Lot 34
  • 34

Churchill, Sir Winston

5,000 - 7,000 GBP
6,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Churchill, Sir Winston
  • Autograph letter signed ("Winston S. Churchill"), to Robert Boothby
  • ink on paper
discussing the coal-mining industry in the aftermath of the General Strike, stating his position in typically forceful terms ("...There are too many miners..."), defending his role in the Strike, making clear his appetite for anti-Union legislation and belief that the Trade Unions are a threat to the British constitution, 7 pages, 8vo, Treasury Chambers headed stationery, 16 October 1926

Catalogue Note

"...The issue is not one between Govt & Opposition, but what are good laws for the community. Intimidatory picketing, privileged immunity, political levies under pain of boycott, and not - once the issue is raised - compatible with any form of good government. The general strike constituted a direct challenge, & is a milestone in British politics..."

A highly important position statement written by Churchill as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the aftermath of the most serious strike in British industrial history. Bob Boothby (1900-1986) was the Conservative MP for East Aberdeenshire. He wrote to Churchill on 9 October (Churchill Archive Centre CHAR 18/28, photocopy included with this lot) expressing his concern that the government was too sympathetic to the mine owners, and that this reactionary attitude would lose them support in Scotland. Although the General Strike had lasted only nine days the previous May, the underlying dispute in the mining industry had still not been finally resolved and Churchill was in charge of the negotiations. Although he admits in this letter that the tactics and behaviour of the mine owners was unappealing, he is clear that there would be no subsidies to support miners' wages and, more widely, that the General Strike had made him an enemy of the Unions.

Shortly after this exchange of letters Churchill appointed Boothby his Parliamentary Private Secretary and he remained in that position until 1929. They disagreed on subjects from India to the Abdication, and Boothby was never willing to display the unwavering loyalty that Churchill demanded, but Boothby always recognised Churchill's talents. He was, like Churchill, strongly against Appeasement and in May 1940 he was one of the handful of MPs who forced the resignation of Chamberlain that brought Churchill to power.