Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to the editor of Civil Liberty

Letter No.: 
Dec 31 1941

From R. Vaughan Williams,
The White Gates,
Westcott Road,


Dear Sir

I have lately received vol 5 of so called “Civil Liberty” - I resent strongly your “stop press” resolution about Greece - You might at least have waited till the full facts were revealed by Churchill - we nearly lost risked losing the war in early days by sending to the aid of Greece troops which were badly needed in Africa. We have fed them the Greeks, we have driven out the Germans - we have put in our troops to protect the decent citizens & true democrats against some ruffians who cannot have not the decency to wait till the war is over to put their “views” forward in an orderly manner - If this is “civil liberty” heaven defend us from it.
I propose as an amendment to your resolution the following
(1) That the government be censured for allowing Mr Churchill to waste his time & risk his life for a people utterly unworthy of him
(2) That the British troops be withdrawn & leave the Greeks to the tender mercies of the Germans - they will then probably learn what “civil liberty” means.

Unless your present “resolution” is withdrawn I shall feel it my duty to resign from your association & find some other body which will protect civil liberties in reality.
Yrs faithfully

R Vaughan Williams

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/1/13, ff. 169-171
Cobbe 377
Original database number: