September 15, 2008

{tab=1946}
{slide=Winter 1945-46  (Age 71)}

“An Iron Curtain has descended across the continent…”

AMERICAN politics was polarized between those who thought Stalin was an imperialist bent on expansion by force and those who saw him as a protector of Russian security. This division created uncertainty regarding the form American policy should take, but there was an inexorable move from accommodation to confrontation that would culminate a year later with the proclamation of the Truman Doctrine.

Into this vortex walked Winston Churchill to speak at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri. He would profoundly influence the outcome at the debate.

Churchill had accepted President Truman’s invitation to speak in the President’s home state for two reasons: he wanted to campaign for a loan for Britain and, more importantly, he wanted to forge an Anglo-American alliance against the Soviet threat which, he was convinced, the Labour Government was incapable or unwilling to confront. He told Lord Moran: “I think I can be of some use over there: they will take things from me. It may be that Congress will ask me to address them.” The only invitation extended by Congress came from hostile Republicans who wanted to cross-examine him about Pearl Harbour.

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Churchill and Truman had planned to meet in Florida but a rash of strikes forced the President to remain in Washington, so Churchill went to Cuba for a few days before meeting the President. Truman later said that he told Churchill, “It’s your own speech, you write it,” but Admiral Leahy recorded in his diary that the President and Churchill spent many hours talking about the speech.

Churchill also asked Prime Minister Mackenzie King of Canada to come to Washington because he appreciated King’s knowledge of the Americans. King sent the Canadian Ambassador to the United States, future Prime Minister Lester Pearson, to Churchill’s assistance. Pearson found a half-clad Churchill working in bed with a breakfast tray beside him. Pearson read the speech and recommended that Churchill not refer to the recent conflict as “The Unnecessary War” for fear of providing justification for American isolationists to avoid foreign entanglements. Churchill agreed.

WSC also spent time with British Ambassador Lord Halifax, who noted Churchill’s intensity in preparing his remarks but did not inform the government in London. It was evident that Churchill and Truman were about to pronounce a change in direction from Roosevelt’s policy of good relations with the Soviet Union while keeping a certain detachment from Britain.

There was increasing press awareness that something was up. The New York Post reported that “a stiffening American attitude towards Russia is in prospect … the evidence will soon be forthcoming. In Mr. Truman’s conversation with Winston Churchill here and Churchill’s subsequent talks in Florida with Secretary Byrnes and Bernard Baruch the new program began to take shape.”

On March 4th and 5th Truman and Churchill travelled by train from Washington to Jefferson City, Missouri and then drove to Fulton, twenty miles further. After lunch they joined the procession to the gymnasium of Westminster College, where Churchill gave one of his most famous orations, commonly referred to as the Iron Curtain speech. Truman had predicted that the speech would create quite astir and it did, throughout the entire world.

On March 8th, speaking in the presence of General Eisenhower to the General Assembly of Virginia in Richmond, then to the most senior officers of the American military, and finally at a dinner in New York City, Churchill repeated the themes of his Fulton speech. The philosophical underpinnings of those themes were expressed by Churchill in an impromptu speech to Canadian soldiers who were sailing home on the ship which brought him to North America, the Queen Elizabeth: “Yesterday I was on the bridge, watching the mountainous waves, and this ship — which is no pup — cutting through them and mocking their anger. I asked myself, why is it that the ship beats the waves, when they are so many and the ship is one? The reason is that the ship has a purpose, and the waves have none. They just flop around, innumerable, tireless, but ineffective. The ship with the purpose takes us where we want to go. Let us therefore have purpose, both in our national and Imperial policy, and in our private lives. Thus the future will be fruitful for each and for all, and the reward of the warriors will not be unworthy of the deeds they have done.”
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{slide=Spring 1946 (Age 71)}

Honours and Reflections on a Long Life

Upon their return from America Winston and Clementine were greeted by their daughter, Mary, who was being demobilized. That spring mother and daughter decided to catch up on their education by visiting galleries, museums and exhibitions. Each weekend they went to Chartwell which was now being refurbished after wartime neglect.

