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1952: Churchill renews 'special relationship'

VIDEO : Churchill renews 'special relationship' with USA

The British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, has arrived in the United States for an official visit, his first since re-election last October.

He arrived in New York on board the liner Queen Mary earlier today and was welcomed by Mayor Impelliterri before being taken to Long Island for a flight to Washington.

Mr Churchill, who was returned to power last year following six years in opposition, is anxious to maintain what is called the "special relationship" between Britain and the US.

In a brief news conference before boarding his flight, he spoke of his hopes for peace and also of Britain's ties with the US.


"Great Britain and the Commonwealth and the United States are the closest of friends and you and I want to keep it that way"

President Truman

He said: "It is of great importance when a new government comes in in our country that those who have the grave responsibility of guiding it, like Mr Eden and myself, should get in touch at an early stage with our American friends and colleagues.

"Our two governments must understand each other's points of view and do all we can to work together for the common cause, trusting we will be able to build up that common understanding and intimacy which enabled us to go through safely in the past and without which no full settlement of new problems can be reached."

Mr Churchill arrived in Washington where he was welcomed officially by President Harry S Truman.

Mr Truman also spoke of the close ties between Britain, the Commonwealth and the United States.

"Great Britain and the Commonwealth and the United States are the closest of friends and you and I want to keep it that way," he said.

Mr Churchill thanked the president. "It is always a great joy to me to come to the United States," he said, "where I have many and ancient connections and I look forward very much indeed to renewing the comradeship which grew up during the struggles of the war."

The two men then retired for lunch at Blair House. A number of other government officials were present for the meal including Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, US Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and Chief of Staff Admiral William Leahy.

After lunch the prime minister and the president went on board the presidential yacht Williamsburg for informal talks which lasted about two hours.

Reports prior to Mr Churchill's arrival suggested relations between the two leaders may be strained by some differences of opinion over policy in the Middle and Far East, as well as aspects of defence policy and the supply of American steel.

A spokesman said later the talks had "covered a wide range of topics" and "clarified the atmosphere" for the formal discussions which will begin on Monday.

Tomorrow (Sunday) Mr Churchill will have lunch at the Pentagon with the Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett.

In Context
A communiqué issued at the end of their talks on Wednesday 9 January spoke of a "broad harmony of views" reached on policy towards the Far East and a "complete identity of aims" in the Middle East.

The statement talked of progress on the question of steel imports and Mr Churchill agreed to allow the US to use British bases for "common defence" of the two countries.

The Times correspondent noted: "The most important result of the trip so far has been the arrest of the decay in mutual confidence between the two Governments which had gone a long way."

Mr Churchill suffered a stroke in 1953 and resigned from office two years later. He was replaced by Anthony Eden.

The term "special relationship" was first coined to describe the strong ties forged between US President Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill during World War II

The special relationship between Britain and the US has been fostered by subsequent leaders. Most recently Prime Minister Tony Blair supported President George W Bush in the 2003 war against Iraq despite opposition from European allies France and Germany.


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