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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 2089
AUTHOR: Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (1874–1965)
QUOTATION: We have all seen with a sense of nausea the abject, squalid, shameless avowal made in the Oxford Union. We are told that we ought not to treat it seriously. The Times talked of “the children’s hour.” I disagree. It is a very disquieting and disgusting symptom. One can almost feel the curl of contempt upon the lips of the manhood of Germany, Italy, and France when they read the message sent out by Oxford University in the name of Young England.

Let them be assured that it is not the last word. But before they blame, as blame they should, these callow ill-tutored youths, they must be sure that they have not been set a bad example by people much older and much higher up.
ATTRIBUTION: WINSTON CHURCHILL, extract of address, Anti-Socialist and Anti-Communist Union meeting, London, February 17, 1933.—Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, ed. Robert Rhodes James, vol. 5, p. 5220 (1974).

On February 9, undergraduates at the Oxford Union had approved the resolution, “That this House refuses in any circumstances to fight for King and Country” by a vote of 275 to 153. The editorial in The Times (London) appeared February 13, p. 13. See Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill, vol. 5, p. 456 (1976) for a slightly varied version of Churchill’s speech.