I am trying to verify two quotes attributed to Mr Churchill. Can you assist? 1. Youth is for freedom and reform, maturity for judicious compromise and old age is for stability and repose. 2. What is the use of Parliament if it is not the place where true statements can be brought before the people? What on earth is the use of sending Members to Parliament to say what they are told to say by Ministerial platitude? What value can we place on our parliamentary institutions if constituencies return only lame, docile and subservient members who try to stamp on every form of independent judgement? Many thanks. —A.R.
Yes to both, but not quite accurate as quoted above. From Churchill by Himself, “Maxims” chapter, page 20:
“Usually youth is for freedom and reform, maturity for judicious compromise, and old age for stability and repose.”
— “Consistency in Politics,” Pall Mall, July 1927; reprinted in Thoughts and Adventures (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1932).
From the “Leadership” chapter, page 493 (and not without relevance at the moment)…
Principle vs. Politics
What is the use of Parliament if it is not the place where true statements can be brought before the people? What is the use of sending Members to the House of Commons who say just the popular things of the moment, and merely endeavour to give satisfaction to the Government Whips by cheering loudly every Ministerial platitude, and by walking through the Lobbies oblivious of the criticisms they hear? People talk about our Parliamentary institutions and Parliamentary democracy; but if these are to survive, it will not be because the Constituencies return tame, docile, subservient Members, and try to stamp out every form of independent judgment.
—House of Commons, 14 March 1939