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tv   Winston Churchill and Post- World War II Poltics  CSPAN  December 3, 2016 9:00pm-10:01pm EST

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person accounts, and the 75th anniversary semi's at the pearl harbor and world war ii memorial in washington. historians will take your calls. that is saturday, december 10, beginning it 8:00 a.m. eastern here on american history tv on c-span3. on march 5, 1946, british prime minister winston churchill gave a speech at westminster college in missouri. the speech later became known as the iron curtain speech, because of churchill's condemnation of the soviet union's cold war policies. westminster college commemorated the 70th anniversary of the speech by inviting author alan watson to discuss his book churchill's legacy. this program is one hour. ♪
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>> as marshal of the college, it is my privilege and pleasure to welcome one and all to this convocation at westminster college. in this historic jim, march 1946, prime minister churchill, president truman, and other dignitaries were escorted to the stage and to this lectern by westminster's first marshall. that occasion,f i am the current marshall. i welcome alan watson to this hall. i declare this convocation open. i am pleased to welcome the grand marshall, mr. jeremy hill. jones.k you dr.
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on behalf of the future alumni of westminster college, we strive to preserve the legacy of one of our college's most famous moments of history. winston churchill was granted an honorary degree on the spot 70 years ago. before we begin the program, i would like to inform you that this will be recorded by c-span. a short question and an secession will take place -- and answer session will take place in italy following. i ask all cell phones to be turned off at this time. as a member of this procession, i'm glad to recognize someone who was with us performing the same duty, when president truman and prime minister churchill came for stage. i would like to acknowledge you for your service, and the service of mr. churchill and mr. truman. [applause]
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>> we will now open the program at the national anthem and god save the queen. ♪
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["god save the queen"
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playing] ♪ >> friends, i would like to join ask you to join me in prayer. a source of goodness, you have gathered us here so that we might commemorate that march 70 years ago when so winston churchill stood in this place and called upon the citizens of this nation to stand in internal solidarity with our brethren in the british empire and
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commonwealth. at -- i pray that you were a blessing on the right honorable alan watson, and that all receive your message as you lead us to recall prime ministers -- prime minister churchill's work. -- prime minister churchill's word that. amen. >> please be seated. faculty, staff, students,
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alumni, trustees, friends, and distinguished guest, the right earn -- right honorable alan watson. that sirven years ago winston churchill stood right this gymnasium -- 70 years ago that sir winston churchill stood right here in this gymnasium. few people remember that -- chill's original address it was simply titled war and peace. winston churchill changed the title at the last minute.
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at the time -- aftermath -- churchill was criticized, most noted president truman. [indiscernible]
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in a speech, turtle predicted -- churchill predicted an iron curtain in europe.
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north korea, china. in the weeks and months after, winston churchill was -- it begin to come to fruition. churchill speech change the world. , -- d they ultimate latecomer with it
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-- they ultimately set a course toward peace. and that our best in that hour, the manifestation of the iron curtain, the berlin wall, eventually fell. winston churchill that -- they created a sculpture as a striking reminder of the power for a peaceful resolution. want to take this moment to recognize the great gift. regular much. much.nk you very [applause]
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>> we are proud of our history and our lingering commitment to that virtue of education. the dutch students do not take the easy path. we affirm here in westminster -- it enables her students to find solutions to the problems that are manifestations of the world. we has her students to be transformed, and to become a
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vehicle of transformation, just like churchill. confident that we are equipped to enable our students to meet whatever challenges may come their way. that is why we ask those who teach year, and those who seek to learn from us to go out and change the world. do even more to save that is our mission. that is our course. our distinguished speaker will , ore -- will sure speech perhaps more than one speech committed save the world. there will give us some constructive perspective.
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i'm happy is here with us today. it is my great privilege as president of westminster college the right to you honorable lord alan watson of richmond [applause] . lord watson: good afternoon. it is a great privilege to be here, and a great honor. thatu read the speech winston churchill delivered from this podium 70 years ago, you will notice that the very first paragraph of the speech starts with the word "westminster." actually, this word
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westminster has a certain familiarity. it has been right have learned politics, rivaling the art of argument -- where i have learned the art of argument. -- is a college very important in the house of lords, so i prepared it and could winston tradition to the bar. bar. a small
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mostly place for argument and discussion. there was indeed quite a magma going on. there only to subject -- two subjects. one was the debate between hillary clinton and donald trump which is taking place very near here. the decision was , onhe referendum on brexit potential exit from the european kingdom.the united discussion, ithe stay there for about an hour or it i thought there is one very famous statement that winston perhaps onede that could perhaps say that never in the history of political
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little been owed by so many to so few. if you think of what is happening in the presidential election and what happened in the british referendum on the here you have two great democracies which despite all , perhaps like one critical advantage. courage. sense of i'm not big explicitly critical of either people who played part in the debate. i would say it is quite clearly
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a need in the world, had an expectation that our two great democracies should provide. that is what churchill was all about when he spoke here 70 years ago. 70understand what happened years ago, one has to begin in a -- not the berlin which saw the end of the cold war and the demolition of the border -- of the wall come but the destroyed berlin of 1945 during winston churchill goes to pot stand -- potsdam. sits on a great roundtable.
