Belfast: Printed by W. & G. Baird, Ltd., Undated. Pamphlet. This is a bibliographically unidentified publication of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill’s speech of 2 August 1944 to the House of Commons. Churchill’s bibliographer, Ronald Cohen, identifies only two stand-alone publications of this speech, one published by the Press Department of the British Legation, Berne and one published in Stockholm. This edition – published in Belfast – is previously unknown to us. It is a handsome booklet measuring 9.81 x 7.44 inches (24.92 x 18.89 cm), bound in wire-stitched card wrappers in striking deep red. The printed front cover is titled, in two lines: “THE ENEMY RECOILING | ON EVERY BATTLEFIELD”. A five-line subtitle reads: “Verbatim Report of | Mr. Churchill’s Speech | Delivered on Wednesday, | August 2, 1944, to the | British Commons” above a five-pointed star. At the foot of the cover in two lines is printed a quote from Churchill: “I no longer feel bound to deny that victory | may come, perhaps soon.”
The contents are printed on 21 coated pages. A brief introduction and list of ten, titled chapter headings is followed by a captioned photograph of Churchill. The speech itself, with the ten chapter headings and additional sub-headings, fills pages 3- 21, with a blank leaf following the text. The sole printing information is printed in two lines at the foot of page 21: “Reprinted by W. & G. Baird, Ltd., | Belfast.” There is no publication date or further publication information.
Condition of the booklet is very good minus. The red card wraps remain bright and complete with no loss or tears and both original binding staples intact. We note light wear to extremities, minor soiling, and a single vertical crease where the pamphlet was once folded. The contents are clean and bright apart from minor red bleed to the edges of the first and final leaves from the covers.
The introductory paragraph preceding the list of chapter headings reads: “Mr. Churchill described this speech of 95 minutes as a report, and again as a sweeping glance at the war. It was both. There were long periods in which it was a businesslike account of the invasion description, sure of a special place in his collected speeches, and others, too, flecked with Churchillian humour, confidence and raillery. Violent words begin to attract him. The whole was the reward of nearly five years of fortitude, courage and patience.”
The title of the speech takes its name from Churchill’s introductory sentences: “I have, on the whole, a good report to make this afternoon. On every battlefield all over the world the armies of Germany and Japan are recoiling. They are recoiling before the armed forces of the many nations which in various groups form the grand alliance. In the air, on the sea, and under the sea our well-established supremacy increases with steady strides.”. Item #004889