“The mood of Britain is wisely and rightly averse from every form of shallow or premature exultation. This is no time for boasts or glowing prophecies, but there is this—a year ago our position looked forlorn, and well nigh desperate, to all eyes but our own. Today we may say aloud before an awe-struck world, ‘We are still masters of our fate. We still are captain of our souls.'”
—House of Commons, 9 September 1941
“Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. Canada, with those relations of friendly, affectionate intimacy with the United States on the one hand and with her unswerving fidelity to the British Commonwealth and the Motherland on the other, is the link which joins together these great branches of the human family, a link which, spanning the oceans, brings the continents into their true relation and will prevent in future generations any growth of division between the proud and the happy nations of Europe and the great countries which have come into existence in the New World.”
—Mansion House, London, 4 September 1941, at a luncheon in honour of Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada.
On 5 March 1946, Winston Churchill gave his famous ‘Iron Curtain’ speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. The speech that Churchill called the ‘Sinews of Peace’ later became better known for the famous phrase it contained, ‘iron curtain’.
But did Churchill coin the phrase?
Churchill’s first known use of the phrase was in a letter to President Truman in May of 1945, where he wrote:
‘An iron curtain is drawn down upon their front. We do not know what is going on behind. There seems little doubt that the whole of the region Lubeck-Trieste-Corfu will soon be completely in their hands. [Following American withdrawal] a broad band of many hundreds of miles of Russian-occupied territory will isolate us from Poland.…it would be open to the Russians in a very short time to advance if they chose, to the waters of the North Sea and the Atlantic.’
A list of some of the best ‘one-liner’ Churchill quotes
Searching the internet will return hundreds of short quotes attributed to Winston Churchill–many of which are incorrect. Here we examine a list of Churchill’s best ‘one-liners’ throughout his life.
“Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.” —1898
“I object on principle to doing by legislation what properly belongs to human good feeling and charity.” -1902
“War never pays its dividends in cash on the money it costs.” —1901
“Those who dealt in guineas were not usually of the impoverished class.” —1903 (The guinea, 21 shillings or £1/1/0, was sometimes featured in snooty adverts promoting high-priced goods in guineas rather than pounds.)
“Direct taxation was a great corrector of extravagance.” —1904
“The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go.” —1905
‘A single glass of champagne imparts a feeling of exhilaration. The nerves are braced, the imagination is agreeably stirred, the wits become more nimble. A bottle produces a contrary effect. Excess causes a comatose insensibility. So it is with war, and the quality of both is best discovered by sipping. Winston Churchill, 1898, Malakand Field Force.
‘First things first. Get the champagne.’ Winston Churchill, 1931, New York.
‘I could not live without Champagne. In victory I deserve it. In defeat I need it.’ Winston Churchill, 1946
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‘Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’Winston S Churchill, 11 November 1947
According to Sir Martin Gilbert, on October 28 1951, in an attempt to persuade the Liberals to join his new Government as Prime Minister for the second time, Winston Churchill had invited the Leader of the Liberal Parliamentary Party, Clement Davies, to visit him. Pitblado (his Principal Private Secretary) later recalled how, as the talk progressed, Churchill ‘was politely gloomy’. At one point the conversation turned to the past:
Clem Davies: Do you remember speaking at Bradford in 1909?
Clemmie: Yes dear, you must.
Winston. Ah yes. That was when I was a young Liberal. I must have made a very truculent speech.
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Winston Churchill Quotes
It is arguable whether the human race have been gainers by the march of science beyond the steam engine. Electricity opens a field of infinite conveniences to ever greater numbers, but they may well have to pay dearly for them. But anyhow in my thought I stop short of the internal combustion engine which has made the world so much smaller. Still more must we fear the consequences of entrusting to a human race so little different from their predecessors of the so-called barbarous ages such awful agencies as the atomic bomb. Give me the horse.Scientific Progress
~ Winston Churchill, 10 July 1951, Royal College of Physicians, London
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