Mr Churchill a liability

09 June 2017

June 8th, 1917.

PERSISTENT efforts are being made to replace Mr Winston Churchill in office under the scheme of ministerial reconstruction. That the Government will yield to them we cannot believe, for, in doing so, it would encounter a storm of angry protest. Mr Churchill had his chance of proving his statesmanlike qualities, and the nation has suffered irreparable loss from the way in which he took it. For two of the most grievous disasters that have ever befallen our arms the blame must be laid at his door. Antwerp and Gallipoli are names for ever to be associated with bitter memories of tens of thousands of lives thrown away in ill-advised adventures. Mr Churchill has daring and enterprise — no one will deny it — but something more than these qualities are needed in the character of a responsible statesman. Admirals and Generals, if they fail through lack of judgment, are relieved of their commands and disappear into obscurity. The same treatment should be accorded to Ministers guilty of ruinous blunders. In peace time comparatively little harm may result from the practice of transferring to another, and perhaps better paid, office a Minister who has made a mess of things in a previous office or offices. But in war time this ought not to be. In Mr Churchill’s case his two colossal blunders are damning evidence of his unfitness to be trusted with Ministerial responsibility, and we trust that he will be retained with the Army, where he can be kept under discipline.


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