My colleague Richard Cohen commends a eulogy to Churchill by the great Labour Party leader Clement Attlee. It occurred in the House of Lords on 25 January 1965, the day after Sir Winston died. It is notable for its fine words. Moreover, it shows how their relationship as colleagues eclipsed that of political opponents. At a time of greatly strained relations between the parties, on both sides of the pond, this is a thoughtful reminder that things could be different.
Attlee was the first prime minister of a socialist government with an outright majority (1945-51).…
Col. Gault (Military Assistant to General Eisenhower, 29 April 1945): “John Peck, is that you? The General told me to ask you if the war is over.”
Peck: “I beg your pardon?”
Gault: “Seriously, we’ve got a press message here which says quite clearly that it’s all over. If so, nobody has told the General and he thought you would be the most likely to know at your end.”
Peck: “Well, if it has ended, nobody has told the Prime Minister either.”
Gault: “Do you think we had better carry on?”
Peck: “Yes, I think so.” [John then went back to sleep, and the war went on.]