The National Trust has launched a £7.1 million funding-raising appeal for Chartwell, the Kent country home of Winston Churchill which is now owned by the trust and open to the public. The funds will be used to obtain historic and personal objects that belonged to Churchill as well as open further rooms at Chartwell that are currently closed to visitors. Further information on the appeal is available here.
The National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri will have the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the Sinews of Peace: Power of Prose exhibition on Thursday, October 13, 2016. The exhibit includes the original draft of Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain speech. Events will include an address by Lord Alan Watson (Cambridge University and author of Churchill’s Legacy: Two Speeches to Save the World) on “Churchill’s Legacy: A Speech to Save the World.” Information on the events is available here.
The thirty-third International Churchill Conference will be held in Washington, D. C. from October 27–29, 2016. The theme of the meeting is “Churchill: Friends and Contemporaries.” James A. Baker, III will deliver the keynote address and panel sessions will include “Churchill and the Presidents,” “Churchill and the Monarchs,” “Winston’s Wizards,” “Great Contemporaries,” and “Winston Wept: The Extraordinary Lachrymosity and Romantic Imagination of Sir Winston Churchill.” Information on the conference is available here.
On the morning of September 17, 1944, Winston Churchill met with the Archduke Otto, the heir of the House of Habsburg, at the Citadel. Later the prime minister and the archduke were joined for lunch by Canadian prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, Lord Cherwell (Paymaster-General), Anthony Eden (Foreign Secretary), and Colonel Clarke, a Canadian businessman. Dinner that evening was observed to be rather a “family affair” with Clementine Churchill, Mackenzie King, and others joining Churchill. During the meal the British prime minister “launched a diatribe against De Gaulle.” Nonetheless, Mackenzie King thought he had seldom seen Churchill “more placid, quiet and in a thoroughly contented mood.” Afterwards Churchill and Mackenzie King went to the map room and reviewed the events of the last few days. They then, joined by Clementine, departed the Citadel and drove through Quebec to Wolfe’s Cove station. Churchill and Clementine said good-bye to Mackenzie King as the crowd that had gathered sang, “Auld Lang Syne.” Churchill’s train, which was bound for the United States, left at 10 PM. Churchill and Roosevelt had issued a joint statement to mark the end of the Second Quebec Conference.
On the morning of September 16, 1944, Winston Churchill met briefly with the British Chiefs of Staff prior to the second and final plenary session of the Second Quebec Conference. At the meeting that was held at the Citadel and began at noon, the Combined Chiefs of Staff presented their final report of the conference to Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt. The session adjourned at 1:30 PM and Churchill, Roosevelt, and the chiefs of staff went to terrace for photographs. Before the luncheon which began 15 minutes later Churchill presented Canadian prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King with a model of the invasion equipment that had been used at Normandy. The luncheon was given by the Governor-General and Princess Alice for Churchill and his wife Clementine, Roosevelt, Mackenzie King, and Anthony Eden (Foreign Secretary). At 3:15 PM on the terrace of the Citadel, Chancellor Morris W. Wilson and a party of faculty from McGill University conferred honorary LL.D. degrees on Churchill and Roosevelt, who along with the others had donned academic regalia for the occasion. On receiving their degrees Roosevelt spoke very briefly, while Churchill made “impassioned” remarks about Anglo-American friendship. The two speeches were almost “drowned by the hum of movie cameras.” Lord Athlone, the governor-general, also spoke and commented that both he and Churchill had been educated “by Degrees.” The short ceremony was followed by a joint press conference by Churchill, Roosevelt, and Mackenize King, also on the terrace, for the 150 press correspondents that were present. The American president spoke first followed by Churchill whose impromptu remarks were “truly remarkable for [their] force and eloquence.” At 5:30 PM Churchill was joined by Princess Alice and Clementine Churchill as he went to Roosevelt’s quarters in the Citadel to say good-bye as the president was about to depart Quebec. During the day Churchill received “a most cold message” from King George VI in reply to Churchill’s request for “a fraternal greeting” to the Duke of Windsor who the prime minister was to see at Hyde Park in two days. Churchill dictated a “crushing reply” but thought better of it and sent a more conciliatory message to the King.
