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Churchill`s Experiences in Spanish-Cuban-American War, Letter to a friend
Cuba 1896
Churchill wrote to his friend Bourke Cockran:

`WSC to W.Bourke Cockran
29 February [1896] Bachelors` Club W.

I hope the United States will not force Spain to give up Cuba— unless you are prepared to accept responsibility for the results of such action. If the States care to take Cuba—though this would be very hard on Spain—it would be the best and most expedient course for both the island and the world in general. But I hold it a monstrous thing if you are going to merely procure the establishment of another South American Republic—which however degraded and irresponsible is to be backed in its action by the American people—without their maintaining any sort of control over its behaviour.
I do hope that you will not be in agreement with those wild, and I must say, most irresponsible people who talk of Spain as `beyond the pale` etc etc. Do write and tell me what you do think. . . `

No doubt Churchill felt the delicacy of the situation of overly criticizing the Spaniards who were his hosts and who necessarily were responsible for his food, his shelter and his safety. Moreover he had been under fire with the Spaniards on his twenty-first birthday. Roughing it and encountering some danger with people who are your hosts inevitably breeds a comradeship which makes completely objective reporting impossible.

Just over forty years later he sought to restrain his son (the author of this book L.D) from going to the Spanish civil war to report it for the Daily Mail. He pointed out how difficult it would be to write objectively about a war (quite apart from the difficulties of censorship) when you were on one side of the lines. He further told his son that he must on no account later go to the other side; in that case he would be suspected by both sides of being a spy.
This latter advice was heeded. In retrospect—though it was frustrating at the time-it was a good thing that General Franco`s public relations officers only allowed the author once to come under fire about two miles outside Madrid.

by Randolph Churchill and Larry Daley
Article ID 196
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