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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

48 ----------------__-------------------------------------------------------
". . . I wish it were possible for me to tell you that the
general European situation presented no features of difficulty
or anxiety. Few of us could have foreseen, when hostilities
first broke out in Spain, that they would involve so many
troublesome and complicated problems for others, and perhaps
the only satisfactory aspect of the history of this affair from
our point of view has been the close collaboration with the
French Government which we have enjoyed throughout. In
company with them we have continued our efforts to make the
policy of non-intervention more effective. We have taken
a prominent part in all endeavours to lessen the sufferings of
the Spanish civilian population, and we have done, and will
do, all in our power to prevent the conflict from spreading
beyond the borders of Spain.
" For France the year has not been an easy one, for her
people have been faced with serious financial and economic
difficulties, which, however, are being met with courage and
determination. I would like to take this opportunity of
paying my tribute to the remarkable success achieved by the
Paris Exhibition, in spite of the difficulties which attended
its early stages.
"As regards our relations with the two great Powers
which are now so closely associated in what is known as
the Rome-Berlin axis, I will only say this. It is the sincere
desire of His Majesty's Government to see those relations
established upon a basis of mutual friendship and under-
standing, but as we believe that that understanding, which
might well have far-reaching effects in restoring confidence
and security to Europe, will be more hopefully pursued
by informal discussion than by public declamation, I pro-
pose to abstain from further words upon the subject this
evening.
" Before I conclude my review of foreign affairs I would
say a word or two about the League of Nations. There are
apparently some people whose faith in the League is so
shallow that unless they keep repeating its name aloud at
frequent intervals they feel themselves liable to forget all
about it. The faith of His Majesty's Government goes
deeper than that. To us the League is not a fetish but an
instrument, the value of which is in direct proportion to its"