At noon on September 15, 1944, Winston Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt met in conference with Henry Morgenthau (Treasury Secretary), Lord Cherwell (Paymaster-General) , Anthony Eden (Foreign Secretary), and Alec Cadogan (permanent under-secretary, Foreign Office). After discussing Lend-Lease, the meeting turned to the Morgenthau Plan about which the president and prime minister were now in agreement. Eden was “quite shocked” about the prime minister’s support for the plan and had a “quite nasty” exchange with Churchill. An hour later the meeting’s participants were joined for lunch by Clementine Churchill and Richard Law (Minister of State, Foreign Office). After lunch Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King joined the party for discussions that lasted until 3:00 PM. The Canadian prime minister asked Churchill and Roosevelt to accept honorary degrees from McGill University and they also discussed the future Canadian role in the Pacific War. At 6 PM Churchill met with the British Chiefs of Staff and according to Field Marshal Alan Brooke (CIGS) the prime minister was “in one of his worst tempers” with petty criticisms of the final report of the Combined Chiefs of Staff. During the meeting Churchill reported that he had discussed the zones of occupation in Germany with the American president. At 8:00 PM Churchill dined at the Citadel with Roosevelt, Clementine Churchill, Eden, and Cadogan. During the day Eden pressed Churchill and Roosevelt to recognize the French National Committee as the provisional government of France and was able to get the prime minister to concede that he would rather have a De Gaulle France than a Communist France.
At 9 AM on the morning of September 14, 1944, Winston Churchill, while still in bed in his room at the Citadel, spoke with Field Marshal Alan Brooke (Chief of the Imperial General Staff). Having received a further cable from Admiral Louis Mountbatten (supreme commander in SE Asia), the prime minister was in “good humour” and agreed to the sending of Lieutenant-General Oliver Leese to take the army group command in Burma. Later in the morning Churchill, along with Richard Law (minister of state at the Foreign Office), met with President Franklin Roosevelt. The meeting with Roosevelt continued at 11:30 AM with the leaders being joined by Henry Morgenthau (Treasury Secretary), H.D. White (Assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury), and Lord Cherwell (Paymaster-General). The Morgenthau Plan was again discussed with Churchill now supporting a “very much softened down” version of the plan to weaken the post-war German economy. A luncheon was held at 1:00 PM with the participants in the last meeting being joined by Clementine Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Canadian prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King. At three o’clock in the afternoon Churchill met with Mackenzie King and the Canadian War Committee where the main question was the extent of future Canadian participation in the war against Japan. The British and Canadian chiefs of staff were brought in for part of the meeting. At 4:30 PM Churchill accompanied by Mackenzie King drove in Roosevelt’s open car to Spencewood to make a brief call upon the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec and then continued on to Quebec’s Legislative Buildings to meet with Premier Maurice Duplessis and his provincial cabinet. Along the route large enthusiastic crowds gathered and cheered the prime ministers even though no public announcement had been made of the outing. At 5:30 PM Churchill met with the American president, Morgenthau, and Cherwell about Lend-Lease. Afterwards he slept and was quite late for the dinner that evening which began at 8 PM at the Citadel. In attendance along with Churchill were Mackenzie King, Roosevelt, Morgenthau, Richard Law, Cherwell, Anthony Eden (Foreign Secretary), and Alec Cadogan (permanent under-secretary, Foreign Office). About midnight there was a showing of a movie selected by the president, Hail the Conquering Hero. Churchill, perhaps rudely, walked out part way through as it was particularly bad. That night Churchill spoke by long distance telephone with the Duke of Windsor. As he was preparing for bed Churchill told John Colville, his private secretary, of the financial advantages the Americans had promised Britain. Colville declared, “Beyond the dreams of avarice,” to which the prime minister replied, “Beyond the dreams of justice.”
At 11:30 PM on September 13, 1944, Winston Churchill had a brief meeting with the British Chiefs of Staff which discussed the situation in Greece. This was followed fifteen minutes later by the first plenary session of the Second Quebec Conference. The meeting of Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt with the Combined American and British Chiefs of Staff was held at the Citadel. Churchill opened the session by giving the general survey of the war that he had prepared during the voyage across the Atlantic. It covered both the European and Pacific theatres and included an offer of a British Fleet to serve under American command in operations against Japan. Roosevelt intervened to declare that the British fleet was “no sooner offered than accepted.” At the conclusion of the plenary session Churchill and Roosevelt had luncheon at the Citadel. At 7:00 PM the spouses of the two leaders, Clementine Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt, made a joint radio broadcast to the people of Canada. An hour later Churchill attended a dinner at the Citadel with Roosevelt as well as Lord Cherwell (Paymaster-General), Lord Moran (prime minister’s physician), Lord Leathers (Minister of War Transport), Admiral Land, Admiral Leahy, Henry Morgenthau (Treasury Secretary), and Admiral McIntire. Discussions, which lasted until 11:15 PM, focused on the terms to be imposed on post-war Germany. The prime minister was vehemently opposed to the Morgenthau Plan for pastoralization and was said to have unleashed “the full flood of his rhetoric, sarcasm, and violence.” Churchill declared the plan would leave England chained to a dead body. That evening Churchill had a row with General Hastings Ismay (chief of staff to the Minister of Defence) over a cable from Admiral Louis Mountbatten (supreme commander, SE Asia) which reflected several changes in plans that the prime minister was unaware. During the day Churchill met with Sir William Glasgow (High Commissioner for Australia in Ottawa) as well as R.M. Firth (acting High Commissioner for New Zealand in Ottawa). He also spoke with Richard Law (Minister of State, Foreign Office), who had just arrived by train from Montreal. During the day Churchill cabled to the War Cabinet in London that “the conference has opened in a blaze of friendship.”