Churchill was the recipient of many honours, and would often use those occasions to speak out on world and domestic affairs. On receiving the Freedom of Westminster he reflected on how “the human story does not always unfold like an arithmetical calculation on the principle that two and two make four… I The element of the unexpected and the unforeseeable is what gives some of its relish to life and saves us from falling into the mechanical thralldom of the logicians.”

On a visit to Holland he spoke on a favourite subject, the unification of Europe. “I see no reason why, under the guardianship of the world organization, there should not ultimately arise the United States of Europe, both those of the East and those of the West, which will unify this Continent in a manner never known since the fail of the Roman Empire.” The cornerstone of the new organization would be Anglo-French friendship and he wrote Prime Minister Attlee for approval to accept an invitation from the Mayor of Metz.

Mrs. Churchill also received honours in her own right including this letter from Clement Attlee: “I feel very sincerely that it would not be fitting if the Victory Honours lists did not include your name. I hope, therefore, that you will allow me to submit your name to His Majesty for appointment as a Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in recognition, not only of your work for the Aid to Russia Fund, and for the promotion of Anglo-Russian understanding, but also of those other many services which made so marked and brave a contribution during the years of the war. I hope this will be agreeable to you, for I am sure it would be an houour which would be widely acclaimed”

Glasgow University conferred upon her the degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) for, amongst other contributions, her role as a wife: ‘There are times when the fate of the world seems to depend on the life of one man. Such a time we have known. And we can but remember with gratitude what it meant to Mr. Churchill that there stood beside him in the evil days one who added womanly grace and womanly wisdom, a power to achieve, a faith to persevere, and a full measure of the courage which, as we like to think, reflects the ancient valour of a Scottish ancestry.”

Churchill often made some amusing remarks about how he maintained that relationship with his wife. When a visitor commented that he and his wife ate breakfast together, Churchill said: “My wife and I tried two or three times in the last forty years to have breakfast together, but it didn’t work. Breakfast should be had in bed, alone. Not downstairs, after one has dressed… I don’t think our married life would have been nearly so happy if we both had dressed and come down for breakfast all these years.”

He used his mornings abed in part for reading, in addition to all the major dailies he was a steady reader of the Manchester Guardian (“the best newspaper in the world”), greatly respected the Christian Science Monitor, and every week he had a good look at The Economist. His reading took him the better part of an hour as he sat in bed, propped up with pillows, eating a good solid breakfast of fruit, eggs, meat or fish, toast and coffee.

In the breakfast conversation, observed by Walter Graebner, the London representative for Time-Life, Churchill related how he was able to maintain such a rigorous schedule. “You must sleep some time between lunch and dinner, and no half-way measures. Take off your clothes and get into bed. That’s what I always do. Don’t think you will be doing less work because you sleep during the day. That’s a foolish notion held by people who have no imagination. You will be able to accomplish more. You get two days in one-well, at least one and a half, I’m sure. When the war started, I had to sleep during the day because that was the only way I could cope with my responsibilities. Later, when I became Prime Minister my burdens were, of course, even greater. Often I was obliged to work far into the night I had to see reports, take decisions and issue instructions that could not wait until the next day. And at night I’d also dictate minutes requesting information which my staff could assemble for me in the morning—and place before me when I woke up.”

Churchill continued: “But a man should sleep during the day for another reason. Sleep enables you to be at your best in the evening when you join your wife, family and friends for dinner. That is the time to be at your best—a good dinner, with good wines…champagne is very good…then some brandy—that is the great moment of the day. Man is ruler then—perhaps only for fifteen minutes, but for that time at least he is master—and the ladies must not leave the table too soon.”

During this period his book writing focused on the preparation for publication of his speeches, including his secret wartime addresses to Parliament and, most particularly, his war memoirs. To that end he met with historian Bill Deakin, his tax adviser, his solicitor, representatives of the publishing house of Cassell and Lord Ismay, his military adviser. The great project resulting in the six volumes of The Second World War had begun.
{/slide}
{slide=Summer 1946 (Age 71)}

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster…

In June Lord Moran recorded in that his famous patient seemed to be ready to come back. “A short time ago,” Churchill told him, “I was ready to retire and die gracefully. Now I’m going to stay and have them out….I’ll tear their bleeding entrails out of them. I’m in pretty good fettle [which I attribute to] the the Jerome blood.” However, the next month Moran found Churchill “in poor heart — one of his black moods. ‘I’m fed-up,’ he said. ‘Victory has turned to sackcloth and ashes.'” This feeling would be later expressed in Churchill’s reference to Clemenceau’s post-World War I book Le Grandeur et la Miserede la Paix.

