CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer, letters, autographs, documents, manuscripts

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Churchill denies secret naval operation

CHURCHILL, Sir Winston Spencer (1874-1965).
Wartime Typewritten Letter Signed to E.J. Robertson, managing director of the Daily Express, 1 p. 4to on embossed writing paper of the Admiralty (pin hole), 10 October 1939. Protesting about the article [in the Evening Standard] that morning containing a complaint about the Admiralty, with pencil reply from Robertson in the margin, some of it in shorthand.
Written a month after the opening of World War II, the article states that the King had visited the Fleet to decorate 'heroes of the Fleet Air Arm who recently achieved a certain northern sea triumph'. The article sparked a controversy in the House of Commons, led by the deputy leader of the Labour Party, Arthur Greenwood. Churchill, who had recently re-joined the Admiralty, was at pains in this letter to deny any question of a secret naval operation.
'... The story about 'decorating heroes of the Fleet Air Arm' was a pure invention. When it was brought to the notice of the Admiralty, and as soon as they could make inquiry at the Palace, they denied it, and they continued to deny it until eventually their denial was made public. ...'
Churchill appends an autograph note, stating I do not see where they were at fault.
Together with a photocopy of the offending article.
[No: 24440]

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