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The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few'

The summer of 1940 saw the Battle of Britain, the aerial conflict between the Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe, reach its apex. When in this speech Churchill stated 'Never in the field of human conflict was so much been owed by so many to so few', he was paying tribute to the enormous efforts made by the fighter pilots and bomber crews to establish air superiority over England. Churchill used the example of the success of the RAF to promote confidence in the British war effort, stressing that it was better equipped for modern warfare than in the Great War with the numerical strength of the army, the naval command of the sea and scientific superiority in weaponry and intelligence. Finally Churchill sought the moral high ground over the Nazi regime as he pledged to bring food and aid to occupied areas effected by military blockades, thus laying down the framework for post-war programmes of relief and rehabilitation.

Title

'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few'

Date

20th August 1940

Catalogue number

Hansard, 5th Series, Volume 364, cc 1159