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Sir Winston Leonard Spencer ChurchillKGOMCHTDFRSPC (November 30, 1874 – January 24, 1965) was a British politician and statesman, best known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II. He was Prime Minister of the UK from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

See also: The Second World War (book series)

Quotations[edit]

Early career years (1898–1929)[edit]

  • Every influence, every motive, that provokes the spirit of murder among men, impels these mountaineers to deeds of treachery and violence. The strong aboriginal propensity to kill, inherent in all human beings, has in these valleys been preserved in unexampled strength and vigour. That religion, which above all others was founded and propagated by the sword — the tenets and principles of which are instinct with incentives to slaughter and which in three continents has produced fighting breeds of men — stimulates a wild and merciless fanaticism. The love of plunder, always a characteristic of hill tribes, is fostered by the spectacle of opulence and luxury which, to their eyes, the cities and plains of the south display. A code of honour not less punctilious than that of old Spain, is supported by vendettas as implacable as those of Corsica.
  • It is, thank heaven, difficult if not impossible for the modern European to fully appreciate the force which fanaticism exercises among an ignorant, warlike and Oriental population. Several generations have elapsed since the nations of the West have drawn the sword in religious controversy, and the evil memories of the gloomy past have soon faded in the strong, clear light of Rationalism and human sympathy. Indeed it is evident that Christianity, however degraded and distorted by cruelty and intolerance, must always exert a modifying influence on men's passions, and protect them from the more violent forms of fanatical fever, as we are protected from smallpox by vaccination. But the Mahommedan religion increases, instead of lessening, the fury of intolerance. It was originally propagated by the sword, and ever since, its votaries have been subject, above the people of all other creeds, to this form of madness. In a moment the fruits of patient toil, the prospects of material prosperity, the fear of death itself, are flung aside. The more emotional Pathans are powerless to resist. All rational considerations are forgotten. Seizing their weapons, they become Ghazis—as dangerous and as sensible as mad dogs: fit only to be treated as such. While the more generous spirits among the tribesmen become convulsed in an ecstasy of religious bloodthirstiness, poorer and more material souls derive additional impulses from the influence of others, the hopes of plunder and the joy of fighting. Thus whole nations are roused to arms. Thus the Turks repel their enemies, the Arabs of the Soudan break the British squares, and the rising on the Indian frontier spreads far and wide. In each case civilisation is confronted with militant Mahommedanism. The forces of progress clash with those of reaction. The religion of blood and war is face to face with that of peace. Luckily the religion of peace is usually the better armed.
    • The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War (1898), Chapter III.
  • I pass with relief from the tossing sea of Cause and Theory to the firm ground of Result and Fact.
    • The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War (1898), Chapter III.
  • It is better to be making the news than taking it; to be an actor rather than a critic.
    • The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War (1898), Chapter VIII.
  • Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.
    • The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War (1898), Chapter X.
  • How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.
    Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen; all know how to die; but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
  • It is the habit of the boa constrictor to besmear the body of his victim with a foul slime before he devours it; and there are many people in England, and perhaps elsewhere, who seem to be unable to contemplate military operations for clear political objects, unless they can cajole themselves into the belief that their enemy are utterly and hopelessly vile. To this end the Dervishes, from the Mahdi and the Khalifa downwards, have been loaded with every variety of abuse and charged with all conceivable crimes. This may be very comforting to philanthropic persons at home; but when an army in the field becomes imbued with the idea that the enemy are vermin who cumber the earth, instances of barbarity may easily be the outcome. This unmeasured condemnation is moreover as unjust as it is dangerous and unnecessary.
    • The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Soudan (1899), Volume II pp. 394–395
    • (This passage does not appear in the 1902 one-volume abridgment, the version posted by Project Gutenberg).
  • What is the true and original root of Dutch aversion to British rule? It is the abiding fear and hatred of the movement that seeks to place the native on a level with the white man … the Kaffir is to be declared the brother of the European, to be constituted his legal equal, to be armed with political rights.
  • There must be room in our army system for nearly everyone who is not grossly idle or grossly stupid. It is not a case of employing incompetent or worthless men, and such should, of course, be expelled from he army. It is a case of finding suitable employment for officers not fit for higher command.
    • Officers and Gentlemen, The Saturday Evening Post, 29 December 1900.
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 51. ISBN 0903988429
  • It may be said, therefore, that the military opinion of the world is opposed to those people who cry 'Democratize the army!' and it must be remembered that an army is not a field upon which persons with Utopian ideas may exercise their political theories, but a weapon for the defence of the State.
    • British Cavalry, The Anglo-Saxon Review, March 1901.
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 60. ISBN 0903988429
  • I think we shall have to take the Chinese in hand and regulate them. I believe that as civilized nations become more powerful they will get more ruthless, and the time will come when the world will impatiently bear the existence of great barbaric nations who may at any time arm themselves and menace civilized nations. I believe in the ultimate partition of China — I mean ultimate. I hope we shall not have to do it in our day. The Aryan stock is bound to triumph.
  • In former days, when wars arose from individual causes, from the policy of a Minister or the passion of a King, when they were fought by small regular armies of professional soldiers, and when their course was retarded by the difficulties of communication and supply, and often suspended by the winter season, it was possible to limit the liabilities of the combatants. But now, when mighty populations are impelled on each other, each individual severally embittered and inflamed—when the resources of science and civilisation sweep away everything that might mitigate their fury, a European war can only end in the ruin of the vanquished and the scarcely less fatal commercial dislocation and exhaustion of the conquerors. Democracy is more vindictive than Cabinets. The wars of peoples will be more terrible than those of kings.
  • The ability to foretell what is going to happen tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year – and to have the ability afterwards to explain why it didn’t happen.
    • Newspaper interview (1902), when asked what qualities a politician required, Halle, Kay, Irrepressible Churchill. Cleveland: World, 1966. cited in Churchill by Himself (2008), ed. Langworth, PublicAffairs, p. 489 ISBN 1586486381
  • Governments create nothing and have nothing to give but what they have first taken away — you may put money in the pockets of one set of Englishmen, but it will be money taken from the pockets of another set of Englishmen, and the greater part will be spilled on the way. Every vote given for Protection is a vote to give Governments the right of robbing Peter to pay Paul and charging the public a handsome commission on the job.
