Page:Great Speeches of the War.djvu/320

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Rt. Hon. Winston S. Churchill

over the world—[cheers]—the means to take our British plough over obstacles of all kinds, and continue to the end of the furrow, whatever the toil and suffering may be.

But though we entered on this war with no illusions as to the incidents which will mark its progress, as to the ebb and flow of fighting in this or that part of the gigantic field over which it is waged, we entered it, and entered it rightly, with a sure and sober hope and expectation of bringing it to a victorious conclusion. [Cheers.] I am quite certain that if you choose, if we, the peoples of the British Empire, choose, whatever may happen in the interval, we can in the end make this war finish in accordance with our interests and the interests of civilization. [Cheers.] Let us build on a sure foundation. Let us not be the sport of fortune, looking for victories and happy chances there. Let us take measures which are well within our power, which are practical measures, measures which we can begin upon at once and carry through from day to day with surety and effect. Let us enter on measures which in the long run, whatever the accidents and incidents of the intervening period may be, will secure us that victory on which our life and existence as a nation, not less than the fortunes of our Allies and of Europe, absolutely depend. [Cheers.] I think we are building on a sure foundation. [Cheers.]

Let us look first of all at the Navy. [Loud cheers.] The war has now been in progress between five and six weeks. In that time we have swept German commerce from the sea. We have either blocked in neutral harbours or blockaded in their own harbours, or hunted down on blue water the commerce destroyers of which we used to hear so much and from which we anticipated such serious loss and damage. All our ships with inconsiderable exceptions, a few out of thousands, are arriving safely and punctually at their destinations—[cheers]—carrying on the commerce on which the wealth, the industries, and the power of making war of this country depend. [Cheers.] We are transporting easily, not without an element of danger, but still hitherto safely and successfully, great numbers of men, great numbers of soldiers across the seas from all quarters of the world, to be directed on the decisive theatre of the land struggle. We have searched the so-called German Ocean—[laughter]—without discovering the German flag. [Laughter and cheers.] Our enemies, in their carefully worked-out calculations, which they have been toiling over during a great