Tag: Black Rod

Churchill’s 1943 Speech to Congress

Churchill’s 1943 Speech to Congress

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.…

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