Leader's speech, 1948
Winston Churchill (Conservative)
The central theme of this speech was foreign policy, and Churchill expressed his fear that a Third World War was coming. The UN had, he said, become a mere talking-shop, while Russia was heavily armed and fuelled by imperialist ambition. After all, Russia had recently invaded Czechoslovakia, and the ongoing blockade of Berlin was over three months old. Only the USA and its nuclear arsenal, Churchill claimed, stood between Western Europe and ‘complete subjugation to Communist tyranny.’ He then spoke of his vision of Britain, which in the future would stand at the intersection of three spheres - the British Commonwealth and Empire; the English-speaking world; and United Europe - and unite them in peace. Returning to the present, Churchill backed the government’s policy of rearmament and its proposal for compulsory National Service. However, he criticised Labour for its failure to lower taxes and its plans to nationalise the steel industry.
Owing to a copyright issue this speech has been removed.