    • “Why I am a Free Trader,” Chapter I in T.W. Stead’s journal Coming Men on Coming Questions (April 13, 1905), bottom p. 9.
  • The doc­trines that by keep­ing out for­eign goods more wealth, and con­se­quently more employ­ment, will be cre­ated at home, are either true or they are not true. We con­tend that they are not true. We con­tend that for a nation to try to tax itself into pros­per­ity is like a man stand­ing in a bucket and try­ing to lift him­self up by the han­dle.[1]:9
    • From "Why I am a Free Trader" (1905), Churchill revised this several times, the earliest recorded version coming from the speech "For Free Trade" at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, 19 Feb­ru­ary 1904:
      • It is the the­ory of the Pro­tec­tion­ist that imports are an evil. He thinks that if you shut out the for­eign imported man­u­fac­tured goods you will make these goods your­selves, in addi­tion to the goods which you make now, includ­ing those goods which we make to exchange for the for­eign goods that come in. If a man can believe that he can believe any­thing. (Laugh­ter.) We Free-traders say it is not true. To think you can make a man richer by putting on a tax is like a man think­ing that he can stand in a bucket and lift him­self up by the han­dle. (Laugh­ter and cheers.) [2]:Vol.I: 261
  • Politics are almost as exciting as war, and – quite as dangerous … [I]n war, you can only be killed once. But in politics many times.
    • From a conversational exchange with Harold Begbie, as cited in Master Workers, Begbie, Methuen & Co. (1906), p. 177.
  • For my own part I have always felt that a politician is to be judged by the animosities which he excites among his opponents. I have always set myself not merely to relish but to deserve thoroughly their censure.
    • November 17, 1906, Institute of Journalists Dinner, London; in Churchill by Himself (2008), ed. Langworth, PublicAffairs, p. 392 ISBN 1586486381
  • The conditions of the Transvaal ordinance under which Chinese Labour is now being carried on do not, in my opinion, constitute a state of slavery. A labour contract into which men enter voluntarily for a limited and for a brief period, under which they are paid wages which they consider adequate, under which they are not bought or sold and from which they can obtain relief on payment of seventeen pounds ten shillings, the cost of their passage, may not be a healthy or proper contract, but it cannot in the opinion of His Majesty's Government be classified as slavery in the extreme acceptance of the word without some risk of terminological inexactitude.
  • I submit respectfully to the House as a general principle that our responsibility in this matter is directly proportionate to our power. Where there is great power there is great responsibility, where there is less power there is less responsibility, and where there is no power there can, I think, be no responsibility.
  • The Times is speechless, and takes three columns to express its speechlessness.
    • Speech at Kinnaird Hall, Dundee, Scotland ("The Dundee Election"), May 14, 1908, in Liberalism and the Social Problem (1909), Churchill, BiblioBazaar (Second Edition, 2006), p. 148 ISBN 1426451989
  • What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.
    • Speech at Kinnaird Hall, Dundee, Scotland ("Unemployment"), October 10, 1908, in Liberalism and the Social Problem (1909), Churchill, Echo Library (2007), p. 87 ISBN 1406845817
  • The unnatural and increasingly rapid growth of the feeble-minded and insane classes, coupled as it is with steady restriction among all the thrifty, energetic and superior stocks constitutes a national and race danger which is impossible to exaggerate. I feel that the source from which the stream of madness is fed should be cut off and sealed before another year has passed.
    • (Home Secretary) Churchill to Prime MinisterAsquith on compulsory sterilization of ‘the feeble-minded and insane’; cited, as follows (excerpted from longer note) : It is worth noting that eugenics was not a fringe movement of obscure scientists but often led and supported, in Britain and America, by some of the most prominent public figures of the day, across the political divide, such as Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence, John Maynard Keynes and Theodore Roosevelt. Indeed, none other than Winston Churchill, whilst Home Secretary in 1910, made the following observation: [text of quote] (quoted in Jones, 1994: 9)., in ‘Race’, sport, and British society (2001), Carrington & McDonald, Routledge, Introduction, Note 4, p. 20 ISBN 0415246296
  • 'I propose that 100,000 degenerate Britons should be forcibly sterilized and others put in labour camps to halt the decline of the British race.'
    • As Home Secretary in a 1910 Departmental Paper. The original document is in the collection of Asquith's papers at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Also quoted in Clive Ponting, "Churchill" (Sinclair Stevenson 1994).
  • Everything tends towards catastrophe and collapse. I am interested, geared up and happy. Is it not horrible to be made like this?
    • In a letter to his wife Clemmie, during the build up to World War I.
  • Like chasing a quinine pill around a cow pasture.
    • On playing golf : as cited in The quote verifier: who said what, where, and when (2006), Keyes, Macmillan, p. 27 ISBN 0312340044
  • Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to persevere to save yourselves, and to save all those who rely upon you. You have only to go right on, and at the end of the road, be it short or long, victory and honor will be found.
    • Remarks at the Guildhall, 4 September 1914, after the first British naval victory of World War I, the sinking of three German cruisers in the Battle of Heligoland Bight, as cited in Churchill: A Life, Martin Gilbert, Macmillan (1992), p. 279 : ISBN 0805023968
  • I am finished.
    • On losing his position at the Admiralty in 1915. Said to Lord Riddell, as cited in Maxims and Reflections, Chapter I (On Himself), Churchill, Houghton Mifflin Company (1947).
  • [The] truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it, ignorance may deride it, malice may distort it, but there it is.
  • Only the final results can prove whether military autocracies or Parliamentary Governments are more likely — take them for all in all — to preserve the welfare and safety of great nations. If the result is inconclusive, the conflict will be renewed after an uneasy interval. But when an absolute decision is obtained the system of the victors — whoever they are — will probably be adopted to a very great extent by the vanquished.
    • On the Great War, The Sinister Hypothesis, The Sunday Pictorial, 9 July 1916.
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 91. ISBN 0903988429
  • The true characteristic of all British strategy lies in the use of amphibious power. Not the sea alone, but the land and the sea together: not the Fleet alone, but the Army in the hand of the Fleet.
    • The Great Amphibian, The Sunday Pictorial, 23 July 1916.
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 101. ISBN 0903988429
  • The German hope is that if the frontiers can be unshakeably maintained for another year, a peace can be obtained which will relieve Germany from the consequences of the hideous catastrophe in which she has plunged the world, and leave her free to scheme and prepare a decisive stroke in another generation. Unless Germany is beaten in a manner which leaves no room for doubt or dispute, unless she is convinced by the terrible logic of events that the glory of her people can never be achieved by violent means, unless her war-making capacity after the war is sensibly diminished, a renewal of the conflict, after an uneasy and malevolent truce, seems unavoidable.
    • The War by Land and Sea, Part IV, The London Magazine, January 1917.
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 147-8. ISBN 0903988429
  • I think a curse should rest on me — because I love this war. I know it's smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment — and yet — I can't help it — I enjoy every second of it.
    • A letter to a friend (1916).
  • No compromise on the main purpose; no peace till victory; no pact with unrepentant wrong -- that is the Declaration of July 4th, 1918.
