Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl of Bewdley

Stanley
Baldwin, 1st Earl of Bewdley
1867
1947

English Politician, three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Author Quotes

England totally disarmed and an easy prey to hostile forces! Can you think of anything more likely to excite cupidity and hostile intention? We should sink to the level of a fifth rate Power, our Colonies would be stripped from us, our commerce would decline, famine and unemployment would stalk the land. ... I share your longing for peace. God forbid that it should be again disturbed! The constant and undivided effort of the Government is for its preservation. But I have yet to learn that the cause of peace can be served by rendering our country impotent.

Never sought the office. I never planned out or schemed my life. I have but one idea, which was an idea that I inherited, and it was the idea of service — service to the people of this country. My father lived in the belief all his life ... It is a tradition; it is in our bones; and we have to do it. That service seemed to lead one by way of business and the county council into Parliament, and it has led one through various strange paths to where one is; but the ideal remains the same, because all my life I believed from my heart the words of Browning, All service ranks the same with God. It makes very little difference whether a man is driving a tramcar or sweeping streets or being Prime Minister, if he only brings to that service everything that is in him and performs it for the sake of mankind.

To me, England is the country, and the country is England. And when I ask myself what I mean by England when I am abroad, England comes to me through my various senses — through the ear, through the eye and through certain imperishable scents ... The sounds of England, the tinkle of the hammer on the anvil in the country smithy, the corncrake on a dewy morning, the sound of the scythe against the whetstone, and the sight of a plough team coming over the brow of a hill, the sight that has been seen in England since England was a land ... the one eternal sight of England.

I am a man of peace. I am longing and working and praying for peace, but I will not surrender the safety and security of the British constitution. You placed me in power eighteen months ago by the largest majority accorded to any party for many, many years. Have I done anything to forfeit that confidence? Cannot you trust me to ensure a square deal to secure even justice between man and man?

Power without responsibility -- the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.

True to our traditions, we have avoided all extremes. We have steered clear of fascism, communism, dictatorship, and we have shown the world that democratic government, constitutional methods and ordered liberty are not inconsistent with progress and prosperity.

I am one of those who would rather sink with faith than swim without it.

Since the day of the air, the old frontiers are gone. When you think of the defense of England you no longer think of the chalk cliffs of Dover; you think of the Rhine.

We none of us know what is going on in that strange man's mind. We all know the German desire as he has come out with in his book [Mein Kampf] to move East, and if he moves East, I shall not break my heart, but that is another thing. I do not believe he wants to move West, because West would be a very difficult programme for him ... If there is any fighting in Europe to be done, I should like to see the Bolsheviks and Nazis doing it.

I knew that I had been chosen as God's instrument for the work of the healing of the nation.

So it has always been with tyrants among our own people: when the King was tyrant, let him look out. And it has always been the same, and will be the same, whether the tyrant be the Barons, whether the tyrant be the Church, whether he be demagogue or dictator — let them look out.

What the proprietorship of these papers is aiming at is power, and power without responsibility — the prerogative of the harlot through the ages.

I should like to make an observation to right honorable and honorable Gentlemen opposite. It is that I do not think they will help to produce the atmosphere in Europe which is so desirable by issuing papers that have been issued by the National Council of Labor, headed 'Hit Hitler'.

Supposing I had gone to the country [in 1933], and said that Germany was re-arming, and that we must re-arm, does anybody think that this pacific democracy would have rallied to that cry at that moment? I cannot think of anything that would have made the loss of the election from my point of view more certain...we got from the country [in 1935], with a large majority, a mandate for doing a thing no one, twelve months earlier, would have believed possible.

Whatever failures may have come to parliamentary government in countries which have not those traditions, and where it is not a natural growth, that is no proof that parliamentary government has failed.

I think it well ... for the man in the street to realize that there is no power on earth that can protect him from being bombed. Whatever people may tell him, the bomber will always get through. The only defense is offence, which means that you will have to kill women and children more quickly than the enemy if you want to save yourselves.

The attainment of an ideal is often the beginning of a disillusion

You will find in politics that you are much exposed to the attribution of false motive. Never complain and never explain.

I would rather be an opportunist and float than go to the bottom with my principles round my neck.

The bomber will always get through. The only defense is in offense, which means that you have to kill more women and children more quickly that the enemy if you want to save yourselves.

I would rather trust a woman's instinct than a man's reason.

The die-hard opinions of George III couched in the language of Edmund Burke.

If I did not believe that our work was done in the faith and hope that at some day, it may be a million years hence, the Kingdom of God will spread over the whole world, I would have no hope, I could do no work, and I would give my office over this morning to anyone who would take it.

The greatest crime to our own people is to be afraid to tell the truth ... the old frontiers are gone. When you think of the defense of England you no longer think of the chalk cliffs of Dover; you think of the Rhine. That is where it lies.

If I did not feel . . . and hope that someday - perhaps millions of years hence - the Kingdom of God would overspread the whole world . . . then I would give my office over this morning to anyone who would take it.

Author Picture
First Name
Stanley
Last Name
Baldwin, 1st Earl of Bewdley
Birth Date
1867
Death Date
1947
Bio

English Politician, three times Prime Minister of the United Kingdom