Tag: Harold Macmillan

“Jaw to Jaw” Versus “Jaw-Jaw”: Supermac Still Owns the Latter

“Jaw to Jaw” Versus “Jaw-Jaw”: Supermac Still Owns the Latter

“Jaw-Jaw” be-jaws the dialogue (from 2008):

On 27 June 1954, Churchill was quot­ed as say­ing “jaw-jaw is always bet­ter than to war-war.” (William H. Lawrence, “Churchill urges Patience in Cop­ing with Red Dan­gers,” The New York Times, page 1; and Wal­ter Tro­han, “‘Vig­i­lance and Time’ Asked by Churchill,” Chica­go Dai­ly Tri­bune, page 1. Did Churchill say this? —M.D.

No. From my Defin­i­tive Wit of Win­ston Churchill, page 37:

“Meet­ing jaw to jaw is bet­ter than war.” —1954 Com­mon­ly mis­quot­ed as ‘Jaw-jaw is bet­ter than war-war,’ an expres­sion coined four years lat­er by Prime Min­is­ter Harold Macmil­lan, on a vis­it to Australia.…

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Secondhand but Valid: “If you can speak in this country…”

Secondhand but Valid: “If you can speak in this country…”

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.…

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Churchill Red Herrings: On a Federal Europe and “Keep England White”

Churchill Red Herrings: On a Federal Europe and “Keep England White”

Churchill on Europe

“It is only when plans for unit­ing Europe take a fed­er­al form that we our­selves can­not take part, because we can­not sub­or­di­nate our­selves or the con­trol of British pol­i­cy to fed­er­al author­i­ties.” This quote is a red her­ring —not Churchill.

Hoist on my own petard! Alan Ingram, a kind read­er, has helped me cor­rect sev­er­al attri­bu­tions (four of them mine) of this quote to Churchill. The remark, exclud­ing Britain from a fed­er­al Europe, belongs to his then-for­eign sec­re­tary, Antho­ny Eden. I plead…

Guilty with an explanation:

My error and oth­ers’ occurred by mis­read­ing suc­ces­sive quotes in John Charmley’s Churchill’s Grand Alliance (1995).…

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