Our War Aims - Now and After: Viscount Halifax

Seen by many as one of the architects of appeasement prior to the declaration of hostilities, Viscount Halifax here speaks to the nation on the purposes of the war and the likelihood of victory for the Allies. During his lengthy, considered speech, he notes that the British "right to grumble" is a mark of freedom compared with the situation in Nazi Germany, where complaining can lead to a concentration camp. He also looks to the future and to the building of a new world 'on the basis of human equality, self-respect and mutual tolerance'.

Edward Frederick Lindley Wood was known as Baron Irwin from 1925 and Viscount Halifax from 1934, before inheriting his father's title and becoming the third Earl of Halifax in 1944. He served in the cabinets of four prime ministers, was the Viceroy of India from 1926 until 1929 and became chairman of the General Advisory Council to the BBC in 1947. He also features as a character in the film adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel The Remains of the Day (played by Peter Eyre) and in Richard Attenborough's epic film Gandhi, where he was portrayed by Sir John Gielgud.

Originally broadcast circa November 1939.

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