A Personal Message from the Prime Minister to the Coal Mining Industry
Winston S. Churchill
Price: 150.00 USD
London: The Ministry of Fuel and Power, 1942. This wartime pamphlet comes from the personal collection of Churchill's bibliographer, Ronald I. Cohen. Published in November 1942 during Churchill's wartime premiership, this is the first edition, only printing of this pamphlet including Churchill's undated letter to the coal mining industry and his 31 October 1942 address to the London Conference of the Mining Industry. This is the only volume appearance of Churchill's letter and the first appearance of Churchill's address. This pamphlet, and the letter and address within, speak to the daunting complexities and delicate balances of the war effort. On 31 October, final preparations for the North Africa landings were underway. That day, Churchill wrote to Roosevelt: "I pray that this great American enterprise... in which we have the honour to play an important part, may be crowned by the success it deserves." (Kimball, Vol. I, p.651) But great offensives did not happen without material and logistics. Hence, on the same Saturday that he was communicating with President Roosevelt about a major wartime offensive, Churchill also addressed the London Conference of the Mining Industry at Westminster Central Hall: "This is the first and only industry I have addressed as an industry during the time of my responsibility. I am doing so because coal is the foundation and, to a very large extent, the measure of our whole war effort." The pamphlet is printed on thin, wartime paper with wire-stitched self-wraps, measures 9.25 x 6.25 inches (23.5 x 15.9 cm), and is 16 pages in length. The front cover features a photo of Churchill by Cecil Beaton. Pages 1 & 2 reproduce Churchill's signed, undated letter to the coal mining industry on 10 Downing Street stationery ("I appeal to you personally, fighting with your tools in the mines, to think of your countrymen-in-arms, to stand solidly behind them and TO CUT MORE COAL."). Churchill's 31 October address to the London Conference of the Mining Industry is printed at pages 5-11. Page 8 is a full-page photo of Churchill delivering this address. The pamphlet is in good plus condition overall, complete though showing wear and flaws inherent to its age and fragility. The paper wraps remain intact, with both binding staples still firmly attached, though showing some rust. The wraps show some light overall soiling and wrinkling and short closed tears to the top and bottom of the front cover. The contents remain bright, albeit with some dog-eared corners. The pamphlet is protected with a removable, archival mylar sleeve. Bibliographic reference: Cohen A174. First edition.