    • At a joint Anglo-American rally in Westminster, July 4, 1918, speaking against calls for a negotiated truce with Germany. As printed in War aims & peace ideals: selections in prose & verse (1919), edited by Tucker Brooke & Henry Seidel Canby, Yale University Press, p. 138.
  • The Great War through which we have passed differed from all ancient wars in the immense power of the combatants and their fearful agencies of destruction, and from all modern wars in the utter ruthlessness with which it was fought. … Europe and large parts of Asia and Africa became one vast battlefield on which after years of struggle not armies but nations broke and ran. When all was over, Torture and Cannibalism were the only two expedients that the civilized, scientific, Christian States had been able to deny themselves: and these were of doubtful utility.
    • The World Crisis, 1911–1914 : Chapter I (The Vials of Wrath), Churchill, Butterworth (1923), pp. 10-11.
  • We may now picture this great Fleet, with its flotillas and cruisers, steaming slowly out of Portland Harbour, squadron by squadron, scores of gigantic castles of steel wending their way across the misty, shining sea, like giants bowed in anxious thought. We may picture them again as darkness fell, eighteen miles of warships running at high speed and in absolute blackness through the narrow Straits, bearing with them into the broad waters of the North the safeguard of considerable affairs….The king’s ships were at sea.
    • The World Crisis, 1911–1914 : Chapter IX (The Crisis), Churchill, Butterworth (1923), pp. 212-213.
  • There is always a strong case for doing nothing, especially for doing nothing yourself.
    • The World Crisis, 1911–1914 : Chapter XV (Antwerp), Churchill, Butterworth (1923), p. 340.
  • Eaten bread is soon forgotten. Dangers which are warded off by effective precautions and foresight are never even remembered.
    • The World Crisis, 1911–1914 : Chapter XVII (The Grand Fleet and the Submarine Alarm), Churchill, Butterworth (1923), p. 399.
  • Mechanical not less than strategic conditions had combined to produce at this early period in the war a deadlock both on sea and land. The strongest fleet was paralysed in its offensive by the menace of the mine and the torpedo. The strongest army was arrested in its advance by the machine gun......The mechanical danger must be overcome by a mechanical remedy.....Something must be discovered which would render ships immune from the torpedo, and make it unnecessary for soldiers to bare their breasts to the machine-gun hail.
    • The World Crisis, 1915 : Chapter I (The Deadlock in the West), Churchill, Butterworth (1923), pp. 22-23.
  • Jellicoe was the only man on either side who could lose the war in an afternoon.
    • The World Crisis, 1916-1918 Part I : Chapter V (Jutland: The Preliminaries), Churchill, Butterworth (1927), pp. 112.
  • Is this the end? Is it to be merely a chapter in a cruel and senseless story? Will a new generation in their turn be immolated to square the black accounts of the Teuton and Gaul? Will our children bleed and gasp again in devastated lands? Or will there spring from the very fires of conflict that reconciliation of the three giant combatants, which would unite their genius and secure to each in safety and freedom a share in rebuilding the glory of Europe.
    • The World Crisis, 1916-1918 Part II : Chapter XXIII (Victory), Churchill, Butterworth (1927), p. 544.
  • Great Britain could have no other object but to use her whole influence and resources consistently over a long period of years to weave France and Germany so closely together economically, socially and morally, as to prevent the occasion of quarrels and make their causes die in a realization of mutual prosperity and interdependence.
    • The World Crisis, The Aftermath : Chapter XX (The End of the World Crisis), Churchill, Butterworth (1929), p. 457.
  • One might as well legalise sodomy as recognise the Bolsheviks.
    • Paris, 24 January 1919. Churchill: A Life. Gilbert, Martin (1992). New York: Holt, p. 408. ISBN 9780805023961
  • I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gases: gases can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected … We cannot, in any circumstances acquiesce to the non-utilisation of any weapons which are available to procure a speedy termination of the disorder which prevails on the frontier.
    Many argue that quotes from this passage are often taken out of context, because Churchill is distinguishing between non-lethal agents and the deadly gasses used in World War I and emphasizing the use of non-lethal weapons; however Churchill is not clearly ruling out the use of lethal gases, simply stating that "it is not necessary to use only the most deadly". It is sometimes claimed that gas killed many young and elderly Kurds and Arabs when the RAF bombed rebelling villages in Iraq in 1920 during the British occupation. For more information on this matter, see Gas in Mesopotamia.
  • Lenin was sent into Russia by the Germans in the same way that you might send a phial containing a culture of typhoid or cholera to be poured into the water supply of a great city, and it worked with amazing accuracy.
  • First there are the Jews who, dwelling in every country throughout the world, identify themselves with that country, enter into its national life and, while adhering faithfully to their own religion, regard themselves as citizens in the fullest sense of the State which has received them. Such a Jew living in England would say, 'I am an English man practising the Jewish faith.' This is a worthy conception, and useful in the highest degree. We in Great Britain well know that during the great struggle the influence of what may be called the 'National Jews' in many lands was cast preponderatingly on the side of the Allies; and in our own Army Jewish soldiers have played a most distinguished part, some rising to the command of armies, others winning the Victoria Cross for valour. There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bolshevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution, by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews, it is certainly a very great one; it probably outweighs all others. With the notable exception of Lenin, the majority of the leading figures are Jews. Moreover, the principal inspiration and driving power comes from the Jewish leaders. Thus Tchitcherin, a pure Russian, is eclipsed by his nominal subordinate Litvinoff, and the influence of Russians like Bukharin or Lunacharski cannot be compared with the power of Trotsky, or of Zinovieff, the Dictator of the Red Citadel (Petrograd) or of Krassin or Radek -- all Jews. In the Soviet institutions the predominance of Jews is even more astonishing. And the prominent, if not indeed the principal, part in the system of terrorism applied by the Extraordinary Commissions for Combating Counter-Revolution has been taken by Jews, and in some notable cases by Jewesses. The same evil prominence was obtained by Jews in the brief period of terror during which Bela Kun ruled in Hungary. The same phenomenon has been presented in Germany (especially in Bavaria), so far as this madness has been allowed to prey upon the temporary prostration of the German people. Although in all these countries there are many non-Jews every whit as bad as the worst of the Jewish revolutionaries, the part played by the latter in proportion to their numbers in the population is astonishing.
    • "Zionism versus Bolshevism", Illustrated Sunday Herald (February 1920)
    (A note: Churchill viewed Bolshevism as a heavily Jewish phenomenon. He contrasted the Jewish role in the creation of Bolshevism with a more positive view of the role that Jews had played in England.[1]).
  • …the schemes of the International Jews. The adherents of this sinister confederacy are mostly men reared up among the unhappy populations of countries where Jews are persecuted on account of their race. Most, if not all of them, have forsaken the faith of their forefathers, and divorced from their minds all spiritual hopes of the next world. This movement among the Jews is not new. From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, and down to Trotsky (Russia), Bela Kun (Hungary), Rosa Luxemburg (Germany), and Emma Goldman (United States), this world-wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence, and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played, as a modern writer, Mrs. Webster, has so ably shown, a definitely recognisable part in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the Nineteenth Century; and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.
