CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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'... when the day of battle comes'

CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965).
Good Autograph Letter Signed to an unnamed correspondent, 1 page 8vo (rather foxed, with some traces of mounting on the reverse), 105 Mount Street, 7 January 1904. Written at a crucial time in the young Churchill's political career, the day before the Oldham Conservative Association passed its resolution disowning him because of his free trade sympathies.
Churchill had become increasingly estranged from his Unionist party and from the Prime Minister, Balfour, on account of Joseph Chamberlain's protectionist policy. Churchill was himself an ardent supporter of free trade, a stance which was to lead to hisdramatic move to the Liberal benches on 31 May. The day after the present letter was written his constituency association in Oldham passed with only one opponent the following resolution: 'That this meeting intimates to Mr Winston S. Churchill, MP, that he has forfeited their confidence in him as Unionist member for Oldham, and in the event of an election taking place he must no longer rely on the Conservative Organisation being used on his behalf.'
This letter refers to Lord Beauchamp (William Lygon, 7th Earl Beauchamp, 1872-1938, politician) and to Chamberlain, and sounds a rallying-cry for the free traders.
'... Lord Beauchamp seems to be making a strong confederation of Free Traders & Progressives in the Midlands. From all I hear Mr. Chamberlain will encounter one or two electoral surprises in his dominions when the day of battle comes.'

[No: 20734]

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