TO THE British, as to others, this war has been a spiritual as well as a physical experience. For the first time since the turn of the century a creative spirit stirs the national consciousness. Something new is coming to birth: a new spirit of comradeship and national unity, a new conception of society, a new sense of political mission, a renewed belief in our power to master difficulties, a new confidence in one another.
Such confidence implies no facile optimism. We in Britain know that bitter suffering lies ahead. We know that the big battles of the war have yet to be fought and that a dark and difficult time will come when victory has been won. But we have learned faith and courage and unity from our early disasters, and we have the confidence that faith and unity and courage bring. This attitude is common to all British folk, and the Conservatives of whom I write are no less sensitive to it than others.
On March 21, 1943, the leader of the Conservative Party, Mr. Winston Churchill, celebrated his recovery from illness by delivering one of the longest broadcast talks ever heard by the British people. His broadcast was given in his personal capacity, and its value as a forecast of Conservative policy must be read in the light of the fact that both the Party and the Government would be free, if either so desired, to disregard every word that Mr. Churchill said. But as a general indication of the Conservative and the national mind the broadcast must be treated as authoritative.
Conservative policy is always based on a current situation rather than on a fixed political creed. The Conservative Party has a political tradition extending over three hundred years and during these centuries of electoral victory and defeat it has learned to attach itself to political institutions and principles rather than abstract theories of government. Experience has taught us that there is no political theory, including our own, which
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