snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Questionable Quotes

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04 January 2009, 02:34 AM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,626
Icon108 Winston Churchill on displacing indigenous peoples

Comment: I recently found the quote "I do not agree that the dog in a
manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain
there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for
instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America
or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been
done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade
race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken
their place," attributed to Winston Churchill. Using google to look for
collaborating evidence, I find a large number of pro-palestine, anti-US or
white racist websites discussing it, but no credible unbiased sources. Is
there any primary documentation of this?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 04 January 2009, 03:10 AM
Steve Steve is offline
 
Join Date: 19 October 2002
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 4,717
Default

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill

According to Wikiquote he said it in 1937 to the Palestine Royal Commission, usually known as the Peel Commission.

Arhudati Roy has made mention of it on occasion, once in a speech here:http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salz...2-09-18Roy.htm and once in a book here: http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Ar...tember_WT.html
But without attribution as far as I can tell. I can't find find any decent sites on the Peel Commission that give info on the quote, so I guess we'll just have to wait for Bonnie to find out if this quote is accurate or not.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04 January 2009, 03:18 AM
Steve Eisenberg Steve Eisenberg is offline
 
Join Date: 15 October 2001
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 11,841
Default

The oldest mention I found on Usenet is November 28, 2002, and quotes the Guardian on that day.

The Guardian on that day published a column with a whole bunch of Churchill quotes apparently picked to make the great man seem like an ass, and it includes a shorter version of the quote under discussion.

At first glance, I see that the final quotation in the link above is from a newspaper article claimed by scholars not to be written by Churchill.

Some of the quotes aren't even bad, properly interpreted. When he wrote about the godless bores in India, in a supposed youthful letter to his mother, wasn't he talking about his fellow colonialists?

As for the OP quotation, my first thought was that Churchill wouldn't have written or spoken in such a repetitive manner. However, Wikiquote accepts the quotation as sourced, and I found a specific citation on this web page, attributing it to page 118 of Martin Gilbert's Churchill and the Jews. About a year ago, I read perhaps a third of that book. The book is one that tries to prove a thesis -- Churchill liked Jews. It presents every possible piece of evidence showing that Churchill was a friend to Jews and Zionism. Gilbert convinced me -- not that it took much convincing -- that Churchill was broadly sympathetic to Jews, including Palestine's Jews. On the other hand, Churchill also favored compromise with the Arabs. I'll have to check that book to see what it says on that page. If Gilbert does say that Churchill said it, he probably did, because Martin Gilbert is the official biographer of Winston Churchill.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04 January 2009, 05:44 PM
BringTheNoise's Avatar
BringTheNoise BringTheNoise is offline
 
Join Date: 10 November 2003
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Posts: 7,304
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eisenberg View Post
The Guardian on that day published a column with a whole bunch of Churchill quotes apparently picked to make the great man seem like an ass...
Or to show that he was not, in fact, the Messiah, and may well have been a very naughty boy at times? I fail to see how pointing out the less admirable qualities of a famous person is trying to make him seem like an ass, much in the same way that pointing out the few good things I feel Margaret Thatcher did for Britain is not me an effort to have her canonised.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04 January 2009, 07:13 PM
Silas Sparkhammer's Avatar
Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
Join Date: 22 September 2000
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 26,843
Whalephant

Y'see, it wasn't "theft" when Europeans took over all that land; it was just an exercise of the legal principle of "eminent domain."

Silas
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04 January 2009, 10:36 PM
Steve Eisenberg Steve Eisenberg is offline
 
Join Date: 15 October 2001
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 11,841
Default

Well, it turns out that Churchill did say it. It's on hardback page 120 of Sir Martin Gilbert's eleven pages of quotations from, and discussion of, Churchill's secret testimony before the 1937 Peel Commission on the future of Palestine. The context was that Churchill was being pressed on the question of why Palestine, which at the time had a population only 27 percent Jewish, shouldn't be self-governing. He was accused of only being in favor of democracy in Palestine when there was a Jewish majority. Given the widespread anti-Jewish pogroms in Palestine at the time, I think the answer is obvious: a self-governing Palestine would then have stopped immigration of Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, been massively discriminatory against Jews in other ways, and might even have resulted in the wiping out of Palestine's Jews. A self-governing Israeli state, while imperfect, treats its minorities much better. Of course, this is hardly complementary to Palestinian Arabs as a class, and some might like it no more than they like Churchill's racist explanation.

In his testimony, Churchill did make the point that Jews fleeing the Nazis would be stopped by a Palestinian democracy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BringTheNoise View Post
I fail to see how pointing out the less admirable qualities of a famous person is trying to make him seem like an ass, much in the same way that pointing out the few good things I feel Margaret Thatcher did for Britain is not me an effort to have her canonised.
Consider Karl Marx:


Quote:
Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew.

What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money. . . .

