Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Churchill Series - Feb. 27, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

On most important issues of the 20th century America and Britain stood together to the great benefit of mankind.

But there were some issues on which they disagreed. During the 1920s, for instance, the British government told it subjects to enjoy their pints and drams while the American government said, “Prohibition.”

In Britain there was no stronger supporter of his government’s position than Churchill. And that wasn't only because he enjoyed champagne, whiskey and brandy most days.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill was uniquely positioned to appreciate the importance of the tax revenues that flowed from the distilleries to His Majesty’s coffers.

Against that background on April 28, 1925, Churchill presented to the House of Commons his first budget as Chancellor. His presentation lasted more then two hours, in the middle of which he drew from his pocket a small flask and said to the House:

"It is imperative that I should fortify the revenue and I shall now, with the permission of the Commons, proceed to do so."
There were cheers on all sides.
William Manchester, The Last Lion: Visions of Glory. (pgs. 788-789)