I will toast in Water, not in Champagne! (Post No.7048)

Compiled by  London swaminathan


Date: 2 OCTOBER 2019

British Summer Time uploaded in London – 20 48

Post No. 7048

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Diplomats Anecdotes

According to diplomatic procedure, the representative of a foreign country, before being actually presented to the President, always exchanges with him the text of the speeches.
On one such occasion this formality never reached its ordinary climax. Instead of stiltedly repeating the already familiar words, President Roosevelt greeted the foreign diplomat with,
Now, Mr Minister, I have read your remarks and you have read mine, so suppose we dispense with the speeches and have a friendly chat.

Toast in Water

After the Russo Japanese War, Admiral Togo, commander of the victorious Japanese fleet, visited the United States and was cordially received. A state dinner was tendered him at which it fell to the lot of William Jennings Fryan, then Secretary of State to propose a toast to Togo. Bryan, a staunch prohibitionist, would not touch champagne , and it was feared that some diplomatic impasse may arise from the difficulty.

Bryan, however, rose at the proper time, picked up his glass of water and said,

Admiral Togo has won a great victory on water, therefore I will toast him in water. When Admiral Togo wins a victory on champagne, I will toast him in champagne.


When Lady Baldwin of Bewdley visited Manhattan with her husband, Stanley Baldwin, last summer, she wanted to see the General Motors Futurama at New York Worlds Fair, but did not want to stand in line. So Earl Baldwin phoned the British consulate; the consulate called the British embassy in Washington; the embassy cabled the Foreign Office in London. The foreign office appealed to ambassador Joe Kennedy . Resourceful Joe sent a cable direct to General Motors Building at the Fair. A press agent there called lady Baldwin at the Waldorf (cost 5 cents) , told her to come right out, he would see that she was well taken care of .


I will cut off heads of all Frenchmen!

Henry VIII, in a spell of temper against his rival Francis I, King of France, commissioned a clergy man named Bonner to deliver an insolent and threatening message to the French court. The clergyman realised that it would be a risky job and protested that he could never hope to get back to England alive if he dared to talk to the French king in the manner Henry wished.
Don’t worry about that, said the monarch soothingly. If the King of France puts you to death, I will cut off the heads of all Frenchmen I can get my hands on.

That may be, Your Majesty, replied Bonner, tapping his head, but of all the heads in England, there is none that fits my shoulders as well as this one does.


Leave a comment


  1. Toasting in water- what a ready wit and apt reaction!
    This reminds us of our own Rajaji. When he was Governor General, liquor was not served at official functions. Foreigners got a taste of an important Gandhian prescription. Well, those were the days!
    In the United States too, there was strong public sentiment against drinking and actually prohibition was enforced in some states . But the wily liquor lobby was quite resourceful. They supplied free liquor to American soldiers serving abroad, and made them drink addicts. When these soldiers returned to the States, there was natural sympathy for them as “our boys’ who had suffered abroad for our sake’. So, the liquor lobby used that sentiment to dilute, relax and finally do away with Prohibition. This has been explained by Sri Bharatan Kumarappa, the Gandhian [ and relative of the great Gandhian economist J.C.Kumarappa]
    It is so sad to see the Indian newspapers, whose editors are mostly known liquor consumers, and who shriek against Prohibition, vying with each other in celebrating Gandhi now. Oh, what hypocrisy and wretchedness in public life!

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