be careful what you wish for

A Letter to The Times written in June 1919


Observing reports in several newspapers that prayers are about to be offered up for rain, I venture to suggest that great care be taken in framing the appeal.

this other letter was found here

On the last occasion when this extreme step was resorted to, the resulting downpour was not only sufficient for all immediate needs, but was considerably in excess of what was actually required. The agricultural committee had no sooner been delivered from the drought than they were clamouring for a special interposition to relieve them from the deluge.

Still from The Deluge (1933) found here

Profiting from this experience we ought to be extremely careful to state exactly what we want in precise terms. The Board of Agriculture should draw up a schedule of the exact amount of rainfall required.

Rainfall Shower Head found here

This scheme, though greatly preferable to the haphazard methods previously employed, is in itself only a partial makeshift. What we really should pray for is a general amelioration of the British climate, to ascertain through scientific investigation, the proportion of sunshine and rain best suited to the ripening of British crops.

British crop circle found here

These reforms, when duly embodied in an official volume, could be made the object of sustained appeals by the nation over many years. We should not then be forced to have recourse to such appeals at particular periods, which, since they are unrelated to any general plan, must run the risk of deranging the whole economy of nature… causing reactions of the utmost complexity which it is impossible for us with our limited knowledge to foresee…

Yours very faithfully,


Winston Churchill found here

* Scorpio was a pen name used by Mr. Winston Churchill

Published in: on September 7, 2011 at 8:06 am  Comments (47)  
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