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otherlarger chairs than just and one occupied by josef stalin, one occupied by harry truman, and one by the man who for only a few more days of the prime minister great britain. conference.matic extraordinary conference, among -- h other things he looks at truman and then just murmured quietly good, use it. of course stalin knew all about the bomb. his spies knew about the manhattan project.
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truman goes back to his own headquarters in pot stand and -- potsdam. -- stalin the utmost goes back and orders the utmost acceleration of the atomic program. they meet on the expectations of both the united states and united kingdom. there is a start breathing space provided by the monotony. things is the city is a sea of ruins. and yet, on the borders of berlin and line behind berlin are no less than 300 soviet
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divisions. what churchill was aware of was that while the russians were ,taying absolutely in place where the army stood, the system would be imposed. we -- for very understandable reasons, americans and canadians wanted to get back home. others, the queen elizabeth and the queen mary were stripping the back 12,000 backtime -- shipping them 12,000 at a time. -- the other background
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winston churchill always had bouts with what we would call depression. he goes back to the election after only a few days in potsdam. stalin says to churchill [indiscernible] churchill goes back and loses. he doesn't just lose, he loses very badly. he becomes leader of the .pposition
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we know a lot about what he thought at the time because he spoke to other people. amongst other things, he said it would have been better if i had .tayed actually, what was the key to the gloom that he felt [indiscernible]
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dennis extraordinary thing this most then extraordinary thing happens. superficially, the letter is not unusual at all. it is from a college. probably slightly obscure. certainly a small college. they said to come along and we will give you an honorary doctorate and we would like you to make a speech. when churchill sees the handwritten note in ink written itharry truman, which says is a fine college in my home state. if you come, i will introduce you.
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churchill was logistical in some ways. he met truman of course, but he doesn't know him. he chose for reasons we do not understand not to attend fdr's funeral. certainly their relationship had significantly deteriorated by the time fdr was dead. -- st instantly winston churchill knew only --
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who only a few months before had refused the order for bed rest on the grounds that he be given the order people. -- he sits in the bridge. he knows the captain well from the war. they are a bit delayed coming to new york. he says this great ship, we have been through mountains of waves, and yet we have cut to those waves. why have we cut to those waves? because we know where we are going, and the waves do not.
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churchill had a profound belief in certainty of destination. click was definitely gives a press conference, and one of the journalists says this externally atomic tom -- atomic bomb. .t takes a holiday winston churchill himself [indiscernible] he prepared speech. ,aving come to the actual event
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there was on board the train .ere no a mimeograph machine winston churchill, having made the final directions, and himself recovery of the speech. he had at the speech to president truman. indeed, churchill was making changes to the speech and after it was delivered. why?
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what >> because it would be enormous. he was also goingrd watson: to speak to the menace that represented for the future, not the loss of freedom it was about in central and eastern europe.
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he said quite clearly, the ,oviet union and mr. stalin their ambitions will extend to wherever it takes them. short of a nuclear war. and that was surely right, because much later the ground and it would probably have led to the fall of western germany. where would it into? end?t in the problem was to the american public to which he was primarily joseph stalin the
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it was they, and soviets who tour the guts out of the war machine. there are casualties were far greater than anybody else's casualties. casualties of the germans where incurred fighting russians in russia. he always recognized the courage. viewed a tyrant who was determined to get whatever he could. quite a challenge. so, it is all over. churchill gets back on the train and he confides to a friend on the train, this was the most important speech i have ever
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made. 1940is from a man who in stiffened the resolve of the british people with those fantastic speeches. ,his is actually what he said the remaining united states is not interested. when he finally leaves there was a great reception and truman ensures the secretary of state does not attend. attend russians do not neither, so there are two empty seats. are on theters streets of manhattan and new york. on one hand, giving him the freedom of the city, and the other hand, people were chanting, no war for winston.
