May 13, 2015

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MacDonald, the Leader, declared in connection with Churchill’s anti-Bolshevik campaigns ‘If the Labour Party can’t fight this, it can fight nothing’.[1] Technically, however, he was still a Liberal. He only crossed the Floor of the House again in 1924, standing as an Independent Anti-Socialist candidate at a by-election in March, in which he was narrowly defeated by the official Conservative candidate, and as a Constitutionalist candidate at the October General Election, with official Conservative backing. He won the seat of Epping, which he kept until 1964. In November 1924, he became Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Conservative Government led by Baldwin.

In May 1926 he was at the forefront of the Government’s efforts to defeat the General Strike, notably editing the British Gazette, the official Government newspaper in the absence of the usual commercial newspapers. Churchill emerged from the episode with a reinforced reputation as the enemy of the working man, the more so as he initially opposed the distribution of welfare payments to the coalminers who continued with the strike until the autumn. He was presented as the extremist of the General Strike, not without justification.[2]

His image as a man of the authoritarian Right was made even worse by his disastrous public pronouncements following his trip to Rome in January 1927, when he met the Pope and Mussolini. In fact he had already expressed his admiration for Mussolini in January 1926, in a speech before Treasury officials :

Italy is a country which is prepared to face the realities of post-war reconstruction. It possesses a Government under the commanding leadership of Signor Mussolini which does not shrink from the logical consequences of economic facts and which has the courage to impose the financial remedies required to secure and to stabilise the national recovery.[3]

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This is what we could call the ‘classic’ defence of Fascism – its economic efficiency at a time when the democracies were at a loss to find a coherent economic policy. Mosley was to put it more concisely later when he repeated that the British Fascists wanted to turn Parliament ‘from a talk-shop to a work-shop’. When Churchill praised Mussolini’s Italy for its economic realism, it was of course the British Chancellor of the Exchequer envying the Fascist dictator for the room for manoeuvre which the absence of an effective opposition gave him.

The offensive declarations of January 1927 were of a different nature, in that they clearly justified the introduction of Fascism as a bulwark against Bolshevism :

If I had been an Italian, I am sure I should have been whole-heartedly with you from the start to finish in your triumphant struggle against the bestial appetites and passions of Leninism.[4]

This argument was to be repeated ten years later, at the time of the Spanish Civil War, in a slightly different form – though the old assimilation with animals was not taken up this time:

I will not pretend that, if I had to choose between Communism and Nazi-ism, I would choose Communism.[5]

But then one must introduce a capital factor into the equation. In all these cases, Churchill was talking from the point of view of the Italians, the Spanish, the Germans. Thanks to their superior institutions and traditions, summed up by the well-known popular phrase, ‘it could not happen here’, the British were fortunately protected from these impossible choices.

In his approval of the Italian Fascists’ action in January 1927, Churchill was careful to distance himself from any advocacy of replication in Britain, immediately adding :

But in Great Britain we have not yet had to face this danger in the same form. We have our own particular method of doing things.[6]Ten years later, in ‘The Ebbing Tide of Socialism’, published in July 1937, Churchill continued to argue that Britain was above these Continental errors:

So also have been reduced to impotence and ridicule the Nazi conceptions of Sir Oswald Mosley.[7] He had built his hopes upon the Socialist or Communist menace, and in all probability he would have risen in opposition to it. But at the present time it does not exist. The failure of the red-hot men of the Left has involved a simultaneous failure of the white-hot men of the Right.[8]


This is of course an extremely interesting argument coming from a man of the Right as he then undoubtedly was. If we follow Churchill, it is precisely because ‘the Socialist or Communist menace’ was warded off in Britain that Fascism was unable to take root in the country. Closely following French affairs as he always did, he perfectly knew of the cries from the Fascist or crypto-Fascist ligues heard all over France at the time: ‘Plutôt Hitler que Blum’ or  the ‘clever’ rhyming phrase (in French) ‘Plutôt Hitler que le Front populaire’.

