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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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'ORD BALDWIN has mentioned that I am
Prime Minister. I do not think it is so often
present in my mind as perhaps it used to be in his. But
I do like to think that this invitation from the Court was
not given to me because I was Prime Minister. It was
extended months before that event took place, and when you
could not possibly know that it ever would take place. It was
not even given to me because I was Chancellor of the Ex-
chequer, though I know that this is something for which every-
body has frequently expressed their thankfulness.
" The invitation was given to me on account of my long
family connection with the Company. "We go back for 200
years, when William Chamberlain was admitted to the
Company in 1739* For those 200 years there never has been
a time when some members of my family have not been on
the Court of the Company.
" Although I cannot boast of the blueness of the blood in
my veins or of the fame of my forebears, I am yet prouder of
being descended from those respectable tradesmen, as they
were called, than if my ancestors had worn shining armour and
carried great swords.1
" It is many years since we had a business connection with
cordwaining. I do not think that even in those palmy days its
profits were such as to have qualified my ancestors for liability
to N.D.C., if N.D.C. had then been in existence. We found
other means of keeping body and soul together, but we have
not yet forgotten our old connection.
" Now I am the latest recruit to your ranks, and I do most
deeply appreciate your feeling that you would like to keep up
this long connection between my family and your Company-,
and I am glad to think that after I am gone, it may be con-
tinued by my brother's descendants/5
1 It was with an umbrella, it will be recalled, that Mr. Chamberlain
flew across Europe on his mission of peace. The reference, in the light
of later events, seems to make the speech too significant to omit.