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‘The Empire lost’

Churchill wanted to see Britain as the interlocking link between three circles – the Empire and Commonwealth, Europe and the United States. But the British Empire was fading fast. The Empire never really recovered from the Second World War. British authority in India had been eroding since the early 1930s and the hand-over of power was now inevitable. But Churchill was still against relinquishing responsibility for the governance of the country to ‘men of straw’.

It is with deep grief I watch the clattering down of the British Empire with all its glories and all the services it has rendered to mankind.
Churchill, 6 March 1947: ‘Europe Unite’ speech

Eventually, Churchill realised that the glory days of the Empire were over and he had to support the Independence of India Bill. Learn more about Indian Independence at the British Library India Office Records.

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