The easy point which he would then have been able to make was that it was thanks to men of the ‘moderate’ Right like him that the ‘menace’ had not materialised into anything serious. But Churchill being Churchill, he chose instead to attribute the merit to the democratic maturity of the British people:

The massive common sense of the only long-trained democracy – apart from the United States – has established a spacious and predominant middle zone within which the class adjustments of the nation can be fought out, and from which the extremists at both ends are excluded.[9]

More than that, in his Commons speech of 14 April 1937 he suggested that a self-respecting Briton would face death rather than accept ‘to choose between Communism and Nazism’ :

I hope not to be called upon to survive in a world under a government of either of these dispensations.


A third reason may perhaps be adduced for Churchill’s praise of Mussolini in the 1920s: it appeared that at a time when the affairs of Continental Europe continued to preoccupy Churchill, he was reassured that Britain could count on Italy as a reliable partner under his rule, contrary to what he had initially feared. ‘What a swine this Mussolini is’ he wrote to his wife on 5 September 1923 after Mussolini decided to occupy Fiume.[10]

Thus three elements were clear in Churchill’s attitude to the Fascists and Communists – the two faces of the same coin in his eyes – around 1931-1932. He feared the Bolshevik threat far more than the Fascist threat. Founding his reasoning on Churchill’s speeches in Parliament, Quinault argues that ‘As late as 1931, Churchill still considered Soviet Russia the main threat to peace in Europe and the principal obstacle to disarmament’.[11]

 If Fascism did not encroach upon British interests there was no reason in his eyes not to praise its perceived economic efficiency. Fascism was very well for the Continentals, with their shaky and often recent adoption of democratic institutions, but Britain did not need it to ward off the Communist danger. Although there is evidence that the early British Fascists,  Rotha Lintorn-Orman’s  British Fascisti (founded in 1923) and the splinter-group created in 1924, the National Fascisti (later the British National Fascisti), had occasionally given a hand in breaking the General Strike, for instance in Liverpool, it was obvious that the strike would have failed even without their intervention.[12]

In the 1930s, there was a complex evolution of Churchill’s attitude on the first two points, even though he never varied in his absolute disdain for the home-made version of Fascism. This did not mean that he did not share the Fascists’ extreme views on the intellectual Left. As Paul Addison puts it, ‘in the early 1930s Churchill sounded reactionary about England’,[13] and he quotes from a speech delivered on 24 April 1933 before the staunchly patriotic Royal Society of St. George. A more extensive excerpt makes the point even clearer:

The worst difficulties from which we suffer do not come from without. They come from within. They do not come from the cottages of the wage-earners. They come from a peculiar type of brainy people always found in our country, who, if they add something to its culture, take much from its strength.

Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians. But what have they to offer but a vague internationalism, a squalid materialism, and the promise of impossible Utopias?[14]

What made him change his approach – pace Carlton – was clearly the emergence of the radical National-Socialist movement in Germany.[15] Even before he acceeded to the Chancellorship of Germany on 30 January 1933, Churchill ‘viewed the rise of Hitler with disquiet’, as Wrigley mildly puts it.[16]

In January 1927, in Rome, Churchill had met Mussolini twice, in informal or semi-formal circumstances, at a ball and after a dinner at the British Embassy. The same scenario of informality almost repeated itself for the only occasion which he ever had of meeting Hitler, in September 1932. Churchill had been travelling to Germany, notably to Blenheim[17] where his famous ancestor the Duke of Marlborough had defeated the French-led coalition in 1704. He was staying in Munich before going back to England, in a hotel which Hitler also frequently patronised and he was approached by a very cheerful Herr Hanfstaengl who befriended him, saying that he could easily arrange a meeting with Hitler, whom he knew well and who he felt sure would be very glad to see him. We know this because Churchill recounted the episode in the first volume of his War Memoirs, The Gathering Storm. Writing immediately after the Second World War, this is how Churchill describes his state of mind in the late summer of 1932 :

