17 MAY 1940, Page 13

I returned to my rooms, and as a distraction from

my bitterness I read some of the speeches which Winston Churchill has delivered since 1932. Again and again did he warn us that Germany was aiming at the mastery of the air, and that without one instant's delay we should prepare our jigs and tools. The locusts, all those years, had nibbled at the leaves of time ; and today the very man who warned them, who denounced their silly optimism, who castigated their blindness, who begged them in fervent words to see clearly and strongly, is the man upon whom the fierce burden of their errors has descended with terrific might. He must indeed be a great man who is able to dismiss such frustrations from his mind. He sat there, resolute and unperturbed, listening to the speeches which followed ; obviously moved by the affectionate and vivid tribute paid to him by Mr. Lloyd George. There we had 1918 greeting 1941. It was a memorable sight. What memories of escapade and combat, of triumph and defeat, of loyalties and betrayals, of deep friendships and fierce animosi- ties, must have passed during those minutes through his mind. In his veins flow two hundred and thirty years of English history, and the destiny of his country, which he worships with so deep a passion, is now entrusted to his hands. • * * *