Bradford, England, December 6, 1942
Manchester Guardian, December 7, 1942.
"We have just passed through the month of November, usually a month of fog and gloom, but on the whole a month I liked a good deal better than some other months I have seen in the course of this present unpleasantness. It was a month in which our affairs have prospered, in which our soldiers and sailors and airmen have been victorious, in which our gallant Russian allies have struck redoubtable blows against the common enemy, in which our American allies and kith and kin far off in the Pacific, from Australia and New Zealand, have also seen their efforts crowned with a considerable measure of success.
"A great month this last month of November. But I must tell you, and I know you will not mind my saying it, because I do not think it is wise to deal in smooth words or airy promises, that you must be on your guard not to let the good fortune which has come to us be anything else but a means of striking harder. The struggle is approaching its most tense part. The hard core of Nazi resistance and villainy is not yet broken in upon. We have to gather up all our strength, and if by any chance unexpected good tidings come to us that will be a matter which we can rejoice at but which we must not count upon.
"We count upon our strong right arm, honest, hard-working hearts, and our courage, which is not yet found wanting either in domestic or foreign stresses during the whole course of this war.
"We have broken into North Africa with our American allies, and now have in a short time advanced from the Atlantic Ocean almost to the centre of the Mediterranean, a distance of nearly 900 miles. But there are still 20 miles to go, and very hard fighting will take place before that small distance is overcome and the violence and military power of the enemy there have been beaten down and driven into the sea. I do not doubt the result, but I cannot lead you to suppose that it will be easily achieved.
"Away on the other side of North Africa our armies are advancing, having taken thousands of prisoners, and driving the enemy before them, but here again hard fighting is to be expected.
"But what I have felt during this month, when so much fighting has been going on by the British and the Americans, has been the feeling of gladness that we are engaging the enemy closely, and not leaving an undue burden to be borne by the Russians, who have carried this immense struggle through the whole of this year and a large part of last year.
"They are defending their own country; we are defending our own country; but we are all of us defending something which is, I won't say dearer but greater than country-namely, a cause. That cause is the cause of freedom and of justice, of the weak against the strong, of law against violence, of mercy and tolerance against brutality and ironbound tyranny. That is the cause we are fighting for-the cause which is moving slowly, painfully, but surely, inevitably, inexorably forward to victory.
"And when that victory is gained you will find you are in a better world, a world which can be made even more fair, more happy, if only all the peoples will join together to do their part and if all classes of parties stand together to reap the fruits of victory as they are standing together to bear the terrors and menaces of war.
"Our enemies are very powerful. They have many millions of soldiers. They have millions of prisoners, whom they in many cases use like slaves. They have rich lands which they have conquered, they have large, gifted populations in their grip. They have a theme of their own, which is the Nazi theme of tyranny and domination of a race in the shameful idolatry of a single man, a base man, elevated almost to the stature of a god by his demented and degraded worshippers. They have this idea of the suppression of the individual citizen, man and woman, to be a mere chattel of a State machine.
"All this, in our view, is at stake. But our enemies are powerful. They consider they will have the strength to wear us out even if they cannot beat us down. Their hope is now to prolong the struggle so that perhaps differences will arise between friends and allies, so that perhaps the democracies they despise and whom they underrate will weary of the war.
"All these are their hopes, so I say to you here in Bradford, what I said when I was last here nearly thirty years ago: 'Let us go forward together and put these grave matters to the proof.' "