I had no national prejudices against Hitler at this time. I knew little of his doctrine or record and nothing of his character. I admire men who stand up for their country in defeat, even though I am on the other side. He had a perfect right to be a patriotic German if he chose. I always wanted England, Germany and France to be friends.[18]

This is all the more plausible as Churchill had not lost his crusading spirit against Bolshevism. In November 1931, when the sixth and final volume of his narrative of the First World War, The World Crisis, was published, he dedicated it to ‘Our Faithful Allies and Comrades in the Russian Imperial Armies’ because it dealt with The Eastern Front.[19] We can agree in retrospect with John Young’s opinion:

Where the USSR was concerned Churchill’s realism led him to accept, by the 1930s, that it would exist for some time and was an essential component in any anti-German balance of power.[20]

But the real question is when exactly ‘by the 1930s’ Churchill came to realise that – to invert Carlton’s phrase – the Bolshevik peril was now of ‘second order’ compared with the Nazi menace. There is probably no answer, if only because there was a long period of uncertainty over the real extent of Hitler’s capacity for starting another war. Churchill never doubted Hitler’s evil nature, just as he never doubted Stalin’s – but it took some time before it became certain that the Nazi danger was the worse.

In a speech before the House of Commons on 11 July 1932, Churchill had described Hitler as ‘the moving impulse behind the German Government’. He ‘may be more than that very soon’,[21] he percipiently added – it must be remembered that Hitler’s party, the NSDAP, received just over 37% of the popular vote in the Reichstag elections of 31 July 1932. So a meeting would have made sense.

But then Churchill mentioned Hitler’s attitude to the Jews to Hanfstaengl – it is not clear whether this was a deliberate provocation or an incidental remark in their conversations. According to Hanfstaengl, who also wrote his memoirs,[22] Churchill’s exact words were ‘Tell your boss from me that anti-Semitism may be a good starter, but it is a bad sticker’.[23]

The result was immediate: the proposed meeting was called off. ‘Thus Hitler lost his only chance of meeting me’, Churchill concludes in his memoirs. ‘Later on, when he was all-powerful, I was to receive several invitations from him. But by that time a lot had happened, and I excused myself’.[24]

Hanfstaengl makes it clear that there was in fact mutual suspicion, a distrust on both sides which gradually turned into absolute hatred and it is impossible to know whether Hitler was later shown the secret memorandum which one of the Counsellors at the German Embassy in London had sent to his Foreign Ministry, reporting a conversation with Churchill on 18 October 1930, over a year therefore before Hitler became Chancellor:

Hitler had admittedly declared that he had no intention of waging a war of aggression; he, Churchill, however, was convinced that Hitler or his followers would seize the first available opportunity to resort to armed force.[25]

This secret memorandum also contains evidence that Churchill had had at least passages from Mein Kampf, published in Germany in 1925-1926, privately translated for his own edification, because in the conversation he alluded to a cynical remark by Hitler, ‘the great masses of the people … will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one’ which did not even figure in the official English translation published in 1933.[26]

The private Foreign Office translation[27] of the expurgated passage, later forwarded to Churchill, read: ‘if one tells big lies, people will always believe a part’ and ‘something always remains of the most impudent lies’.[28]

There is also indirect evidence that Churchill immediately understood the significance of Hitler’s incitements to racial and national hatred in the explosive context of 1924 Germany. In an article entitled ‘Shall we All commit Suicide?’ published in  September 1924 in Pall Mall Magazine and reprinted in Thoughts and Adventures in 1932, Churchill assumed the role of the prophet of doom which was to gradually estrange him from his fellow-citizens, who did not want to hear his apocalyptic predictions. It was not a welcome warning when he said ‘Let it not be thought for a moment that the danger of another explosion in Europe is passed’. There were two reasons for that. Russia bemoaned the loss of ‘her Baltic Provinces’. But there was worse :

From one end of Germany to the other an intense hatred of France unites the whole population. The enormous contingents of German youth growing to military manhood year by year are inspired by the fiercest sentiments, and the soul of Germany smoulders with dreams of a War of Liberation or Revenge. These ideas are restrained at the present moment only by physical impotence.

