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.…
What we have here is a rough capsule history of the war, along with several clangers and exaggerations. But in the main this account is, as Churchill once said about Britain and the Axis ganging up against Russia: “Too easy to be good.”
“Boris Johnson, who has sought comparison with Winston Churchill, denounced spending national lottery money to save the wartime leader’s personal papers for the nation,” chortled The Guardian in December. (The Churchill Papers cover 1874-1945. Lady Churchill donated the post-1945 Chartwell Papers to the Churchill Archives in 1965.)
In April 1995 Johnson, then a columnist for the Daily Telegraph, deplored the £12.5 million purchase of Churchill Papers for the nation. The lottery-supported National Heritage Memorial Fund, said Johnson, was frittering away money on pointless projects and benefiting Tory grandees. Johnson added: “…seldom in the field of human avarice was so much spent by so many on so little …”
The Memorial Fund replied the Churchill Papers were a national heirloom under threat of being sold outside the country.…