August 14, 1945
New York Times.
Japan has today surrendered. The last of our enemies is laid low. Here is the text of the Japanese reply to the Allied demands. [Listed separately, PHWG]
Let us recall that on the 7th of December, 1941, Japan, whose onslaught China had already resisted for over four years, fell upon the United States of America, who was then not at war, and upon ourselves, who were so pressed in our death struggle with Germany and Italy. Taking full advantage of surprise and treachery, the Japanese forces quickly overran the territory of ourselves and our Allies in the Far East, and at one time it appeared as though they might even invade the mainland of Australia and advance far into India.
But the tide turned, first slowly, then with an ever-increasing speed and violence, as the mighty forces of the United States and of the British Commonwealth and Empire and of their Allies, and finally of Russia, were brought to bear. Their resistance is now everywhere being broken.
At this time we should pay tribute to the men from this country, from the Dominions and India and the colonies, to our fleets, armies and air forces, that have fought so well in the arduous campaign against Japan. Our gratitude goes out to all our splendid Allies and, above all, to the United States, without whose prodigious efforts this war in the East would still have many years to run
We also think especially at this time of the prisoners in Japanese hands, of our friends in the Dominions and Australia and New Zealand, in India, in Burma and in those colonial territories upon whom the brunt of the Japanese attack fell. We rejoice that their sufferings will soon be at an end and that these territories will soon be purged of the Japanese invader.
Here at home you have a short rest in the unceasing exertions which were all borne without flinching or complaint for so many dark years. I have no doubt that throughout industries generally the Government's lead in the matter of victory holidays will be followed, and that tomorrow-Wednesday-and Thursday may everywhere be treated as days of holiday.
There are some who must necessarily remain at work on these days to maintain essential services, and I am sure they can be relied upon to carry on. When we return to work on Friday morning, we must turn again with energy to the great tasks which challenge us. But for the moment let all who can relax and enjoy themselves in the knowledge of a work well done.
Peace has once again come to the world. Let us thank God for this great deliverance and for His mercies.
Long live the King!