The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner, not only because he has acquired financial power, but also because, through him and also apart from him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit has become the practical spirit of the Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews.
Now what would possibly possess me to pick out such an obnoxious (but scrupulously sourced) quotation from Marx's large body of works? You guessed it -- I am trying to make Marx look like an ass. Now, if Amy Iggulden really was trying to present a balanced picture, I apologize, although a web search fails to find her ever writing about another side of him. As for the idea that she is just presenting a voice never heard, I don't know about Britain today, but wasn't anti-Churchill historian A.J.P. Taylor a fixture on British television from the 1950's to 1980's?

Gilbert gives a balanced picture and is as trustworthy a scholar as I can think of.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04 January 2009, 11:31 PM
BringTheNoise's Avatar
BringTheNoise BringTheNoise is offline
 
Join Date: 10 November 2003
Location: Aberdeen, Scotland
Posts: 7,304
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eisenberg View Post
As for the idea that she is just presenting a voice never heard, I don't know about Britain today, but wasn't anti-Churchill historian A.J.P. Taylor a fixture on British television from the 1950's to 1980's?
He may have been, but he's been absent since whereas Churchill has been elevated to near-sainthood. The article was published the day after Churchill was voted the Greatest Briton in History. I'm not denying the many good things he did, or even that he didn't deserve the title, but the public perception is VERY one sided.

I'd say the same about the Marx quote - it's important to realise that modern socialism is a lot more egalitarian than Marx originally intended and considered.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05 January 2009, 03:52 AM
catty5nutz catty5nutz is offline
 
Join Date: 22 January 2007
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 1,649
Default

A funny things for Marx to say, considering that he was Jewish himself - okay, a Christianized Jew - but still, a Jew.

It crosses my mind, setting aside the context of the statement that Churchill made, that such views would have been far from unusual at the time. At the time, most European people believed that so-called primitive societies should be westernized.

It happened in my country. Maori children were forbidden from speaking their own language at school, and punished if they did. And in general, Maori were encouraged to behave like dark-skinned English people. The same thing happened in Australia - but there it was even most drastic, and in America.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05 January 2009, 06:04 PM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
Join Date: 04 November 2005
Location: Borlänge, Sweden
Posts: 11,580
Default

While Churchill might be considered a hero on England, he is often strongly disliked in the colonies, where he used a very heavy hand. For instance, he is not as admired in Africa or Ireland (both of these examples based on anecdotal evidence).
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06 January 2009, 01:15 AM
Steve Eisenberg Steve Eisenberg is offline
 
Join Date: 15 October 2001
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 11,841
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BringTheNoise View Post
The article was published the day after Churchill was voted the Greatest Briton in History. I'm not denying the many good things he did, or even that he didn't deserve the title, but the public perception is VERY one sided.
I just checked out the Greatest Briton poll.

According to this, Brunel beat out Churchill is the web vote and the Dcable vote, only losing to the late PM due to defeat in the Dsat vote. (I can guess what Dcable and Dsat are, but have to admit to the terms being new to me.)

I realize that Brunel is a lot more famous in Britain than here, but even allowing for that, it seems to me that Churchill has much more name recognition than Brunel, and that name recognition counts for an awful lot in such contests. Given that, and the fact that people were forced to choose from a list of just ten possibilities, I question whether Churchill's 19%/20%/29% depending on vote media was all that stupendous.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07 January 2009, 04:46 PM
bufungla's Avatar
bufungla bufungla is offline
 
Join Date: 13 June 2001
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 5,288
Icon18

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
Y'see, it wasn't "theft" when Europeans took over all that land; it was just an exercise of the legal principle of "eminent domain."

Silas
In terms of the English acquisition of Australian Aboriginal land, the legal principle cites was terra nullius.

buf 'speaking of Australia' ungla
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07 January 2009, 04:58 PM
Mama Duck's Avatar
Mama Duck Mama Duck is offline
 
Join Date: 22 October 2001
Location: South Texas
Posts: 12,151
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
Y'see, it wasn't "theft" when Europeans took over all that land; it was just an exercise of the legal principle of "eminent domain."

Silas
Or Manifest Destiny, but that might be only the North American version.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07 April 2009, 07:12 AM
Find Maddie
 
Posts: n/a
Default Churchill Papers

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
"I do not agree that the dog in a
manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain
there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for
instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America
or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been
done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade
race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken
their place."
Martin Gilbert's 'Churchill and The Jews'(London:Simon&Schuster, 2007, p. 120) cites the original source of the quote as follows.

Peel Commission Report, proof copy of Churchill's evidence: Churchill papers, 2/317
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 13 April 2009, 09:49 AM
High Eight's Avatar
High Eight High Eight is offline
 
Join Date: 30 December 2006
Location: Gillingham, Kent, UK
Posts: 279
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
While Churchill might be considered a hero on England, he is often strongly disliked in the colonies, where he used a very heavy hand. For instance, he is not as admired in Africa or Ireland (both of these examples based on anecdotal evidence).

He is pretty unpopular in South Wales, too (google 'Tonypandy Riot').
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.