    • Rt. Hon. Winston Churchill ‘Bolshevism versus Zionism; a struggle for the soul of the Jewish people’ in Illustrated Daily Herald, 8 February 1920.
  • However we may dwell upon the difficulties of General Dyer during the Amritsar riots, upon the anxious and critical situation in the Punjab, upon the danger to Europeans throughout that province, … one tremendous fact stands out – I mean the slaughter of nearly 400 persons and the wounding of probably three to four times as many, at the Jallian Wallah Bagh on 13th April. That is an episode which appears to me to be without precedent or parallel in the modern history of the British Empire. … It is an extraordinary event, a monstrous event, an event which stands in singular and sinister isolation.
  • Men who take up arms against the State must expect at any moment to be fired upon. Men who take up arms unlawfully cannot expect that the troops will wait until they are quite ready to begin the conflict.
  • I yield to no one in my detestation of Bolshevism, and of the revolutionary violence which precedes it. … But my hatred of Bolshevism and Bolsheviks is not founded on their silly system of economics, or their absurd doctrine of an impossible equality. It arises from the bloody and devastating terrorism which they practice in every land into which they have broken, and by which alone their criminal regime can be maintained. … Governments who have seized upon power by violence and by usurpation have often resorted to terrorism in their desperate efforts to keep what they have stolen, but the august and venerable structure of the British Empire … does not need such aid. Such ideas are absolutely foreign to the British way of doing things.
    • Speech in the House of Commons, July 8, 1920 "Amritsar"
  • Let me marshal the facts. The crowd was unarmed, except with bludgeons. It was not attacking anybody or anything. It was holding a seditious meeting. When fire had been opened upon it to disperse it, it tried to run away. Pinned up in a narrow place considerably smaller than Trafalgar Square, with hardly any exits, and packed together so that one bullet would drive through three or four bodies, the people ran madly this way and the other. When the fire was directed upon the centre, they ran to the sides. The fire was then directed to the sides. Many threw themselves down on the ground, and the fire was then directed on the ground. This was continued for 8 or 10 minutes ... [i]f the road had not been so narrow, the machine guns and the armoured cars would have joined in. Finally, when the ammunition had reached the point that only enough remained to allow for the safe return of the troops, and after 379 persons … had been killed, and when most certainly 1,200 or more had been wounded, the troops, at whom not even a stone had been thrown, swung round and marched away. … We have to make it absolutely clear … that this is not the British way of doing business. … Our reign, in India or anywhere else, has never stood on the basis of physical force alone, and it would be fatal to the British Empire if we were to try to base ourselves only upon it.
    • Speech in the House of Commons, July 8, 1920 "Amritsar"
  • I cannot pretend to feel impartial about the colours. I rejoice with the brilliant ones, and am genuinely sorry for the poor browns.
    • In "Painting as a Pastime", first published in the Strand Magazine in two parts (December 1921/January 1922), cited in Churchill by Himself (2008), ed. Langworth, PublicAffairs, p. 456 ISBN 1586486381
  • He ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi, and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy seated on its back.
    • Referring to Mahatma Gandhi in conversation with Edwin Montagu, Secretary of State for India, 1921.[3][4]
  • Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and the glory of the climb.
    • In "Painting as a Pastime", the Strand Magazine (December 1921/January 1922), cited in Churchill by Himself (2008), ed. Langworth, PublicAffairs, p. 568 ISBN 1586486381
  • Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat.
    • Remark in 1923 after rejoining the Conservatives, having left them earlier to join the Liberals; reported in Kay Halle, Irrepressible Churchill (1966), p. 52–53. Other sources say this remark was made in 1924.
  • I am most anxious that in dealing with matters which every Member knows are extremely delicate matters, I should not use any phrase or expression which would cause offence to our friends and Allies on the Continent or across the Atlantic Ocean.
    • Speaking on inter-Allied debts in the House of Commons (December 10, 1924); reported in Parliamentary Debates (Commons) (1925), 5th series, vol. 179, col. 259.
  • The choice was clearly open: crush them with vain and unstinted force, or try to give them what they want. These were the only alternatives, and though each had ardent advocates, most people were unprepared for either. Here indeed was the Irish spectre — horrid and inexorcisable.
    • The World Crisis, Volume V : the Aftermath (1929), Churchill, Butterworth (London).
  • No hour of life is lost that is spent in the saddle.
    • My early life, 1874–1904 (1930), Churchill, Winston S., p. 45 (1996 Touchstone Edition), ISBN 0684823454
  • Might a bomb no bigger than an orange be found to possess a secret power to destroy a whole block of buildings — nay to concentrate the force of a thousand tons of cordite and blast a township at a stroke?.
    • Pall Mall Gazette (1924) on HG Wells' suggestion of an atomic bomb, in "BBC Article"
  • Too often the strong, silent man is silent only because he does not know what to say, and is reputed strong only because he has remained silent.
    • Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches (1974), Chelsea House, Volume IV: 1922–1928, p. 3462 ISBN 0835206939
  • I decline utterly to be impartial as between the fire brigade and the fire.
  • Make your minds perfectly clear that if ever you let loose upon us again a general strike, we will loose upon you — another "British Gazette."
    • Speech in the House of Commons, July 7, 1926 "Emergency Services" ; at this time, Churchill was serving as Chancellor of the Excheqer under Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin.
    • Threatening the Labour Party and trade union movement with a return of the Government-published newspaper he edited during that May's General Strike.
  • If I had been an Italian, I am sure I would have been entirely with you from the beginning to the end of your victorious struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism.
    • To Benito Mussolini in a press conference in Rome (January 1927), as quoted in Churchill : A Life (1992) by Martin Gilbert.
  • A sheep in sheep's clothing.
    • On Ramsay MacDonald. This is often taken as referring to Clement Attlee, but Scottish historian D. W. Brogan is cited in Safire’s Political Dictionary (2008), William Safire, Oxford University Press US, p. 352 ISBN 0195343344 as follows: ‘Sir Winston Churchill never said of Clement Attlee that he was a sheep in sheep’s clothing. I have this on the excellent authority of Sir Winston himself. The phrase was totally inapplicable to Mr. Attlee. It was applicable, and applied, to J. Ramsay MacDonald, a very different kind of Labour leader.’
  • To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.
    • Winston Churchill, “His complete speeches, 1897–1963”, edited by Robert Rhodes James, Chelsea House ed., vol. 4 (1922–1928), p. 3706. Lors d’un débat avec Philipp Snowden, chancelier de l’Echiquier, à propos des droits de douane sur la soie.
    • Often misquoted as: To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.
  • An infected Russia, a plague-bearing Russia; a Russia of armed hordes not only smiting with bayonet and with cannon, but accompanied and preceded by swarms of typhus-bearing vermin which slew the bodies of men, and political doctrines which destroyed the health and even the souls of nations.
    • The Aftermath, by Winston Churchill (published 1929), p. 274

