CHURCHILL, Sir WINSTON (1874-1965, statesman, Prime Minister, war leader and author)
SPEECHES BY CHURCHILL RARELY OCCUR ON THE MARKET; THIS IS THE ONLY UNPUBLISHED ONE TO APPEAR FOR SALE. Approximately 1,450 Churchill related items (including photographs) sold at auction (see ABPC) in more than thirty-five years: only about fifteen were connected with speeches (two autograph manuscripts, the remainder typescripts with varying degrees of autograph revisions), and most of them came from the papers of Kathleen Hill, Churchill's secretary.
An almost entirely different adoption speech for 29 September 1959 is printed in Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches 1897-1963, volume VIII, 1950-1963, 1974, pp. 8697-8705. Churchill gave a second speech on the same day and in the same location headed 'Vote Conservative' in the printed collection of his speeches. He only gave four other speeches afterwards before his death. It is not known whether the printer whose instructions appear at the head of the first page actually printed the speech, but no examples of it are known and they may have been destroyed en bloc when Churchill decided to replace it with another speech which was more overtly anti-socialist.
'...It is now 35 years since you first returned me to Westminster. They have been eventful and trying years - full of dangers and difficulties. But our country has faced them all with fortitude and resolution. Today we can all rejoice that Britain stands proudly on her feet, paying her way in the world, and playing her full part in the collective defence of peace and freedom...It is eight years since the country decided that it had had enough of its experiment with Socialism...It was a road that led us into one financial crisis after another, and threatened us with ultimate ruin...Savings are proof of prosperity and confidence - prosperity for today, confidence in the morrow. This has not been achieved at the expense of our great social services...the Conservative Party does not hold out to the country the alluring prospect of easy living and the effortless multiplication of comforts and benefits...Our crowded fifty millions must earn their living the hard way by ingenuity, contrivance, enterprise and thrift...We must never forget our unique position as the heart and centre of the British Commonwealth and Empire, and a leading partner in the Atlantic Alliance. We have high opportunities to seize, and solemn duties to discharge...Peace can never be secured by sacrificing vital principles or interests...We can catch at any rate promising glimpses of that better world of which mankind has long dreamed and for which it has long toiled when science can unlock for all the people a vast storehouse of richer living. That is the vision which must inspire us with hope and stimulate us to new endeavours.'
This typescript derives from the papers of Colonel William Hubert (Hugh) Barlow-Wheeler DSO, OBE, an ex-Indian army officer, and Churchill's agent at Woodford. Two posters depicting Churchill were published by Barlow-Wheeler for the 1959 election, one printed by Maysigns and the other by Tulip Press. Churchill tended to retain the manuscripts and typescripts of his speeches (though it is known that he allowed Donald Forbes to keep the speech he gave on 20 March 1959), but Barlow-Wheeler might have thought it legitimate for him to retain this one when it came back from the printer, especially since the speech was not used. Churchill was returned for Woodford at the election and became Father of the House of Commons in October. The name of the Woodford constituency was to be changed following boundary changes to Wanstead and Woodford. Barlow-Wheeler observed: 'It is pleasant and appropriate to reflect that our great member...will be the only person ever to hold the famed and honoured title"The Member for Woodford"' (David Thomas, Churchill The Member for Woodford, 1995).
'There was a slightly embarrassing moment for Colonel Barlow Wheeler when he was invited to a cocktail party at No. 10, to meet some newly elected Tory members. He recalls, "My wife and I were looking at one of the pictures when Churchill came up, shook hands, and said 'Good evening.' He stared, puzzled, and then inquired, 'It's Barlow Wheeler, isn't it?' I said 'Yes,' and he went away. About ten minutes later, walking into another room, he found us looking at another picture. Again he shook hands, stared at me, and said, 'Barlow Wheeler, isn't it?' Once more I agreed. A quarter of an hour went by. We were examining a piece of sculpture depicting Winston painting at Marrakech, when, behind my back, I heard the familiar, gruff 'Good evening.' I turned, and there he was, with hand outstretched. But just as I was about to take it, he grinned and said, 'Oh, no! You're not going to catch me again.' He never made a similar mistake. If he saw me at even the most crowded affair, he would come across the room to chat with me. He is delighted to recognize anybody. I think he tends to look at perfect strangers with the uneasy feeling that he ought to recognize them, I suppose it happens to most men of his eminence, meeting so many people every day"' (Jack Fisher, The Story of Lady Churchill).
Churchill delivered his Adoption Meeting speech on 23 September 1959 at the Eagle, Snaresbrook, six days before his 'Vote Conservative' speech at Hawkey Hall, Woodford.