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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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On 2} th June, a few days lefore Mr. Chamberlain spoke at
Birmingham he had made his first speech as Prime Minister in
the House of Commons on Foreign Affairs. The subject -was the
Spanish Civil War which had broken out a year earlier, when the
Army and the Catholic North had risen in arms against a Popular
Front Government on the grounds that it had deliberately failed
to preserve the elements of order and to secure the rights of
worship. This litter internecine conflict had been complicated
by the intervention of large numbers of volunteers from almost
every country in the world, including the four great Continental
Powers, Soviet Russia, Italy, France and Germany. A cockpit
was thus provided for a miniature world war between what
seemed to some the champions of Fascism and Democracy and to
others of Fascism and Communism. From the start it was plain
that the situation might well precipitate a world war—a disaster
which the British Government consistently endeavoured to avert
by the expedient, admittedly imperfect, of the London Non-
intervention Committee, on which representatives of the Powers
concerned were officially joined together to discuss ways ofevacuat~
ing those foreign combatants who were already in Spain and of
preventing the arrival of new ones. In June, 1937, a serious
crisis had arisen as a result of an attack made by Spanish
Republican aircraft on the German battleship Deutschland
while on Non-Intervention patrol duty in the Mediterranean—
an attack which had been avenged by a bombardment by German
warships of the town ofAlmeria. As a result of a further though
unsuccessful attack alleged to have been made on the German
cruiser Leipzig by a Spanish Republican submarine, the
Germans had withdrawn their ships from the Non-intervention
Patrol and the Italians had followed suit. Though this with-
drawal actually operated to the advantage of the Republicans, it
was made the occasion of a full-dress attack on the principle of
•Non-Intervention by the British Parliamentary Opposition,