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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

IOC   ___^__^-____^_____.------—-----------^^.-^....  . .__
completely changed since the last Election, At the last
Election it was still possible to hope that the League might
afford collective security. I believed it myself. I do not
believe it now, I would say more. If I am right, as I am con-
fident I am, in saying that the League as constituted to-day is
unable to provide collective security for anybody, then I say
we must not try to delude ourselves, and, still more, we must
not try to delude small weak nations, into thinking that they
will be protected by the League against aggression and acting
accordingly, when we know that nothing of the kind can be
expected.
" The party opposite seem to me to be the worse kind of
diehards. They keep on repeating cliches and phrases and
tags which once may have had some significance but have none
to-day. You cannot expect a motor car to win a race if half
its cylinders are out of action. You cannot expect a League
constituted originally to perform certain functions, on the
assumption that if it did not embrace every nation in the
world, it embraced practically all the powerful nations of
the world—you cannot expect a League which has been given
a function corresponding with that state of things, to be able
to exercise that same function if nearly all the great Powers
have left it."
MR. NOEL-BAKER : " Is it not a fact that membership of the
League is the same as it was at the time of the last General
Election, except for Italy, which had then been declared an
aggressor ? "
THE PRIME MINISTER : " The hon. Member might just as
well have put that interruption into his own speech. I say
that the power of the League does not depend upon its nomi-
nal membership. It depends upon the conviction of its
members that it can carry out its functions. At the time of the
last Election the conviction that it could not carry out its
functions was not universal, even if some suspicion had
entered into the minds of some members of the League. I say
that to-day you will not find anywhere in the League any
conviction that collective security can be provided by the
League as now constituted. What is the conclusion to be
drawn from that ? [HON. MEMBERS : * Why do you stay
in?'] I am staying in because I still have faith that die