My Early Life: A Roving Commission (1930)[edit]

  • She shone for me like the Evening Star. I loved her dearly — but at a distance.
    • On his mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, Chapter 1 (Childhood).
  • Where my reason, imagination or interest were not engaged, I would not or I could not learn.
  • Thus I got into my bones the essential structure of the ordinary British sentence, which is a noble thing.
    • On studying English rather than Latin at school, Chapter 2 (Harrow).
  • Headmasters have powers at their disposal with which Prime Ministers have never yet been invested.
  • I then had one of the three or four long intimate conversations with him which are all I can boast.
    • On his father, Lord Randolph Churchill, Chapter 3 (Examinations).
  • In retrospect these years form not only the least agreeable, but the only barren and unhappy period of my life. I was happy as a child with my toys in my nursery. I have been happier every year since I became a man. But this interlude of school makes a sombre grey patch upon the chart of my journey. It was an unending spell of worries that did not then seem petty, of toil uncheered by fruition; a time of discomfort, restriction and purposeless monotony. This train of thought must not lead me to exaggerate the character of my school days … Harrow was a very good school … Most of the boys were very happy … I can only record the fact that, no doubt through my own shortcomings, I was an exception. … I was on the whole considerably discouraged … All my contemporaries and even younger boys seemed in every way better adapted to the conditions of our little world. They were far better both at the games and at the lessons. It is not pleasant to feel oneself so completely outclassed and left behind at the very beginning of the race.
    • Chapter 3 (Examinations).
  • Certainly the prolonged education indispensable to the progress of Society is not natural to mankind. It cuts against the grain. A boy would like to follow his father in pursuit of food or prey. He would like to be doing serviceable things so far as his utmost strength allowed. He would like to be earning wages however small to help to keep up the home. He would like to have some leisure of his own to use or misuse as he pleased. He would ask little more than the right to work or starve. And then perhaps in the evenings a real love of learning would come to those who are worthy — and why try to stuff in those who are not? — and knowledge and thought would open the ‘magic casements’ of the mind.
    • Chapter 3 (Examinations).
  • I had a feeling once about Mathematics, that I saw it all—Depth beyond depth was revealed to me—the Byss and the Abyss. I saw, as one might see the transit of Venus—or even the Lord Mayor's Show, a quantity passing through infinity and changing its sign from plus to minus. I saw exactly how it happened and why the tergiversation was inevitable: and how the one step involved all the others. It was like politics. But it was after dinner and I let it go!
    • Chapter 3 (Examinations), p. 27.
  • Although always prepared for martyrdom, I preferred that it should be postponed.
    • Chapter 4 (Sandhurst), p. 72.
  • You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.
  • Come on now all you young men, all over the world. You are needed more than ever now to fill the gap of a generation shorn by the war. You have not an hour to lose. You must take your places in Life’s fighting line. Twenty to twenty-five! These are the years! Don’t be content with things as they are. ‘The earth is yours and the fulness thereof.’ Enter upon your inheritance, accept your responsibilities. Raise the glorious flags again, advance them upon the new enemies, who constantly gather upon the front of the human army, and have only to be assaulted to be overthrown. Don’t take No for an answer. Never submit to failure. Do not be fobbed off with mere personal success or acceptance. You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true, and also fierce, you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.
    • End of Chapter 4 (Sandhurst).
    • The Netflix movie series "The Crown" (2016) attributes the following, modified citation to this source: "Hear this, young men and women everywhere, and proclaim it far and wide. The earth is yours and the fullness thereof. Be kind but be fierce. You're needed now more than ever before. Take up the mantle of change for this is your time."
  • I wonder whether any other generation has seen such astounding revolutions of data and values as those through which we have lived. Scarcely anything material or established which I was brought up to believe was permanent and vital, has lasted. Everything I was sure or taught to be sure was impossible, has happened.
    • Chapter 5 (The Fourth Hussars).
  • I have no doubt that the Romans planned the time-table of their days far better than we do. They rose before the sun at all seasons. Except in wartime we never see the dawn. Sometimes we see sunset. The message of sunset is sadness; the message of dawn is hope. The rest and the spell of sleep in the middle of the day refresh the human frame far more than a long night. We were not made by Nature to work, or even play, from eight o’clock in the morning till midnight. We throw a strain upon our system which is unfair and improvident. For every purpose of business or pleasure, mental or physical, we ought to break our days and our marches into two.
  • I do think unpunctuality is a vile habit, and all my life I have tried to break myself of it.
  • I now began for the first time to envy those young cubs at the university who had fine scholars to tell them what was what; professors who had devoted their lives to mastering and focusing ideas in every branch of learning; who were eager to distribute the treasures they had gathered before they were overtaken by the night. But now I pity undergraduates, when I see what frivolous lives many of them lead in the midst of precious fleeting opportunity. After all, a man’s Life must be nailed to a cross either of Thought or Action. Without work there is no play.
    • Chapter 9 (Education At Bangalore).
  • I accumulated in those years so fine a surplus in the Book of Observance that I have been drawing confidently upon it ever since.
    • Chapter 9 (Education At Bangalore).
  • It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. Bartlett's Familiar Quotations is an admirable work, and I studied it intently. The quotations when engraved upon the memory give you good thoughts. They also make you anxious to read the authors and look for more.
    • Chapter 9 (Education At Bangalore).
  • I had been brought up and trained to have the utmost contempt for people who got drunk — and I would have liked to have the boozing scholars of the Universities wheeled into line and properly chastised for their squalid misuse of what I must ever regard as a gift of the gods.
    • Chapter 10 (The Malakand Field Force).
  • Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realise that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events. Antiquated War Offices, weak, incompetent, or arrogant Commanders, untrustworthy allies, hostile neutrals, malignant Fortune, ugly surprises, awful miscalculations — all take their seats at the Council Board on the morrow of a declaration of war. Always remember, however sure you are that you could easily win, that there would not be a war if the other man did not think he also had a chance.