On the morning of September 12, 1944, Winston Churchill presented his wife Clementine with a bowl of Quebec roses to mark their 36th wedding anniversary. At 11:30 AM Churchill and President Franklin Roosevelt along with their respective spouses, the Athlones (the Governor-General and his wife Princess Alice), and Canadian prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King went to terrace at the Citadel so that “a huge battery of photographers” could take their pictures with the Citadel’s battlements, harbor, and city as background. At 1:00 PM the same group had luncheon at the Citadel during which conversation was on war matters, including the Soviet position regarding Japan once the German war was over. Churchill spoke about British rule in India, Japan, Jan Smuts, and the French. Although no one ventured an opinion when Mackenzie King asked which armies should enter Berlin first, the British prime minister did express concern about the British getting into Vienna ahead of the Soviets. After lunch Churchill took Roosevelt to see the models of the equipment used in the Normandy invasion and then took Mackenzie King to the map room where they discussed the different battle areas. Later in the afternoon Churchill and Roosevelt met in conference. At 6:30 PM Churchill chaired a meeting of the British Chiefs of Staff during which he stressed that the recapture of Singapore was the ultimate objective of British operations in south-east Asia. That evening the Athlones held a dinner at the Citadel for Churchill and Roosevelt along with their spouses and high officials. As the last guests departed Churchill and Mackenzie King again went to the map room to get the latest war news. During the day Churchill told John Colville, his private secretary, that he feared Roosevelt was now “very frail.”
At ten o’clock on the morning of September 11, 1944, Winston Churchill arrived by train at Wolfe’s Cove in Quebec where President Franklin Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor had arrived shortly before. Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King came aboard the train to welcome Churchill and they then went to greet Roosevelt who was already in his motor car at the station. A fourteen year old local girl slipped through the police cordon and shook hands with the prime minister who walked with her to see the president in his car. Churchill and Roosevelt had a short chat at the car. The Governor General of Canada Lord Athlone and his wife Princess Alice were at the station to greet the world leaders, while the welcoming party also included the Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec, the Premier of Quebec, the Mayor of Quebec City, and Louis St. Laurent, the Minister of Justice and future Canadian prime minister. The gathered leaders and officials then drove in a procession from the station though cheering crowds to the Citadel. Churchill drove with Mackenzie King and they had a “pleasant chat” that included the upcoming presidential election in the United States. Given his own electoral defeat in less than a year, Churchill ironically told his Canadian counterpart that it would be “ingratitude itself” if Roosevelt lost. At the Citadel a composite guard of honor comprised of the three Canadian services officially received Roosevelt in Canada. During the Second Quebec Conference Churchill and Roosevelt were resident at the Citadel while the 700-room Chateau Frontenac was closed to the public and served as the official conference headquarters. A small party consisting of Roosevelt and Churchill with their wives and Mackenzie King were the luncheon guests of the vice-regal couple at 1:30 that afternoon. The table conversation was largely on personalities, with Churchill saying he was anxious not to have Madame Chiang Kai-Shek in England and arguing strongly against de Gaulle despite Mackenzie King and Princess Alice standing up for the French leader. The Canadian prime minister observed in his diary that Roosevelt seemed “tired and weary,” while Churchill looked “as fresh as a baby.” After lunch Churchill joined Roosevelt in the president’s map room for a review of the latest war news and later in the day the prime minister gave Lord and Lady Athlone and Mackenzie King a description on the latest war plans. That evening the Athlones held a vice-regal dinner at the Citadel for Churchill, Roosevelt, Mackenzie King, and other conference attendees.