Autumn/Winter 1931 (Age 57)

Looking the wrong direction in New York City

The budget estimates showed a deficit of £1 million (cause for real panic 50 years ago). and Prime Minister MacDonald tendered his resignation to the King. The King asked him to form a “no-party government, but WSC was not asked to take any part in it.

MacDonald prepared for another disarmament conference. Churchill’s voice from below the gangway seemed to most to be a voice of unreasonable alarms. He warned that Britain’s navy and army had been cut to the bone, that the RAF was an eighth as strong as France’s air force. His only support came from the leader of the “New Party.” Oswald Mosley. WSC elected Mosley to The Other Club!

Politically he made uncharacteristic turnarounds. A Free Trader all his life, he now called for Protection for British industry. Seven years before, as (‘Chancellor of the Exchequer’ he had put Britain back on the gold standard. Now it went off again, with hardly a word front him. In 1928 he had begun a series of cuts in the income tax (‘‘dc-rating’’). Now he was quiet while the Government raised the tax once more. It was a nadir in his political life, brightened only at the Polls, where Epping doubled his majority.

Personally the picture was happier. An abridged one-volume edition of The World Crisis had been well received. While The Eastern Front/The Unknown War received final checking at Chartwell. WSC and Clementine took young Randolph to Consuelo’s chateau at Dreux and to Biarritz, where Churchill worked on Marlborough. He painted, but complained of no sun.

His U.S. lecture tour began in Decemher. His first lecture. ‘‘Pathway of the English-Speaking Peoples,” was well received. The next night he crossed a New York street looking right instead of left and was hit by a car. His injuries were severe, and did not complete the lecture tour. On New Year’s Eve he and Clemmie sailed for Nassau, Bahamas for recuperation.

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