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Churchill controversies



The website of BBC recently ran a list of the ten greatest continuing controversies about Winston Churchill.

Personally, I was a bit surprised to find nothing about Bretton Woods there. Certainly Churchill's relationship to the Bretton Woods conference, of '44, which formally gave the US dollar the central place as the western world's currency, has been a matter of considerable controversy.

I refer the reader doubtful on that point to THE BATTLE OF BRETTON WOODS, a recent offering of the Princeton University Press, which paints the conference itself as a dollar-versus-pound tug-of-war. Churchill either acceded to the lessened significance of the pound, or simply wasn't paying attention, and either fact is an important one.

It is hard to believe that he wasn't paying attention. He had been closely associated with a gold standard earlier in his political career (a fact which also doesn't get into the BBC list), so it is possible he acceded to the supremacy of the dollar as one way of restoring an indirect tie between gold and pound. Still, this helped bring an end to the British empire, and would have been at least as worth inclusion on the list as, say, Churchill's attitude toward labor unions.

His attitude toward unions, BTW, was the general Tory attitude on that point, and does not warrant the mention it gets on this list.

Pedantic venting. Is that a thing?

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