102 ________,_______________________—_ nearer and nearer to war ? 1 believe that the policy of the party opposite, if persisted in, this policy of holding their hands and turning their backs, of making speeches and of doing nothing, is a policy which must presently lead us to war." MR. GALLAGHER : " Go to the country." THE PRIME MINISTER : " There may come a time again, as there have been times in the past, when someone who occupies the position that I hold to-day will have to face again the awful responsibility of answering that question: c Will you plunge your country into war ? ' I pray that that responsibility may not fall upon me, but does not an almost equally heavy responsibility lie upon a man who feels, as I do, that if we do not take action, we may presently be faced with that frightful question, and who feels that by taking action he may do something to avert it P1 I feel that I should fail in my duty if I failed to take that action now, as I have done." 1 It is impossible now to avoid the conclusion that had the Prime Minister not taken the action he did in opening conversations with Italy, world war could not have been averted seven months later. It was Signor Mussolini's immediate response to Mr. Chamberlain's appeal for mediation on 29th September that alone saved peace at that time.