.

At this season of the year and for some months to come, there is the least chance of scarcity as the harvest has just been gathered in. The only agencies which can create famine in any part of Europe now and during the coming winter, will be German exactions or German failure to distribute the supplies which they command.

There is another aspect. Many of the most valuable foods are essential to the manufacture of vital war material. Fats are used to make explosives. Potatoes make the alcohol for motor spirit. The plastic materials now so largely used in the construction of aircraft are made of milk. If the Germans use these commodities to help them to bomb our women and children, rather than to feed the populations who produce them, we may be sure that imported foods would go the same way, directly or indirectly, or be employed to relieve the enemy of the responsibilities he has so wantonly assumed.

Let Hitler bear his responsibilities to the full and let the peoples of Europe who groan beneath his yoke aid in every way the coming of the day when that yoke will be broken. Meanwhile, we can and we will arrange in advance for the speedy entry of food into any part of the enslaved area, when this part has been wholly cleared of German forces, and has genuinely regained its freedom. We shall do our best to encourage the building up of reserves of food all over the world, so that there will always be held up before the eyes of the peoples of Europe, including - I say deliberately - the German and Austrian peoples, the certainty that the shattering of the Nazi power will bring to them all immediate food, freedom and peace.

Rather more than a quarter of a year has passed since the new Government came into power in this country. What a cataract of disaster has poured out upon us since then. The trustful Dutch overwhelmed; their beloved and respected Sovereign driven into exile; the peaceful city of Rotterdam the scene of a massacre as hideous and brutal as anything in the Thirty Years' War. Belgium invaded and beaten down; our own fine Expeditionary Force, which King Leopold called to his rescue, cut off and almost captured, escaping as it seemed only by a miracle and with the loss of all its equipment; our Ally, France, out; Italy in against us; all France in the power of the enemy, all its arsenals and vast masses of military material converted or convertible to the enemy's use; a puppet Government set up at Vichy which may at any moment be forced to become our foe; the whole Western seaboard of Europe from the North Cape to the Spanish frontier in German hands; all the ports, all the air-fields on this immense front, employed against us as potential springboards of invasion.  Moreover, the German air power, numerically so far outstripping ours, has been brought so close to our Island that what we used to dread greatly has come to pass and the hostile bombers not only reach our shores in a few minutes and from many directions, but can be escorted by their fighting aircraft.

Why, Sir, if we had been confronted at the beginning of May with such a prospect, it would have seemed incredible that at the end of a period of horror and disaster, or at this point in a period of horror and disaster, we should stand erect, sure of ourselves, masters of our fate and with the conviction of final victory burning unquenchable in our hearts. Few would have believed we could survive; none would have believed that we should to-day not only feel stronger but should actually be stronger than we have ever been before.

Let us see what has happened on the other side of the scales. The British nation and the British Empire finding themselves alone, stood undismayed against disaster. No one flinched or wavered; nay, some who formerly thought of peace, now think only of war. Our people are united and resolved, as they have never been before. Death and ruin have become small things compared with the shame of defeat or failure in duty.

We cannot tell what lies ahead. It may be that even greater ordeals lie before us. We shall face whatever is coming to us. We are sure of ourselves and of our cause and that is the supreme fact which has emerged in these months of trial.

Meanwhile, we have not only fortified our hearts but our Island. We have rearmed and rebuilt our armies in a degree which would have been deemed impossible a few months ago. We have ferried across the Atlantic, in the month of July, thanks to our friends over there, an immense mass of munitions of all kinds, cannon, rifles, machine-guns, cartridges, and shell, all safely landed without the loss of a gun or a round. The output of our own factories, working as they have never worked before, has poured forth to the troops. The whole British Army is at home. More than 2,000,000 determined men have rifles and bayonets in their hands to-night and three-quarters of them are in regular military formations. We have never had armies like this in our Island in time of war. The whole Island bristles against invaders, from the sea or from the air.

