A war cabinet has been formed of five members, representing, with
the Labour, Opposition, and Liberals, the unity of the nation. It
was necessary that this should be done in one single day on account
of the extreme urgency and rigor of events. Other key positions were
filled yesterday. I am submitting a further list to the king
tonight. I hope to complete the appointment of principal ministers
The appointment of other ministers usually takes a little longer. I
trust when Parliament meets again this part of my task will be
completed and that the administration will be complete in all
respects. I considered it in the public interest to suggest to the
Speaker that the House should be summoned today. At the end of
today's proceedings, the adjournment of the House will be proposed
until May 21 with provision for earlier meeting if need be. Business
for that will be notified to MPs at the earliest opportunity.
I now invite the House by a resolution to record its approval of the
steps taken and declare its confidence in the new government.
"That this House welcomes the formation of a government representing
the united and inflexible resolve of the nation to prosecute the war
with Germany to a victorious conclusion."
To form an administration of this scale and complexity is a serious
undertaking in itself. But we are in the preliminary phase of one of
the greatest battles in history. We are in action at many other
points-in Norway and in Holland-and we have to be prepared in the
Mediterranean. The air battle is continuing, and many preparations
have to be made here at home.
In this crisis I think I may be pardoned if 1 do not address the
House at any length today, and I hope that any of my friends and
colleagues or former colleagues who are affected by the political
reconstruction will make all allowances for any lack of ceremony
with which it has been necessary to act.
I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this
government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and
sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We
have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.
You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea,
and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has
given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never
surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That
is our policy.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory.
Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory,
however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is
Let that be realized. No survival for the British Empire, no
survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival
for the urge, the impulse of the ages, that mankind shall move
forward toward his goal.
I take up my task in buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause
will not be suffered to fail among men. I feel entitled at this
juncture, at this time, to claim the aid of all and to say, "Come
then, let us go forward together with our united strength."