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Before the Wars

Churchill as Reformer (1910 – 1911)- With a Foreword by Sir Martin Gilbert


Alan Baxendale

Winston Churchill will be forever known as the great statesman who bravely led Britain through the war years, but what led the young Churchill down this path to greatness? What motivated him to become the future leader?
Delving into documentary records in the Home Office archive, Alan S. Baxendale brings to light the young Churchill’s war at home while Home Secretary from February 1910 to October 1911. Passionate about reforming prison treatment and sentencing, Churchill engaged with his senior Home Office staff and His Majesty’s Prison Commissioners in a daily discussion of the business of criminal justice. With a focus on his working methods and relationships with his staff, Baxendale offers a new look at Churchill as a young and talented politician whose leadership led to innovative reforms that are still influential today.
This book makes an important contribution to the ongoing debate about the criminal justice system, providing a crucial addition to our understanding of the history of prison reform. It also gives us valuable insight into Churchill as a person, shedding light on his formative years as a minister and providing us with important clues to how he became one of the most successful politicians of modern times.


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Notes 175


Notes Notes to Preface 1 Hansard, Fifth Series, vol. 19, col. 1354. Radzinowicz and Hood 1986, p. 774. Notes to Chapter 1 1 Conservative MP, Oldham, 1900; Liberal MP, Manchester North, 1906; Liberal MP, Dundee, 1908, January 1910, and December 1910; Parliamentary Under- Secretary of State at the Colonial Office, 1905–8, and President of the Board of Trade, 1908–10. 2 ‘Your speeches from first to last’, wrote Asquith, congratulating Churchill on his electioneering, ‘have reached a high-water mark and will live in history’ (Gilbert 1991, p. 211). 3 When Churchill was serving at the Colonial Office, he visited Britain’s recently acquired East African territories. The Governor of Uganda, Sir Hesketh Bell, records that Churchill asked him his age. He replied he was forty-three, to which Churchill exclaimed, ‘Do you know I am ten years younger than you are? I wonder where I shall be when I am your age?’ Bell then asked Churchill where he thought he would be. ‘PM,’ replied Churchill. Bell recalls that this answer was given ‘in a tone of acute determination’ (Bell 1946, pp. 167–71). 4 Churchill 1989 [1900], Chapters 7 to 12. In 1930 Churchill, in reflective mood, retold the story in My Early Life. 5 Churchill 1989 [1900], pp. 45, 69, 70 and 80. 6 Carter 1965, p. 187. 7 Elgin Papers, Churchill to Elgin, 1 September 1907, reprinted in R. S. Churchill 1969, 1, pp. 666–7. See also PRO CO/247/168/26220, minutes 24 and 25, July 1907. Also...

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