History of the English Speaking Union

History Highlights

The English-Speaking Union NSW Branch was Formed on 23 April 1923

Founding of the English Speaking Union

The ESU was founded in London in 1918

The English-Speaking Union (ESU) is an international educational membership organisation, founded by the journalist Sir Evelyn Wrench in 1918.

Daily Telegraph (Sydney, NSW), Tuesday 24 April 1923, page 6

The English Speaking Union

The meeting at Government House yesterday launched In Sydney a movement of profound moment making for the union of the English-speaking peoples of the- world. More definitely put, this means the union of the British Empire and ' the United States in the Interests of civilisation, and, more broadly, in the Interests of humanity. Together, these two great forces could certainly bring about the peace of the world, not by the use of arms, but by the influence of the power resident in their prestige, numbers, spirit, and wealth. This English-speaking union crusade is now a very live one, both in Great Britain and the United States. In Britain the moving spirit is Earl Balfour, who personally did a very great deal to arouse a friendly feeling for Britain the United States on the occasion of his historic visit to America, following the decision of President Wilson to throw the gigantic power of his country on the side of the Allies In the Great War. His action in making a pilgrimage to Mount Vernon; kneeling, before Washington's tomb, and placing a wreath upon that cherished grave, was an inspiration. This example was followed by the Prince of Wales, and this dual act of reverence paid to the greatest figure in the history of the United States captivated the people there. It was accepted as a graceful appeal for "final peace and reconciliation." The companionship of the war advanced the spirit of fraternalism, and it is impossible to forget the splendid welcome with which details of the troops of this Commonwealth were greeted in New York. Since then there has been some ebbing and flowing of the pro-British movement in the United States, but the war-time friendship has been renewed by the uncompromising fidelity with which Great Britain is honoring her overwhelming financial obligations to the United States. A changed attitude is reported oven of the Hearst newspapers. The United States is a huge nation made up of many diverse elements, but the gratifying thing is the enthusiasm of so many leading Americans for the idea of the English-Speaking Union — men like Nicholas Murray Butler, the president of a leading university, and more than once mentioned as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. Generally speaking, what New York say's to-day the United" States will say tomorrow, and the financial groups of New Yorkers, almost without exception, more than friendly to the British nation. Into the propaganda for the accomplishment of a union which, if "effected, will mean "so much to both its "parts, we may fling all our weight. Australia has every, reason to desire - that peace in the Pacific which such a union can ensure for ever. "

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