This speech, , given in British Parliament, is another great example of why Churchill is more rhetoric and less substance. He clearly shows the dictatorial strain and his contempt to the competent(the word scientistic). Is he saying that uneducated people make better administrators than knowledged intellectuals just because they were able to sway the mood of the masses? A part of this speech was carried over into Pravda(9 Nov) on Molotov’s instructions for obvious reasons. However, Stalin was not happy with that and his comments are at the bottom –
The departure of the Prime Minister for the United States in all the present circumstances is so important, that we thought it right there should be a Debate in this House beforehand. Although we are divided in domestic affairs by a considerable and widening gulf, we earnestly desire that in our foreign relations we shall still speak as the great united British nation, the British Commonwealth and Empire, which strove through all the perils and havoc of the war, unconquered and unconquerable. It is our wish, on this side of the House, so far as we can give effect to it, and as long as we can give effect to it, that the Prime Minister shall represent abroad, not only the Socialist majority in the present, and we trust, transient House of Commons, but all parties in the State. What I am anxious to submit to the House this afternoon has no other object than that.
From the conversations I have had with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary, I have formed the opinion that His Majesty’s Government would think it inopportune today for our Debate to range over the whole European scene, or to deviate either into the tangled problems of particular European countries, or into the troubles of the Middle East, for example, Greece, Syria, Palestine, Egypt. It would seem wise to concentrate, therefore, as much as possible, on the eve of a mission of this character, upon the supreme matter of our relations with the United States, and, in particular, as it seems to me, upon the momentous declaration to the world made by President Truman in his Navy Day address in New York on Saturday, 27th October.
It would not, however, be possible to speak on this subject of the United States without referring to the other great partner in our victory over the terrible foe. To proceed otherwise would be to derange the balance which must always be preserved, if the harmony and poise of world affairs is to be maintained. I must, therefore, begin by expressing what I am sure is in everybody’s heart, namely, the deep sense of gratitude we owe to the noble Russian people and valiant Soviet Armies, who, when they were attacked by Hitler, poured out their blood and suffered immeasurable torments until absolute victory was gained. Therefore, I say that it is the profound desire of this House—and the House speaks in the name of the British nation—that these feelings of comradeship and friendship, which have developed between the British and Russian peoples, should be not only preserved but rapidly expanded. Here I wish to say how glad we all are to know and feel that Generalissimo Stalin is still strongly holding the helm and steering his tremendous ship. Personally, I cannot feel anything but the most lively admiration for this truly great man, the father of his country, the ruler of its destinies in times of peace, and the victorious defender of its life in time of war.
Even if as, alas, is possible—or not impossible—we should develop strong differences on many aspects of policy, political, social, even, as we think, moral, with the Soviet Government, no state of mind must be allowed to occur in this country which ruptures or withers those great associations between our two peoples which were our glory and our safety, in the late frightful convulsion. I am already trespassing a little beyond those limits within which I have agreed with the Government it would be useful that this Debate should lie, but I feel it necessary to pay this tribute to Soviet Russia with all her tragic load of suffering, all her awful losses and devastation, all her grand, simple, enduring effort. Any idea of Britain pursuing an anti-Russian policy, or making elaborate combinations to the detriment of Russia, is utterly opposed to British thought and conscience. Nothing but a long period of very marked injuries and antagonisms, which we all hope may be averted, could develop any such mood again in this land.
I must tell the House, speaking with my own knowledge, that the world outlook is, in several respects, today less promising than it seemed after the German capitulation of 1918, or after the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. I remember well the period immediately after the last war, when I was a Minister in high office and very close to the Prime Minister of the day. Then, there were much higher hopes of the world’s future than there are now. Many things, no doubt, have been done better this time, though we have not yet felt the effects of them, but certainly there is today none of that confidence among men that they or their children will never see another world war, which there undoubtedly was in 1919. In 1919 there was the same sense of hope and belief as there is now that we were moving into a new world and that easements and ameliorations awaited the masses of our people. But added to that, there was the buoyant and comforting conviction that all the wars were ended. Personally, I did not share that conviction even at that enthusiastic moment, but one felt it all round one in a degree that is lacking today.
It is our first duty to supply the solid grounds on which this, hope may arise again and live. I think the speech of the President of the United States on 27th October is the dominant factor in the present world situation. This was the speech of the head of a State and nation, which has proved its ability to maintain armies of millions, in constant victorious battle in both hemispheres at the same time. If I read him and understand him correctly, President Truman said, in effect, that the United States would maintain its vast military power and potentialities, and would join with any like-minded nations, not only to resist but to prevent aggression, no matter from what quarter it came, or in what form it presented itself. Further, he made it plain that in regions which have come under the control of the Allies, unfair tyrannical Governments not in accordance with the broad principles of democracy as we understand them would not receive recognition from the Government of the United States. Finally, he made it clear that the United States must prepare to abandon old-fashioned isolation and accept the duty of joining with other friendly and well-disposed nations, to prevent war, and to carry out those high purposes, if necessary, by the use of force carried to its extreme limits.
