July 2, 1942 – Churchill declares “Victory” over censure motion
On July 2, 1942, the motion to censure Sir Winston Churchill is defeated 476 to 25. The motion gained initial support largely in response to British losses in North Africa. However, Churchill displayed his usual oratory prowess in response.
The will of the whole House should be made manifest upon important occasions. It is important that not only those who speak, but those who watch and listen and judge, should also count as a factor in world affairs. After all, we are still fighting for our lives, and for causes dearer than life itself. We have no right to assume that victory is certain; it will be certain only if we do not fail in our duty. Sober and constructive criticism, or criticism in Secret Session, has its high virtue; but the duty of the House of Commons is to sustain the Government or to change the Government. If it cannot change it, it should sustain it. There is no working middle course in wartime.
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