The 1930s[edit]

  • We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonalty. But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not comprised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed.
    • "The United States of Europe", The Saturday Evening Post (15 February 1930)
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol II, Churchill and Politics, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 184. ISBN 0903988437
  • I remember, when I was a child, being taken to the celebrated Barnum's circus, which contained an exhibition of freaks and monstrosities. But the exhibit on the programme which I most desired to see was the one described as "The Boneless Wonder." My parents judged that that spectacle would be too revolting and demoralising for my youthful eyes, and I have waited 50 years to see the boneless wonder sitting on the Treasury Bench.
  • India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the equator.
    • Speech at Royal Albert Hall, London (18 March 1931).
  • It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer of the type well-known in the East, now posing as a fakir, striding half naked up the steps of the Viceregal palace to parley on equal terms with the representative of the King-Emperor.
    • Comment on Gandhi's meeting with the Viceroy of India, addressing the Council of the West Essex Unionist Association (23 February 1931); as quoted in "Mr Churchill on India" in The Times (24 February 1931).
  • We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.
    • "Fifty Years Hence", The Strand Magazine (December 1931).
  • ...live dangerously; take things as they come; dread naught, all will be well.
    • My New York Misadventure, The Daily Mail, 4 and 5 January 1932
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol IV, Churchill at Large, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 94. ISBN 0903988453
  • We are stripped bare by the curse of plenty.
    • Lecture at Cleveland, Ohio (February 3, 1932), reported in Robert Rhodes James, ed., Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963 (1974), vol. 5, p. 5130; referring to the theory that over-production caused the Depression.
  • We know that he has, more than any other man, the gift of compressing the largest number of words into the smallest amount of thought.
    • A jibe directed at Ramsay MacDonald, during a speech in the House of Commons, March 23, 1933 "European Situation". This quote is similar to a remark (“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met”) made by Abraham Lincoln. [Frederick Trevor Hill credits Lincoln with this remark in Lincoln the Lawyer (1906), adding that ‘History has considerately sheltered the identity of the victim’.]
  • Broadly speaking, human beings may be divided into three classes: those who are toiled to death, those who are worried to death, and those who are bored to death.
    • Have You a Hobby?, Answers, 21 April 1934
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol IV, Churchill at Large, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 288. ISBN 0903988453
  • Everyone can see the arguements against the English-speaking peoples becoming the policemen of the world.
    • To End War, Collier's, 29 June 1935
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 351-2. ISBN 0903988429
  • One may dislike Hitler's system and yet admire his patriotic achievement. If our country were defeated, I hope we should find a champion as indomitable to restore our courage and lead us back to our place among the nations.
    • "Hitler and His Choice", The Strand Magazine (November 1935).
  • We cannot tell whether Hitler will be the man who will once again let loose upon the world another war in which civilisation will irretrievably succumb, or whether he will go down in history as the man who restored honour and peace of mind to the Great Germanic nation.
    • "Hitler and His Choice", The Strand Magazine (November 1935).
  • A free Press is the unsleeping guardian of every other right that freemen prize; it is the most dangerous foe of tyranny.
    • You Get It In Black And White, Collier's, 28 December 1935
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol IV, Churchill at Large, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 323. ISBN 0903988453
  • Mr. Gandhi has gone very high in my esteem since he stood up for the untouchables … I do not care whether you are more or less loyal to Great Britain … Tell Mr. Gandhi to use the powers that are offered and make the thing a success.
    • Letter to G.D. Birla (1935); published in Winston S. Churchill, Volume Five: The Coming of War 1922–1939 (1979) by Sir Martin Gilbert
  • It must be very painful to a man of Lord Hugh Cecil's natural benevolence and human charity to find so many of God's children wandering simultaneously so far astray ... In these circumstances I would venture to suggest to my noble friend, whose gifts and virtues I have all my life admired, that some further refinement is needed in the catholicity of his condemnations.
    • Letter to The Times on 12 May 1936, responding to Lord Cecil equally denouncing Italy, France, Japan, the USSR, and Germany; Churchill said that the French did not deserve as much criticism as the others. Quoted by John Gunther in Inside Europe (1940), p. 329.
  • We have pushed taxation of wealth to a point in Great Britain where in many cases the yield would be greater if the rate were less. The idea that prosperity can be wooed by chasing millionaires is one of the most common and most foolish of modern popular delusions.
    • Soapbox Messiahs, Collier's, 20 June 1936
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol IV, Churchill at Large, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 335. ISBN 0903988453
  • We must recognise that we have a great treasure to guard; that the inheritance in our possession represents the prolonged achievement of the centuries; that there is not one of our simple uncounted rights today for which better men than we are have not died on the scaffold or the battlefield. We have not only a great treasure; we have a great cause. Are we taking every measure within our power to defend that cause?
  • The world looks with some awe upon a man who appears unconcernedly indifferent to home, money, comfort, rank, or even power and fame. The world feels not without a certain apprehension, that here is some one outside its jurisdiction; someone before whom its allurements may be spread in vain; some one strangely enfranchised, untamed, untrammelled by convention, moving independent of the ordinary currents of human action.
    • At an unveiling of a memorial to T. E. Lawrence at the Oxford High School for Boys (3 October 1936); as quoted in Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence (1989) by Jeremy M Wilson.
  • We live in a country where the people own the Government and not in a country where the Government owns the people. Thought is free, speech is free, religion is free, no one can say that the Press is not free. In short, we live in a liberal society, the direct product of the great advances in human dignity, stature and well-being which will ever be the glory of the nineteenth century.
    • I Ask You—What Price Freedom? Answers, 24 October 1936.
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 360. ISBN 0903988429
  • It will not benefit the world if we succeed in banishing the old-fashioned wars of nations only to clear the board for social and doctrinal wars of even greater ferocity and destructiveness. This, indeed, is a growing danger. We were told that the old wars of religion had ended, but that is not much comfort if the wars of various kinds of secular religions or non-God religions are to begin and are to make Europe the arena of their hideous conflict, and if all that makes life worth living to the mass of the people is to be destroyed in the process.
    • I Ask You—What Price Freedom? Answers, 24 October 1936.
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 364. ISBN 0903988429
  • Occasionally he stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened.
  • Anyone can see what the position is. The Government simply cannot make up their mind, or they cannot get the Prime Minister to make up his mind. So they go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent. So we go on preparing more months and years — precious, perhaps vital to the greatness of Britain — for the locusts to eat.
  • The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to its close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences.
  • Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because, as has been said, 'it is the quality which guarantees all others.'
  • The essence and foundation of House of Commons debating is formal conversation. The set speech, the harangue addressed to constituents, or to the wider public out of doors, has never succeeded much in our small wisely-built chamber. To do any good you have got to get down to grips with the subject and in human touch with the audience.
    • In Great Contemporaries, "Clemenceau" (1937).
  • Whatever one may think about democratic government, it is just as well to have practical experience of its rough and slatternly foundations. No part of the education of a politician is more indispensable than the fighting of elections.
    • In Great Contemporaries, "Lord Rosebery" (1937).
  • I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.
  • Many Japanese speak English. But they do not think our thoughts. They worship at other shrines; profess another creed; observe a different code. They can no more be moved by Christian pacifism than wolves by the bleating of sheep. We have to deal with a people whose values are in many respects altogether different from our own.
    • The Mission of Japan, Collier's, 20 February 1937.
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 365. ISBN 0903988429
  • The wars fanned the wings of science, and science brought to mankind a thousand blessings, a thousand problems and a thousand perils.
    • This Age of Government by Great Dictators, News of the World, 10 October 1937
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol IV, Churchill at Large, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 395. ISBN 0903988453
  • Three hundred years ago it would have seemed absurd to say that this black mineral, this sea-coal, which could be used as a substitute for wood to burn in one's grate, could be applied to revolutionize human affairs. Today we know that there is another source of energy a million times greater. We have not yet learned how to harness it or apply it, but it is there. Occasionally in complicated processes in the laboratory a scientist observes transmutations, re-arrangements in the core of the atom, which is known as the nucleus, which generate power at a rate hundreds of thousands of times greater than is produced when coal is burned and when, as the scientists put it, a carbon atom satisfied its affinity for an oxygen molecule. It can scarcely be doubted that a way to induce and control these effects can be found. The new fire is laid, but the particular kind of match is missing.
    • Vision of the Future Through Eyes of Science, News of the World, 31 October 1937
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol IV, Churchill at Large, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 414. ISBN 0903988453
  • Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.
    • "Armistice - or Peace?", published in The Evening Standard (11 November 1937).
  • The story of the human race is war. Except for brief and precarious interludes, there has never been peace in the world; and before history began, murderous strife was universal and unending.
    • Mankind is Confronted by One Supreme Task, News of the World, 14 November 1937
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol IV, Churchill at Large, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 421. ISBN 0903988453
  • For five years I have talked to the House on these matters – not with very great success. I have watched this famous island descending incontinently, fecklessly, the stairway which leads to a dark gulf. It is a fine broad stairway at the beginning, but after a bit the carpet ends. A little farther on there are only flagstones, and a little farther on still these break beneath your feet. [ … ] Look back upon the last five years – since, that is to say, Germany began to rearm in earnest and openly to seek revenge … historians a thousand years hence will still be baffled by the mystery of our affairs. They will never understand how it was that a victorious nation, with everything in hand, suffered themselves to be brought low, and to cast away all that they had gained by measureless sacrifice and absolute victory – gone with the wind! Now the victors are the vanquished, and those who threw down their arms in the field and sued for an armistice are striding on to world mastery. That is the position – that is the terrible transformation that has taken place bit by bit.
  • The shores of History are strewn with the wrecks of Empires.
    • Peopling the Wide, Open Spaces of Empire, News of the World, 22 May 1938
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol IV, Churchill at Large, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 444. ISBN 0903988453
  • [O]ur loyal, brave people … should know the truth. … they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, … and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western democracies; ‘Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.’ And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proferred to us year by year unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.
  • People say we ought not to allow ourselves to be drawn into a theoretical antagonism between Nazidom and democracy; but the antagonism is here now. It is this very conflict of spiritual and moral ideas which gives the free countries a great part of their strength. You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. On all sides they are guarded by masses of armed men, cannons, aeroplanes, fortifications, and the like — they boast and vaunt themselves before the world, yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts; words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home — all the more powerful because forbidden — terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic. They make frantic efforts to bar our thoughts and words; they are afraid of the workings of the human mind. Cannons, airplanes, they can manufacture in large quantities; but how are they to quell the natural promptings of human nature, which after all these centuries of trial and progress has inherited a whole armoury of potent and indestructible knowledge?
    • Winston Churchill, in "The Defence of Freedom and Peace (The Lights are Going Out)", radio broadcast to the United States and to London (16 October 1938).
  • I have always said that if Great Britain were defeated in war I hoped we should find a Hitler to lead us back to our rightful position among the nations. I am sorry, however, that he has not been mellowed by the great success that has attended him. The whole world would rejoice to see the Hitler of peace and tolerance, and nothing would adorn his name in world history so much as acts of magnanimity and of mercy and of pity to the forlorn and friendless, to the weak and poor. … Let this great man search his own heart and conscience before he accuses anyone of being a warmonger.
    • "Mr. Churchill's Reply" in The Times (7 November 1938).
  • Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonour. They chose dishonour. They will have war.

