A friend writes asking for the audio of Churchill’s second of three speeches to Congress, and poses a question: “Roosevelt attended neither the 1941 nor 1943 speeches. Why not?”
Click here for clear audio of the 50-minute speech.
Presidents never attend speeches to Congress by foreign heads of state or government. Part of this is certainly courtesy, so as not to steal focus from the guest. In a deeper sense, it is an assertion of the separation of powers between Congress and the Executive. A similar tradition in Britain is when the House of Commons slams the door on Black Rod, when he summons Members to the House of Lords to hear the Queen’s Speech.…
Korea was a problem in 1952—as it is today. “Is the Prime Minister aware of the deep concern felt by the people of this country at the whole question of the Korean conflict?” an opposition Member of Parliament asked the-then Mr. Churchill.
“I am fully aware of the deep concern felt by the honorable member in many matters above his comprehension,” Churchill quipped. Which avoided responding to an unanswerable question.
Self-Preservation’s Jarring Gong
How do you answer the Korean question? There are no good choices. The Sino-Russian proposal for the U.S. to abandon joint military exercises in exchange for another promise by the North to stop building missiles and testing nukes is a non-starter.…