London: Liberal Publication Department, 1904. 1st Edition. Hardcover. This Bound volume contains Liberal Leaflet No. 1923 entitled "Tory M.P.s on Mr. Brodrick's Army Corps Scheme. The pamphlet is 4 pages in length and contains two excerpts from Churchill's House of Commons Speech of 24 February 1903 - the last of his famous six oratorical assaults on Brodrick's plan to expand the Army.
In 1903 Winston Churchill was a brash new member of Parliament. Then Secretary of State for War, John Brodrick, had introduced a plan for expanding the peacetime Army. Brodrick was a fellow Conservative and Cabinet member. Churchill had been an Army officer and had partaken in four wars on three continents before election to Parliament in 1900. Nonetheless, Churchill vehemently assaulted Brodrick's plan.
Fascinatingly, this was the same fight upon which Churchill's father, Lord Randolph Churchill, had gambled and lost his own political career in 1886. Unlike that of his father, Churchill's opposition ultimately prevailed, with Churchill making six major speeches on the subject in two years. Published here are two separate excerpts from Churchill's House of Commons speech of 24 February 1903, the last of these six speeches. The full text of the address was subsequently collected in Winston S. Churchill His Complete Speeches under the title "Army Organization" in Volume I, pp. 164-175 (the Churchill excerpts appearing on pp. 167 and 173). The only other publication is in Mr. Brodrick's Army, under the title "Promise and Performance" with an erroneous date of 23 February.
Of great interest, these are the only three known published appearances of this speech and the extract that appears here differs significantly in phraseology among all three publications. The fact that these speech excerpts - by a Conservative M.P. attacking the plan of a Conservative Cabinet member - are published by the Publications Department of the Liberal Party presages the momentous impending change in Churchill's political alignment. In 1904 Churchill would leave the Conservative Party of his father to join the Liberals. He would not return to the Tories until 1924.
The bound volume offered here is itself a fascinating piece of history, containing a total of 20 pamphlets and 62 leaflets, many of which are unlikely to now be found anywhere else given their fragility and ephemeral nature. The volume is bound in black pebble grain leather spine over ribbed green buckram covers - the more commonly seen binding variant for Liberal Publications volumes of this era. The book measures 8 inches tall by 5.5 inches wide. It contains a table of contents indexing by subject the numerous bound pamphlets and leaflets, as well as an Index of Subjects. Condition is very good. The black leather spine remains supple, retains bright gilt, and shows virtually no wear. The green boards show little wear, but are moisture stained. The contents are truly excellent - crisp, clean, bright, and tight with no inscriptions. The gilt top edge remains bright. Light spotting is confined to the fore edge and bottom edge of the text block. The pamphlet bearing Churchill's speech excerpts is pristine with no wear or flaws. Additional images available upon request.
Reference: Cohen D1/1, unknown to Woods. Item #000923