Now, even though Hitler as such is not named as such, it is permissible to see him as the archetype of aggressive man in the most blood-curdling passage in the article – and if the readers of Pall Mall magazine did not all perceive the allusion in 1924, it is most likely that those of 1932 in Thoughts and Adventures did so:

Death stands at attention, obedient, expectant, ready to serve, ready to shear away the peoples en masse; ready, if called on, to pulverise, without hope of repair, what is left of civilisation. He awaits only the word of command, He awaits it from a frail, bewildered being, long his victim, now – for one occasion only – his Master.[29]

Considering all this, why Churchill wrote a long portrait of Hitler, ‘The Truth about Hitler’, published in November 1935 in The Strand Magazine, and reprinted in 1937 in Great Contemporaries as ‘Hitler and his Choice’, remains one of the more puzzling aspects of this complex relationship by proxy. In any case it is a typical exercise in damning with faint praise. The German Foreign Ministry lodged an official complaint, and the magazine was prohibited in Germany.[30]

The gist of the article is that the ‘corporal’, the ‘former Austrian house-painter’, the ‘Austrian-born corporal’, ‘Corporal Hitler’, had by 1935 ‘succeeded in restoring Germany to the most powerful position in Europe’. ‘When Hitler began, Germany lay prostrate at the feet of the Allies’, he argued. ‘He may yet see the day when what is left of Europe will be prostrate at the feet of Germany’.

The great question was whether what Churchill called ‘the mellowing influences of success’ would eventually make Hitler ‘a gentler figure in a happier age’. The article was not well balanced, because Churchill obviously devoted far more space to the discussion of the negative and pessimistic arguments, notably the idea that if past behaviour was anything to go by, there was serious cause for worry. Churchill insisted on the relentless persecution of the German Jews, ‘a community numbered by hundred of thousands’ and on the arrest of all opponents, including ‘Trade Unionists and the liberal intelligentsia’, with ‘an attack upon the historical basis of Christianity’. In a forceful image, he linked this repression to the military effort: ‘Side by side with the training grounds of the new armies and the great aerodromes, the concentration camps pock-mark the German soil’.

One remarkable aspect of his argument is that he indicts Hitler for proscribing ‘socialists and communists of every hue’.[31] Carlton curiously glosses over the imbalance and interprets the language of the text as showing a partiality towards Hitler which Churchill had never shown towards the Bolsheviks.[32] But overall Churchill’s  article makes it clear that by 1935 his visceral anti-Communism was relegated to the background in the face of the mounting danger coming from Nazi Germany. Given the choice between Godless Communism and Godless Nazi-ism,[33] he now found the latter the most obnoxious.

This does not mean that he now rejected Fascism, however. On the contrary, by a curious twist in the reasoning, largely founded on considerations of British defence priorities, Churchill courted Mussolini more assiduously than ever after Hitler’s accession to the Chancellorship.

One of the most important sources for our subject is the impassioned speech which he delivered on the occasion of the 25th anniversary meeting of the Anti-Socialist and Anti-Communist Union, on 17 February 1933, less than three weeks after Hitler came to power – the context is obviously of capital importance. There is of course a great deal of irony in Churchill adressing this organisation, because it had been founded as the Anti-Socialist Union in 1908 precisely to fight the welfare measures which Lloyd George was drafting with the help of Churchill, then at the height of his anti-Conservative ‘progressive’ phase.[34] Though adopting a militant Anti-Communist position, as the post-war addition to its name indicated, it clearly distanced itself from British Fascist groups – indeed these Fascist groups were now much more attractive for people with far-right inclinations – but it is a measure of Churchill’s evolution that he was now its guest speaker.

