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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 2046
AUTHOR: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874–1965)
QUOTATION: If you hadn’t entered the World War we would have made peace with Germany early in 1917. Had we made peace then there would have been no collapse in Russia followed by communism, no break-down in Italy followed by fascism, and Germany would not have signed the Versailles Treaty, which has enthroned nazi-ism in Germany. In other words, if America had stayed out of the war all of these “isms” wouldn’t today be sweeping the Continent of Europe and breaking down parliamentary government, and if England had made peace early in 1917, it would have saved over 1,000,000 British, French, American, and other lives.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to WINSTON CHURCHILL, but denied by him.—William Griffin, sworn statement, September 8, 1939, reprinted in the Congressional Record, October 21, 1939, vol. 84, p. 686.

Griffin, publisher of the New York Enquirer, said the conversation had taken place in London during August 1936. Griffin brought a $1,000,000 libel suit against Churchill in October 1939, but the charges were dismissed on October 21, 1942, when Griffin or his lawyers failed to appear when the case was called. At that time Griffin was under indictment in Washington, D.C., on charges of conspiring to lower the morale of the armed forces of this country.

In his answer to the suit, Churchill admitted the 1936 interview, but denied the statement.—The New York Times, October 22, 1942, p. 13. The proceedings against Griffin were later quashed after a hearing in federal court on January 26, 1944.
SUBJECTS: World War I (1914–1918)