“A few curmudgeons have flamboyantly abstained from joining in this birthday greeting; but they are so few that their action merely emphasises the fact that personal respect and friendship habitually survive and transcend political conflict in the Mother of Parliaments. It is particularly appropriate that these all-party tributes on his birthday should be paid to one, the outstanding fact of whose character and career is that he has never been happier than when leading men of all parties and men of no party in some great national cause. He has never ceased to combine zeal for reform with reverence for tradition.
“And as in home affairs so in world affairs he has within him the stuff of which fertile cooperation is woven. The man to whom the Old World owes so much of its survival himself belongs by blood half to the New—he is, as has been neatly said, ‘half American and all English’—and this great citizen of an island realm has always had an unusual comprehension of Continental nations. Where he has loved them, he has marched loyally with them through dark hours. Where he has fought them, his hate has died with their surrender.
“Let us not forget that a birthday which has been made a national and indeed an international event is in its essence a family event. For half a century of sunshine and storm he has had in Lady Churchill as today, a stimulating and sensible companion, charming the magic casements of his life. Of all the birthday presents, none can be more precious than the sum of those years of undemanding and undeviating affection.
“He has some personal dislikes—which of us has not? He is the personal dislike of some—which of us is not? But on this day sinks the fever of all the emotions save those evoked by the knowledge that our mighty compatriot in his long journey has made himself the architect of imperishable achievements and the symbol of inexpugnable courage.”
The Daily Telegraph, London, Tuesday, 30 November 1954