Blood, Sweat and Tears
speech by Sir
On Friday evening
last I received from His Majesty the mission to form a new
administration. It was the evident will of' Parliament and the
nation that this should be conceived on the broadest possible
basis and that it should include all parties.
I have already completed the most important part of this task.
A war cabinet has been formed of five members, representing,
with the Labour, Opposition, and Liberals, the unity of the
nation. It was necessary that this should be done in one single
day on account of the extreme urgency and rigor of events. Other
key positions were filled yesterday. I am submitting a further
list to the king tonight. I hope to complete the appointment of
principal ministers during tomorrow.
The appointment of other ministers usually takes a little
longer. I trust when Parliament meets again this part of my task
will be completed and that the administration will be complete
in all respects. I considered it in the public interest to
suggest to the Speaker that the House should be summoned today.
At the end of today's proceedings, the adjournment of the House
will be proposed until May 21 with provision for earlier meeting
if need be. Business for that will be notified to MPs at the
I now invite the House by a resolution to record its approval of
the steps taken and declare its confidence in the new
"That this House welcomes the formation of a government
representing the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to
prosecute the war with Germany to a victorious conclusion."
To form an administration of this scale and complexity is a
serious undertaking in itself. But we are in the preliminary
phase of one of the greatest battles in history. We are in
action at many other points-in Norway and in Holland-and we have
to be prepared in the Mediterranean. The air battle is
continuing, and many preparations have to be made here at home.
In this crisis I think I may be pardoned if 1 do not address the
House at any length today, and I hope that any of my friends and
colleagues or former colleagues who are affected by the
political reconstruction will make all allowances for any lack
of ceremony with which it has been necessary to act.
I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this
government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and
sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We
have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.
You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land,
sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength
God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny
never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human
crime. That is our policy.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is
victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors
- Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without
victory there is no survival.
Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no
survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no
survival for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind
shall move forward toward his goal.
I take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our
cause will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at
this juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say,
"Come then, let us go forward together with our united
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