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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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Roosevelt, although he and I took the first opportunity after
that speech was made public of expressing our satisfaction at
what President Roosevelt had said and our intention to
co-operate with him as far as that might be possible. If I
may quote the words I myself used, the right hon. Gentleman
will see that he had no grounds for suggesting that we, in
contradistinction to President Roosevelt, have no ideas and
no policy and no word of welcome for the gesture made by
the President from across the Atlantic. I said :
" * In his declaration of the necessity for a return to a
belief in the pledged word and the sanctity of treaties he has
voiced the convictions of this country as well as of his own,
and in his call for a concerted effort in the cause of peace he
will have this Government whole-heartedly with him/
I do not know what more I could have said. Since then there
have been some developments. We now have arrangements
made for the meeting of the Conference of the Powers which
signed the Nine-Power Treaty and probably some other
countries as well. That will be the occasion for the concerted
effort of which the President spoke, and I would like to say
this, that when the right hon. Gentleman demands that we
should say here and now not only how we are going to begin
that Conference but what will be our action if all sorts of hypo-
thetical circumstances arise in the course of the Conference,
I suggest that he is not there offering the words of wisdom
which I should expect from his experience. To say before-
hand, before consultation with any of those who are going to
take part in the Conference, what you will do is the very worst
way of getting that concerted effort which is what the President
has asked for and which, I understand, the right hon. Gentle-
man himself would like to see. No, Sir, we know perfectly
well what the Conference is for. The Conference is to try to
restore peace in the Far East1—and that is sufficient to go on
1 Japan had invaded China in July 1937 on the pretext of preserving
Japanese interests from anarchy. Many in this country held that since
the League of Nations was not prepared to do so, Britain should intervene
on behalf of China—an intervention which would not only jeopardise
the peace of the rest of the world, but which, if undertaken with adequate
force, would place us at the mercy of our European neighbours while our
fleet was engaged in operations at the other end of the world*