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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

84  __-------------------------------------------------------------------_
going to be misrepresented; it has been misrepresented
already. The right hon. Member for South Hackney (Mr.
H. Morrison), who carries his partisanship to what I might
call old-fashioned lengths, is already suggesting to his
audiences terms of an agreement which has not yet even
begun to be discussed. Let me make it plain that there is no
question at this moment of what the terms of the agreement are
to be. The question is whether we are to enter upon negotia-
tions or to refuse even to contemplate them, and if there be
any here who really wish to obtain peace, do they think they
can ever obtain peace by continuing a vendetta and refusing
even to talk about their differences ? I have never been more
completely convinced of the Tightness of any course that
I have had to take than I am to-day of the Tightness of the
decision to which the Cabinet came yesterday. What we are
seeking to do is to get a general appeasement throughout
Europe which will give us peace.
" The peace of Europe must depend upon the attitude of
the four major Powers—Germany, Italy, France and our-
selves. For ourselves, we are linked to France by common
ideals of democracy, of liberty and Parliamentary government.
France need not fear that the resignation of my right hon.
Friend upon this issue signifies any departure from the policy
of the closest friendship with France of which he has been
such a distinguished exponent* I count myself as firm a friend
of France as my right hon. Friend. The difference between
him and me will never mean that there is any difference
between us about our relations with France. On the other
side we find Italy and Germany linked by affinities of outlook
and in the forms of their government. The question that we
have to think of is this : Are we to allow these two pairs of
nations to go on glowering at one another across the frontier,
allowing the feeling between the two sides to become more
and more embittered, until at last the barriers are broken
down and the conflict begins which many think would mark
the end of civilisation ? Or can we bring them to an under-
standing of one another's aims and objects, and to such
discussion as may lead to a final settlement ? If we can do
that, if we can bring these four nations into friendly dis-«
cussion, into, a settling of their difference we shall