These below are some fragments of the speech that Winston Churchill gave in Zurich in 1946, where he endorsed the idea of a United States of Europe. These words were used among others in this wonderful video to celebrate the award of the Nobel Peace Price to the European Union in 2012. Although the ascription of Churchill to the federalist side is not without controversy, clearly his ideas on this are far away from many contemporary British conservatives.
"Indeed, but for the fact that the great
Republic across the Atlantic Ocean has at length realised that the
ruin or enslavement of Europe would involve their own fate as well,
and has stretched out hands of succour and guidance, the Dark Ages
would have returned in all their cruelty and squalor.
They may still return.
Yet all the while there is a remedy which, if
it were generally and spontaneously adopted, would as if by a miracle
transform the whole scene, and would in a few years make all Europe,
or the greater part of it, as free and as happy as Switzerland is
What is this sovereign remedy?
It is to re-create the European Family, or as
much of it as we can, and provide it with a structure under which it
can dwell in peace, in safety and in freedom.
We must build a kind of United States of
In this way only will hundreds of millions of
toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life
The process is simple.
All that is needed is the resolve of hundreds
of millions of men and women to do right instead of wrong, and gain
as their reward, blessing instead of cursing.
Much work has been done upon this task by the
exertions of the Pan-European Union which owes so much to Count
Coudenhove-Kalergi and which commanded the services of the famous
French patriot and statesman, Aristide Briand.
There is also that immense body of doctrine and
procedure, which was brought into being amid high hopes after the
First World War, as the League of Nations.
The League of Nations did not fail because of
its principles or conceptions. It failed because these principles
were deserted by those States who had brought it into being. It
failed because the Governments of those days feared to face the facts
and act while time remained. This disaster must not be repeated.
There is, therefore, much knowledge and material with which to build;
and also bitter dear-bought experience."
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