Winston Churchill and the Council of Europe
During the 1940s Winston Churchill was one of the main protagonists in a new regional organisation that was to become the Council of Europe. His speech to a crowd in Place Kléber, Strasbourg, on the occasion of the First session of the Consultative Assembly was a big media event.
7 May 1948
Winston Churchill addresses the Hague Congress (as Honorary President)
"Since I spoke on this subject at Zurich in 1946 [...] events have carried our affair beyond our expectations [...] We aim at the eventual participation of all European peoples whose society and way of life are not in disaccord with a charter of human rights and the sincere expression of free democracy".
Second session of the Consultative Assembly. Winston Churchill makes several interventions.
He tables a motion (Doc.47) on the creation of a European army. The text is adopted (Recommendation 52 (1950)). "This [...] was the most important decision yet taken by the Consultative Assembly. It reflected the state of disquiet which prevailed in Europe". (Spaak: "The continuing battle", p.217).
The Committee of Ministers replies (Resolution (50) 48) that defence matters do not fall within its competence.
29 January 1965
Secretary General Peter Smithers is asked about a memorial service
Biographical details - Key dates
30 November 1874 Birth at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, England
1900 Churchill is elected to the British House of Commons as a Conservative Party member
1939 War breaks out. Churchill is appointed First Lord of the Admiralty
10 May 1940 Chamberlain resigns and Churchill becomes Prime Minister
July 1945 Churchill's wartime government breaks up and the Labour party wins the general election
1947 He founds the United Europe Movement in Britain
26 October 1951 Churchill is re-elected Prime Minister
1953 Awarded the Nobel prize for literature
5 April 1955 He resigns as Prime Minister, but continues to sit in the Commons as a member of Parliament until 1964
24 January 1965 Dies at Hyde Park Gate, London
Sources in Central Archives
- Historical Fonds, File 3357 "Speeches by political figures"
- Historical Fonds, Files 3169-3170 "Congress of the Hague"
- Debates of the Consultative Assembly
- Texts adopted by the Consultative Assembly
- Card catalogue
- Historical Fonds, Files 225-226 "Sessions of the Consultative Assembly"
- Fonds of the Private Office, File C 49
Checked on 9 july 2021