After this war,” said Churchill, “it is all misere and no grandeur.” An additional month later Moran recorded: “Winston is happy at Chartwell, as happy as he can be when the world has gone all wrong.”

Churchill expressed concern about a book by Elliott Roosevelt (FDR’s son) which expressed the view of some Americans that Churchill had unnecessarily delayed the cross-Channel invasion of Europe for two years. Churchill said: “I asked Monty whether we could have invaded France before we did and Monty answered that it would have been madness. We could not have done it without the landing craft.”

Churchill was more concerned about the future, especially the prospect of war between Russia and the Anglo-Americans. He was expressing more concern about Russia’s intentions, which had become very clear to him at Potsdam. He helped prepare for any coming clash by advocating European unity. In France he recalled his visit to Paris in 1883, when his father had explained the Franco-German fight over Alsace Lorraine; and his visit to the’ French Army in 1907, when he “felt that by those valiant bayonets the rights of man had been gained and that by them these rights and also the liberties of Europe would be faithfully guarded. The road has been long and terrible,” he reflected. “I am astonished to find myself here at the end of it all.” He called on the two nations to “preserve and fortify our united action. Never let us part.”

His theme that “Europe must arise from her ruin and spare the world a third and possibly a fatal holocaust” was best expressed in a speech at Zurich University which was only slightly less influential than the Iron Curtain speech earlier in the year. He began with “I wish to speak to you today about the tragedy of Europe, [that] noble continent … the fountain of Christian faith and Christian ethics … and the origin of most of the culture, arts, philosophy and science both of ancient and modern times … If Europe were once united in the sharing of its common inheritance, there would be no limit to the happiness, to the prosperity and glory which its three or four hundred million people would enjoy. Yet it is from Europe that has sprung that series of frightful nationalistic quarrels, originated by the Teutonic nations, which we have seen even in this twentieth century and in our own lifetime, wreck the peace and mar the prospects of all mankind.” To prevent a recurrence of these quarrels he called for a “United States of Europe,” beginning with a partnership between France and Germany. “There can be no revival of Europe without a spiritually great France and a spiritually great Germany.”

Churchill’s personal concern was for Chartwell, which he had owned since 1922. He had placed it on the market in 1938 but financial help from a friend had allowed him to keep it. He had over £100,000 in the bank and calculated that he needed £12,000 per year to live. Since he wanted the income from his war memoirs to go to his heirs, he determined to sell Chartwell in order to augment his income.

When asked by a friend if he would sell Chartwell for £50,000 to friends who would allow him to live in it for the rest of his life before turning it over to the National Trust, Churchill replied:

“Yes, and [I will] throw in the corpse as well.” Nowhere is the memory kept so green as at Chartwell, and we all thank and honour the following people who purchased Chartwell and left it, not just to the British Nation, but to the world, as a memorial and tribute to the life of Sir Winston Churchill: Lord Bearsted, Lord Bicester, Sir James Laird, Sir Hugo Cunliffe-Owen, Lord Catto, Lord Glendyne, Lord Kenilworth, Lord Leathers, Sir James Lithgow, Sir Edward Mountain, Lord Nuffield, Sir Edward Peacock, Lord Portal, James deRothschild, J. Arthur Rank, Sir Frederick Stewart and, especially, Lord Camrose.
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{slide=Autumn 1946 (Age 72)}

Beginning work on “The Second World War”

After his speech at Zurich  Churchill returned to London.Then, accompanied by his wife and daughter Mary, he went to Brussels and to Paris, where Mary met her future husband, Christopher Soames; the Assistant Military Attaché at the British Embassy.

At home again. Churchill resumed work on his war memoirs. Aware that he was dealing with topics and documents which remained sensitive, he outlined his plans to the Secretary of the Cabinet: “I should of course not wish to publish any paper which’ was not considered in the public interest by the Government of the day, and I should be quite ready to discuss the omission of any particular phrase, sentence or passage in any memorandum otherwise unobjectionable. Moreover I do not expect that any publication can take place for two or three years and I may not live so long.” The proposal was submitted to the Cabinet, which approved Churchill’s proposal on condition that a final revision would be subject to approval “in the light of the situation existing at the time.”