It is, of course, true that all these propositions and purposes have been set forth in the Declaration of the United Nations at San Francisco in May. None the less, this reaffirmation by the President of the United States on 27th October is of transcendant importance. If such a statement had been made in the Summer of 1914, the Kaiser would never have launched an aggressive war over a Balkan incident. All would have come to a great parley, between the most powerful Governments of those days. In the face of such a declaration, the world war of 1914 would not have occurred. Such a declaration in 1919 would have led to a real Treaty of Peace and a real armed League of Nations. Such a declaration at any time between the two wars would have prevented the second. It would have made the League of Nations, or a world League strong enough to prevent that re-arming of Germany, which has led all of us through so much tribulation and danger, and Germany herself to punishment and ruin which may well shock the soul of man. Therefore, I feel it is our duty today, in the most definite manner, to welcome and salute the noble declaration made by the President of the United States and to make it plain that upon the principles set forth in the 12 Articles, which follow so closely upon those of the Atlantic Charter, we stand by the United States with a conviction which overrides all other considerations. I cannot bring myself to visualise, in its frightful character, another world war, but none of us knows what would happen if such a thing occurred. It is a sombre thought that, so long as the new world organisation is so loosely formed, such possibilities and their consequences are practically beyond human control.
There is a general opinion which I have noticed, that it would be a serious disaster if the particular minor planet which we inhabit blew itself to pieces, or if all human life were extinguished upon its surface, apart, that is to say, from fierce beings, armed with obsolescent firearms, dwelling in the caverns of the Stone Age. There is a general feeling that that would be a regrettable event. Perhaps, however, we flatter ourselves. Perhaps we are biased but everyone realises how far scientific knowledge has outstripped human virtue. We all hope that men are better, wiser, more merciful than they were 10,000 years ago. There is certainly a great atmosphere of comprehension. There is a growing factor which one may call world public opinion, most powerful, most persuasive, most valuable. We understand our unhappy lot, even if we have no power to control it.
Those same deep, uncontrollable anxieties which some of us felt in the years before the war recur, but we have also a hope that we had not got then. That hope is the strength and resolve of the United States to play a leading part in world affairs. There is this mighty State and nation, which offers power and sacrifice in order to bring mankind out of the dark valley through which we have been travelling. The valley is indeed dark, and the dangers most menacing, but we know that not so far away are the broad uplands of assured peace. Can we reach them? We must reach them. This is our sole duty.
I am sure we should now make it clear to the United States that we will march at their side in the cause that President Truman has devised, that we add our strength to their strength, and that their stern sober effort shall be matched by our own. After all, if everything else fails—which we must not assume—here is the best chance of survival. Personally, I feel that it is more than survival. It may even be safety, and, with safety, a vast expansion of prosperity. Having regard to all these facts of which many of us here are aware at the present time, we may confidently believe that with the British Empire and Commonwealth standing at the side of the United States, we shall together be strong enough to prevent another world catastrophe. As long as our peoples act in absolute faith and honour to each other, and to all other nations, they need fear none and they need fear nothing. The British and American peoples come together naturally, and without the need of policy or design. That is because they speak the same language, were brought up on the same common law, and have similar institutions and an equal love of individual liberty. There is often no need for policy or statecraft to make British and Americans agree together at an international council table. They can hardly help agreeing on three out of four things. They look at things in the same way. No policies, no pacts, no secret understandings are needed between them. On many of the main issues affecting our conduct and our existence, the English-speaking peoples of the world are in general agreement. It would be a mistake to suppose that increasingly close and friendly relations between Great Britain and the United States, imply an adverse outlook towards any other Power. Our friendship may be special, but it is not exclusive. On the contrary, every problem dealing with other Powers is simplified by Anglo-American agreement and harmony. That is a fact which. I do not think the Foreign Secretary, or anyone who took part in the recent Conference, would doubt. It is not as if it were necessary to work out some arrangement between British and Americans at a conference. In nearly every case where there is not some special difficulty between them, they take the same view of the same set of circumstances, and the fact that that is so, makes it all the more hopeful that other Powers gathered at the Conference will be drawn into the circle of agreement which must precede action.
It is on this basis I come—and I do not want to detain the House very long—to the atomic bomb. According to our present understanding with the United States, neither country is entitled to disclose its secrets to a third country without the approval of the other. A great deal has already been disclosed by the United States in agreement with us. An elaborate document giving an immense amount of information on the scientific and theoretical aspects was published by the Americans several weeks ago. A great deal of information is also common property all over the world. We are told by those who advocate immediate public disclosure, that the Soviet Government are already possessed of the scientific knowledge, and that they will be able to make atomic bombs in a very short time. This, I may point out, is somewhat inconsistent with the argument that they have a grievance, and also with the argument, for what it is worth, that we and the United States have at this moment any great gift to bestow, such as would induce a complete melting of hearts and create some entirely new relationship.