As I explained to the House in the middle of June, the stronger our Army at home, the larger must the invading expedition be, and the larger the invading expedition, the less difficult will be the task of the Navy in detecting its assembly and in intercepting and destroying it on passage; and the greater also would be the difficulty of feeding and supplying the invaders if ever they landed, in the teeth of continuous naval and air attack on their communications. All this is classical and venerable doctrine. As in Nelson's day, the maxim holds, "Our first line of defence is the enemy's ports." Now air reconnaissance and photography have brought to an old principle a new and potent aid.

Our Navy is far stronger than it was at the beginning of the war. The great flow of new construction set on foot at the outbreak is now beginning to come in. We hope our friends across the ocean will send us a timely reinforcement to bridge the gap between the peace flotillas of 1939 and the war flotillas of 1941. There is no difficulty in sending such aid. The seas and oceans are open. The U-boats are contained. The magnetic mine is, up to the present time, effectively mastered. The merchant tonnage under the British flag, after a year of unlimited U-boat war, after eight months of intensive mining attack, is larger than when we began. We have, in addition, under our control at least 4,000,000 tons of shipping from the captive countries which has taken refuge here or in the harbours of the Empire. Our stocks of food of all kinds are far more abundant than in the days of peace and a large and growing programme of food production is on foot.

Why do I say all this? Not assuredly to boast; not assuredly to give the slightest countenance to complacency. The dangers we face are still enormous, but so are our advantages and resources.

I recount them because the people have a right to know that there are solid grounds for the confidence which we feel, and that we have good reason to believe ourselves capable, as I said in a very dark hour two months ago, of continuing the war "if necessary alone, if necessary for years." I say it also because the fact that the British Empire stands invincible, and that Nazidom is still being resisted, will kindle again the spark of hope in the breasts of hundreds of millions of downtrodden or despairing men and women throughout Europe, and far beyond its bounds, and that from these sparks there will presently come cleansing and devouring flame.

The great air battle which has been in progress over this Island for the last few weeks has recently attained a high intensity. It is too soon to attempt to assign limits either to its scale or to its duration. We must certainly expect that greater efforts will be made by the enemy than any he has so far put forth. Hostile air fields are still being developed in France and the Low Countries, and the movement of squadrons and material for attacking us is still proceeding.

It is quite plain that Herr Hitler could not admit defeat in his air attack on Great Britain without sustaining most serious injury. If, after all his boastings and blood-curdling threats and lurid accounts trumpeted round the world of the damage he has inflicted, of the vast numbers of our Air Force he has shot down, so he says, with so little loss to himself; if after tales of the panic-stricken British crushed in their holes cursing the plutocratic Parliament which has led them to such a plight; if after all this his whole air onslaught were forced after a while tamely to peter out, the Fuehrer's reputation for veracity of statement might be seriously impugned. We may be sure, therefore, that he will continue as long as he has the strength to do so, and as long as any preoccupations he may have in respect of the Russian Air Force allow him to do so.

On the other hand, the conditions and course of the fighting have so far been favourable to us. I told the House two months ago that whereas in France our fighter aircraft were wont to inflict a loss of two or three to one upon the Germans, and in the fighting at Dunkirk, which was a kind of no-man's-land, a loss of about three or four to one, we expected that in an attack on this Island we should achieve a larger ratio. This has certainly come true. It must also be remembered that all the enemy machines and pilots which are shot down over our Island, or over the seas which surround it, are either destroyed or captured; whereas a considerable proportion of our machines, and also of our pilots, are saved, and soon again in many cases come into action.

A vast and admirable system of salvage, directed by the Ministry of Aircraft Production, ensures the speediest return to the fighting line of damaged machines, and the most provident and speedy use of all the spare parts and material. At the same time the splendid, nay, astounding increase in the output and repair of British aircraft and engines which Lord Beaverbrook has achieved by a genius of organisation and drive, which looks like magic, has given us overflowing reserves of every type of aircraft, and an ever-mounting stream of production both in quantity and quality.