Churchill renewed his prewar relationship with Bill Deakin, who coordinated all the documentary evidence. Deakin later recalled the experience for Martin Gilbert:

“Winston and I would discuss together, alone, a sort of synopsis, which he would think out in his head and discuss with me. I would work into that frame. I would look up what happened. He then would dictate away what he remembered about people. He would also send me to talk to people, as a kind of interpreter. When I would produce a memorandum, this would provoke his personal memory. He would stop completely. No more documents. He would dictate his feelings (when he became First Lord, when he became Prime Minister). I would go to Chartwell for days at a time. Everything was devoted to his memoirs. He concentrated ruthlessly on this. He saw it as his monument.”

Outside of this work Churchill continued to be active in political affairs. Brendan Bracken noted that Churchill “is determined to continue to lead the Tory Party until he becomes Prime Minister on earth or Minister of Defence in Heaven.”
{/slide}
{tab=1947}
{slide=Winter 1946-47 (Age 72)}

“A year of recovery”

On his seventy-second birthday, Churchill declared, “we are the past, and that is done with. Mary is the future.”

But he wasn’t quite the past yet. From the Opposition benches he hammered the government on its policies toward both Palestine and India. In the former, he thought they were moving too slowly; in the latter, too quickly. He spent most of a bitterly cold winter at Hyde Park Gate and Chartwell, working on his Second World War memoirs with Bill Deakin and a battery of secretaries. Lord Ismay also provided considerable assistance. Lord Moran recorded that Churchill’s “spirits have risen and his vigour has come back. He has put vain regrets away; once more there is a purpose in life. He is very happy at Chartwell, arming and painting and dictating his book. In short, it has been a year of recovery.”

February was a peak and a valley emotionally for the Churchills. The peak was Mary’s marriage, at St. Margaret’s Church in Westminster, to Christopher Soames, assistant military attache at the British Embassy in Paris. He had been a Captain in the Coldstream Guards and served from Cairo through the Western Desert to Tunis, before joining an Intelligence unit in Italy and France. Churchill took to his new son instantly and “their friendship grew into a most warm and moving relationship.” Clementine was slower in her acceptance, but she also began to appreciate her new son-in-law, whom they affectionately called “The Chimp.” Years later Christopher joked with Clementine about her original lack of confidence and liking: “Yes, darling, but I’ve made up for it since,” she responded, patting his hand.

The valley was the death of Churchill’s brother Jack. “There couldn’t have been a more perfect relation between two brothers than yours with him,” wrote Eddie Marsh. Churchill said that “the only thing Jack worried about was England. I told him it wd be all right.”

Observing the Nuremberg trials, Churchill commented to Lord Ismay, “It shows that if you get into a war it is supremely important to win it. You and I would be in a pretty pickle if we had lost.”
{/slide}
{slide=Spring 1947 (Age 72)}
The prewar years were very much on Churchill’s mind as he worked on his Second World War memoirs. His thoughts were carried into the debates of the House of Commons. Speaking on the National Service Bill, he chided Labour for bringing in a conscription bill “after two years of peace, when all our enemies have surrendered unconditionally. Why, these were the very politicians who, four months before the outbreak of the war, led their followers into the Lobby against the principle of compulsory military service, and then had the face to accuse the Conservative Party of being guilty men.” Nonetheless, the Churchill-led Conservatives supported the Bill.

This debate launched a verbal battle between Churchill and Clement Attlee. The Labour Prime Minister retaliated by calling Churchill the “most disastrous Chancellor of the century” for putting Britain back on the gold standard. “He sinned, no doubt in all ignorance, but much of our troubles today can be traced back to that error of ignorance and his simple trust of others in a field where he had little knowledge.” Churchill responded that while he Chancellor “the real wages of our workpeople steadily and substantially increased.” He accelerated his attacks by asking why Britain should be “the only debtor country in the world, while those she had rescued and those she had conquered went into the future without having to drag a terrible chain of debts behind them.” This attack led to a reduction of the British war debt.

