London, March 17, 2007
Churchill's views on the Jews
Sir, -- Stephen Pollard accuses me of peddling a "silly story . . . of little intrinsic interest" about Winston Churchill's attitude to the Jews ( comment, March 12 ). The story relates to an article called How the Jews Can Combat Persecution, which was commissioned from Churchill in 1937.
The facts are these. Churchill, who frequently used ghostwriters, asked a man called Adam Marshall Diston to write the piece, and provided him with some suggestions as to what to include. Diston then wrote it.
Pollard asserts that at this point "Churchill took one look at it and refused to have it published because he disagreed with it". That is not true. As I explain in my book Lloyd George and Churchill: Rivals for Greatness, Churchill actively sought to have it published in the US magazine Liberty .
He was prevented from doing so because of contractual problems. He then submitted it to the British magazine Strand , but it rejected the piece because it had already accepted an article by David Lloyd George on the same theme.
Churchill was entirely happy to put the article out in his own name and thus take responsibility for the views it expressed. It was not published in 1937 because of a series of accidents, not because Churchill disagreed with the contents. In 1940, when the question of publication arose again, he decided not to go ahead. We do not know if he had changed his views, only that, according to his secretary, "Mr Churchill thinks it would be inadvisable to publish the article. . . at the present time".