The Second World War (1939–1945)[edit]

  • First, Poland has been again overrun by two of the great powers which held her in bondage for 150 years but were unable to quench the spirit of the Polish nation. The heroic defense of Warsaw shows that the soul of Poland is indestructible, and that she will rise again like a rock which may for a spell be submerged by a tidal wave but which remains a rock.
  • The traditional British view is that character is what matters in a general. They like a solid, simple man, with no newfangled nonesense about him. He should be preternaturally silent. If by chance he thinks at all he should not let this leak out, otherwise confidence would be destroyed.
    • Today's Battles. Collier's, 7 October 1939.
    • Reproduced in The Collected Essays of Sir Winston Churchill, Vol I, Churchill at War, Centenary Edition (1976), Library of Imperial History, p. 487. ISBN 0903988429
  • I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government: 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat.' We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
    • Speech in the House of Commons, after taking office as Prime Minister (13 May 1940) This has often been misquoted in the form: "I have nothing to offer but blood, sweat and tears ..."
    • The Official Report, House of Commons (5th Series), 13 May 1940, vol. 360, c. 1502. Audio records of the speech do spare out the "It is" before the in the beginning of the "Victory"-Part.
Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have changed often.
Winston Churchill addressing a joint session of the United States Congress, May 1943.

Children's Day is a day recognised to celebrate children. The day is celebrated on various calendar dates in different countries.

History[edit]

Children's Day was begun on the second Sunday of June in 1856 by Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard, pastor of the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts: Dr. Leonard held a special service dedicated to, and for the children. Dr. Leonard named the day Rose Day, though it was later named Flower Sunday, and then Children's Day.[1][2][3]

Children's Day was first officially declared a national holiday by the Republic of Turkey in 1929 with the set date of 23 April. Children's Day has been celebrated nationally since 1923 with the government and the newspapers of the time declaring it a day for the children. However, it was decided that an official declaration was needed to clarify and justify this celebration and the official declaration was made nationally in 1931 by the founder and the President of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.[4][5][6]

The International Day for Protection of Children is observed in many countries as Children's Day on 1 June since 1950. It was established by the Women's International Democratic Federation on its congress in Moscow (4 November 1949).[citation needed] Major global variants include a Universal Children's Holiday on 20 November, by United Nations recommendation.[7]

Universal Children's Day takes place annually on 20 November.[8] First proclaimed by the United Kingdom in 1954, it was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children.