Churchill’s Conservatives also supported Labour initiatives on the Indian subcontinent, provided they led to Dominion status for India and Pakistan. Attlee had appointed two Churchill supporters to bring India to independence: Lord Mountbatten and Lord Ismay. But Churchill disagreed with the name “Indian Independence Bill.” Dominion status, he said, “is not the same as Independence, although it may freely be used to establish Independence. It is not true that a community is independent when its Ministers have in fact taken the Oath of Allegiance to the King.” This would have been news to Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans. In this case, Churchill was not clearly understanding the evolution of the Empire into the Commonwealth. His attention was focused on Europe, its rebuilding, restructuring and defence. He continued to support the concept of a United Europe and acknowledged the importance of the support of the United States, particularly the recent passage of the Truman Doctrine.

With the assistance of his son-in-law, Christopher Soames, he continued the development of farming activities at Chartwell including the purchase of an adjacent one hundred plus acres. His publishing activities prospered. Most significant was the selling of serialization rights of his war memoirs to Life Magazine, The New York Times and the Daily Telegraph. The Times expected the work to be “one of the greatest and most brilliantly written historical documents of all time.” It was.

In May Churchill prepared to go to Paris to receive the Medaille Militaire, a unique honour for a foreign citizen. Clementine gave her husband the following advice: “I would like to persuade you to wear civilian clothes during your Paris visit. To me, air force uniform except when worn by the Air Crews is rather bogus. And it is not as an Air-Commodore that you conquered in the War but in your capacity and power as a Statesman. All the political vicissitudes during the years of Exile qualified you for unlimited and supreme power when you took command of the Nation. You do not need to wear your medals to show your prowess. I feel the blue uniform is for you fancy-dress, and I am proud of my plain Civilian Pig.”

This story is illustrative of the problems faced by historians. Official biographer Sir Martin Gilbert found a note from Churchill to his valet stating, “I shall wear civilian clothes and take no uniform at all.” Another victory for spousal common sense! But in his outstanding account of his research, In Search of Churchill, Gilbert recounts how he discovered (In Finest Hour #35, Spring 1982) a photograph taken by William Beatty of Churchill in Paris wearing a military uniform! (That photograph can also be seen in In Search of Churchill facing page 179). While Churchill had honoured his wife’s wishes not to wear an Air-Commodore’s uniform, he had, in fact, worn the uniform of the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, his old regiment.
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{slide=Summer 1947 (Age 72)}
As Churchill went into surgery for a hernia operation he told the doctor: “Wake me up soon, I’ve got lots of work to do.” In addition to his political duties, he was eager to get on with his six-volume war memoirs (and he still had to publish his four-volume History of the English-Speaking Peoples and numerous books of speeches). Upon returning to Chartwell, the bed-ridden recuperating patient received enough visitors to tire a perfectly healthy middle-aged person. He was 72 years old! At the same time he was concerned with the health of Clementine. “Cast care aside,” he wrote her. “What we may have to face cannot be worse than all we have crashed through together.”

Before he could return to London, some backroom politicians plotted to create a Coalition Government led by Ernest Bevin, but the opposition of Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan killed the plan. Several Conservatives wanted Churchill to retire as party leader but none was willing to make the suggestion directly to him.

Churchill’s summer was spent working on his memoirs with a team of researchers led by Bill Deakin. Denis Kelly’s recollections of this phenomenal effort are told in Martin Gilbert’s Never Despair: Despite this busy schedule he still had time for relaxation, according to one of his detectives, Ronald Golding. While rabbit hunting on his farm “Mr. Churchill clambered slowly out of the Jeep. Just as he got his feet on the ground there was a shout from the others and a rabbit darted from the centre of the field. In a flash Mr. Churchill raised his gun and fired one barrel. The rabbit keeled over dead. it was a wonderful shot, and the usual Churchill luck. The others had been waiting hours for the opportunity.”
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{slide=Autumn-Winter 1947-48}

“My Dear Harry…”

“My dear Harry” was the salutation of Churchill’s letter to U.S. President Harry Truman, thanking him for the Marshall Plan which was “saving the world from Famine and War.” In his response, Truman made an interesting observation about the Soviet Union which “seem most ungrateful for the contribution which your great country and mine made to save them. I sometimes think perhaps we made a mistake‹and then I remember Hitler. He had no heart at all. I believe that Joe Stalin has one but the Polit Bureau [sic] won’t let him use it.” Churchill shared Truman’s concerns. In an address broadcast to America he said the Soviets were directing an “unceasing stream of abuse upon the Western World and they have accompanied this virulent propaganda by every action which could prevent the world settling down into a durable peace.” To meet the world’s challenges he called for a “fraternal association” between the British Empire and Commonwealth, the European Union and the United States, with Britain serving as “the vital link between them all.”

