The English-Speaking Union posed a question which illustrates the problem of secondhand quotes. That is, something Churchill said which is not in his published canon. The quote is: “If you can speak in this country [Britain], you can do anything.” It was a concise celebration of the British right to free speech. The ESU has it on their website. But is it verifiable?
In 1966, the ESU Philadelphia Branch hosted an exhibit of my Churchill biographical stamp collection at the Philadelphia National Bank. It was the first public appearance of whatever limited Churchill knowledge I then had, my “awakening” as a Churchillian.…
Somewhere east of Ottawa, a special train bore the Prime Minister of Great Britain toward Washington. He had been in Canada to address Parliament. His most memorable lines came as he spoke of the French in 1940:
When I warned them that Britain would fight on alone, whatever they did, their generals told their prime minister and his divided cabinet, “In three weeks England will have her neck wrung like a chicken.” Some chicken! … Some neck.
To Churchillian colleagues, and most of all those who have encouraged and supported our Churchill work at Hillsdale College so many years: thank-you for being our friends.
Washington, 24 December 1941
“Let the children have their night of fun and laughter… Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world.…