London: The Conservative and Unionist Central Office, printed by McCorquodale & Co. Ltd., 1950. First edition. Paperback. Here is a well-preserved copy of a scarce political leaflet from Churchill's time as Leader of the Opposition. It was printed in early 1950. Per Churchill bibliographer Ronald Cohen, a proof of the completed address was sent by special messenger to Churchill on 31 January and approved by him the same day with the intention of going to print the following morning.
In the address Churchill concisely evokes the war victory he had done so much to secure, only to be turned out of office at the hour of victory in the General Election of July, 1945. Churchill contrasts the heady, hard-won war victory with the dismal aftermath, placing blame for mismanaging "...the courage, skill and energy of the British people..." upon the shoulders of the Labor government: "In 1945... The name and glory of Great Britain was as high as it has ever been in the history of the world. Then the Socialists came to power... At a time when it was essential that the British people should be allowed to give of their best, this Socialist Government have thought fit to force upon us the out-dated theory of nationalization..."
It is a nuanced political argument; Churchill acknowledges that "War had greatly diminished our resources..." and Labor thus faced daunting challenges, but alleges that, with proper leadership, "...the material difficulties of the years after the war would soon have been overcome." Less than two years later Churchill's argument would prevail and he would again become Prime Minister.
This fragile leaflet is printed on one side of a 9 13/16 x 7 3/8 inches (24.75 x 18.75 cm) sheet of newsprint quality paper, and is in near fine condition, which is particularly noteworthy given the age and inherent perishability. The leaflet is clean with no appreciable spotting, soiling, or toning. We note three light, horizontal crease lines in the upper third and fractional wear to extremities.
Reference: Cohen A247.2, Woods A129(b). Item #004545