Looking towards India he reminded people of his warnings in the early 1930s: “We are of course only at the beginning of these horrors and butcheries, perpetrated upon one another, men, women and children, with the ferocity of cannibals, by races gifted with capacities for the highest culture and who had for generations dwelt side by side in general peace under the broad, tolerant and impartial rule of the British Crown and Parliament.” In speaking to the Conservative Party Conference he forecast that “the consequences of Socialist spite, folly and blundering” would lead to a general election for which the Tories must prepare.

At Chartwell he worked on his war memoirs. His draft was challenged by Henry Luce, who had agreed to publish excerpts in Life magazine. Luce felt that there were too many documents which “mar the architectural sense” and too little “analytical insight.” Churchill agreed to make changes.

In November the Churchills attended the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, R.N. at Westminster Abbey. Clementine made some interesting observations about other notables in attendance: “Smuts [Prime Minister of South Africa]…really cares for Winston and is a source of strength and encouragement for him. Mackenzie King [Prime Minister of Canada] is unchanging as a Chinese image, and General Marshall the hope of Mankind.”

One evening in late November, Churchill was enjoying a quiet dinner with his family when his daughter Sarah pointed to an empty chair and asked: “If you had the power to put someone in that chair to join us now, whom would you choose?” Sarah later remembered that she expected her father to name one of his heroes – Caesar, Napoleon or Marlborough. He took only a moment to consider and then said simply, “Oh, my father of course.” He had chosen his greatest hero of all.

Churchill went on to describe the outline of an article which was to become The Dream. “It was not clear whether he was recalling a dream or elaborating on some fanciful idea that had struck him earlier,” his son Randolph wrote, “but this was the genesis of the story.” (The Dream is available from the Churchill Store and Book Club).
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{tab=1948}
{slide=Winter 1947-48 (Age 73)}

The War Memoirs

Lord Moran describes Churchill in a restless state of mind brought on by being out of office and the knowledge that some of his colleagues wanted him to step aside as Leader of the Opposition. Churchill told Moran that he didn’t need a rest but “psychologically one needs change from time to time.” He decided to take a vacation in a warmer climate, but currency restrictions prevented him from taking sufficient funds out of the country.

Churchill accepted an offer from Time-Life to stay at the Hotel Mamounia in Marrakech. Sarah Churchill, who accompanied him, described the visit in a letter to her mother: “So far he has not left the hotel, he paints from a high balcony of the new wing of the hotel ‹and as it has till now been cold, I am glad. But today a sortie is planned‹just a small one‹to the pink walls. He is inclined to work a little too late.”

Churchill himself described his routine to Clementine: “Wake about 8 a.m., work at Book till 12:30, lunch at one, paint from 2:30 till 5, when it is cold and dusk, sleep from 6 p.m. till 7:30, dine at 8, Oklahoma with the Mule [cards with Sarah].ŠAt 10 or 11 p.m. again work on the Book. Here I have been rather naughty; the hours of going to bed have been one o’clock, two, three, three, two, but an immense amount has been done and Book II [of The Gathering Storm] is practically finished. I am not going to sit up so late in future. The painting has not gone badly but I only have these two and a half short hours of good light.”

Literary aide Bill Deakin gave his version of the events to Martin Gilbert in 1975: “He liked excursions. They were working sessions. Sometimes he would write a piece of his own, without any documents. When I got to Marrakech I found an awful piece about the Spanish Civil War. I said: ‘But these weren’t your views at the time.’ He shouted at me; ‘you God-damn, damn you, you always think you’re right.’

“His mind was fixed on the conduct of the war. Occasionally, late at night, we might talk about the Dardanelles…. He didn’t do very much work. He wanted company. He painted most of the time.”

Churchill had a different perception. He had written Clementine that “I came here to play, but in fact it has only been Work under physically agreeable conditions.”

