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Full text of "The Struggle For Peace"

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reinforcements to be sent to these strategic points, but, taking
them in order or priority, they are not as vital as the defence of
our own country, because as long as we are undefeated at
home, although we sustained losses overseas we might have
an opportunity of making them good hereafter. The fourth
and last objective which I will mention can be stated quite
shortly, namely, co-operation in the defence of the territories
of any allies we might have in case of war. These objectives
have been before us in the preparation of each of the Service
programmes. We have endeavoured to give to each Service
means adequate to the role it is expected to play. Taken as a
whole the programmes represent a careful balance struck after
due account has been taken of the considerations I have
mentioned, and when they are added together I think they
form an impressive picture of the armed power and economic
might of this country.
" I think I must here interpolate something about the cost.
In February, 1937, when I was still at the Treasury, I said to
the House that the expenditure before us could not, in niy
opinion, be met entirely from revenue, and afterwards a
Memorandum of the proposals of the Government was circu-
lated to the House and subsequently received Parliamentary
sanction in the shape of the Defence Loans Act, 1937- I should
like now to repeat one or two of the outstanding points which
were put before the House on that occasion. In the first
place, we said that expenditure on Defence in future years
would undoubtedly be very much higher than the
188,000,000 which was provided in 1936-37. It was not
at that time possible to say which year would see the peak
of the expenditure, but we indicated that it would be very
imprudent to anticipate that the total sum required over
five years would be much less than 1,500,000,000. We said
then that neither the amount nor the period of any borrowing
could at the moment be predicted. All that we could do was
to put a limit to the amount which might be borrowed, and
in the Defence Loans Act that limit was fixed at 400,000,000.
" In connection with that we laid down certain important
principles: First, that the Estimates should show the total
expenditure of the amount of money to be borrowed as well
as the net amount which would be required to be found by"