C. P. Scott

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Charles Prestwich Scott

Charles Prestwich Scott (26 October 18461 January 1932) was a British journalist, publisher and politician. He was the editor of The Manchester Guardian newspaper from 1872 until 1929, and its owner from 1907 until his death.

Quotes[edit]

  • A newspaper is of necessity something of a monopoly, and its first duty is to shun the temptations of monopoly. Its primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted. Neither in what it gives, nor in what it does not give, nor in the mode of presentation must the unclouded face of truth suffer wrong. Comment is free, but facts are sacred.
    • Manchester Guardian, May 5, 1921. [1]
  • I think the best thing the Manchester Guardian has done in my time was to oppose the Boer War... We were together there.
    • Letter to David Lloyd George (April 1930), quoted in The Political Diaries of C. P. Scott, 1911–1928, ed. Trevor Wilson (1970), p. 29
  • Free Trade in the sense in which we have always understood it is either a sound economic policy or it is not. Judging by results in national prosperity I should have thought it would take a lot of disproving, but the Tories are ready to play fast and lose with it and some of our own people who ought to know far better seem ready to back them up. If there is any future for the Liberal party it surely rests on the rock of Free Trade.
    • Letter to John Lawrence Hammond (22 December 1931), quoted in The Political Diaries of C. P. Scott, 1911–1928, ed. Trevor Wilson (1970), p. 495

Attributed[edit]

  • Truth like everything else should be economised.
    • Attributed by Malcolm Muggeridge in his suppressed novel Picture Palace (1934), quoted in The Political Diaries of C. P. Scott, 1911–1928, ed. Trevor Wilson (1970), p. 27

Quotes about Scott[edit]

  • [He is] one of the heroes of the struggle, one of the ablest men they had and the most courageous Member who had ever been returned. ... He had made sacrifices and had run risks which few realised in the part which he had taken in this struggle—the greatest that England had passed through, he thought, for a century.
    • David Lloyd George, referring to their opposition to the Boer War in a speech in Scott's constituency of Leigh (November 1901), quoted in The Political Diaries of C. P. Scott, 1911–1928, ed. Trevor Wilson (1970), pp. 28-29
  • [I am delighted] that my native city is honouring itself today by conferring its highest distinction upon the greatest Liberal publicist of the day.
    • David Lloyd George, telegram to Scott after he was awarded the freedom of Manchester (April 1930), quoted in The Political Diaries of C. P. Scott, 1911–1928, ed. Trevor Wilson (1970), p. 29
  • When C. P. Scott died, the innumerable tributes to him all emphasised his courage and integrity, his humanitarianism and his championship of unpopular causes. They omitted comment on his remarkable astuteness, his diplomatic gift, his caution, his capacity for compromise, his knowledge of when to strike and when to forebear. C. P. Scott had something of the fox in him, as well as much of the lion. He was no champion of lost causes; he was, on the contrary, the benignly Machiavellian advocate of causes which less far-sighted men thought lost or Utopian. He could claim, above all, that he had been right—right about the Boer War, right about Home Rule, right about Women's Suffrage, right about the Versailles Peace Treaty, right about a host of other smaller causes which we have forgotten because they have been won. The influence of the Manchester Guardian was due to the fact that the causes it took up were never run as stunts, taken up in the hot mood and dropped in the cold; they were clearly imagined lines of policy, consistently and moderately pursued year after year, boldly urged in season, persuasively advocated out of season, but never abandoned until victory was achieved.

External links[edit]

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