The enemy is, of course, far more numerous than we are. But our new production already, as I am advised, largely exceeds his, and the American production is only just beginning to flow in. It is a fact, as I see from my daily returns, that our bomber and fighter strength now, after all this fighting, are larger than they have ever been. We believe that we shall be able to continue the air struggle indefinitely and as long as the enemy pleases, and the longer it continues the more rapid will be our approach, first towards that parity, and then into that superiority in the air, upon which in a large measure the decision of the war depends.

The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.

All hearts go out to the fighter pilots, whose brilliant actions we see with our own eyes day after day; but we must never forget that all the time, night after night, month after month, our bomber squadrons travel far into Germany, find their targets in the darkness by the highest navigational skill, aim their attacks, often under the heaviest fire, often with serious loss, with deliberate careful discrimination, and inflict shattering blows upon the whole of the technical and war-making structure of the Nazi power. On no part of the Royal Air Force does the weight of the war fall more heavily than on the daylight bombers who will play an invaluable part in the case of invasion and whose unflinching zeal it has been necessary in the meanwhile on numerous occasions to restrain.

We are able to verify the results of bombing military targets in Germany, not only by reports which reach us through many sources, but also, of course, by photography. I have no hesitation in saying that this process of bombing the military industries and communications of Germany and the air bases and storage depots from which we are attacked, which process will continue upon an ever-increasing scale until the end of the war, and may in another year attain dimensions hitherto undreamed of, affords one at least of the most certain, if not the shortest of all the roads to victory. Even if the Nazi legions stood triumphant on the Black Sea, or indeed upon the Caspian, even if Hitler was at the gates of India, it would profit him nothing if at the same time the entire economic and scientific apparatus of German war power lay shattered and pulverised at home.

The fact that the invasion of this Island upon a large scale has become a far more difficult operation with every week that has passed since we saved our Army at Dunkirk, and our very great preponderance of sea-power enable us to turn our eyes and to turn our strength increasingly towards the Mediterranean and against that other enemy who, without the slightest provocation, coldly and deliberately, for greed and gain, stabbed France in the back in the moment of her agony, and is now marching against us in Africa.

The defection of France has, of course, been deeply damaging to our position in what is called, somewhat oddly, the Middle East. In the defence of Somaliland, for instance, we had counted upon strong French forces attacking the Italians from Jibuti. We had counted also upon the use of the French naval and air bases in the Mediterranean, and particularly upon the North African shore. We had counted upon the French Fleet. Even though metropolitan France was temporarily overrun, there was no reason why the French Navy, substantial parts of the French Army, the French Air Force and the French Empire overseas should not have continued the struggle at our side.

Shielded by overwhelming sea-power, possessed of invaluable strategic bases and of ample funds, France might have remained one of the great combatants in the struggle. By so doing, France would have preserved the continuity of her life, and the French Empire might have advanced with the British Empire to the rescue of the independence and integrity of the French Motherland.

In our own case, if we had been put in the terrible position of France, a contingency now happily impossible, although, of course, it would have been the duty of all war leaders to fight on here to the end, it would also have been their duty, as I indicated in my speech of 4th June, to provide as far as possible for the Naval security of Canada and our Dominions and to make sure they had the means to carry the struggle from beyond the oceans. Most of the other countries that have been overrun by Germany for the time being have preserved valiantly and faithfully. The Czechs, the Poles, the Norwegians, the Dutch, the Belgians are still in the field, sword in hand, recognised by Great Britain and the United States as the sole representative authorities and lawful Governments of their respective States.

That France alone should lie prostrate at this moment, is the crime, not of a great and noble nation, but of what are called "the men of Vichy." We have profound sympathy with the French people. Our old comradeship with France is not dead. In General de Gaulle and his gallant band, that comradeship takes an effective form. These free Frenchmen have been condemned to death by Vichy, but the day will come, as surely as the sun will rise to-morrow, when their names will be held in honour, and their names will be graven in stone in the streets and villages of a France restored in a liberated Europe to its full freedom and its ancient fame.

