The Corner

Re: Courtesies

Rick: Well, Churchill could hardly have addressed Stalin as “Comrade,”

could he? WSC was a punctilious man, in any case. His letter to the

Japanese Ambassador declaring war on Japan caused a minor scandal. After

saying the necessary (“Your Excellency, In view of recent events in the Far

East, it is with deep regret that I must inform you that a state of war now

exists…”), Churchill signed off in proper diplomatic style: “I beg to

remain, Sir, with consideration, your most humble, most obedient servant,

Winston S. Churchill.” There were complaints about this in the House of

Commons, to which Churchill responded: “When you are setting out to kill

someone, it doesn’t do any harm to be polite.”

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