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it was absolutely riven to a peak. he is inspected in london and to a dinner party. [indiscernible] they're going to say, now, winston, come on. you don't enjoy being leader of the opposition. wanted to just make more of those wonderful speeches. why don't you just make more of those wonderful speeches? , he made it clear he
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was going to compete in the next election. and now, i have to thank you quickly. called to speeches, a connection between these two speeches. when winston came over to make , truman hadeech ended in europe, and as one american said to winston when he tried to get congress to be more , and indeed financial support for europe, one said to him, look, britain is broke. germany is destroyed.
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france is likely to go communist. italy is chaotic. and spain is a fascist dictatorship. quite a mountain to climb. remember winston is half american and he said once, if my father had been un-american and not my mother, i would have got here on my own, and he really thought he would. what people are telling him, but he realized that if the americans were not withgoing to defend europe the monopoly, but to restore and invest in europe and invest in britain and loan britain the money it needed to get itself back on its feet, then the europeans got up to something .hemselves
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six months later, the university of sura, and i was there last month to celebrate the 17th and 70th anniversary of the speech. now i'm going to say something which will startle you. not he proposes his proposing britain be a member. he came to that later, not at this stage. he says we have to build a kinder united states and europe, and the first move has to be led by a partnership of franceliation between
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and germany. this is 1946. the nuremberg trials are going on. every day is fresh revelations of nazi atrocities. andtanding at this podium proposing this reconciliation and partnership between france and germany. apoplectic, winston sent him a letter to exclaim his motives ar what he said, but actually girl says i would tell you what my politics towards germany is. ,e will occupy the rhine
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consolidate the industrial area of western germany, and we will have the soviet union on the squeeze thend i can germans for everything they have. well, it all changed, and it all change because these two ignited a process, begin a new chain of thinking, opened up a new horizon. two a commitment to defend freedom wherever freedom is threatened. if that leads to the resistance led in partnership i britain and the united states, but also france, to lift the blockade of worked, and the first victory of the cold war.
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and then into course the establishment of nato. fuseürich speech ignites a . george c marshall returning from china and he had made it quite clear that there would be no u.s. aid to europe and less europeans themselves took the initiative on behalf of what the americans wanted to hear was that there should be reconciliation between france and germany. marshall, goes to the theral and says, the plan eric atomic restitution of succeed without the u.s. president. so what happened?
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it immediately has two minutes impact and effect, then it leads in the end to the founding of the european community. in conclusion, when we see these two speeches and we see the man rememberthem, let us the courage of this man. this was a man who not only was defeat his own depression, but a man whose mind had the muscularity to think fresh, to see that there could be new solutions, and to propose them to the world. conviction, and the result is one we all know. we are all tonight, as we have been ever since he made this two speeches, starting with this one
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here, we are all in the death of winston churchill. he is our legacy. thank you. [applause] , lordnk you very much watson. we have a few minutes to entertain some questions from the audience. if he could have a glass of water. jefferson is here in the role of microphone holder. maybe we can bring the house
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lights up too, please? lord watson: thank you. , anybody with a question? yes, sir? >> i am dr., shields from auburn, maine, i wondered if you could tell us what you were doing when this all was occurring that you just spoke about? was four.n: well, i [laughter] lord watson: no, just turned five actually come in so not doing very much is the answer. fascinationurse my with churchill became apparent to me and other friends a bit later on. i actually started writing this it wasree years ago, and
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very amusing actually. we were in the church and there were the schoolchildren, age 12, and one little boy raised his confused, he -- with winston churchill pretty calculated and said you must be over 100. [laughter] -- watson: he said [laughter] lord watson: so anyway we had to put him right about it. yes, any others? yes, please? [indiscernible] he was quitewell, fundamental to the founding of
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the european movement in great britain and work closely with winston churchill. that in 1946,ue winston was not advocating but 1947 andrship, 1948, he is. and characteristic terms, he's not suggesting that britain should simply join such an organization, but lead it. was the main organizer of the european movement, and they had a fantastic rally in the albert hall, and churchill spoke at that. i got to know duncan sands quite well when i was a television reporter and did a profile on him. he left me and no doubt whatsoever of his commitment on the european issue, and it was great bonding that happened between him and winston churchill. i think the, you know we talked
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about -- and there is no doubt the european issue for winston churchill came something which accelerated his political aspiration and ambition. so there it is. now of course britain appears to have taken a different decision, but the european union we have today is not what was oppose in, and very different indeed. you know that part of the story better than i. duncan was a great man. right, any other questions? greatest fearr and your greatest help? lord watson: my greatest political fear is that winston
