Everyone now knows of the secret meetings of Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. The most important one to Great Britain was the one in 1941 aboard the two ships, USS Augusta and HMS Prince of Wales at Placentia Bay, off the Newfoundland coast, Canada. The outcome of this meeting was so important as it sealed the US - Great Britain alliance culminating in the Atlantic Treaty.
To celebrate the Atlantic Treaty, a few commemorative items were made.
Hungerford Arcade is very proud to have acquired one such item. Here we have a crystal whisky glass decorated on one side with the head of Franklin D Roosevelt with a verse beneath which says:
"Sail on, oh Ship of State! Sail on, oh Union strong & great! Humanity, with all its fears,with all the hopes of future years, is hanging breathless on thy fate".
On the opposite side is the head of Winston Churchill with a verse beneath which says:
"Put your confidence in us; give us your faith and blessing, and under providence, all will be well".
Down each side of the glass is an olive branch.
I have lined the glass with black tissue paper in the hope that you will be able to see all the detail. Below is an article on the Atlantic Treaty together with photographs.
1941: Secret meetings OF WINSTON CHURCHILL AND FRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT seal US-Britain alliance
The document, known as the Atlantic Charter, consists of a list of eight undertakings.
- Britain and the United States seek no territorial gains from the war
- any changes to a country's territory should only happen with the agreement of the people living there
- it is the right of everyone to choose the government under which they will live
- self-government should be restored to those who have lost it
- there should be free trade between all nations
- improvements in the economy and in living standards should be available to all
- there should be peace following what the Charter calls "the end of Nazi tyranny"
- peace should enable freedom of movement around the world and a belief that aggressive nations must be disarmed if the world is to live at peace
Mr Churchill's unexplained absence from the House of Commons during a statement on the war situation on 6 August had also attracted some attention.
It turned out both men were involved in at least three days of intensive talks on board the American cruiser, USS Augusta, and the British battleship, HMS Prince of Wales, anchored in Placentia Bay in Newfoundland.
It was the first time Mr Churchill had met Mr Roosevelt as heads of their respective governments, and their discussions were thought to have covered several other matters, such as the German invasion of the Soviet Union in June, the supply of weapons under the Lend-Lease Act, and the threat to Britain's lifeline in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Although the Charter is clearly an undertaking for the two countries to co-operate after the war, it stops short of anything which might bring forward America's participation in the war.
But as Japan continues to build up her fleet in the Pacific, speculation has been growing as to just how long the Americans can stay out.
August 9 – 12, 1941
Franklin D Roosevelt and Winston Churchill
Placentia Bay, off the Newfoundland coast, Canada, aboard two ships:
the USS Augusta and the HMS Prince of Wales
Winston Churchill's edited copy
final draft of the Atlantic Charter.
Printed copy of Atlantic Charter distributed as