THE countless letters I have received from men and
women all over the world during the last six months
have impressed deeply upon my mind the intense desire for
the preservation of peace that exists among the peoples of every
Since that day at the end of May 1937 when I was first
summoned to be Prime Minister I have striven with all my
power to dispel the nightmare of war which has so long hung
over Europe. My efforts have been mocked at by some and
denounced by others, but I believe that by the majority they
have been approved, and if peace has not yet been securely
established, we have at any rate so far escaped the calamity
, of war.
It is in the hope of making clear the aim and purpose I
have had in mind that I have consented to the publication in a
collected form of the speeches I have made on this subject
since I have held my present office.
In order to remind readers of the exact circumstances under
which each speech was made, it has been found essential to
add connecting links with explanatory notes; and for these
I am indebted to Mr. Arthur Bryant who has kindly undertaken
the task for me.
I have described myself as a man of peace to the depths of
my soul. As such, with ideals which must always be tempered
by the realities of life, I have sought after an international
harmony in which nations may live together, each developing
its national aims and characteristics without fear of threats or
violence from its neighbours. On such a basis alone can
confidence be established, and without confidence there can
be no betterment of the lot of the peoples and no development
of the spiritual side of our civilisation.