Letter: Churchill's efforts to end the Cold War

Share
Related Topics
Sir: The orthodox and correct reply to the revisionist theory that Winston Churchill should have made peace with Hitler in 1941 is that any terms then obtainable would have left Britain and her humbly preserved Empire at the mercy of an all-powerful conqueror whose readiness to tear up pieces of paper at a moment's notice was a matter of record and prediction. To seek peace in 1941 would have been to offer total

surrender.

There is a tendency among the revisionists to counter this by saying: 'But he never even tried] He was too much of a warmonger.'

So, consider Churchill's attitude towards the Cold War. Certainly he drew public attention to its existence and denounced the threats and encroachments of Stalinist Communism. Soon, however, Churchill changed his line, influenced by three new factors - the threat of global destruction arising from the hydrogen bomb, the death of Stalin and the election as US president of his friend Dwight D. Eisenhower. With Eisenhower, he thought, he might 'preside over the ending of the Cold War'.

When first approached, Eisenhower was cautious but not unsympathetic. Churchill followed up by making a speech in the Commons speculating on the possibility of an 'easement' in relations with Russia, and in June 1953 he was about to sail for Bermuda for a meeting with Eisenhower when he was disabled by a stroke. Recovering and undeterred by opposition from the Foreign Secretary, Anthony Eden, and others in his cabinet, he rearranged the Bermuda meeting for December but failed to persuade Eisenhower and the US Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles.

Still persevering, Churchill in June 1954 again saw Eisenhower, this time in Washington, and though he could not persuade the Americans to make a joint approach to the Russians, he obtained Eisenhower's agreement that there would be no American objection if Churchill decided to go ahead on his own.

Was Churchill at last to have his opportunity? No, because the Russians happened at this moment to come forward with a proposal for a 32-nation conference at Moscow to discuss a Soviet security plan. Soon afterwards he ceased to be Prime Minister.

Considered against this background, the revisionist attacks on Churchill look even more misplaced and absurd.

Yours faithfully,

ANDREW GILCHRIST

Hazelbank,

Strathclyde

21 January

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
More From
From SIR ANDREW GILCHRIST
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Nursery Nurse

£7 - £8 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Nursery Nurse jobs in South Glouc...

English Teacher needed for long term cover

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay TBA: Randstad Education Reading...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Bristol: Supply special needs assistants Jobs i...

Nursery Nurse

£7 - £8 per hour: Randstad Education Bristol: Nursery nurse jobs in Chippenham...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Scottish polls, canvass returns and arguments. And Top 10 Tweets

John Rentoul
 

Letter from the Personal Finance Editor: Cutting out the middle man could spell disaster for employees and consumers alike

Simon Read
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week