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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

" AS I have been listening, my Lord Mayor, to your
jfj^ kind and friendly words and looking round this
familiar room, my thoughts have gone back to another
occasion thirty-one years ago when another member of my
family was similarly honoured. I can well remember my
father's emotion on that occasion. Indeed, I never saw him
nearer to a breakdown than he was in making that speech,
when he strove to express his sense of the obligations that had
been so constantly showered upon him by the city of his
adoption; and now it is my turn to try to find words to say
how deeply I appreciate all the kindnesses that have been
shown me by my fellow-citizens throughout my life, and
particularly to thank you for the signal honour you have
bestowed upon me by asking me to be your guest to-night as
the first son of Birmingham to become Prime Minister of the
United Kingdom.
" I should like to add that the value of the compliment you
have paid me is more than doubled by the gracious tribute
you have been kind enough to pay to my wife—a lady on
whom I think some thoughtful good fairy bestowed at her
birth just those very qualities that are so desirable and which
are not always found in the wife and helpmeet of a statesman.
66 Well, my Lord Mayor, I suppose that in time I shall get
used to being addressed as Prime Minister, but at present I
feel rather like one of those centenarians who are inter-
viewed by enterprising representatives of the Press and
are summoned to account for the good fortune that they do
not appear obviously to have deserved. I have been running
over in my mind various answers which these venerable
gentlemen give on these occasions, but I am afraid they do
not seem exactly to suit my case. I cannot pretend I have been
a lifelong abstainer from alcohol, or from tobacco, or that
I am in the habit of spending a few minutes in simple exercises
every morning before breakfast. If I told you that I have
never told a lie, I suppose probably you would not believe