That is observed to promote the objectives outlined in the Charter and for the welfare of children. On 20 November 1959 the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.[9] The United Nations adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 20 November 1989 and can be found on the Council of Europe website.[10]

In 2000, the Millennium Development Goals outlined by world leaders in order to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2015. Albeit this applies to all people, the main objective is with regard to children.[9] UNICEF is dedicated to meeting the six of eight goals that apply to the needs of children so that they are all entitled to basic rights written in the 1989 international human rights treaty.[11] UNICEF delivers vaccines, works with policymakers for good health care and education and works exclusively to help children and protect their rights.[11]

In September 2012, the Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations led the initiative for the education of children.[12] He firstly wants every child to be able to attend school, a goal by 2015.[12] Secondly, to improve the skill set acquired in these schools.[12] Finally, implementing policies regarding education to promote peace, respect and environmental concern.[12] Universal Children's Day is not just a day to celebrate children for who they are, but to bring awareness to children around the globe that have experienced violence in forms of abuse, exploitation and discrimination. Children are used as labourers in some countries, immersed in armed conflict, living on the streets, suffering by differences be it religion, minority issues, or disabilities.[13] Children feeling the effects of war can be displaced because of the armed conflict and may suffer physical and psychological trauma.[14] The following violations are described in the term "children and armed conflict": recruitment and child soldiers, killing/maiming of children, abduction of children, attacks on schools/hospitals and not allowing humanitarian access to children.[14] Currently there are about 153 million children between the ages of 5 and 14 who are forced into child labour.[15] The International Labour Organization in 1999 adopted the Prohibition and Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour including slavery, child prostitution and child pornography.[15]

A summary of the rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child can be found on the UNICEF website.[16]

Canada co-chaired the World Summit for children in 1990 and in 2002 the United Nations reaffirmed the commitment to complete the agenda of the 1990 World Summit. This added to the UN Secretary-General's report We the Children: End-of Decade review of the follow-up to the World Summit for Children.[17]

The United Nations children's agency released a study[18] referencing the population increase of children will make up 90 per cent of the next billion people.[19]

Dates around the world[edit]

The officially recognized date of Children's Day varies from country to country. This section lists some significant examples, in order of date of observance.

Gregorian calendar
OccurrenceDatesCountries and regions

First Friday of January

Jan 6, 2017

Jan 5, 2018
Jan 4, 2019

 Bahamas

11 January

 Tunisia

Second Saturday of January

Jan 14, 2017
Jan 13, 2018
Jan 12, 2019

 Thailand

Second Sunday of February

Feb 12, 2017
Feb 11, 2018
Feb 10, 2019

 Cook Islands
 Nauru
 Niue
 Tokelau
 Cayman Islands

13 February

 Myanmar

First Sunday of March

March 5, 2017
March 4, 2018
March 3, 2019

 New Zealand

17 March

 Bangladesh

4 April

 Taiwan
 Hong Kong

5 April

 Palestine

12 April

 Bolivia
 Haiti

Last Saturday of April[20]

Apr 29, 2017
Apr 28, 2018
Apr 27, 2019

 Colombia

23 April

National Sovereignty and Children's Day

 Turkey

30 April

 Mexico

5 May

15 August

 Japan
 South Korea

Second Sunday of May

May 14, 2017
May 13, 2018
May 12, 2019

 Spain
 United Kingdom

10 May

 Maldives

17 May

 Norway

27 May

 Nigeria

Last Sunday of May

May 28, 2017
May 27, 2018
May 26, 2019

 Hungary

Ascension Day

May 25, 2017
May 10, 2018
May 30, 2019

 American Samoa
 Falkland Islands
 Solomon Islands

1 June

 Albania
 Algeria
 Angola
 Armenia
 Azerbaijan
 Belarus
 Benin
 Bulgaria
 Bosnia and Herzegovina

 People's Republic of China
 Cambodia
 Czech Republic
 East Timor
 Ecuador
 Estonia
 Ethiopia
 Georgia

 Guinea-Bissau
 Kazakhstan
 Kosovo
 Kyrgyzstan
 Laos
 Latvia
 Lebanon
 Lithuania
 Macedonia
 Macau

 Moldova
 Mongolia
 Montenegro
 Mozambique
 Myanmar
 Nicaragua
 Poland

 Portugal
 Romania
 Russia
 São Tomé and Príncipe
 Serbia
 Slovakia
 Slovenia

 Tajikistan
 Tanzania
 Turkmenistan
 Ukraine
 Uzbekistan
 Vietnam
 Yemen

2 June

 North Korea

Second Sunday of June

Jun 11, 2017
Jun 10, 2018
Jun 9, 2019

 United States

25 June25 Jun 2012

20 Oct 2013

19 Oct 2014

19 Oct 15~17

Syrian Arab Republic

1 July

 Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Third Sunday of July

Jul 16, 2017
Jul 15, 2018
Jul 21, 2019

 Cuba
 Panama
 Venezuela

23 July[21]

 Indonesia

29 July

 Colombia

First Sunday of August

Aug 6, 2017
Aug 5, 2018
Aug 4, 2019

 Uruguay[citation needed]

16 August

 Paraguay

Third Sunday of August

Aug 20, 2017
Aug 19, 2018
Aug 18, 2019

 Argentina
 Peru

9 September

 Costa Rica

10 September

 Honduras

Bhadra 29

14 Sept
15 Sept(leap year)

   Nepal

20 September

 Austria

 Germany

25 September Netherlands (Oosterhout)

1 October

 El Salvador
 Guatemala
 Sri Lanka

First Friday of October

Oct 6, 2017
Oct 5, 2018
Oct 4, 2019

 Singapore

First Wednesday of October (Children’s Day recognition and assignation)
Second Sunday of August (Children’s Day observance)

Oct 4, 2017
Oct 3, 2018
Oct 2, 2019

 Chile

8 October

 Iran

12 October

 Brazil

Fourth Saturday of October

Oct 28, 2017
Oct 27, 2018
Oct 26, 2019

 Malaysia

Fourth Wednesday of OctoberOct 26, 2016

Oct 25, 2017

 Australia (See: http://www.childrensweek.org.au/)

First Saturday of November

Nov 4, 2017
Nov 3, 2018
Nov 2, 2019

 South Africa

11 November

 Croatia

14 November

 India

20 November

Arab World
 Azerbaijan
 Canada
 Croatia
 Cyprus
 Egypt
 Ethiopia
 Finland
 France
 Greece
 Ireland
 Israel

 Kenya
 Malaysia

Children's Day in Donetsk, Ukraine, 2011

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