New York: British Information Services, 1946. 1st Edition. Paperback. This publication is very likely the first printed appearance of Churchill's speech of 12 November 1946 to the House of Commons. We know of no earlier printings. This speech is from Churchill's period as Leader of the Opposition. Sixteen months 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. This 10-page speech is an extensive, broad ranging response to the Labor Government's second "King's Speech".
Churchill's primary focus is on foreign affairs. The tenor of his comments is encapsulated in the following excerpt: "the fact remains that 18 months after the surrender of Germany, and more than a year after that of Japan, the world scene is still dark, anxious and confused. No decisive improvement can be recorded, except, of course, in the mercy of God the cannons have ceased to fire."
This speech pamphlet is bound in wire-stitched yellow card wraps, measures 9.25 x 6 inches, and is 85 pages in length. Condition is near-fine. The yellow card wraps are bright and firmly attached with light wear confined to the spine ends. The contents are clean, bright, and tight 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, pp. 230-42 and still later in Winston S. Churchill His Complete Speeches, Volume VII, pp. 7400-8 under the title "The International Scene". The pamphlet is protected in a removable, archival mylar sleeve. Bibliographic reference: Cohen E161. Item #000903