Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Churchill Series - Apr. 29, 2008

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

Churchill loved his bath. It was a rare day when he didn't take at least one.

Then came the day in post-war Britain when Churchill, leading the opposition in the House of Commons, heard the Government's Minister of Fuel and Power, Hugh Gaitskell, suggest to the House that the Government encourage people to take fewer baths as an energy saving measure. Gaitskell told the House:

"Personally, I have never had a great many baths myself, and I can assure those who are in the habit of having a great many that it does not make a great difference to their health if they have less."
Well, you can guess how Churchill took that. Here's his response to Gaitskell
"When Ministers of the Crown speak like this on behalf of HM Government, the Prime Minister and his friends have no need to wonder why they are getting increasingly into bad odour.

"I have even asked myself, when meditating upon these points, whether you, Mr. Speaker, would admit the word 'lousy' as a Parliamentary expression in referring to the Administration, provided, of course, it was not intended in a contemptuous sense but purely as one of factual narration."
If you'll forgive a pun, the House showered Gaitskell with laughter.
The quotes and background are found at The Churchill Centre's Speeches and Quotes page.