February 5, 2015

Returns from Cuba for a six month stay in England

New York newspapers announced that Churchill and a brother officer from the 4th Hussars had set sail for England on the Cunard liner Etruria. The New York World reported that he was returning “without a wound and with a conviction that there are few occupations more salubrious than that of a Cuban insurgent,” adding that, although Churchill I reached the Cunard dock only five I minutes before scheduled sailing I time, “The pleasant faced young officer submitted as gracefully to the requests of the waiting group of interviewers as though there were hours of leisure on his hands. Churchill concluded that interview by emphatically denying all reports attributing a political significance to his Cuban trip.

Back in England, as he later recalled, he “passed a most agreeable six months; in fact they formed almost the only idle spell I have ever spent.” His definition of idle was peculiar to him. He lobbied Fleet Street for a foreign assignment—Crete, Egypt, Rhodesia—anything to avoid going back to India, an event he believed would delay his political career. He also assiduously developed social and political contacts.

He continued to observe the Cuban scene. Writing in the Saturday Review he noted that the Cuban rebels “neither fight bravely nor do they use their weapons effectively.” Although he thought that the Spanish were bad, “a Cuban government would be worse, equally corrupt, more capricious and far less stable.”

He predicted that improvements would come only with American control of the island, but he worried about problems between Britain and America over it. He wrote his Amencan friend and mentor, Congressman Bourke Cockran, to “please be pacific and don’t go dragging the 4th Hussars over to Canada in an insane and criminal struggle.”

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