Thursday, January 8, 2004
WINSTON Churchill's war
leadership won him immense admiration
throughout the world. But the opening last
week of official records sealed under
Britain's "50 [sic. 30] year rule"
gives us another reason to like Sir
Winston &endash; he spent years, even
while Prime Minister, haggling with Inland
revenue over taxes.
We should be clear that the documents
in question do not imply tax evasion, but
merely Churchill's acute awareness of the
unfairness of the heavy taxes levied on
his various writing and speaking
activities outside of Parliament.
According to the Sunday
Telegraph, the documents show that in
the 1930s, Churchill was wary of accepting
an invitation to do a speaking tour in the
US because he feared the additional income
would boost the rate of tax on all of his
income and make it not worth his
Even at the height of World War II, he
found time to dispute a tax bill of 6,000
pounds. One might as easily say that, even
at the height of the war, Inland Revenues
saw fit to add to the enormous pressures
on the Prime Minister.
"UNCLE ADOLF, is it true that
David Irving couldn't prove he
isn't an apologist for you?"
what we folks call a
* Interesting, that the WSJ is
among the 70,000 daily readers of
this website. I called the facts
revealed by the Sunday Telegraph
"unsavoury", not Churchill's
efforts as such.
Churchill biographer David
Irving, who famously lost a libel case
because he couldn't prove he wasn't an
apologist for Hitler, calls Churchill's
tax minimization efforts "unsavory."[*
SEE BOX ON
RIGHT] But they seem perfectly
ordinary to us. Only a politician fully
aware of the burden of taxes is likely to
appreciate when they need to be cut.
Historian Andrew Roberts avers in the
Telegraph "I think if people had to choose
between the Inland Revenue and the man who
saved Western civilization, they would opt
for the latter."
Churchill's aversion to excessive
taxation was not limited to his personal
accounts. As Chancellor of the Exchequer
in the 1920s he cut taxes across the
board. And it was Churchill who said:, "We
contend that for a nation to try to tax
itself into prosperity is like a man
standing in a bucket and trying to lift
himself up by the handle."
on this website:
Our new website
dossier on Churchill
Foxman's instant outrage as Wall Street
Journal favorably cites David Irving on
Churchill's tax problems
Winston Churchill fought Inland Revenue
on wartime 'second front'
Irving: Churchill's War, free
note: Churchill's monthly desk
calendars for the war years
September 1939-1945 are available as
a service to historians on CD Rom in
pdf format for $50 from
Point Publications, 36 Hertford St,
London W1J 7SE