But this conviction which I feel of the future cannot affect the immediate problems which confront us in the Mediterranean and in Africa. It had been decided some time before the beginning of the war not to defend the Protectorate of Somaliland. That policy was changed when the French gave in, and when our small forces there, a few battalions, a few guns, were attacked by all the Italian troops, nearly two divisions, which had formerly faced the French at Jibuti, it was right to withdraw our detachments, virtually intact, for action elsewhere. Far larger operations no doubt impend in the Middle East theatre, and I shall certainly not attempt to discuss or prophesy about their probable course. We have large armies and many means of reinforcing them. We have the complete sea command of the Eastern Mediterranean. We intend to do our best to give a good account of ourselves, and to discharge faithfully and resolutely all our obligations and duties in that quarter of the world. More than that I do not think the House would wish me to say at the present time.

A good many people have written to me to ask me to make on this occasion a fuller statement of our war aims, and of the kind of peace we wish to make after the war, than is contained in the very considerable declaration which was made early in the Autumn. Since then we have made common cause with Norway, Holland, and Belgium. We have recognised the Czech Government of Dr. Benes, and we have told General de Gaulle that our success will carry with it the restoration of France.

I do not think it would be wise at this moment, while the battle rages and the war is still perhaps only in its earlier stage, to embark upon elaborate speculations about the future shape which should be given to Europe or the new securities which must be arranged to spare mankind the miseries of a third World War. The ground is not new, it has been frequently traversed and explored, and many ideas are held about it in common by all good men, and all free men. But before we can undertake the task of rebuilding we have not only to be convinced ourselves, but we have to convince all other countries that the Nazi tyranny is going to be finally broken.

The right to guide the course of world history is the noblest prize of victory. We are still toiling up the hill; we have not yet reached the crest-line of it; we cannot survey the landscape or even imagine what its condition will be when that longed-for morning comes. The task which lies before us immediately is at once more practical, more simple and more stern. I hope - indeed I pray - that we shall not be found unworthy of our victory if after toil and tribulation it is granted to us. For the rest, we have to gain the victory. That is our task.

There is, however, one direction in which we can see a little more clearly ahead. We have to think not only for ourselves but for the lasting security of the cause and principles for which we are fighting and of the long future of the British Commonwealth of Nations.

Some months ago we came to the conclusion that the interests of the United States and of the British Empire both required that the United States should have facilities for the naval and air defence of the Western hemisphere against the attack of a Nazi power which might have acquired temporary but lengthy control of a large part of Western Europe and its formidable resources.

We had therefore decided spontaneously, and without being asked or offered any inducement, to inform the Government of the United States that we would be glad to place such defence facilities at their disposal by leasing suitable sites in our Transatlantic possessions for their greater security against the unmeasured dangers of the future.

The principle of association of interests for common purposes between Great Britain and the United States had developed even before the war. Various agreements had been reached about certain small islands in the Pacific Ocean which had become important as air fuelling points. In all this line of thought we found ourselves in very close harmony with the Government of Canada.

Presently we learned that anxiety was also felt in the United States about the air and naval defence of their Atlantic seaboard, and President Roosevelt has recently made it clear that he would like to discuss with us, and with the Dominion of Canada and with Newfoundland, the development of American naval and air facilities in Newfoundland and in the West Indies. There is, of course, no question of any transference of sovereignty - that has never been suggested - or of any action being taken, without the consent or against the wishes of the various Colonies concerned, but for our part, His Majesty's Government are entirely willing to accord defence facilities to the United States on a 99 years' leasehold basis, and we feel sure that our interests no less than theirs, and the interests of the Colonies themselves and of Canada and Newfoundland will be served thereby.

These are important steps. Undoubtedly this process means that these two great organisations of the English-speaking democracies, the British Empire and the United States, will have to be somewhat mixed up together in some of their affairs for mutual and general advantage.

For my own part, looking out upon the future, I do not view the process with any misgivings. I could not stop it if I wished; no one can stop it. Like the Mississippi, it just keeps rolling along. Let it roll. Let it roll on full flood, inexorable, irresistible, benignant, to broader lands and better days.