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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874–1965)
QUOTATION: Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong—these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.
ATTRIBUTION: WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech, House of Commons, May 2, 1935.—Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, ed. Robert Rhodes James, vol. 6, p. 5592 (1974).

Quoted by Senator John Tower, address delivered before the American Defense Preparedness Association, April 14, 1983.—Congressional Record, April 20, 1983, vol. 129, p. S4989 (daily edition).