“10,000 Regulations…Destroy All Respect for the Law”

by Richard M. Langworth on 24 July 2012

Today I saw on Face­book a quote attrib­uted to Win­ston Churchill. “If you have ten thou­sand reg­u­la­tions you destroy all respect for the law.”I can find no doc­u­men­ta­tion to sup­port his say­ing or writ­ing these words. Can you help me to ver­ify it is an accu­rate quote or a mis­at­tri­bu­tion? —Jenny via email

Jenny, Face­book and Twit­ter must be the world’s lead­ing sources of false Churchill quotes, so thanks for ques­tion­ing this one—which is, for a change, right (although his word was “make,” not “have”)….

From Churchill By Him­self page 17:

Free Mar­ket

“If you destroy a free mar­ket you cre­ate a black market.”

—House of Com­mons, 3 Feb­ru­ary 1949

Churchill added: “If you make ten thou­sand reg­u­la­tions you destroy all respect for the law.”

He was argu­ing against the sti­fling reg­u­la­tions of indus­try and com­merce by the post­war Labour Gov­ern­ment (1945-51). Not a lot new under the sun.



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