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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

21

them—namely, to live at peace with its neighbours, and to
devote its energies and resources to the advancement of the
happiness and prosperity of its people.
" Well now, my Lord Mayor, in that task I am convinced
that His Majesty's subjects, through their respective Govern-
ments, may play an important part. The members of the
British Commonwealth of Nations have already set a striking
example to the rest of the world in the establishment among
themselves of relations of mutual trust and confidence and
in the complete abandonment of any idea that the use of force
is a possible remedy for their differences, if ever they should
have any.
" It was my privilege to preside over the later meetings
of the Imperial Conference which was concluded a few weeks
ago.1 Around our Board there were sitting representatives
of countries divided from one another by vast distances,
inhabited by peoples speaking different languages, and living
very different lives. With some of them we ourselves had
actually been at war within living memory, and yet there was
not one of them sitting round that Board who did not feel a
sense of kinship with the others. There was not one of
them who was not convinced that in any great and serious
crisis all of us would be actuated by the same motives of
sincerity, honesty and humanity.
1 The Imperial Conference met in May 1937, immediately after the
Coronation, under the chairmanship of Mr. Chamberlain. It declared,
inter alia.- " That for each member of the Commonwealth the first
objective is the preservation of peace," and that the members of the
Conference, though " themselves firmly attached to the principles of
democracy and to Parliamentary forms of government," held " that
difference of political creed should be no obstacle to friendly relations
between Governments and countries, and that nothing would be more
damaging to the hopes of international appeasement than the division,
real or apparent, of the world into opposing groups." At the close of the
Conference, Mr. Chamberlain used these words:
" On all the big issues on which the welfare of mankind ultimately
depends, we think alike; and when you consider the nature
of the countries whose representatives are gathered round this table,
how they are inhabited by many different races, speaking many different
languages, with different climates, religions, conditions of neighbour-
hood, and separated by vast distances of sea and land, surely this solidarity
B of opinion is profoundly impressive, and cannot fail to exercise its
influence far beyond the boundaries even of the British Empire/*