New York: British Information Services, 1946. 1st Edition. Paperback. This publication is very likely the first printed appearance of Churchill's speech of 5 June 1946 to the House of Commons. We know of no earlier printings. Collectors please note that this item is not found in either Cohen's or Woods' Bibliography. Though other issues of British Speeches of the Day are noted by Cohen, including No.5 & 7 of this series (Cohen E156/1 and E157 respectively), this particular issue was unknown to Cohen. This speech is from Churchill's period as Leader of the Opposition. A year earlier, Churchill's Conservatives had been soundly defeated in the General Election at the end of the war. Churchill would front opposition to the Labour Government until the General Election of 1951, which returned the Conservatives to majority and Churchill to the office of Prime Minister.
Churchill's substantial 14-page speech opens with some less than complimentary exchanges with a Communist M.P., and then proceeds with a survey of foreign affairs the general theme of which is to damn the Labour Government with faint praise. This excerpt from Churchill's opening: "The year that has passed since the end of the German war has been darkened by a painful decline in British influence and prestige. It would be wrong to cast blame. on the Foreign Secretary. We feel sure he has done his best. in this period of disappointment and perplexity."
This speech pamphlet is bound in wire-stitched yellow card wraps, measures 9.25 x 6 inches, and is 83 pages in length. Condition is truly fine. The yellow card wraps are bright, crisp, clean, and firmly attached with virtually no wear. The contents are likewise clean and bright with no spotting and no inscriptions.
From 1943 to June 1947, British Speeches of the Day was a British Government publication by British Information Services in New York printing "those statements by British Statesmen which present, or throw light upon, the foreign and domestic policies of the British Government, whether delivered inside or outside of Parliament." A testament to the common Transatlantic democratic cause that binds the U.S. and Britain to this day, British Speeches of the Day also printed "important speeches presenting the point of view of critics of Government policy". Since Churchill was either Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition for the entire four year printing period, his speeches figure prominently in many issues.
Due to the topical and ephemeral nature of the publication, the survival rate is low. Consequently these contemporary publications of Churchill's speeches are unknown to many collectors, as they were to the first Churchill bibliographer, Frederick Woods. The Churchill speech printed herein was subsequently printed in The Sinews of Peace at pp. 151-170 and later still in Winston S. Churchill His Complete Speeches, Volume VII, pp. 7342-54. The pamphlet is protected in a removable, archival mylar sleeve. Item #000900