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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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" ^T^HE House always listens with pleasure to a speech
J[ from the hon. Member who has just addressed us,
.because he is always good tempered and always convinces
us that he is speaking with complete sincerity. But good
temper and sincerity are not sufficient to make an accurate
analysis of the complicated foreign situation or to formu-
late a policy. If the hon. Member will forgive me, I should
like to say that he is in the position in which the Leader
of the Opposition accused the Government of being,
namely, that he seems to me to be completely divorced from
reality. He is a victim of phrases and words. He uses words
over and over again without, it seems to me, making clear
what he means by those words. He says that the Government
have no policy, that he can never understand their foreign
policy. What does the hon. Member mean by foreign policy ?
You can lay down sound and general propositions. You can
say that your foreign policy is to maintain peace; you can
say that it is to protect British interests, you can say that it is
to use your influence, such as it is, on behalf of the right
against the wrong, as far as you can tell the right from the
wrong. You can lay down all these as general principles,
but that is not a policy. Surely, if you are to have a policy
you must take the particular situations and consider what
action or inaction is suitable for those particular situations.
That is what I myself mean by policy, and it is quite clear
that as the situations and conditions in foreign affairs con-
tinually change from day to day, your policy cannot be stated
once and for all if it is to be applicable to every situation
that arises.
" Perhaps the hon. Member when he accused the Govern-
ment of having no foreign policy was really thinking simply
of the League of Nations, which was in fact the illustration he
gave us when he went on to specify more particularly of what
he complained. He complained that my right hon. Friend
(Mr. Eden) did not once in the course of his speech state the