Prime Minister of England.
“…THE BATTLE FOR FREEDOM DURING THE WAR. NOW, UNHAPPILY, WE ARE ENGAGED IN ANOTHER STRUGGLE TO PRESERVE WHAT WE THOUGHT WE HAD WON. UPON THE ISSUE OF THIS STRUGGLE THE FUTURE HAPPINESS, PROSPERITY AND STABILITY OF OUR NATION AND EMPIRE DEPEND.”
Typewritten Manuscript Signed, one page, quarto, London, September 22, 1946. On his imprinted stationery. Together with a copy of Vol. 1, No. 1 of the magazine, Advance.
“I welcome this opportunity of wishing you every success in your new venture to tell the young men and women of Britain the principles for which our party stands. Many of you have already been in the battle for freedom during the war. Now, unhappily, we are engaged in another struggle to preserve what we thought we had won. Upon the issue of this struggle the future happiness, prosperity and stability of our nation and Empire depend. It is to your youth that we look once more.”
The “struggle” for freedom that Winston Churchill discusses very likely refers to the beginnings of the Cold War. “World War II’s messy legacy of troop movements throughout the world postponed indefinitely any return to normalcy. In Iran, the military hangover came on early, when, in 1946, the Soviet Union refused to vacate its occupied territories. To assuage Iran’s fears of conquest, the Allies had agreed, in the Tripartite Treaty, to withdraw six months after the war’s end. Nonetheless, the Soviets entrenched themselves in seven northwestern provinces. When withdrawal day arrived, in March 1946, the Soviets had not budged from the northwestern province of Azerbaijan. The U.S.S.R. had long coveted northwestern Iran for its rich oil reserves, as well as for Azerbaijan’s enormous annual wheat harvest. It had set up a Communist regime in Azerbaijan in December 1945, a development that the Western Allies and Iran read as a harbinger of Soviet annexation. Iran protested to the U.N. Impelled to act, Stalin struck a deal with Iranian prime minister Ahmad Qavam: In return for leaving, the Soviets would receive a major oil concession, and the firmly pro-Soviet government would remain autonomous. On May 9, confident of his ploy, Stalin began withdrawing troops. That fall, however, Qavam, bolstered by Britain and the United States, toppled the Communist regime in Azerbaijan. Iran’s parliament subsequently rejected the oil agreement. The Soviets had been cunningly held at bay, but Iran was caught in a dangerous game; it had escaped Moscow’s sphere of influence only to enter the West’s. Cold War lines were being drawn, the pawn identified” [Our Times: The Illustrated History of the 20th Century]. The Cold War solidified by 1947-1948, when the Soviets installed openly Communist regimes in the eastern European nations that they controlled. It reached its peak in 1948-1953, and did not end until 1962, when both the United States and the Soviet Union had clearly shown that neither was ready to use nuclear weapons for fear of the other’s retaliation.
Framed in gold gilt with brown and cream mats, dimensions measure 19 1/2 inches wide by 15 inches high.
This item is associated with these categories in our inventory:
- World Leaders