The speech contains the first public allusions to another perceived menace, that of the militarist Japanese Government. Context is again all-important: Japan attacked Manchuria on 18 September 1931 and proclaimed the ‘independence’ of the puppet state of Manchukuo on 15 September 1932. When the League of Nations expressed a protest, Japan withdrew from it immediately, on 24 February 1933. Also, only a week before Churchill’s speech, the Oxford Union had passed the extraordinary resolution that ‘This House refuses in any circumstances to fight for King and Country’, on 9 February.

Starting with a denunciation of the ‘abject, squalid, shameless avowal’ of the Oxford students, Churchill offered a bleak panorama of the world situation, which dictated British rearmament, not pacifism. The first passage of that vast survey must have displeased his audience, since many members probably shared the common belief among the Right that Nazi Germany was the best bulwark against Soviet contagion. When thinking of the Oxford Union resolution, he argued,

I think of Germany, with its splendid clear-eyed youth marching forward on all the roads of the Reich singing their ancient songs, demanding to be conscripted into the army; eagerly seeking the most terrible weapons of war; burning to suffer and die for their fatherland.

It was obvious here that Churchill did not primarily have the Soviet Union in mind as the potential target of Germany’s ‘splendid clear-eyed youth’. This is what made him differ so sharply with the Appeasers and the activists of the British Right and extreme Right: he never believed that the supporters of German Nazism could be the objective allies of British Conservatives against Bolshevism. This is all the more remarkable as he shared their belief – at least in 1933, at the time of his speech – in the Far East:

I must say something to you which is very unfashionable. I am going to say one word of sympathy for Japan… I hope we should try in England to understand a little the position of Japan, an ancient state with the highest sense of national honour, and patriotism and with a teeming population and a remarkable energy. On the one side they see the dark menace of Soviet Russia. On the other the chaos of China, four or five provinces of which are actually now being tortured under Communist rule.


As if this did not make it sufficiently evident that he judged the militarist and Fascist Right on the merits of the case, he had most surprising words of praise to pour on Italy ‘with her ardent Fascisti, her renowned Chief, and stern sense of national duty’, and even more so on Mussolini, whom he saw as ‘the Roman genius’, ‘the greatest lawgiver among living men’.[35]

In his biography of Churchill, Roy Jenkins calls it ‘an altogether unfortunate speech’[36] : admittedly, with the benefit of hindsight, knowing that Japan was to associate with Germany in the Anti-Comintern Pact three years later, with Italy soon joining them – eventually forming the so-called ‘Axis’ – Churchill’s partiality towards Japan and Italy now seems little founded, and it cannot be explained by his desire to please his audience since he knew that he was probably affronting most of them with his uncompromising rejection of Nazism, and that did not stop him.

So we have to go back again to psychological explanations founded on the complexity of Churchill’s personality. No doubt he was a man of principle – but like all virtuous men, only up to a point. He was an opportunist in the sense that he always chose what was the lesser of two evils in his eyes. Here his guiding principle seems to have been the preservation of civilisation – no less. For him, this meant first and foremost the liberal values of Western culture – as most cherished in England. ‘Liberal’ in the economic sense – he wrote in a letter sent shortly before he became Chancellor of the Exchequer that ‘the existing capitalist system is the foundation of civilisation’[37], but perhaps even more so in the democratic sense. This is where the lesser of the two evils comes in.

When he said in a speech to the Commons on 7 February 1934 :

We…are left exposed to a mortal thrust, and are deprived of that old sense of security and independence upon which the civilization[38] of our island has been built[39]

it was clear to him that with Hitler now the unchallenged Leader of Germany, the foundations of British and Western civilisation – and therefore of all civilisation in his eyes, as he was to say four years later in so many words[40] – were mortally threatened.

