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interests of foreigners, and that their assurances and apologies
mean something more than words.
" The right hon. Gentleman has alluded to the League of
Nations and to the effect upon the League of the notice that has
been given by Italy to terminate her membership. This
notice, which cannot, of course, become operative for two
years, does not make any real difference in the situation.
There has been no Italian delegation to the League since May,
1936, and for more than a year no Italian has taken part in
any committee or other organ of the League. Therefore, this
public announcement makes no change in the facts of the
situation; it merely emphasises this point, that in its present
condition the League is unable to discharge some of the
functions with which it was invested when it was first created.
Such a situation must necessarily cause great concern to all
those who, like His Majesty's Government, still believe in
those ideals of international co-operation which were present
to the minds of the founders of the League. In spite of any
anxiety which we may have, the League can still play a part in
world affairs, and it will do so all the more effectively the
more willing it is frankly to face the realities of the situation.
We have in the League an organization that has proved itself
in many ways, and that can continue its beneficent work in
many other spheres. It can be of service to those who, like
ourselves, wish to avail themselves of its services, and it will
offer its services in no spirit of partisanship. We shall con-
tinue to give it our warmest support, believing that it can
still afford the nucleus for the better and more comprehensive
organisation which we believe is necessary for the maintenance
" The right hon. Gentleman said that he trusted I could
give the House a message of hope. He did not paint a very
optimistic picture of the situation of the world. He pointed
out that there were present to-day in the situation all the
elements which might conduce to another war. If we are to
take his view that British commercial interests can only be
protected by us if we protect all the interests of the world,
and if we are to constitute ourselves in that way the policeman
of the world—[Interruption]—how are we to protect the in7
terests of the world if we are not the policeman of the world ? "