Churchill – the power of the English speaking peoples

U.S Marines had arrived on Iceland to relieve British troops of garrison duties during July 1941.

In Britain there was something of an anti-climax after the return of Churchill from the Atlantic Conference. There was no dramatic breakthrough, the United States was not about to join the war. The ever growing practical support that Britain was receiving from America was only just beginning to make itself felt. Churchill went on the radio to persuade people of the importance of the meeting:

President Roosevelt is the thrice-chosen head of the most powerful State and community in the world. I am the servant of King and Parliament, at present charged with the principal direction of our affairs in these fateful times. And it is my duty also to make sure, as I have made sure, that anything I say or do in the exercise of my office is approved and sustained by the whole British Commonwealth of Nations.

Therefore this meeting was bound to be important because of the enormous forces, at present only partially mobilized, but steadily mobilizing, which are at the disposal of these two major groupings of the human family, the British Empire and the United States, who, fortunately for the progress of mankind, happen to speak the same language and very largely think the same thoughts, or anyhow, think a lot of the same thoughts.

The meeting was, therefore, symbolic. That is its prime importance. It symbolizes, in a form and manner which every one can understand in every land and in every clime, the deep underlying unities which stir and, at decisive moments, rule the English-speaking peoples throughout the world.

Would it be presumptuous for me to say that it symbolizes something even more majestic, namely, the marshalling of the good forces of the world against the evil forces which are now so formidable and triumphant and which have cast their cruel spell over the whole of Europe and a large part of Asia?

This was a meeting which marks forever in the pages of history the taking up by the English-speaking nations, amid all this peril, tumult and confusion, of the guidance of the fortunes of the broad toiling masses in all the continents, and our loyal effort, without any clog of selfish interest, to lead them forward out of the miseries into which they have been plunged, back to broad high road of freedom and justice.

This is the highest honour and the most glorious opportunity which could ever have come to any branch of the human race.

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