This holiday also gave him a break from the English political scene, and it appears he was in great need of this respite. He wrote Clementine that “England and politics seem very different here. I continue to be depressed about the future. I really do not see how our poor island is going to earn its living when there are so many difficulties around us and so much ill will and division at home.”

In early January Deakin returned to England with twelve chapters of the book. At the same time Lord Moran and Clementine arrived to tend to Churchill, who was feeling ill. Moran found that Churchill did not have pneumonia and his patient was in fine form very quickly. Moran wrote a long entry in his journal about his visit to Marrakech. He dated it 7 December 1947, but Martin Gilbert points out that the correct dating is 3 January 1948.

Moran suggests that Churchill was intolerant of criticism. If that was true, this was a very difficult time for the author of The Second World War. Among the people who gave very detailed criticism of his drafts were Isaiah Berlin, Edward Marsh, Clementine and, especially, Emery Reves. The significance of Reves’s comments was that the text would have to be largely rewritten. Reves had shown the manuscript to the judges of the Book-of-the-Month Club (Henry Seidel Canby, Dorothy Canfield Fisher, Christopher Morley, John P. Marquand and Clifton Fadiman). They were impressed with the work but agreed with Reves’s recommendations. Churchill made enough changes to please both Reves and himself.

Once again discussions ensured regarding the title of Volume I. Churchill first considered Downward Path; Reves suggested Gathering Clouds, or The Brooding Storm and the eventual winner, The Gathering Storm. It was the best possible choice.

In February Churchill returned to England to face a new gathering storm: aggressive Communist political and military activity. Most ominous was the Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia and the mysterious death of Churchill’s friend the non-Communist foreign minister, Jan Masaryk.
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{slide=Spring 1948 (Age 73)}

“Circulation sluggish”

During the spring the first volume of The Second World War, The Gathering Storm, was published (over 200,000 copies) and work began on the second, Their Finest Hour. Walter Graebner and Emery Reves helped Churchill with the former and William Deakin headed up the team of researchers for the latter. L~fr began publishing its excerpts in April. The book was also serialized in the Daily Telegraph, the Glasgow Herald and The New York Times.

John Colville visited Churchill, who took the opportunity to express his views about a couple of his wartime colleagues and allies. About Montgomery, Churchill spoke scathingly of Monty’s self-advertising stunts and said that “he presumed British soldiers would soon have to be called Monties instead of Tommies.” With regard to the issue of the Americans and the second front, Churchill said: “No lover ever studied every whim of his mistress as I did those of President Roosevelt”

Lord Moran wrote: “When I examined Winston’s retinal arteries with my ophthalmoscope, I found definite hardening of the vessels, but not more than I one would expect after the stress of the war years. There is plenty of evidence that his circulation is sluggish”

Three of Churchill’s oils (Blenheim Tapestries, Goldfish pool, Chartwell and The Blue Sitting Room, Trent Park) were accepted by the Royal Academy and given prominent display. Churchill was also elected honorary Academician Extraordinary of the Royal Academy, the first Briton to receive this honour. He revealed that his magnificent moral for his war memoirs—”In War: Resolution; In Defeat: Defiance; In Victory: Magnanimity; In Peace: Good Will”— was written for a monument in France, but had been rejected.

He spoke at the Annual Conference of the Central Women’s Advisory Committee, at the Royal Albert Hall, London on “This Country Needs a New Parliament.”At a Pilgrims’ Dinner at the Savoy Hotel he paid tribute to Eleanor Roosevelt.

In a speech to the Congress of Europe at the Hague he said “We shall only save ourselves from the perils which draw near by forgetting the hatreds of the past, by letting national rancours and revenges die, by progressively effacing frontiers and barriers which aggravate and congeal our divisions, and by rejoicing together in that glorious treasure of literature, of romance, of ethics, of thought and toleration belonging to all, which is the true inheritance of Europe, the expression of its genius and honour, but which by our quarrels, our follies by our fearful wars and the cruel and awful deeds that spring from war and tyrants, we have almost cast away.” He later spoke in Amsterdam and Oslo.

Clementine was not well and was away from Chartwell recuperating when she received the following from her husband: “Darling: You did promise Sept 12, 190

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