The lesser evil was therefore to accept to have some truck with those whom he then perceived as the lesser Fascists and Militarists – the Italians and Japanese – the better to ward off the only truly dangerous menace, that coming from a Nazified Germany intent on enslaving the ‘rotten plutocracies’. There was nothing new in this priority – as early as February 1919, Churchill had expressed before the Cabinet his fear of ‘a great combination from Yokohama to Cologne in hostility to France, Britain and America’.[41] He had expressed this fear with special reference to the possible spreading of Bolshevism, but he was prepared to reactivate it in the 1930s with the spectre of a Nazified Europe in mind.

It is not easy to determine when he lost his illusions about continued Japanese goodwill or at least neutrality. In a speech to the House of Commons on 31 May 1935, he laconically alluded to the potential danger of a rapprochement between Germany and Japan :

Go to: “The Creeds of the Devil”: Churchill between the Two Totalitarianisms, 1917-1945 (3 of 3)

[1] Pelling, Winston Churchill (1999): 257.

[2] Addison. Churchill on the Home Front, 1900-1955: 264.

[3] ‘Italian Debt Settlement (Signing)’. A speech at the Treasury, London, on 27 January 1926. Reprinted in Winston S. Churchill : His Complete Speeches, 1897-1963. Vol.IV: 1922-1928: 3824.

[4] Gilbert. Winston S. Churchill. V: Prophet of Truth, 1922-1939: 226.

[5] Speech in the House of Commons, 14 April 1937. Reprinted in Arms and the Covenant: 409.

[6] ‘Anglo-Italian Relations’. A press statement in Rome on 20 January 1927. Reprinted in Winston S. Churchill : His Complete Speeches, 1897-1963. Vol.IV: 1922-1928: 4126.

[7] In Langworth’s substantial volume of Churchill quotations, Churchill by Himself, Mosley is not even mentioned. The Index jumps from ‘Moslems and Hindus’ to ‘mosquito eradication’. This would tend to suggest that Churchill saw Mosley as a negligible opponent, not worth attacking in his speeches and writings.

[8] Churchill and the British authorities were no longer sure of the lasting character of that failure in the panic atmosphere of May-June 1940, when Mosley was seen as a high security risk.

Churchill of course never believed in the principle ‘no freedom for the enemies of freedom’, adopted by the Bolsheviks among others. The memo which he sent to the Home Secretary on 22 December 1940 over Mosley’s internment shows his embarrassment at having had to follow that policy: ‘Naturally I feel distressed at having to be responsible for action so utterly at variance with all the fundamental principles of British liberty, habeas corpus, and the like. The public danger justifies the action taken, but that danger is now receding’. Mosley was interned under Regulation 18B from 23 May 1940 until November 1943 – by then the danger of German invasion had become nil.

In the light of the Guantanamo controversy, Churchill’s preoccupation in the same memo over Mosley’s conditions of detention makes fascinating reading – and reflects on his innate sense of what concurs to the dignity of man (e.g. ‘Does a bath every week mean a hot bath, and would it be very wrong to allow a bath every day?’). See Their Finest Hour: Appendix A, p. 703.

Sir Oswald Mosley makes no mention of Churchill’s personal role in detaining or releasing him in his memoirs (My Life. London: Nelson, 1968). He only quotes the passage in the memo where Churchill says ‘In the case of Mosley and his wife there is much pressure from the Left, in the case of Pandit Nehru from the Right’.

[9] ‘The Ebbing Tide of Socialism’. Evening Standard  (9 July 1937). Reprinted in Step by Step (1947 ed.: 135).

[10] Soames. Speaking for Themselves: 275.

[11] Quinault. ‘Churchill and Russia’: 106.

[12] Mowat. Britain Between the Wars 1918-1940. (1968): 294.

[13] Addison. Churchill on the Home Front: 315

[14] Winston S. Churchill : His Complete Speeches, 1897-1963. Vol.V: 1928-1935: 5268.