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churchill began the construction of an edifice of mutual support and alliance, which was going to hold the two sides of the atlantic together. there are potential disintegration of the construction. they come from different places. there is no doubt the british referendum decision has shaken the whole of the european union, not just surprised people in britain and around the world, but it raises fundamental questions about the nature and the direction of european cooperation. and we must not be complacent had corporation which has become a habit in europe. if it ceases to be a habit, and
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the great geography of europe , very thin now, if that starts to go on the spaniards start to think about spanish interests primarily, and perhaps even more importantly, the germans start to allow themselves to think in terms of what is their real national geography,hen the the political geography, is threatened. d equally. i do want to get involved in the u.s. election campaign, but i find it deeply disturbing that one of the two candidates has actually question the fundamental commitment that binds and nato together, which has to comey nation to the defense of any nation
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attacked within the alliance. and to say it is something you have to consider on its merits, what the record of that , same kindcountry is of thinking. if we lose this habit of a recognition of mutual dependence and mutual alliance, then i think it could be very bad. what is my hope? my hope is we won't go down that route. when people really understand what is at stake, they will go back and away to the foundation of this alliance. element, and other maybe i should draw my remarks to a close on this note, but i'm happy to take further questions if people want, there were many things of course which disappointed churchill in his life. he had always said he would only become a king's minister, but never the king's prime minister
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if the empire could not be held together. the empire has not held together, india left the empire as you know in 1947. that was a great blow to churchill, partly because he spent some of his youth in india and in the british army. other he must've been deeply concerned by the relative loss of power and position of the united kingdom. the speech, read the words, he talks about the british commonwealth and empire has something that balances power. that of course was not to be. there were other things also, things which happened early on in his career.
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but i think there is one thing which must have gladdened his heart, and which uniquely he foresaw and which gives us hope in the modern world, and that is the role of english language. churchill was given an honorary degree in 1942. atmade a remarkable speech that occasion, and he said when this is over and people can again begin to move around the world, will it not be a wonderful thing if wherever they go they can use the english-language? and if the initial image takes on that global advantage, then would that not have real significance for future cooperation and international structures of the world? how delighted he would be today by the reach of the english
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language, and it is the link which we share. bismarck said at the close of the 19 century, the most important geopolitical factor of that0th century will be the united states and the united kingdom speak the same language. and he was right. it indeed had that effect into ars, so we know how to bind people together in a common effort and a common mission, but but thenot only now, language of the world. [applause]
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>> if he gave a second iron curtain speech today, would it be similar? course, the of soviet union has gone. the soviet empire in eastern europe has broken up, and one of the more hopeful things that has happened since the berlin wall came down, most of the countries of eastern and central europe, those that had fallen behind the iron curtain, have become members of the european union are candidate members of the european union. that is a very helpful thing. recognize should that, but behind your question really is the question of if he was talking today, what would he say about putin, mr. vladimir
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putin. well winston churchill was very wise. wrote, i only prophesies after events. [laughter] lord watson: i think that's where i have to take my -- [applause]
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>> and now my friends i invite you to join me again and i word of prayer. now as we go into this night, we petition you, holy one, of providential love, bless us with light as we passed through darkens and ensure us in times of uncertainty. and may we all share in the divine call that in all things we may seek your piece, hallelujah. amen.
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>> please remain seated and tell we have escorted the platform party and faculty from this facility. . declare this, location closed ♪ -- i declare this convocation closed. ♪ >> monday night on the
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communicators. >> it is a great measure of how fast things change, the law is just figuring out cell phones and email, and may be figuring notout as they aren't important in our daily lives, so there is this built-in delay the law suffers from, and it's hard to keep up the latest shows. >> a georgetown university law school center on the lack of understanding of technology and work to resolve the problem. he is interviewed by a cyber and surveillance reporter at reuters. the law, love policy, and probably think they are better at it than they really are, but i wonder if that is something we can use to appeal to people to do their duty and help the government out. >> watch the communicators monday night at a clock p.m. eastern on c-span2.
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this december 7 marks the 75th anniversary of the japanese attack on pearl harbor in 1940 one. up next on american history tv's ,eal america, "know your enemy" an hour-long u.s. army film directed by frank capra. it portrays japan as a nation determined to rule the world through military conquest. production began in 1942, but there were several delays and revisions, and the film was released until august of 1945, too late to use the film to encourage u.s. soldiers and the american public to make sacrifices for the war effort. this film from the national archives contains many graphic scenes of four and racially insensitive language that some viewers may find disturbing.


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