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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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"It is only right that I should pay a tribute, too, to the
services of the industries concerned who are co-operating
with us in the fulfilment of our task. Both employers and
workers are setting about their business with a full apprecia-
tion of the fact that what they are doing is vital in the national
interest, and every month that passes bears fresh witness to
their efficiency and their zeal. Here in the Midlands we can
see on every side evidence of those activities in rearmament
which for a long time will continue to keep our factories full
and to find employment for the skill of our workpeople.
" That is something which may give us cause for satisfac-
tion, but at the same time I must confess that the spectacle of
this vast expenditure upon means of destruction instead of
construction has inspired me with a feeling of revolt against
the folly of mankind. The cost is stupendous, and the thought
of the sacrifice that it must entail upon us, and upon those
who come after us, drives the Government always to search
for a way out, to seek to find some means of breaking through
this senseless competition in rearmament which continually
cancels out the efforts that each nation makes to secure an
advantage over the others. We cannot hope by ourselves to
discover a means of escape. It can only be done by frank
and full discussion with others who share our desire, and by
showing our readiness to make our contribution to die com-
mon cause of peace if others will do the same. This is not
. the time or the place to disclose what may be the prospects of
fruitful discussions upon this subject, which is of such vital
interest to great sections of humanity. All I would say is
that the Government has given, and is giving, anxious thought
to this question, and that in so far as good will and an earnest
desire to succeed can contribute towards success, those
qualities will not be lacking upon our part.
" It is a relief to turn from the troubled vision of inter-
national affairs to the calmer atmosphere that we find in our
own country. I wonder sometimes if, in all our domestic
history since the industrial revolution, you could point to
any period in which such an upward trend of trade and
commerce as we have witnessed during the last few years has
been unaccompanied by any major industrial dispute. Surely
that is a very remarkable tribute to the good sense of our