[15] In common with most of his contemporaries, Churchill variously said and wrote Nazism or Nazi-ism when using the abbreviation. The spelling found in the sources and records will be kept here.

[16] Wrigley. Winston Churchill: A Biographical Companion: 218.

[17] Blindheim in German, in Bavaria.

[18] Churchill. The Gathering Storm: 83.

[19] Churchill. The World Crisis – The Eastern Front: Dedication.

[20] Young. ‘Churchill and the East-West détente’: 374.

[21] Speech in the House of Commons, 11 July 1932. Reprinted in Arms and the Covenant: 29. 

[22] Hanfstaengl, Ernst. Hitler: The Missing Years. In collaboration with Brian Connell. London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1957.

[23] Gilbert. Winston S. Churchill. Vol. V: Prophet of Truth, 1922-1939: 448.

[24] Churchill. The Gathering Storm: 84.

[25] Gilbert. Winston S. Churchill. Vol. V: Prophet of Truth, 1922-1939: 407.

[26] Manchester. Visions of Glory: 874-875.

[27] For a full discussion of the National Government members’ supposed reluctance to see the publication of a full and faithful version of Hitler’s book, see Stone, Dan. ‘ “The Mein Kampf Ramp”: Emily Overend Lorimer and Hitler Translations in Britain’. German History 26:4 (2008): 504-519.

[28] Gilbert. Winston S. Churchill. Vol. V: Prophet of Truth, 1922-1939: 738.

[29] Churchill. ‘Shall we All commit Suicide?’ Thoughts and Adventures (1947 ed.): 187, 188.

[30] Gilbert. Winston S. Churchill. Vol. V: Prophet of Truth, 1922-1939: 680.

[31] Churchill. ‘Hitler and his Choice’. Reprinted in Great Contemporaries (1937): 261-269 passim. (Odhams, 1947: 203-210 passim). Whatever conclusions may be drawn from this, the photograph of Hitler is curiously different in the two editions. In 1937 he is smiling.

[32] Carlton. ‘Churchill and the two “Evil Empires” ’: 336

[33] See his very seductive comparison between the two in ‘The Creeds of the Devil’ (The Sunday Chronicle, 27 June, 1937), notably: ‘There are two strange facts about these non-God religions. The first is their extraordinary resemblance to one another. Nazism and Communism imagine themselves as exact opposites. They are at each other’s throats wherever they exist all over the world. They actually breed each other; for the reaction against Communism is Nazism, and beneath Nazism or Fascism Communism stirs convulsively. Yet they are similar in all essentials. First of all, their simplicity is remarkable. You leave out God and put in the Devil; you leave out love and put in hate; and everything thereafter works quite straightforwardly and logically. They are, in fact, as alike as two peas. Tweedledum and Tweedledee are two quite distinctive personalities compared to these two rival religions’.

[34] Cf. The People’s Rights. By the Right Hon. W.S. Churchill, President of the Board of Trade. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1909.

[35] Gilbert. Winston S. Churchill. Vol. V: Prophet of Truth, 1922-1939: 456-457.

[36] Jenkins. Churchill (2002): 469.

[37] Gilbert. Winston S. Churchill. Vol V: Prophet of Truth, 1922-1939: 73.

[38] The sources sometimes have ‘civilisation’, sometimes ‘civilization’. The original spelling is kept here in the quotations.

[39] Reprinted in Arms and the Covenant: 112

[40] ‘We should lay aside every hindrance and endeavour by uniting the whole force and spirit of our people to raise again a great British nation standing up before all the world; for such a nation, rising in its ancient vigour, can even at this hour save civilization’. Speech in the House of Commons, 24 March 1938. Reprinted in Arms and the Covenant: 466.

[41] Cabinet Papers. 13 February 1919. In Pelling. Winston Churchill (1999): 258.

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