What the United States do not wish to disclose is the practical production method which they have developed, at enormous expense and on a gigantic scale. This would not be an affair of scientists or diplomatists handing over envelopes containing formulæ. If effective, any such disclosure would have to take the form of a considerable number of Soviet specialists, engineers and scientists visiting the United States arsenals, for that is what the manufacturing centres of the atomic bomb really are. They would have to visit them, and they would have to dwell there amid the plant, so that it could all be explained to them at length and at leisure. These specialists would then return to their own country, carrying with them the blueprints and all the information which they had obtained, together, no doubt, with any further improvements which might have occurred to them. I trust that we are not going to put pressure on the United States to adopt such a course. I am sure that if the circumstances were reversed, and we or the Americans asked for similar access to the Russian arsenals, it would not be granted. During the war we imparted many secrets to the Russians, especially in connection with Radar, but we were not conscious of any adequate reciprocity. Even in the heat of the war both countries acted under considerable reserve.
Therefore, I hope that Great Britain, Canada and the United States will adhere to the policy proclaimed by President Truman, and will treat their knowledge and processes as a sacred trust to be guarded for the benefit of all nations and as a deterrent against aggressive war. I myself, as a British subject, cannot feel the slightest anxiety that these great powers should at the present moment be in the hands of the United States. I am sure they will not use them in any aggressive sense, or in the indulgence of territorial or commercial appetites. They, like Great Britain, have no need or desire for territorial gains. To my mind, it is a matter for rejoicing—[Interruption.] Is this an argument or a duet?
I am not sufficiently familiar with the vernacular to follow the exact purpose and intensity of that joke. I am sure they will not use those powers in any aggressive way. Like Great Britain, they have no need for territorial gain. Personally, I feel it must be in most men’s minds here today that it is a matter for rejoicing that these powers of manufacture are in such good hands. The possession of these powers will help the United States and our Allies to build up the structure of world security. It may be the necessary lever which is required to build up that great structure of world security.
How long, we may ask, is it likely that this advantage will rest with the United States? In the Debate on the Address I hazarded the estimate that it would be three or four years. According to the best information I have been able to obtain, I see no reason to alter that estimate, and certainly none to diminish it, but even when that period is over, whatever it may prove to be, the progress made by the United States’ scientists and, I trust, by our own, both in experiment and manufacture, may well leave us and them with the prime power and responsibility for the use of these dire superhuman weapons. I also agree with President Truman when he says that those who argue that, because of the atomic bomb, there is no need for armies, navies and air forces, are at present 100 per cent. wrong. I should be glad to hear, in whatever terms His Majesty’s Ministers care to express themselves, that this is also the view of His Majesty’s Government.
I cannot leave this subject without referring to another aspect which is forced upon me by speeches made in a recent Debate on the Adjournment. It was said that unless all knowledge of atomic energy, whether of theory or production, were shared among all the nations of the world, some of the British and American scientists would act independently, by which, I suppose, is meant that they would betray to foreign countries whatever secrets remained. In that case, I hope the law would be used against those men with the utmost rigour. Whatever may be decided on these matters should surely be decided by Parliaments and responsible Governments, and not by scientists, however eminent and however ardent they may be. Mr. Gladstone said that expert knowledge is limited knowledge. On many occasions in the past we have seen attempts to rule the world by experts of one kind and another. There have been theocratic Governments, military Governments and aristocratic Governments. It is now suggested that we should have scientistic—not scientific—Governments. It is the duty of scientists, like all other people, to serve the State and not to rule it because they are scientists. If they want to rule the State they must get elected to Parliament or win distinction in the Upper House and so gain access to some of the various administrations which are formed from time to time. Most people in the English-speaking world will, I believe, think it much better that great decisions should rest with Governments lawfully elected on democratic lines. I associate myself with the majority in that opinion.
The hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for the King’s Norton Division of Birmingham (Captain Blackburn) showed the other night that some breach of trust had already occurred, when he referred to the secret agreement signed by President Roosevelt and myself at Quebec in 1943, and endeavoured to give some account of it Let me say that, so far as I am concerned, I have no objection to the publication of any document or any agreement which I have signed on this subject with the late President. Surely, however, this is a matter for both the British and United States Governments to settle together in full agreement. Neither of them has the right to publish without the consent of the other, and it would be very wrong for anyone to try to force their hands or press them unduly.
And Stalin’s response in an internal communiqué –
I consider the publication of Churchill’s speech with his praise of Russia and Stalin a mistake, Churchill does all of this because he needs to sooth his bad conscience and camouflage his hostile attitude to the USSR, in particular the fact that Churchill and his pupils from the Labor Party are the organizers of a British-American-French bloc against the USSR. There are now many in the seats of authority who hurl themselves into infantile ecstasy when hearing praises of the Churchills, the Trumans, the Byrnes and, conversely, lose their heart after unfavorable references from these misters. In my consideration, these are dangerous attitudes, since they spawn in our ranks servility before foreign figures. Against this servility before foreigners we must fight tooth and nail. But if we continue to publish these kinds of speeches, we will thereby implant servility and fawning. Needless to say, Soviet leaders are not in need of praise from foreign leaders. Speaking personally, this praise only jars on me. Stalin.