Secret Session: Parliament in the Air Raids

Secret Session: Parliament in the Air Raids
  • Title: Secret Session: Parliament in the Air Raids
  • Date: 17th September 1940
  • Catalogue number: SPEECHES-CHU
  • Description:
    As the Battle of Britain continued into the late summer of 1940, a new German strategy of 'Blitz' bombing left London under siege of aerial bombardment, causing Churchill to find a new way for Parliament to carry on its duties under such a barrage. The House went into secret sessions, with one of the main reasons being that Parliamentary dialogue could not be passed onto the enemy. In this particular secret session Churchill is warning his fellow Parliamentarians of the probable bombing of Parliament by the Germans, as they were already openly attacking Buckingham Palace and had severely damaged St Thomas’s Hospital nearby. He planned morning sessions of debate which would allow members to be safely at home or in air raid shelters by the time of the nocturnal bombing. There would be fewer sitting days and Parliament's working hours were not to be made public. The wartime Parliament sat for a time at the nearby Church House in Westminster, headquarters of the Church of England.

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